Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Omnibus Post

Several things I've been meaning to post about:

1) I was going to post this blog post/story in the comments to the Animal Collective post, but figured I'd highlight it more because I love it. It combines so many things I love discussing: indie rock, internet memes, today's young music fans' obnoxious sense of entitlement, the complete forehead slapping studipity of record labels and pranks!

To read all about it, follow the link (and note the brilliance of "Animal CoLOLctive"):

(In short: girl uploads 11 tracks of Rickroll and says it's the Animal Collective leak, catches fire on google, humorless kids wish death upon her, clueless record labels demand removal of links (the web sheriff gets involved too!), and hilarity ensues!)


2) Another blog post that I found amusing: Do you know there is an entire subculture of teenage emo-girls that sit in front of their web cams and play songs from Neutral Milk Hotel's IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA accompanied by acoustic guitar and then post the videos on youtube? Well, it's true! This blog post alone gathers more than a dozen. Go figure:


3) Best of 2008 Follow Up:
-I finally did listen more seriously to the TV on the Radio, which despite being number 1 in several publications did not make a single kittybrain's list! In the end, I do agree with Tex-- this is definitely my favorite of their records. Much tighter and more focused songwriting (aided in no small part by the Antibalas horns). Given my lack of enthusiasm for the records I did list, I would have included this for sure, as I actually really like it a lot.

-The new Portishead, which was also on lots of lists: It's unrelentingly dark and cold, but on the other hand, has that kind of warm analogue synth feel of Kid A. In fact, that's actually a decent reference point for this record. I didn't know Portishead's old stuff at all, nor do I listen to any trip hop, but this is definitely not trip hop. It's kind of all over the place stylistically, with lots of interesting rhythmic and textural elements (though always quite bleak). I'll put up my favorite song, which reminds me of Radiohead. It's a really beautiful song:
(Because record labels are really smart, I can't embed the official one, so you can enjoy this one, which sets the delicately picked acoustic guitar moving into menacing analogue synth sounds to some Hugh Jackman movie):

And lo and behold, Thom and Johnny apparently agree with me because they covered it. Compare and contrast!

In another nice bit of downright bizarre synchronicity, the Portishead album has a brief interlude in the middle-- a ukulele based song that has the exact same chords and structure (but different melody) as....."Tonight You Belong to Me" from THE JERK!
I'll include the link rather than the embed so the post isn't too cluttered:


drischord said...

I just ordered the new TV on the Radio from...

wait for it...


I also saw Tunde Adebimpe in Rachel Getting Married, which also features Robyn Hitchcock and possibly a few other rockers. Tunde sings a rendition of Neil Young's "Unknown Legend." Great song, albeit one that outright steals from "Sounds of Silence."

drischord said...

Your "Jerk" awakening is fun to watch. Maybe you can put it on mute and cue up the Portishead to play along as a soundtrack a la Dark Side and the Wizard of Oz.

texplush said...

that NMH with the emo girls is the FUNNIEST FUCKING THING I'VE EVER SEEN.
The best one is the first girl in the two-headed boy parts one and two (hint: it's the same girl).

texplush said...

also, in a complete coincidence, I was listening to that Portishead on the way home from work today and decided that song is also my favorite on the record.
the whole thing sounds great, but i can only listen to a few songs at a time.

texplush said...

as long as this is an omnibus:
Eric - check out this website


Eric said...

D- That's how I got it too! Did you know they're not accepting new members? That means no more 12 for 1 deal. End of an era (though a long time coming).

T- That's awesome. I had read about that but didn't know the website was live. I like the Crimson and Clover (and Wild thing) cover. Plus, he reads the bible with his gay friends so it's all good!

Via Chicago said...

I find it amazing how those emo girls all make King of Carrot Flowers sound like every Indigo Girls song. Fascinating.

On a slightly related note, can I just say that I only recently discovered in what high regard some people hold that album? Completely baffles me. I don't want to imply that I don't like it - I do. But I had NO idea that there were people who viewed it in the same light as OK Computer. Maybe it's just an age thing as I was a bit out of school when I doscovered it? I don't know.

drischord said...

No, I don't quite get it either, and I, too, like it a lot. (And "On Avery Island" is great too.) But it's often on people's Top 10 lists... of all time! I just don't get what exactly distinguishes it from other slightly noisy indie folk sung by a guy with a less-than-traditional voice. Possibly the lyrics? Like many of you, I often don't pay much attention to those.

Eric said...

I'm not a NMH cultist but I definitely love that record and it definitely was something of a revelation for me when I first heard it (which actually coincided with my getting into "indie" rock (or at least, music made past 1978) for the first time). I think there's definitely something unique about it-- his voice isn't just nontraditional, it's the way it's he just kind of belts at the top of his lungs and range, the fact that all of the songs are really just three chords with furious acoustic strumming, the combination of punk energy with weird old timey horns. All of that is not to explain why it's so revered and beloved-- but I do think it does have a sort of distinct sound. I definitely think it's the best thing to come out of that late 90s Elephant 6 scene (because it's not as constrained by its influences). But in some ways I'm the opposite of VC-- as I said, it came out EXACTLY when I was getting into music, so it occupies a sort of special place. Why kids a decade younger than us are also getting so into it is something of a mystery.

drischord said...

On the topic of universal praise and critical phenomena that we don't quite understand, put me down for Portishead.

Just being honest.

Via Chicago said...

Portishead makes perfect sense to listen to when you are in college, on E, and making out with people. Outside of those parameters, I'm not sure I buy them either.

Eric said...

The new one is totally different. I don't even have their old stuff. And I fully admit picking this up bc of hype (although it really was a quiet hype-- forty-something brits don't excite the kiddies the way shirtless, sweaty Girl Talk Dude does). But it's really not trip hop at all-- and I assure you, this record would make the worst makeout music in the world. I'm not ready to go to bat and shill for them-- but the newer stuff is worth checking out. Thom Yorke cover!!