Because it’s been five hours without envious praise. A true master of arrangment. Not just here, but deciding how to make crazy laptop electronica focused into a relevant acoustic performance. From a digital opus to a brooding skiffle jam. Haven’t seen this Rollins interview/performance since The Eraser came out. You’ve probably seen it, but just watch it again. mmkay.
I bet it’s been awhile, you really need to remember this one though and let it sink like mercury in thine iron lungs. Yes it’s late 90s and paranoid and pissed and cerebral and ethereal and becoming more aware of the world and just so disappointed. But 10 Schrutebucks says you forgot how bloody beautiful this song was. The syncopation in the lead parts are literally undoable by most players, Ed O’Brien gets no respect. And when was the last time you saw Phil Selway actually slam with sticks other than thin jazz juliennes?
It’s always a good idea to see Thom and boys in what is arguably their gold plated diapers era. It’s also kind of funny to see our man just so pissed at everything. Cool off those beans, man. You can be happy if you choose and be consciously ignorant. We believe you, and that’s why we love it. I love it because I sing harmony to the whole song and just like harmony does, it puts you on stage, in their ear, and them in yours. And you hope that when you sing it just right he will turn his head slightly with his mouth still on the mic and grin ever so slightly and close his eyes and then you both go under together.
Modular synths are the most expensive, the hardest to learn, the snootiest, thus coolest. All Radiohead fans are intrigued by Jonny’s tribute to 1/8″ cables, and they can make some truly original sounds. Below, a video of one of the many controllers one can use to create modular sounds. Jonny has a similar controller so I thought Radiohead fans would appreciate this.
Friday – went to see Alcoholica – Quebec’s tight answer to Metallica cover banding. Mmmhmm. The venue was insanely packed. A buddy had free tickets, so a bunch of us went. It’s always a fresh reminder that you don’t belong to (many) social groups, but we had fun. I was one of 3 men in the venue that was wearing a collar, should’ve brought out my killer black t collection. Spilled beer, fraternal chanting, and so much long frizzy hair. Although a bit violent for me, they have more passion for their music than many other cliques do. Just the way they like it, I dig it.
[Bruce Peninsula, via blurasis]
[Timber Timbre, via wolves, hawks, and kites]
Saturday – One of the best small club shows I’ve been to in a long time. Bruce Peninsula and Timber Timbre. I have a love/hate relationship with that name. He’s indirectly teaching people how to say timbre correctly, buuut it’s a stupid band name. Regardless, both sets were emotional, intense, genuine, quirky, soulful, melodic, and I felt I kicked ass by rounding up about 6 of my friends, all who had never heard the bands before and really loved the music. Chalk me up on the big board. I was so cool and hipster because the venue (Il Motore) is run by a promoter/label, and it’s like, so industrial you guys. There’s no sign outside the venue so you know it’s like, good and stuff. It’s like an industrial mystery. And there’s like, raftery ceilings too, so post-modern you guys.
Sunday - Grammys and worked on a tune of my own w buddy Chris. This is the first time I’ve watched the Grammys in years, mainly because of this:
Thom’s rapdance was a bit weak at times, but a marching band backing a song like “15 Step” is just a gift from the spirits. I felt like Thom was playing the “I’m a british snotty, I hate the corporate Grammys” card quite far from the chest. But I liked his chutzpah. It’s what you’d expect. It was just so weird to see them all sitting in a row waiting to not be called. The Grammy’s did just a tinier bit better than normal. Coldplay – what the EFF are you STILL doing wearing COSTUMES. This isn’t Canadian figure skating. You get made fun of on a daily basis, and you still don’t learn.
A new online TV series c/o arguably the best music producer in the world, Nigel Godrich. He’s produced some of the best bands/albums of the past 10 years – Radiohead, Beck, Pavement, R.E.M., Air, and Paul McCartney’s best solo recording possibly ever. My favourite song of the whole series so far is Thom Yorke doing Videotape, the closing track on 2007′s In Rainbows. Proof that a truly good song only needs to rest on one person with one (or very few) instrument(s). If it passes this test, it can proceed. These days, I don’t feel it happens that often. Leave the autotune, ProTools, and the drum machine at home. Do you have a good song and can you perform it well?
Go to his website, there are a ton more private videos (including personal favourites Fleet Foxes).
When I’m at the pearly gates this’ll be on my videotape. mephistopheles is just beneath and he’s reaching up to grab me this is one for the good days and I have it all here in red, blue, green. you are my centre when I spin away out of control on videotape. this is my way of saying goodbye because I can’t do it face to face so I’m talking to you after it’s too late for my videotape. No matter what happens now I won’t be afraid because I know today has been the most perfect day I have ever seen.
Thom always wins.
Always reluctant to overhipsterize myself at Pitchforkmedia.com. Overall they recommend interesting music – some melodic, some not. As a sole slave for good melody I only occasionally agree with their “Best New Music”.
They’ve been bedding Deerhunter for a while now, and I always instantly lumped them in with all the BS deer/fox/wolf/frog/mid-latitude fauna pick of the day, so I superficially was turned off. Like most, I mixed them up with Deerhoof, another Pitchfork favourite which is almost entirely over my head. After checking them out on my closest musical ally Allmusic.com, I saw they are significantly more post-rock/ambient friendly than I had remotely imagined, thus big thumbs from me. So I got my hands on both full lengths, and I was instantly won over. They are perfectly aligned with my preferences – Definitely tangential Radiohead, shoegaze and satisfied my reverb addiction, and a cute and welcomed touch of 90s Matador indie ala Pavement and Sonic Youth.
I love when life works out. Just found out today they are playing Montreal tonight! Probably going to make it, I think I’d regret it if I didn’t. Just too serendipitous. Looks like it’s a go, with Dieu du Ciel as a pre-hit. If you guys aren’t aware of Montreal’s microbreweries, you are unlucky.
I had a nice 11/11 moment today, hope you all did too.
Wanted to post some highlights of my summer. I am a seasonal camera downloader photo guy – every 3 months the card fills up, so you’re getting these right on time. Laze, I know.
Visiting my good mate Chris in Vancouver. Went to Victoria for a conference and wanted to stop and see him. These pics are in the dead of summer after a 5 hour hike up a mountain in Squamish.
Rogers Cup at York University with my tennis/culinary buddy Nathan. Our collars were nicely starched that night, along with $10 imported bottle of Fiji water. My greenpeace friendly slogan for this water would read “Instead of turning on a tap, we choose to use fake mountain water thousands of miles away!! It only took 1,000,000 tears of poor babies to make this water! Here at Fiji water, we consider ourselves the leader in completely unnecessary frivolous yuppie designer water bullshit! Mainly because you’re stupid enough to buy it and actually think it’s better!!” Anyway, saw Rafael Nadal, Davydenko, Daniel Nestor, Andy Murray, and a bit of James Blake among others. Great to see pro tennis in the flesh, some amazing athletes.
Radiohead at Molson Amphitheatre, late August. Never ever ever disappoints, this is my third time seeing them. It had rained the whole day and the lawn was completely sogged with slithery mud – I opted to go hippie barefoot styles. To leave the venue, everyone had to literally surf slide down the hill in the mud, a cool end to the night.
Here’s a (shaky) video I took of them playing a bit of Pyramid Song, one of my faves. You can hear my lower 5th harmony in the background, weak. I’ll give you 20 dollars if you can figure out the time signature.
After the show, Cara and I drove directly to my dad side’s cottage on Georgian Bay. This place is simply utopian – private beach as far as the eye can see with not a single Wasaga Beach chad in sight (check out the chad website here). These sunset pictures are not photoshopped, no jokes. Three days of reading, cooking, sand, walks, swinging, and scrabble. Killer beans.
Great summer overall – overarching memory will be the 9 AM getups, 9:30 freshly ground coffees, banter with Liam until 10:05, school at 10:30. Grad studenting rocks.
Without trying to sound like a stuffy boheme, this is my favourite style of music. I will let the trusty/robusty www.allmusic.com define this genre for us:
“Post-rock was the dominant form of experimental rock during the ’90s, a loose movement that drew from greatly varied influences and nearly always combined standard rock instrumentation with results that didn’t rock per se. Post-rock was hypnotic and often droning (especially the guitar-oriented bands), and the brighter-sounding groups were still cool and cerebral — overall, the antithesis of rock’s visceral power.” In fact, post-rock was something of a reaction against rock, particularly the mainstream’s co-opting of alternative rock; much post-rock was united by a sense that rock & roll had lost its capacity for real rebellion, that it would never break away from tired formulas or empty, macho posturing.”
Perfect, I really could not have said it better. Bands like Talk Talk and Slint started this movement, and bands like Sigur Ros, Godspeed You Black Emperor, and Stars of the Lid are keeping it alive and vibrant today. Personally, I think that standard rock and roll in 2008 is not only hilariously cliché but quite sad. It’s still for some people and I don’t refute that, it’s just not for me. I’ve heard those 4 chords played with Les Pauls, Marshalls, and shitty Boss distortion before, thanks. I’ve also heard how much you drink, smoke, and have sex. Congrats, you will die before me, and when you pee brown, it will burn. A lot. You’re living a life that was actually cool 30-40 years ago. I’m all about textures, pleasing/original arrangements, and great melodies, not your 3 hour prep time mohawk nor your flying V’s that you can barely bar chord. Call me a wimp, I like it.
For the past five years, the two bands that I consider the most influential and impactful are Radiohead and Sigur Ros. Anyone who knows me well has heard me ramble so I will save it (especially if you read the put-you-to-sleep blogs I wrote for ThoseSongs.Com).
These two bands epitomize post-rock – they almost always deny the easy routes to get a crowd on their feet or excite a radio station manager, and still manage to write transcendental music that actually means something, is critically acclaimed, and oh yeah… SELLS. They always stick to the motto of less is more and derive so much power from such subtle music. To me this is where the true gift of songwriting comes through – can you impale a listener’s chest with huge and powerful music, but keep your distortion pedal off? Didn’t think so. These two bands are proof that if you write solid original music, (s)he will come.
Radiohead’s video for their new single, “House of Cards” came out today. And guess what – they did it again. Not only have they re-invented themselves after almost every record AND re-invented music sales (ie. pay what you can music downloading), they have also re-invented the music video. No cameras, no lights, just data. I’m gargling right now, they’ve combined my two favourite things – music and science. They’ve used geometric informatics and LIDAR to generate images of various scenes, Thom’s face, etc. Here’s the YouTube video, already at 60,000 plays today. The making of this video is also on YouTube here.