January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday sm12<3>μsic!/1st Post for the New Year/"I Hate California Girls" (1st Post Using New Format)

So it's officially been a year since I've started this blog... and I have to say it's been fun at times and a bother at others, so I think it fitting that with this post I initiate the change in my postings: I'm now going to start reviewing CD's as I hear them, regardless of when they came out this year (but trying to focus on releases for this year), and regardless of whether or not I've heard them before. I'll still talk about the shows I've gone to and host mp3's by the bands and I'll still host live sets occasionally. Here we go (don't expect each of the posts in this new format to be this outrageously long ... this is just me trying to reel you in :). The new posts will be, on average, about half this size):

Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood Soundtrack
Verdict: Love (<)
Haunting and depressing on so many levels, it's hard to imagine just one creative genius brought this all together.
Jonny Greenwood - Open Spaces
Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood
Jonny Greenwood - Proven Lands

The Hot Toddies - Smell The Mitten
Verdict: Like ()
Adorable indie pop in the vein of the Pipettes, but a little more crude and comical. Less demure, if you will. It's still cute as a button and will make you sway side to side with your honeybunny.
The Hot Toddies - HTML
The Hot Toddies - Sugar Daddy
The Hot Toddies - Wet Dream

Markus Grosskopf's Bassinvader - Hellbassbeaters
Verdict: Didn't Like (ø)
Overall, fairly disappointing. I didn't really expect an album with, instead of regular guitars, all bass guitars to be all that stellar, but because this project was being taken up by a member of Helloween, one of my favorite bands, that it would at least be above par. Well, it was par. Granted, he's an amazing Bass player, but I guess that's just not enough (it doesn't help that a majority of the vocals are almost bad enough to be considered offensive). Here are the few stand out tracks from the album:
Markus Grosskopf's Bassinvader - Empty Memories (Breaking Free)
Markus Grosskopf's Bassinvader - Far Too Late
Markus Grosskopf's Bassinvader - Eagle Fly Free (Helloween Cover)

Marah - Angels of Destruction
Verdict: Like ()
Jangly Piano Indie Rock with a hint of alt country and blues. At times it resembles Dylan Influenced Rock 'n' Roll. If you're familiar with Marah's older stuff, don't expect to be surprised too much, but do expect to be pleased.
Marah - Wild West Love Song
Marah - Angels of Destruction
Marah - Wilderness

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Verdict: Love More (<3)

Like a more worldly They Might Be Giants, Vampire Weekend comes to your house and makes you more hip simply by associating with them. Watch out, because everyone will be in love with them soon.
Vampire Weekend - M79
Vampire Weekend - Campus
Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

Nada Surf - Lucky
Verdict: Love (<)
The pure crystal clarity of this album is the first thing that strikes me, the album just sounds really clean. The whole feel of the album is hopeful and delightfully lighthearted, though at times it can show a rather dark side of the band, The Fox being the ultimate example of this.
Nada Surf - See These Bones
Nada Surf - I Like What You Say
Nada Surf - The Fox

The Magnetic Fields - Distortion
Verdict: Love More (<3)

Beach Boys-y feel good synth pop at times, the album is full of the usual guest spots, the album shoegazes it's way through just under 40 magnificent minutes of Magnetic Fields. the lyrics range from ironic to heavily ironic. I'm sure I'll be mentioning this one again in my end of the year wrap up.
The Magnetic Fields - California Girls
The Magnetic Fields - The Nun's Litany
The Magnetic Fields - Til The Bitter End

These New Puritans - Beat Pyramid
Didn't Like (ø)
So, opening with the less than stellar song Numerology, These New Puritans set themselves up for disaster. Sounding like a more electronically focused Art Brut, These New Puritans are amazing musicians, but the vocals just put me off (which isn't helped by the absolutely ludicrous lyrics). Sometimes, however, the whole effect comes together and a good song pops out, as is the case with Elvis:
These New Puritans - Elvis
These New Puritans - Doppelganger
These New Puritans - C. 16

Club 8 - The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming
Love (<)
This was one of the albums that I was desperately trying to get to before the end of the year, but I just didn't have time (stupid me wasting time on CD's I didn't even like). Reminiscent of Nico's various projects, the album has a gorgeous, soft sound, emphasized with the sometimes rather intense (but never too loud) vocals.
Club 8 - Whatever You Want
Club 8 - When I Come Around
Club 8 - The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming

Tunng - Mother's Daughters and Other Songs
Love (<)
Sounds, at times, like a mix between Gorillaz and Psapp with a banjo accompanist. Light hearted and fun, the album is full of awkward rhythms that seem to work so well together that these cats must have intended to do it.
Tunng - People Folk
Tunng - Song For The Sen
Tunng - Fair Doreen

Happy Birthday to my blog again, and I'll see you here in a few days with some more songs.

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