I feel like writing about music recently. Probably because I'm listening to far too much of it, instead of PLAYING it, but there it is...
Anyway, I started writing this yesterday. I was listening to Wow Owls! and just felt...good. In a way I haven't felt like since I was an undergrad, I felt really, really good about music again. I'm hoping this good feeling will have an impact on my playing/writing (I say I haven't been playing, but that's a lie...I've been practicing a lot more than usual in the wake of the '08 RPM challenge (hear some of the outcome here), and hopefully I'm going to get to some open mics and try to set up some small shows sometime soon...
So here's what I wrote. I hope to do this semi-regularly, at least twice a week. Who knows, maybe it'll just drop off like most of the things I start and never completely follow through on...
Hells yes for new (to me) music. I’ve been feeling invigorated by music again; this constant stream of new (to me) sound just makes me feel GOOD. Music changes me, puts me into good moods, pulls me out of bad ones, focuses me when I need it, and distracts me at all the right times in all the right ways.
What I’ve been listening to that I highly recommend:
Constants – Nostalgia for the Future
Caspian – The Four Trees (also, the split w/ Constants)
Junius – s/t (EP compilation)
Wow Owls! – Pick Your Patterns
Chamberlain – Exit 263
Circle Takes the Square – As the Roots Undo
Brand New – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
The Big Sleep – Sleep Forever
She & Him – Volume 1
I remember being in college and somehow stumbling upon this trove of new avenues to pursue for new music – label rosters, album liner notes, compilation discs, Audiogalaxy recommendations, sweet record stores (i.e. The Music Shack) – that seemed to peter out when the labels I loved either went under or started supporting bands I wasn’t really into (and the Shack died, r.i.p.).
Recently, I somehow stumbled upon Constants, Caspian and Junius and their label, Radar Recordings (through The Cancer Conspiracy, I think…) After listening to the free mp3s from Radar, I was really feeling the styles their roster represented…it was new, yet somehow reminiscent of the stuff I loved in college: heavy/twinkly and soft/hard juxtapositions, shifting times, guitar-laden indie-emo-post-hardcore-punk-rock-whatever-you-want-to-label-it music. Music that touches me, for some reason that I’ve never been able to adequately describe. Maybe it’s the constant changes the songs seem to go through…or something about the tone of the guitars…or the movement of the melodies…not that everything I listen to sounds the same, but I think I’ve definitely found a particular aesthetic that touches me in a way nothing else can, and it’s an aesthetic I’ve been missing lately (but sort of re-found, thanks to these Radar artists and where it’s pointed me). It’s not even the kind of music that I PLAY, personally…but man, I love to hear it.
But I'm also really diggin' on other stuff that doesn't fit that aesthetic, too. Like The Zombies. Why had I never really listened to these guys before? And She & Him. I love M. Ward, and Zooey's voice/songwriting is very pretty, so that's a great listen. And CHAMBERLAIN. Dear God, so good. I'd only heard the first track from Exit 263 before ("Lovely & Alone"), and loved it, but I stumbled upon a copy of the CD at Generation Records in NYC (Thompson St., just North of Bleeker - check it out, probably my fav new record store), and I'm LOVING it.
...so there's my opening music rant. This might take on more of a review section eventually, rather than my own scattered musing/name-dropping, and hopefully I'll write a bit more about other stuff non-record related...like maybe my theatre work, or research, or my own music.
In the meantime, PAZ.
P.S. 5 years yesterday, kids. If you still aren't outraged, you still aren't paying attention.