Listened to The Fall last night.
Listened to The Fall last night.
2 oz blended whiskey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 slice lemon
Shake blended whiskey, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the half-slice of lemon, top with the cherry, and serve.
Curious to see what you think of Refused. I love that album, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I discovered back in my high school days, doubt I would care for it if I were the hear it now with fresh ears.
I think I'm gonna start doing this with the stuff in the krautrock thread
I'm dropping the Refused album because two albums twice a day is just too much, especially on days I have to work. So far I'm loving the Talk Talk album though. The part where the vocals kick in on "Desire" is just complete bliss.
Once again, I'm going to attempt this again since I have a bunch of free time on my hands. I'll be doing two albums, one selected by me and one selected by the board. I forget what rules I made about the board selected one, but I'll only be fielding serious requests.
How about Fiona's new one or Unpatterns by SMD.
To succinctly cover some stuff I never finished in the past.
The Chills album Bryan suggested was alright, but even after several listens, failed to get me very excited. Which is a shame because I fucking love "Pink Frost."
I very much enjoyed that Machinefabriek album, although I have trouble reviewing ambient albums meaningfully.
Talk Talk is fucking amazing and awe inspiring.
Refused is very good post-hardcore stuff. I should still listen to that album.
My personal pick is Nico - Desertshore.
That's what I went with. Initial thoughts on both albums:
Desertshore: Some cool stuff here. John Cale's arrangements are pretty haunting, especially with Nico's disaffected voice over top of them. Over the course of the album, the tone ended up feeling a bit samey and it kind of dragged, but I can tell there will be a lot of nuances to unpack here as I give it repeat listens, which is exciting.
When The Pawn Hits etc.: I'm not sure this is my kind of thing. I can tell there's a lot of talent and skill at work here, but I feel like everything is at a distance. Maybe I'm just not into the girl + piano thing, because that's the part that kind of bugged me the most. There were a lot of interesting production flourishes (maybe even a bit too much going on), but the piano arrangements just didn't do a lot for me. It seems kind of showey, I guess, like someone on a stage performing a hundred yards away. Performing well, but still. Like I said, this is probably just a style of playing that doesn't automatically appeal to me, and I hope over the week the strength of the actual songs will reveal themselves and make me ignore whatever it is that's nagging me.
And I can't recall which Chills I recommended, but if you love Pink Frost you should probably check out the early singles compilation Kaleidoscope World. They've gone through about 15-20 lineups, and each lineup has influenced the sound quite a bit.
And yeah, Talk Talk is fucking amazing.
Cool, I'll definitely check it out. Sounds like it'd be up my alley.
The Chills album was Submarine Bells. I just didn't jive with the more bubbly stuff. But I kind of have a hard time appreciating jangle some times.
My pick: Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis. Lead singer of Talk Talk, it's his lone solo album and is very much in the same vein as Laughing Stock and Spirit of Eden. bmack turned me onto it awhile back and I've put it on on many a sleepy morning since. Up there with the best solo records anyone's put out, imho.
Oh, I guess I lost track of time and it's been more than a week. Anyway.
Nico - Desertshore
Although contributing to one of the most revered albums of all time, the Velvet Underground's debut, Nico seems to have a reputation amongst music geeks that portrays her as something of a joke, a hipster super model who blundered her way into the recording sessions of a great band, something like an underground Yoko Ono. Perhaps I'm imagining this conception, but she's not exactly respected in the same way Lou Reed or John Cale or anyone else in the VU generally tends to be. Yet, with Desertshore, she delivers one of the most adventurous and haunting albums to be tied with that group. There's not much here that resembles typical rock music, having much more to do with avantgarde and classical strains. John Cale's droning, spare productions act as a perfect complement to Nico's icy monotone, combining to create a truly desolate atmosphere. It actually shares a lot in common with Scott Walker's later work in terms of tone. At a half hour, it's mercifully short, preventing the bleakness from becoming too overwhelming. Even at that length, it begins to feel a little samey in the middle. There are also a few parts that come off as excessively esoteric ("Le Petit Chevalier" is a little over a minute of a child singing in French over a harpsichord). Still, at it's best, it's a very powerful record. Opener "Janitor Of Lunacy," supposedly about Nico's affair with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, although you wouldn't know it from the almost comically grim lyrics, sets the tone for the album, melodramatic yet chilling. Both that track and the one that follows, "The Falconer," feature darkly droning organ over which Nico's voice soars, sounding stark and lonely. There is some variety to the album, though: "Afraid" is a piano ballad that resembles the singers work on The Velvet Underground & Nico more than anything else here and is the most traditionally pretty song on the album, while "My Only Child" is mostly just Nico and a small choir. Desertshore ends with probably its strongest song, "All That Is My Own," an isolation anthem if such a thing could exist, featuring Cale's electric violin with echoes of "Heroin." I can't imagine I'll throw Desertshore on a lot, it's pretty much a textbook example of an album you have to be in the mood for, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. Despite some flaws, it's a fantastic, singular record that showcases Nico as a rare talent and inspiration behind many dark and difficult albums that were recorded in the decades since it's been released.
I'll get around to reviewing Fiona in a little while.
I missed that this thread started back up and damn, Desertshore is a fantastic album to go with. I don't think there is anything I could add to your comments, just agreement that it is an amazing album.
Fiona Apple - When The Pawn Hits The Conflicts He Thinks Like A King . . .
Prior to this, I really hadn't heard much Fiona Apple outside of "Criminal," which I enjoy, although I had read pretty much unanimously positive reviews of her work. Like I said in my first impressions, this isn't the kind of thing that falls in my wheelhouse of music appreciation naturally, and even after a week of listening, I still have a hard time connecting with it. Which isn't to say I actively dislike it. In fact, there's a lot to admire here. The songwriting is clearly strong, but the way the songs are presented doesn't excite me. There's a lyric on the album that goes "Please forgive me for my distance," and ultimately, that's where I get tripped up. I can appreciate the songs for their construction catchy melodies, and while I feel like they're coming from a genuine place, there's a level of detachment that keeps me from loving this stuff. It's very show business vibe going on. I'm always keenly aware this is a performer on a stage (so to speak) and not someone bearing their soul in my ears. There are plenty of bands who do this and it doesn't bother me, so I'm thinking it just comes down to her particular style, which, again, isn't bad, but just not the kind of thing I relate to. Her voice doesn't do a lot for me either. Despite all this, each song is packed with really interesting sonic details that make me second guess my impressions of the songs themselves. There will be a little instrumental interlude where the production takes center stage and I start to get hooked. There are a few songs that stand out a little, especially "A Mistake," which feels like the closest she gets to really cutting loose. I feel like if she let herself go a little bit more, there would be a bit more passion and connection with these songs. This album hasn't turned me off of Fiona completely, but I really doubt I'll play it except to see if my mind has changed. I respect what she's doing even if I can't relate to it.
For my next choice, I'm going with something even more challenging, The Hafler Trio - A Thirsty Fish.
Any recommendations for a second album? Ideally something not too long, as that album is an hour and a half, but still worth the effort of unpacking over the course of a week. And I'd prefer something a little bit older than this year or last. The goal of this project isn't to absorb new albums, which I already make an effort to do, but to dig through the past for things that have eluded me thusfar.
Soundtrack for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I'd recommend this on a 3hour + driving shift or if you're at home brooding/writing
The Shaggs - Philosophy of the World
check out the debut from echo lake. I'm really digging it.