Still Relevant

Posted in Music, Politics at December 13th, 2017. No Comments.

For Brian Haw

This song by the XX Teens came up on random today, and I couldn’t find the spoken-word section by Brian Haw anywhere online.

I wrote it down. It feels like it should be somewhere.

good afternoon
i came here nearly six and a half years ago, second of June 2001.
i came here because i discovered what my country was doing to the children,
the children of iraq, the children of the world.
it’s called infanticide, genocide, torture, looting of nations.
bloody mess,
and I’m responsible.
see I happened to be born in Britain in a place called Woodford, Essex,
and my country’s doing this,
and I came because I couldn’t live with it,
because as a dad who loves his kids,
and this lady, this wonderful lady, who is the mother of my children,
i was taught a lot of good things in this country
and I was taught about fairness at my mother’s knee.
we know what’s right!
we have to stand up and do and be what’s right, don’t we?
I do, you do, each one of us does.
I’m an old man now of 58, I’ve been quite a few places,
and I’ve been a seaman, I’ve been an engineer, I’ve been a builder.
I used to make fine furniture,
done quite a few different things.
I’ve probably sat where you sat, I’ve probably done your work.
I probably understand you.
And you, with your experience and your knowledge, use it to know and say what’s right.
You are you, and I’m me, and we’re each individuals aren’t we?
And I talk too bloody much,
so it’s over to you now, what are you doing to do about it?
Ok?
Thank you.

Posted in Music, Politics at March 23rd, 2016. Comments Off on For Brian Haw.

Best of 2012

It’s been a fairly eventful year for me, so quite late.

That said, of 144 albums I bought last year, 89 were released in 2012, and it took a while to parse them all.  I’ll say that it was a really strong year overall.  There’s so much music being put out that it’s hard to keep up, but that’s a good problem to have.

My top 10 albums of 2012:

Japandroids (Celebration Rock) – Never any doubt about this.  Simply the strongest pop punk album in many years.  Starts and ends with (literal) fireworks because it’s a celebration.

Cloud Nothings (Attack on Memory) – A close second.  Way more angsty, but no less driving.

Perfume Genius (Put Your Back N 2 It) – It’s rare that I find myself thinking that a song could be longer, but that’s exactly the case with a lot of these.  I want more, but they’re just quick explorations of a melody or concept and then on to the next.

Allo, Darlin’ (Europe) – I admit I fought this a little.  So… twee.  But also so catchy, there’s no escaping it.

The Men (Open Your Heart) – Part of a trend of trainwreck noise that I cannot encourage enough.

Place to Bury Strangers (Worship) – Signed to a pedal company, you do the math.

Dinosaur Jr. (I Bet on Sky) – A good Dinosaur Jr. record.  That’s enough for me.

Purity Ring (Shrines) – I know it was inescapable all summer, but there’s something about the fresh (to me) sound that I really enjoy.

Two Gallants (The Bloom and the Blight) – two piece cowpunk, nothing of a departure from their earlier stuff, because if there’s nothing broken…

Diiv (Oshin) – dreamy with a frantic Galaxie 500 feel to it.  Argue with that.

Read More…

Posted in Music at April 16th, 2013. Comments Off on Best of 2012.

Injustice

Reptile is many times better than Under the Milky Way.

(Posting this here to make sure I remember how to do it.  It’s obviously a mis-placed tweet.)

Posted in Music at January 18th, 2013. Comments Off on Injustice.

Revisiting 2011

As promised, I want to slightly amend my Best of 2011 list.  I’ve actually been meaning to do this for months, so please don’t judge me on the fact that it’s nearly 2013.

  • Youth Lagoon – I seriously could not stop listening to this in January / February.  It’s a damned quirky record, but genuinely beautiful and when it rocks it gets the job done.  In an era when a lot of bands just push play in order to perform, the live show’s also surprisingly worth seeing given the few instruments involved.
  • The Rural Alberta Advantage – I’ll admit to being initially upset that the new album wasn’t like Hometowns, but the fact is that I don’t think anything will ever capture the fun and excitement of experiencing this band for the first times.  Those drums and the vocals / lyrics were enough to always bring a smile to my face, but the new album just didn’t grab me the same way.  I forgot that it’s not important that it doesn’t have the same effect, ultimately it’s a good album with songs that stand on their own.

It’s too late to put them into any sort of order, so I won’t try.

 

Posted in Music at August 2nd, 2012. Comments Off on Revisiting 2011.

Celebration Rock

Just assume if you’re talking to me this month I’m thinking about Japandroids and probably not listening to you.

Posted in Music at June 13th, 2012. Comments Off on Celebration Rock.

Conversation

Her: What time’s your show tonight

Me: I don’t know, it’s at a DIY space in Bushwick so I don’t think there’s a schedule.  You know, the one that I thought I got bedbugs from last year.

Her: … How’s 39 treating you?

Posted in Music, Shows at June 9th, 2012. Comments Off on Conversation.

My Best of 2011

My reader will certainly agree that this site is a close second behind Pitchfork when it comes to eagerly anticipated best of lists.  So without further ado, here we go:

  1. Wild Flag:  What can one say that hasn’t been said.  Maybe supergroups shouldn’t be eligible.
  2. PJ Harvey:  A return to form, and I know everyone agrees.
  3. Wye Oak:  Solid growth and a shock to me from a band that I thought would always be an opener last year.
  4. Fucked Up:  I’ve already said this is the world I want to live in.  The fact that this is 4th says something about those in 1-3.
  5. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart:  Upped the shoegaze and won my heart.  That won’t shock anyone who’s been around me for the last 20 years.
  6. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah:  Nostalgia?  Maybe, but there are some really catchy tunes here.
  7. Deer Tick:  People will groan when I say (again) that this is the best new Replacements album in the last 20 years
  8. We Were Promised Jetpacks:  I like as much as the debut, maybe more because I find it a little more mature / accessible.  Probably why others hate it.
  9. We Are Augustines: Pela’s gone, and those days are, too, but this will do for now.
  10. Yuck: Surprising addition to me, I suspect this might not stand, but there are some really good songs on this album.  They should be looking over their collective shoulders for Youth Lagoon.

There are some that I suspect are missing and so I’m going to try to do a top 20 next month.  Let’s see how close I got.

Also, I’m hoping I’ll do a ‘surprisingly disappointing’ list.  *glances towards The Antlers*.

 

Posted in Music at January 11th, 2012. 1 Comment.

Milk Music

I’ve had this band in my head all year, ever since the night that we wandered into Bruar Falls (rip) during Northside.

We’d spent the night hopping between venues not knowing who was playing or what to expect. We’d seen some interesting stuff (good and bad), but when we saw Milk Music I knew that we’d seen it.  It was crowded, oven-hot, and WAY too late…  and yet there’s nothing better than realizing you’re watching one of your new favorite bands – and it’s a band that you didn’t know existed before they started playing.

Finding their album is a challenge, and I haven’t seen them back in town since then, but there’s a lot of buzz – this could be their year if they ever leave the west coast again.  Over the summer I would have said the vocals were mixed too low and the music was too far from the mainstream to be popular, but in a world where David Comes to Life is the album of the year anything’s possible.  And that’s the world I want to live in.

 

Posted in Music, Shows at December 22nd, 2011. 1 Comment.

Visual Dissonance

Maybe this doesn’t bother other people like it bothers me, but I’d rather have the text backwards than the buildings.

I’ll be replacing the album cover in all my meta data w/ this one, and my apologies to the artist who put it together originally.  I’m sure they must have had some reason for flipping reality.

On a related note: meh.

Posted in Music, New York at February 25th, 2011. Comments Off on Visual Dissonance.