Articles

  • Swoon

    20 sept. 2008, 1h26m

  • Minneapolis Concert, March 30, 2008

    2 mai 2008, 0h25m

    Wed 30 Apr – Elbow
    This was my first Elbow show and to tell the true, I'd only listened to them a few times before the show. I didn't know what to expect. My friends are fanatical Elbow devotees, so I discounted their praise of the band. I intended to let the performance determine the merit of the act and it was my good fortune Elbow actually deserved the accolades.
    First, The Watson Twins opened the show with comforting Americana. It was a solid set, though I'll have to see them as headlines to really get their groove.
    Guy Garvey, Elbow's unlikely frontman, didn't demand attention when he got to the mike, even though he was holding a trumpet. The trumpet is a braggarts, but it was modesty that I sensed most in Garvey.
    They launched into Starling with an impressive light show to complement their wall of sound. Garvey's rich voice showered the audience and we all swooned. The sound was big, yet the modesty was never lost. It was a double sided attach and I dug every moment.
    Things picked up with Great Expectationswhen one male fan started to quiver with joy. He seemed so vulnerable. He had found bliss and was sharing his level with several other audience members. He seemed to embody the universal language of these melodies and the rhythms. He was in a musical stupor and it was beautiful.
    At Mirror Ball, the show's sentiment grew sad. I was still swayed by Garvey's crooning, but an undercurrent of loneliness was inescapable to me. With every new song, we learned a bit of what inspired it. Pain often accompanies beauty. Suddenly, death is at the door.
    New Born confirmed that I needed a good cry. It, like the rest of the evening, was far from overdone. It seemed nuanced and content. The crowd was bit tired by the song, but they held on to themselves to ease Elbow's ravishing sound.
    The band asked the audience to sing a song for an encore. Someone chose Purple Rain but no one knew the word, so we fell back to Lean on Me to draw the band back from its break.
    They wrapped with the kindness of grace. I was so pleasant that the audience seemed a bit stunned that the evening was at ending. The night was so lush. The audience adored it and the band seemed remarkably happy.
    Garvey stepped into the Audience to shake hands and give hugs at the end. His most ardent fans were quivering again. The image is firmly in my mind. I had an excellent time and must see Elbow again.

    Set List
    Elbow - March 30, 2008
    Fine Line Music Cafe

    starling
    bones
    leaders
    great expectations
    mirror ball
    station approach
    Grounds
    tower crane
    the stops
    new born
    one day

    Audience Interlude - Lean On Me

    puncture repair
    scattered
    grace
  • Everybody Got Up

    19 avr. 2008, 15h53m

    Fri 18 Apr – Hot Chip It was the crowd as much as the music that made Hot Chip's Minneapolis show one of the most fun of the year to date.
    The danceable tunes actually turned out a dancing crowd. It wasn't just a crowd of head-nods, but a crowd of feet-gliding, arm-waving and sweat-slinging exhilaration. This was a dance party.

    Free Blood kicked off the free-spirited affair with hip hop and house infused melodies and beats. Like Hot Chip, Free Bloods members didn't floss the scene with showy personas. They brought a D-I-Y aesthetic that was highlighted by unabashedly sexual wriggling. Free Blood expressed excitement with every joint in their bodies. I must have been initially alarmed when they got on they flung themselves to the floor of the stage, but I went with it and am better for it. It was a great warm up.

    Hot Chip took its time to start its set. The natives were restless. As soon as the act took the stage, the viewers were ready to jump. I can't recall the set list, but by Shake a Fist, bodies were moving. People were shaking it with friends and partners too. This was dancing for personal joy like this was the real kick off to spring.

    They interspersed the upbeat and downtempo well enough to control the crowd, Owen Clarke still asked the crowd to behave to prevent injuries. Fortunately, even the most hyped attendees still respected their peers.
    Ready for the Floor was a peak song. It's a bit simpler than many of their songs. It captured the night and the average tempo of the show. Hot Chips songs are intimate and Ready Floor lets you remember that in the midst of the song. It was fun.

    I didn't realize the amount of romance and R&B in Alexis Taylor's voice. It rang through the frenzy, always keeping a refreshing dose of sexuality. Even though many of their songs romantic, it doesn't always play out at a show. He also embodied The U.K. Joe Goddard's gruffness was a great complement, especially in Bendable Poseable. I hope more than a few were inspired to make love as the pulse of this show lingered in their minds hours later.

    Some of my favorite songs were Touch Too Much, Bendable Poseable, Don't Dance and Wrestlers

    See this show! It's even worth a Ticketmaster fee.


    Shake a Fist
    Ready for the Floor
    We're Looking for a Lot of Love
    Touch Too Much
    And I Was A Boy At School
    Playboy
    Don't Dance
    Bendable Poseable
    Made in the Dark
    Wrestlers
    In the Privacy of Our Love
    A-B-C
  • Song 20,000

    26 fév. 2008, 1h04m

    This Is A Low: Song 20,000
  • Longer Slow Drives

    1 jan. 2008, 18h29m

    Longer Slow Drives took me about a month to figure out. It is a reflection of friend's playlist that surprised me with its calm and measured pace. My senses of wanderlust and longing tempered in 2007 but there was significant lag between when it happened and when I realized it. It's not gone, just less aggressive. This playlist is for that spirit, an outlet, a bucket and a shrine.

    The movie Once moved me to think great things of the world and what's possible with love, even when it doesn't work out. When Your Mind's Made Up reminds me that some thoughts and feelings can't be shaken and that some things lie firmly affixed to your gut. Denial is out of the question, action is needed.

    The next few tracks have a great amount of reflective space. I Can't Wake Up is somewhere between a chant and lullaby. Great Lake Swimmers simply offers hope. Wet, Wet, Wet is a smattering a whimsy and Distant Light makes the big world outside my head tangible when I get too far from reality. Kings of Convenience ask me to try again and tell me that learning is tough, but worth it.

    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists gives me a since of "us". I'm very likely to forget that I'm part of something larger than myself. This track is aggressive, subtly wrenching and a good purge. The purge continues with a dance track on Kinky from my co-favorite Mexican band.
    Snowden's Sisters is a reservoir's spillway; fully worth a cry. I've described the band's tunes as haunting and this one holds fast to deep resentment and then lets it fade. It's a bit on the heavy side because life can be too.

    Irene and Suburban Kids with Biblical Names both make me want to scream "Damn it!" Songs so short, shouldn't have so much power. Skwbn's line "Gone berserk over all the things she said" is just too clear. Irene's line "You don't know my name and you won't put my picture in a frame/ you don't know the game, you don't know the spark that lit the flame" is emotionally ravishing; I just can't piece that situation back together.

    Then I return to Once for another bit of whimsy. The treetops of a bad neighbourhood is a sit-back-and-listen track that never lets me sit back and listen. It harbors the malaise of the suburbs. Never get to comfortable.

    Blur's heavy tempo steadies the direction of the mix once again. The Walkmen let me calm down a bit before another dance track to get my heart rate up.
    Irene and Annie let me fade away. Closure is not so definite.

  • Countries of My Top 50 artists

    29 déc. 2007, 19h08m

    This is my distribution of artist by country. Only half of my acts are from my homeland. British music has always been close to my pop heart, so its 26% seems fitting. The rest of the English speaking countries mark 10%. I'm surprised that I have so few Canadian artist considering their solid status as the avant garde of indie rock.
    Scandinavia takes another 10%. Mexico gets my last 4%.
    This list inlcudes my overall spins form the last two years. If it were based on percentage of plays from each area, Scandinavia would probably be the great gainer in the last year. That region has produced so much excellent pop. Still, I appreciate that my own country still produces music wonderful enough to drool over.


    United States of America (25)
    French Kicks
    Snowden
    Brendan Benson
    Pedro the Lion
    The Walkmen
    The Shins
    Sufjan Stevens
    The Submarines
    Cursive
    De La Soul
    Say Hi To Your Mom
    Saves the Day
    Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
    Death Cab for Cutie
    The Joggers
    Mark Eitzel
    Citizen Cope
    Kanye West
    OZMA
    Low
    Ratatat
    Mobius Band
    The Cars
    R.E.M.
    Two Gallants


    Sweden (3)
    Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
    Acid House Kings
    Irene

    Canada (2)
    Barenaked Ladies
    Hot Hot Heat


    Australia (2)
    Alex Lloyd
    The Church

    Great Britain (13)
    Blur
    Tears for Fears
    The Futureheads
    Badly Drawn Boy
    Doves
    Any Trouble
    The Stone Roses
    The Go! Team
    Belle and Sebastian
    Tom Vek
    Radiohead
    Morrissey
    Idlewild


    New Zealand (1)
    Split Enz

    Mexico (2)
    Kinky
    Maná

    Norway (2)
    Annie
    Erlend Øye
  • Amanda's Late 2007 Mix

    4 déc. 2007, 2h21m

  • I morn for home

    12 jui. 2007, 4h53m

    Inspired by Parakit from #3 by Suburban Kids with Biblical Names:

    Hallelujah, praise to the Highest!
    I don't remember exactly, but they used to say something like that at my church as a kid. Although I was a skeptical kid, the community of that chapel held great power as a cohesive and definite form. Despite shifting pastors, the laity and its spirit remained intact. It was "the place I was born, my favorite hood." I believe I've found what I came here for.

    It was an ordering of the chaos of life. To this day, I don't want to shake it, neither its posturing or nor its occasional confrontations or oustings would make me change it. It was my reality and it is my past, indelible and immovable. It's that part of me that I lost and wished to find with quiet desperation. It's that me that seemed all used up at 18, a brooding punk, yet needed to be rebuilt at 24.

    How was my life defined? I played in the band and sat in the commons to await athletic practices. The swiss girl played guitar and the Swedish one told HC Andersen tales in Swedish as the boys crooned cruddy blues nearby. At a table near by, friends wrote to free prisoners from impending death. Every element existed in that school. Our world seemed complete.

    Now, when I visit, I see what stuff is still there and a dirge filters into my mind. It's not my place and the person who owned those items doesn't exist anymore. The place those things kept doesn't exist anymore, but is a hostage of its original time. Still, the pervasive mystery I discovered then haunts me. (it's much more than Morrisey's voice.)

    Now, I think about the church and its embracing community. I think about a world before danger or fathomless uncertainty. I morn for home as reaffirm my current content. I'm here.


    -----
    Every time I listen to Parakit, I'm inundated by nostalgia. Please file under The 5th Dimension tribute.
  • Marry Me

    11 jui. 2007, 4h22m

    Marry Me is a cautious love song. Suburban Kids with Biblical Names sets a pleading vocal drone to mark its struggle. "Marry me," the request is present in every culture and so is the risk. Eventually, the request is made and the answer is returned. The answer is by no means certain. Rejection can be devastating and rejection is fully expected to devastate here. This unfulfilled request cinches the melancholy of the song.
    Even after he promises all the expected gifts of love, he knows "...that you'll never see what I mean." His heart will never meet hers and a permanent loneliness may rest in "their" place. It is a drab future, not necessarily ugly, but unpleasant all the same.

    Much of the time, SKwBN crafts melodies that soar like song birds and cheer like bands of kindergarten children at a zoo. Marry Me pushes away from that usual abandon. Instead of happy-go-lucky, they speak of the harshness of expected outcomes. As the first song on #3, I skipped past it often in the firsts months I owned it. Then I felt I needed its reminder, its counterbalance, and reality. Only then did I know how well it had been placed.
    Even on a "fun" album, I'm confronted with varied points of view. It unmasks the complexity of sentiment in just twelve lines, yet only after they've been processed, filtered and taken to heart. I'm challenged. Marry Me elevates #3 and solidifies its place in my set of favorite albums.
  • Old and Familiar, Billy Joel

    11 mai 2007, 17h07m

    I went to see Billy Joel on May 9th. I had considered seeing Peter Bjorn and John instead, but the Billy Joel tickets were free and closer to my home the the PBJ show. The real conflict was whether to catch something on the way up or on the way down. I'm glad I went to Billy Joel.
    Billy Joel was at his prime when my parent's were my age. I thought I couldn't claim him as my own. He was theirs. Wednesday night, I claimed him as my own.
    Joel looked like one of theirs at his show. His grizzly facial hair couldn't look irreverant because his face was a bit too round. His face had more angular form when I was a kid. He still had youth.
    He still has a twinkle to his eye despite his age. He still performs with the gusto of a devilish good guy, the bad boy of the pack. He still has a strong air of daring. He's still a rock star. His attitude rolled over any age barriers.
    I didn't even know he sang Only the Good Die Young, She's Always a Woman, Tell Her About It or My Life. I fully knew Piano Man, New York State Of Mind, We Didn't Start the Fire and River of Dreams. His 80s hits resonated with me more powerfully than I would have guessed. I wish he would have played I Go to Extremes, but I got there late. These songs are some of the best of there generation.
    Billy Joel is simply a great entertainer. He played the hell out of his piano. He rocked out on his guitar. He was personable. Every second was fun and even the boomers got up and danced.
    The light show seemed at the highest state of the art. The timing of the lighting was imppecable with its moments of tension and suspense, or to amplify the frenzy. It should have had two more video cameras, but fortunately, I was close enough to see Billy without assistance. $80 tickets require the best and now I know what that is. I know what an arena rocker is capable of achieving.
    He's old. His scene has passed, but he's a classic. His show sparks something in me that I can share with my parents and that alone is special.