March 31, 2005

Music report

Man, I have been all kinds of busy this week. Takes a toll on one's blogging, it does. But I have still been acquiring and listening to music, because that is what I do.

Finally got the new Andrew Bird, which is, as expected, terrific. The sound falls halfway between the wild variety of "The Swimming Hour" and the moody "Weather Systems", managing to be simultaneously catchy and experimental. (Which is how my friend James just described the Arcade Fire to me; I think that describes 90 percent of the music I love -- catchy but experimental.)

I also bought up three CDs by Chisel, Ted Leo's old band. None of them are weak, really, but "Set You Free" totally stands out. It's on a par with Ted Leo's best solo work -- except some of the songs have horns! Awesome.

The main reason I bought the new LCD Soundsystem was to have a collection of all the singles; I looked at what is ostensibly the main CD as a very long series of bonus tracks. And, honestly, the singles are, in fact, better than the new tracks, but come on -- how likely is it that someone who wrote "Losing My Edge" is ever going to top it? Still, "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" comes close.

Rose requested that we purchase Weezer's Pinkerton; neither of us had ever heard it, but it is well-spoken-of in Weezer fan circles, so we gave it a shot. And the two of us pretty much agree: fine album! But they could write, you know, a different song once in a while. My favorite song on the CD, "Pink Triangle" (about a doomed crush, with the great lyric "I'm dumb, she's a lesbian") happens to have almost the exact same melody as "Say It Ain't So" from the blue album.

In the category of "music I downloaded off the Internet and yet still paid money for later" is Scritti Politti's "Early". I loooove Scritti Politti, but they are, like, three different bands. There's the smooth synthpop band from the '80s that everyone remembers, but they're also the weird crossover rap band that put out the excellent "Anomie and Bonhomie" (which isn't in print anymore, but you can buy it used for a song), and then there's the even weirder early pseudosoul group that put out Songs to Remember, which features a perky little number about Jacques Derrida. "Early" features two songs that would later appear on "Songs to Remember"; the eleven songs that predate those are even more disjointed and feel sort of half-formed -- but the future pop sensibilities seep through somehow.

In non-artifact-based music, Rose and I went to see Robyn Hitchcock last Friday; he played an all-acoustic, mostly request show, and was joined at a couple points by violinist Deni Bonet. The most memorable section of the performance was the encore, when Robyn played a series of cover songs that he hadn't rehearsed with Deni, asking her to play on them anyway. She was game, and it was fascinating to watch her grok the song structures as she went, eventually cutting loose into amazing solos. She and Robin had great interplay on "Gigolo Aunt" in particular, but it was all excellent. (A more thorough recap is here; god, I love it when other people keep track of set lists to help jog my poor memory.)

Posted by Francis at 02:46 PM | TrackBack

"" is such an awesome name for an album.

Posted by: Matthew Prins at March 31, 2005 03:03 PM

Ahem. I really need to use that "Preview" button once in a while.

Posted by: Francis at March 31, 2005 03:15 PM