Tuesday, June 3, 2008

efficiency in blogging

Can you believe the year is almost halfway over? I can't. Especially when I consider that too many albums have already been released for me to even consider keeping up with, let alone reviewing in a semi-coherent manner. Here are a few that have heretofore slipped through the cracks due to my perennial laziness.



in ghost colours by cut copy

Electronic music isn't usually my thing. I also don't dance. Ever. And I'm still trying to outgrow an intrinsic fear of the '80s that was instilled in me at an early age by my mother's hair. Sometimes overwhelming recommendations from friends can take you to places it wouldn't ordinarily occur to you to go, though, and this is exactly why you should have friends (besides the fact that you also need people to eat pie with). I was pleasantly surprised to find enough organic material here to keep the whole thing feeling grounded.

mp3: "Feel the Love" by Cut Copy


visiter by the dodos

The Dodos, a duo grounded almost-exclusively in drums and acoustic guitar, should be a complete 180-degree turn from Cut Copy, but the truth is that Visiter reminds me more of Random Spirit Lover, last year's underrated1 effort by Sunset Rubdown, than of any other folk album I've heard recently. Mostly, I think, because they manage to make an awful lot of noise for two people, and also because of the lengthy, gloriously obtuse, but ultimately still melodic nature of some of the songs (for the epitome of this, see "Joe's Waltz"). Was that enough adjectives for you for one sentence? I'll stop now. This album is very good and you should go buy it.

1Not to ruin my own attempt at subtlety or anything, but you have seen this, right? So awesome.

mp3: "Red and Purple" by the Dodos


re-arrange us by mates of state

I've never liked cotton candy, but I do have an unfortunate weakness for Smarties. The next time I self-righteously scorn the solid-sugar genre of confections, remind me of my hypocrisy. Meanwhile, Mates of State's new album might very well be my sweet-tooth album of choice for 2008. I don't say this to imply that the music is lacking in substance or is less satisfying because of it; that would be to undermine the value of happiness as a valid emotion. Or at least, in this case, happiness tinged with maybe just a little wistfulness and angst, carefully veiled by bouncy keyboard lines and vocal harmonies. Completely addicting.

mp3: "My Only Offer" by Mates of State


all we could do was sing by port o'brien

Shock at the revelation that there are people in the world who still do things like fish for a living would be amusing in a stereotypical city-dweller -- maybe less so for someone like me, who actually appeared on a local news station as a fourth-grader on a field trip in the greater Seattle area that had something to do with salmon eggs. Nonetheless, it's the clash of this archaeic way of life (manifested in the songs' lo-fi, folky echoes) with modern societal demands that makes this album compelling. It's a thematic committment that may need some stretching on future efforts, but for now, it is to be enjoyed.

mp3: "Stuck on a Boat" by Port O'Brien

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