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started off as a music blog hence the name. but, it is now my any and everything blog.
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Golden Oldies 2


Friday, February 26, 2010

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

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Image Source: Last Fm V.I.A google images

I often (accidentally) call them ‘Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Heroes’ - LOL. I first heard of this band on an episode of Ugly Betty (this season has been a great source of new music). I wrote the lyrics down, did some googling and discovered ‘Home’ and it is easily the best song on the album - ‘Up From Below’.

I didn’t immediately warm to the album, I think I wasn’t paying enough attention to it. I was watching Nip tuck (I think) and a song came on, I loved it and rushed to google the lyrics while I could still remember them and it turned out to be ‘40 day dream’. This is a testament to how little attention I paid to the album, I knew the song sounded familiar but I couldn’t figure out where I had heard it.

After this revelation, I listened to the album again. This time, I was left with a whimsical album with no clear genre. It’s light heartedness and quirky nature occasionally reminds me a bit of stuff by Devendra Banhart . If it had to be categorised I guess “hippie” would be the best way to describe it, but hippie is not a genre so we are left with a genre defying album that has traces of country and good old pop.

If you download ‘Up From Below’ expecting an album full of songs like 'Home' then you’ll be let down a tiny bit like I was. But if you stay with it, you’ll find yourself listening for ‘Home’, but staying on for tracks like ‘Janglin’ whose chorus sounds like something out of a kid’s TV show. ‘Up From Below’ makes me wish it was summer; it makes me want to skip as I walk down the road, and it chases always dark clouds with an old fashion broom with a long stick. I know all that might sound cheesey or contrived, but if you listen to the album, it will all make sense.

Music like this rarely ever gets the mainstream recognition it deserves. I guess it is because the music is ‘safe’ and so is the band. They need to dress outrageously, get into a bitch fight with Sufjan Stevens, cut Devendra Banhart’s hair after getting him high on opiates.

Listen to:

doesn't that make you want to lay in the grass and look up at the summer sky?!

40 day dream

Carries On

Myspace: www.myspace.com/edwardsharpe
Official site: www.edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros.com/
No UK shows coming up . . . sorry folks!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Golden Oldies

So beautiful.


First post/The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers

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image credit: google images (can't remember the exact site)

I discovered The Avett Brothers through a gossip blog (ONTD), I tend to stay away from hyped bands because it conjures up the image of overzealous publicists and even more overzealous fans trying to make their favourite band happen. I like to discover a band for myself and determine on my own if I like their music, not because someone else told me to like them. I guess it could be argued that I’m doing the same with this blog, telling people who to like. But, hopefully people would leave here with more than that. Every year, I am on the lookout for a great new band, popular or indie – it doesn’t matter. I go online and search through music sites looking for the right band. 2007, was the best year for this, I discovered Kate Nash, The Pigeon Detectives, The Holloways, The Kooks and a couple of others. Also, in 2007 and I interned for a company that produces radio shows and I got to see firsthand how the publicity machine works. Publicist, record companies or managers send CDs into radio stations, music magazines and companies like the one I interned with. Sometimes they are sent to a specific person, other times it is sent to no one at all – in which case it either ends up in a junk pile or the receptionist/office manager determines who gets what. The CD is listened to and if the listener likes it, it gets some airplay and if he/she doesn’t then . . .

One incident that stuck with me, was case of The Noisettes CD. I had discovered The Noisettes at this time and I had seen them play live in the middle of nowhere, Poole. The CD arrived and it was passed on to some producers. From behind my computer I watched them listen and anticipated their response. I loved The Noisettes and I hoped they would get a favourable response, but what I heard stuck with me even 3 years later. The producer felt Shingai (lead singer) had an image problem and wasn’t too keen on her, the CD was subsequently pushed aside and everyone carried on with their work. Years later, I look at Shingai and can’t help but notice how polished she looks now compared to back then and how much her quirkiness and the band’s sound has been toned down to 'pop-rock'. I guess that is the way of the industry, if you want to make it big you have to kiss a couple of arses and polish a few turds even if that turd turns out to be you.

I’ve digressed a whole lot from the topic at hand which is my review of The Avett Brothers. The first Avett Brothers album I listened to was ‘I And Love And You’, before this, the closest I’ve ever come to bluegrass was a couple of Dixie Chicks songs. I listened to a couple of songs on youtube and downloaded the album while experiencing a tiny bit of apprehension. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve like a song by a band/musician then listened to an entire album only to hate it and find the whole mess rather depressing. Luckily that wasn’t the case with TAB (The Avett Brothers), ‘I And Love And You’ is one for the history books. It features an interesting musical mix – you come for ‘Slight figure of Speech’ and stay for ‘Ten thousand words’ and don’t get me started on the harmonies . . . Dear God! The harmonies! They put most girl groups to shame. TAB are not one bit ashamed or afraid to write deep meaningful lyrics, they sing with a conviction that has been lacking in music lately. Too many bands these days content with being cool, indie, having some hipster-cred and they just phone the rest in but, that’s not TAB.

I listened to a couple of their old albums and it was really cool to hear them get better and better and develop that conviction. Some people may argue that their current sound has been watered down to please the masses and I agree . . . to an extent. While there are songs like ‘Tin Man’ or even the aforementioned ‘Slight figure of Speech’ that might give that impression, but ‘I And Love And You’ is still chuck full of songs that would still fit easily into albums like ‘A Carolina Jubliee’ and ‘Emotionalism.

The Avett Brothers have a sold out UK show coming up on the 16th of March, unfortunately I won’t be there to see it. But, hopefully those that go have a great time! For people new to the band, check out these videos . . .

From I and Love and you

From A Carolina Jubliee

From Emotionalism

Myspace: www.myspace.com/theavettbrothers