• The new UNKLE album...

    8 juin 2007, 18h27m

    The new UNKLE is spectacularly terrible. Ordinarily I would have some witty commentary to add, but this really isn't worth writing about. It's just really bad.

    I don't know if Lavelle's demons finally got the better of him, or if this is just one of those things where a bunch of people who get along as friends get together (what could go wrong?) only to find half way through that as musicians they kind of suck....

    In more positive news, the new Spoon album is really really great. I sort of kind of liked their previous stuff, but this time around it's gold.

    Also, I have almost, just barely, only slightly, gotten sick of !!! - Myth Takes. I think I've got an early contender for album of the year.
  • The new RJD2 album

    24 jan. 2007, 3h58m

    Summed up in 3 letters -- wtf??

    I'm all for branching out, trying new things, going beyond your style and genre... often the results can be spectacular, as with Prefuse 73's collaboration under Savath and Savalas. But this sad little pile of poo RJD2 has put out is pretty hurting. It's not just "mediocre" or "not so good".... it's really, really bad. I seriously tried to listen to this twice, both times finding myself fast forwarding because I just felt too embarrassed for the guy to listen to it. The falsetto is bad enough, but everything else about it stinks even more... from the song structure, to the incredibly mediocre instrumentation.

    Listening to this makes me think back to Deadringer and Since We Last Spoke, and all those questionable tracks that I just kind of ignored and looked past, because among them were real gems. But in retrospect, I start to wonder... was it all just trickery, clever use of samples, smoke & mirrors?
  • January leaked advance release madness

    18 jan. 2007, 21h45m

    A whole bunch of new stuff has gone up in the last few days on a certain pink, curly-tailed torrent site whose name shall not be mentioned...

    Here's how it goes:

    Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City
    Total garbage. This is really awful on all kinds of levels. Don't hold your breath for this one kids.

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
    The previous album did nothing for me, and neither does this one.

    LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
    This is surprisingly good. Nice growth and progression from the debut album.
  • The 2006 Gunark Awards

    21 déc. 2006, 21h43m

    I know you've all been waiting with baited breath, so get your tuxedos and publicists out cuz here we go:

    Best Albums (it's a tie)
    The Knife - Silent Shout
    Shearwater - Palo Santo
    Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not -- yes it was a good album fuckers
    and honorable mentions...
    Burial - Burial
    Thom Yorke - The Eraser

    Best Album That No One Listened To
    Benoît Pioulard - Précis

    Best Single
    In the Morning

    Album That Didn't Make Best Album Because it had 3 or 4 Ridiculously Good Singles But The Rest Was Kind of Meh
    Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye[/album]

    Biggest Disappointment
    MSTRKRFT - The Looks
    after the awesomeness that was Death from Above 1979 and all those on-point remixes... who would have thought this would turn out to be such garbage :(

    Album That I Really Really Liked at First But Now Think Is Garbage
    Centuries Before Love And War

    Best Album That I Bought For My Mom But Ended Up Listening to Myself
    Lou Rhodes - Beloved One

    Other Good Shit
    Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block
    Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites
    Bonobo - Days To Come
    Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet
    Clark - Body Riddle
    Prefuse 73 - Security Screenings
    Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime

    Hot New Trend
    Nature field recordings. Like Chris Watson. All the cool kids are doing it.... now if only I can find a good stereo condenser mic for under $1000 :(

    There. Even though no one in their right mind is going to actually look at this, and even though no one in their right mind actually cares, I somehow feel cleansed.
  • The most annoying sound ever

    5 déc. 2006, 20h43m

    Put on some headphones and put up the volume:

    The catch: if you're over 30, you probably won't hear it.

    I'm almost 27 and I still can, although I have to put up the volume pretty loud. Surprisingly, those years of speaker humping haven't yet taken their toll.


    My Chemical Romance
    Panic! at the Disco

    I'm shameless.
  • Pitchfork's review of the Pioulard album

    3 déc. 2006, 19h03m

    So Pitchfork finally decided to review Benoît Pioulard's Précis. The reviewer takes on the standard Pitchfork tone -- patronizing aloofness -- and goes on to complain about how there is too much "drowning" and "crooning", all so february 2006.

    Why does reading these reviews make me think these pitchfork dudes jack off to Microsoft Word? "Oh god.. yes... my use of 'compositionally solid' and 'playfully complex' is like so hot."

    It's a good album motherfuckers. Get over yourselves.

    In other news, the My My album is really good. It's like what Daft Punk would have sounded like in 2006 if they hadn't derailed sometime before releasing Human After All.

    I finally downloaded The Rapture's new disc, and it is also good. The first track smells suspiciously of protools and focus groups, but it is excellent in spite of this (or maybe because of it).

    I also think I've got my 'breakthrough album of the year' award slot finally filled. It's going to Burial. This right there is the proverbial phoenix rising out of drum'n'bass/garage/dubstep's ashes. Some (i.e. read "pitchfork" et al.) are claiming that this is the sound of things to come. A new direction for electronic music and all. That may be, but I just can't imagine how much further this could go. It's the musical equivalent of my Siamese Fighting Fish -- it fills its niche perfectly and is beautiful in its own right, but lets face it, it's an evolutionary dead end.

    Then there's Various Production, who hands down win the coveted 'most unfortunate name' award. It's not even grammatical. And not in a good way. I really liked this album at first. But what's with the evanescene-like forlorn theatrics? I would have tossed the thing on the first listen, if not for some really brilliant redeeming tracks (namely Sir and Hater).
  • So Sleep (A)

    1 déc. 2006, 17h30m

    This track (So Sleep (A)) is hot shit. Too bad no one will ever hear it. For inexplicable reasons it was released as a B-Side on the In The Morning EP, rather than as a feature track on the full album.

    Anyway I'm hoping this is a hint that So This Is Goodbye wasn't just a fluke (because lets face it, Last Exit was kind of crap), and that there's more goodness to come.

    What's the (A) in the name by the way? A hint that really, it should have been an A side?

    Junior Boys
  • I bought my first CD!

    2 nov. 2006, 1h28m

    That's right. Today I sent Benoît Pioulard US$12 via paypal for his album Précis, which I downloaded a few days ago. It's really good, and from the sounds of it the guy is pretty broke. This makes me feel good about myself, the way giving up a seat on the subway to an old lady does (which incidentally I also did today).

    Okay this isn't the "first" cd I ever bought. I ordered two Wintersleep albums from their label last year. And when I was 16 I bought a Prodigy album. I also may or may not have purchased a Future Sound Of London and Goldie disc at the time. Or maybe I got them off a friend. Not sure.

    In any case, I can easily count all of the CD's I've ever purchased on one hand. So how does someone with 13,846 tracks played in their profile never buy CD's? Through rampant and blatant piracy of course.

    Now, you might ask, "Matt, don't you feel bad about being such a filthy immoral pirate?" ... and my answer would have to be "No." I'll tell you why. You see between 2000 to 2004, I had a nasty, nasty vinyl habit. I easily spent a few hundred dollars a month on records. That's thousands and thousands of dollars over four years -- probably more than the average person spends on CD's in a lifetime. I feel that I've put in my dues. I contributed a fair bit of my income back to the music industry -- the independent, vinyl-producing record industry no less.

    But just in case that's not enough, here are some more reasons behind why I (mostly) refuse to buy music:

    1. I really don't like CD's. You have to buy shelves for them, just so they can sit there and collect dust. I also don't get people's insistance on having music embodied in these physical objects, like some kind of religious idols. Anyway I have a big enough problem trying to figure out what to do with the crates of vinyl in my bedroom. I hate those things and would gladly digitize them and throw them away if I had the time.

    2. I would happily pay for music online, a la iTunes. Unfortunately, i) I can't find a lot of what I like on iTunes and other similar services, ii) DRM stuff won't play on my MP3 player, iii) I don't want to jump through hoops when I transfer music between my home and my office, iv) the middle man doesnt deserve my money, v) sometimes I just want to share something with someone because it's truly awesome and they should hear it... and once again the DRM bullshit gets in the way. v) etc., etc. etc.

    So there it is. My argument (rambling and incoherent as it may be) against the music industry as is.

    What I think should happen, is you should be able to just buy MP3's -- yes plain old MP3s -- or better yet OGGs or FLACs directly from an artists website. Fuck record labels. Who needs them. Set it up and see what happens. Yeah, the days of getting filthy rich off music would most certainly be over. But this is a good thing. No more 50 Cent, no more U2, no more ass-booger music propped up by the wallets of the mindless, drivelling masses.

    I am fairly confident that a decent musician could continue to make a decent living like this. Hell, some might do quite well -- especially the ones capable of a good live performance. Perhaps there would be a lot more commissioned work done, with artists supported by wealthy benefactors -- given money for no other reason than in recognition of the intrinsic value of what they're doing -- the way things used to be.
  • new shins album, elevators

    31 oct. 2006, 17h14m

    ... is surprisingly good. Kind of mellow. Sparsely electronic, in a Pat Metheny way maybe.

    Yay for OINK.

    (The Shins)

    On a completely unrelated note, I've had The Books new mini album/project/something sitting on my drive for a little while, not having listened to it until now. It's almost like a sampler of their previous stuff, but with more amazingess. "A Long Villanous Sequence" is pretty much what I'd imagine a run-in with an evil homeless smurf to sound like, with the smurf possibly having just huffed glue. This is followed by a 2 minute track of a woman listing various "millions", intermittently yelling for someone to shut the door ("Millions and Millions"). Yes, it's friggin awesome.

    Supposedly at least some of this was commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture to be used as background music in their new building's elevators (hence the title: Music for a French Elevator).
  • new dj shadow album

    18 août 2006, 2h53m

    It's like really shitty bling bling southern rap with really fucking on point production. Then there's a bunch of weird shit that doesn't really belong. I dunno what to think.

    I guess it's a bit of a show off thing for DJ Shadow. Here's a guy (somewhat) out of his element, putting the hip hop establishment to shame. Is that what the title's about? "The Outsider"? I dunno... the album's alright, but he's kind of wasting his talents. Maybe he's hoping madonna or something will notice.

    More good recent downloads:

    Ratatat - Classics. It's great. I dunno why I took so long to grab it. El Perro del Mar. I love it. Canary islands+++. Asobi Seksu - Citrus. Not bad. It will grow on me I think. Gnarls Barkley. This is pretty decent even though the BBC played Crazy right into the ground. Datarock. Woooo good shit. About - Bongo. Mmmm I dunno. This one needs to air out a bit before it's ready for consumption.

    I'm also somewhat enjoying Zero 7, but I'd never admit it in public. Yeah it's starbucks music, but at least the Jose Gonzalez stuff on the new album is great. Futures and Crosses and stuff. I can't get that last one out of my head.

    And Junior Boys deserve a second mention. So fucking good I can't believe my ears.


    P.S. okay i'll admit I wrote the stuff about DJ Shadow after only listening to about a third of the ablum. The rest is mostly okay. Still has a show-off sampler feel to it all the way though.