Thursday, June 12, 2008

more mini-reviews

ako did it...why can't I? I'll try not to injure myself upholding the high standard she set with the first set of mini-reviews.

Stuff I dig...

verbs by au

A few years ago, I lived in a building where every Saturday my downstairs neighbour would throw a small, genteel, yet vocal party, capping off around two a.m. with a Grease singalong. Despite my best efforts, I never did manage to catch him in the hall, and to this day I have no clue what he looks like. However, I'd like to believe he was Au lead man Luke Wyland, practicing for what would later become Verbs (out now on emusic). Warm, sweet, and perfect ambient working music, you don't have to go to the party to have a good time.

mp3: "rr vs. d" by Au

jesus walk with me
by club 8

Club 8 makes me feel gooey. Blame the Labrador effect. So, needless to say, anything - even a bread crumb of an EP - is more than welcome. Hi. Nice to meet you, I've officially outed myself as a twee-junky. Jesus Walk With Me is a sweet, albeit brief exploration of what is, quite possibly, Club 8's most beautiful and heart wrenching work to date. In addition to the titular track and two equally note-worthy b-sides are two remixes. The Sound of Arrows' effort proves there's a right and a wrong way to remix a track...thankfully opting for the former. Their re-envisioning transforms the originally spartan track into a gorgeous detuned mediation. And the Swedish indie pop cycle of addiction continues....

mp3: "
Jesus Walk With Me (Sound of Arrows Remix)" by Club 8

verve Remixed 4 by various artists

This is amazing. I'll even go so far as to say this album is "made of awesome." I must be going soft in my old age, giving up my previously staunch objection to remixes. Of course, growing up I was the first chair clarinet in our county's youth jazz band -- so the die was cast from an early age for me to fall for this kind of remix project. Rather than flaunt their electronic prowess, the remixers (including my cat's favorite Psapp) incorporate their visions seamlessly into the preexisting material. Thus a few of my favorite crooners - Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan - come off not as digital ghosts, but rather as larger than life...just like they do in my cabret-addled mind.

mp3: "Cry Me A River" by Dinah Washington

when you are engulfed in flames by
david sedaris

David Sedaris is not a rock star. Well, at least not musically. But after waiting for this book since the beginning of the year with a fervor usually reserved for those with the last name of Lekman or Stevens, its June 3rd release was nothing short of an event, musical or otherwise. Despite my initial euphoria, punctuated with intermittent dizzying bouts of anticipation, I have to admit a certain amount of disappointment with the whole affair. Oh I may waffle, cling to my ideals and my beliefs in social mores with a twenty-something's wet soap bar grasp on life, but I do have one long standing unshakable belief -- I don't do parasites or bodily functions. Despite all the changes brought into my life thoughout the years, I've never been one to cock my head, rearrange my beret at a jaunty angle and declare, "Hey, why don't we lance that boil!" Especially while eating lunch. But along with the occasional icky lows, as always well-rendered in Sedaris' trademark grace in self-deprecation, there are certain, redeemable highs. Readers who persevere(or turn directly to the end) will be well rewarded for coming along on with the final, "Santaland Diaries"-worthy essay, "Smoking Room," where Sedaris decides to quit smoking by -- what else? -- going to Japan.

mp3: "Santaland Diaries" by David Sedaris


Anonymous said...

The Sound of Arrows' effort proves there's a right and a wrong way to remix a track...thankfully opting for the latter.

I think you meant the other way around!

LMS said...

Ha! Confessions of a Would-Be HIpster: unintentionally slamming the hits.

stoibee said...

rr vs. d is currently number 1 in the hit parade of my mind

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