Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update and reviews

Hi there! It's been a long time since I've felt like blogging. For a few reasons, mostly being that I don't feel quite as passionate as I did before. The internet is a wonderful place where you can voice your opinions on just about anyone and you can probably find a group of people who will agree with you.

Another reason being that I am legitimately a pretty busy person. I make music myself and I am now making music for a television program on the PBS channel. I am a very big fan of Joe Raposo and this is a dream come true for me, so I try to put as much of my energy into my artistic endeavors as I can.

Finally, a few people have asked me why I never provide links to download music without paying for it. My first thought to that is that there are so many other music blogs out there that already do this, but I've always just cared more about journalism than piracy and I've cared more about music than uploading files online. (See my Beach Boys blog for evidence of this). Then, my second thought is that I am one of the few rather small blogs (not counting websites like pitchfork) that actually interview artists that I really love on the telephone. I spend days and sometimes weeks researching things and really gathering my thoughts to do my updates and interviews and I would hate to lose the respect that I think I earn from my favorite artists by insultingly sharing music that I have no permission to share after complimenting them by speaking to them.

I hope you will always want to get to know small artists better by reading about them, and then choose to support them if you really like them. Having said that, I hope I will be able to do a lot more interviews and reviews (which are the things that I care about the most) on my blog.

I'll start right now with some quick reviews on some of my favorite new albums.

The male member of this band, Johan AngergÄrd, is also a member of one of my favorite Swedish bands, Acid House Kings and the girl at his side is Karolina Komstedt, from another beautiful band, Poprace. This supergroup of soft indiepop have released several albums together over the last 13 years, but their most recent album, The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming is their best to date. Slightly religious toned, the album is still gentle and beautiful. If you enjoy bands like the Submarines or Acid House Kings this is for you. (myspace)

The debut album from the Italian group Fitness Forever is nothing short of a masterpiece. The band is now signed to the brilliant Spanish label Elefant Records and rightfully so. Personal Train is loaded to the brim with strings, horns, bells and vocals that create a symphonic sound that even surpasses the best Beach Boys arrangements. The band's song writer Carlos Valderrama describes the band as his challenge to create pop perfection and it is extremely clear that he has created nothing but perfection with this beautiful album. (myspace)

This album came out a while ago, but I don't care because I still like it. The theme of this update is mostly extremely gentle orchestrated music and The Postmarks are just about the most beautiful band I know of today. Their singer Tim Yehezkely (yes, a woman) has the best female voice since Karen Carpenter passed away. This album just screams class, with jazzy arrangements and lush production it stands in a league its own. It is just impossible to explain why this album is so much better than all the others who attempt to copy their sound. The only way to know is to listen. Heart break never felt so good. (myspace)

The Very Most - Spring

One of my very favorite albums last year was The Very Most's second album, Congratulations forever (maybe you forgot about when I interviewed Jeremy Jensen, the band's lead singer and song writer?).

Well anyway, The Very Most are back in a big way, with a new EP released on Indiecator records. But please don't let those 2 letters "EP" make you think that this release is somehow less important than their full length last year. The nearly 14 minute EP is filled with all kinds of new sounds that show the promise for something that very few bands in this new millennium are showing - Growth.

Much in the same way that the Beatles were constantly evolving, The Very Most are expanding and experimenting in exciting new ways. In fact, every song on this EP has some form of strange percussion used. I'll just name a couple off the top of my head: Woodblocks, Vibraslaps, Scrapers, an army of Tambourines, Egg Shakers, and a lot of things I don't even know. The amount of percussion on "Spring" is really delightful and an extremely welcome addition.

However, all the experimentation in the world can never make a "bad" song "good". It should be mentioned that all the songs on the EP are extremely well written pop songs and fit very well together. The album is extremely enjoyable and pleasant and for the rest of my life I will associate this release with memories of spring. The band is actually making an EP for every season this year and I am confident that they will keep very true to this theme and do something that (as far as I know) no other band has done yet.

Probably the prettiest song on the EP is the third song "The Only Pretty Ring Time". The band sings an ode to the beauty of their home city Boise, Idaho and mentions how strange it is that their city is called the City of Trees. But I really just can't explain how great every voice on this song sounds. It really is wonderful.

Also, their label has commissioned a few remixes of some of the songs on the album. These remixes are also a blast and are all done so well. They make a very lovely companion to the EP and you can listen to the remixes for free on their label's website.

The Very Most are extremely committed to music and despite the speed that they release their records, they still put so much effort and joy into their work. "Spring" is the beginning of a new era for The Very Most and they have invited us to spend a year with them... A year?

I think I will be spending a lifetime with the Very Most.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Found Love

Below is a positively perfect cover of the song "I Found Love" originally performed by The Free Design on their 1968 album You Could Be Born Again. This cover was done by the English band Trembling Blue Stars on the tv show YO GABBA GABBA. Check out their myspace!

i found this here