Saturday, February 28, 2009

Death Cab: Grapevine Fires Video

Ready to be depressed out of your mind? Check out DCfC's new animated music video. We almost cried.
Grapevine Fires

Okay, okay, wait. Before you go off and color you nails with Sharpie, watch this much lighter video, also Death Cab but involving giant gingerbread men who tackle drummers (1:55).

Better, yes? TMI's got your back.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele on Twisted Ear

If you've got a penchant for doo-wop, Mississippi, ukuleles, crooning and Elton John glasses, Dent May is your man. Check out my latest review and if you're really in a particularly weird mood, watch the video for "Meet Me in the Garden" courtesy of Pitchfork.

Also, Twisted Ear is on Twitter now, so if you're into that here's where to follow us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Regarding the Way We Listen to Music

Try this staement on for size. I heard someone say it last week.

"If you're just listening to your iPod, you're wasting time."

Yikes, right? At first I was a little startled, but after a few seconds it hit me that she was dead on and I hated so much to admit that there's truth in that sentence. Part of what gave me pause stemmed from my last review for Twisted Ear. There's an unusually high level of intellect put into TE reviews, I feel, so when I started writing for them in June, I changed my methodology for reviewing an album. Overarching statements are important. It's not just about the album itself but how that album fits into society as we know it. Andrew Bird's Noble Beast made me think about how little patience we have for the intricacies and delicacies of nuanced music. With Bird, it's not nearly enough to hit "play" and dive into a magazine. At least once, you have to focus completely on what's coming in through your headphones or you will miss everything that's important.

In the review, I talked about how these days, the average person does not have that luxury. Listening to music is not a sole pursuit anymore. I wrote about it because I see it in my own life. The only time I have guaranteed for music-listening is the time it takes in the morning to straighten my hair. In the interest of hearing what I have frequently called my second pulse, I way the trade offs. I can give my music half my attention or none at all.

Sad, right? I can tell you exactly when I got off track. Sam's Town came out in 2006 and the only time I had to listen to it was while I was writing a weekly completion grade poetry response for an English class. Normally I'd never have divided my attention like that, but Sam's Town (as much as I'm not sure if I should admit it) was the last album that had a true hold over me. Some or nothing. No choice.

It's not just me either. When was the last time you saw anyone just sitting there with their headphones? I can't even think of the last time I saw anyone using anything beyond laptop speakers or earbuds.

Maybe it's the iPod's fault? When the latest technology was the record player, you better believe that the lawn wasn't getting cut. Or what about those early portable cd players that skipped every time you breathed too deep? I had one of those. I didn't leave the edge of my bed for 45 minutes for fear of disturbing the play. Sure, the argument could be made that Walkmen didn't skip, but still portability seems a little like the devil sometimes. It's a blessing and a curse, or worse-- a compromise.

The Noble Beast review sparked some comments, mostly dismay. What does it say when you've listened to an album twenty times and still don't know the lyrics? Back in the day we knew every word, every beat, every artificially placed breath on the track. Maybe that's why music meant more. You had the time to read into it and project your life all over the album. To this day, I marvel at how my hate for John Mayer turned into respect because I was felt totally defined by Heavier Things. That was a long time ago.

So where does that leave us? The workload's got no end in sight. The "To Do" list keeps growing. But maybe, if we think about it hard enough, we'll try harder to carve out the time. Or maybe we'll just continue to multitask our way into numbness.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Ra Ra Riot

What do you do when you have a blog to maintain and excruciatingly little free time? You post videos and hope that your readers won't abandon you. Check out this "Take Away Show" from the French blog, La Blogotheque. Basically the idea is to film band/artists in one take around Paris just playing their music. Creative, yes? TMI approves and hopes you do too.

RaRaRiot - Dying is fine - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ra Ra Riot Made a Video...

And it's good. Check it out. It's a good concept and the color palette is just perfect for the song. 

Yet another reason why May can't come fast enough.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mama Mia! Even the Kremlin Loves ABBA!

Awkward much?

According to NME, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin supposedly flew in an ABBA tribute band by the name of (wait for it) Bjorn Again to perform a private concert at the cost of roughly $31,874.68 (American).

How badly does this guy love ABBA? He couldn't just buy the greatest hits album? This is the same scary dude who's favorite special ingredient is Polonium 210-- and he's a dancing queen? That's a lot of shiny spandex for an ex KGB guy.

Looks like his badass credibility just met its "Waterloo." Ba dum bum chh! Wouldn't want to "Take a Chance" on delivering a displeasing performance. Can you imagine? You'd be screaming "S.O.S" while the Kremlin creeps shipped you off to Siberia.

I could go on. I've got a million of 'em.

But I won't. Wouldn't want to be obnoxious and have TMI's quality come "Under Attack."


Friday, February 6, 2009

TMI Mini Mix no. 3

In case you didn't notice, I hit the blogosphere pretty hard last month, along with my iTunes library in general. The result? I'm totally sick of my music. All of it. That's really saying something, because I have a buttload, to use a scientific term, of music.

So, that poses a problem when the first of the month rolls around and I've got to put together the Mini Mix. What do I do if I can't stand anything I have? Answer: go completely random.

I've been dabbling in Animal Collective lately in an effort to get to know them, so this month I'm just going to pick five random Animal Collective songs and hope that March's Mini Mix will be extra inspired and extra fresh.

1. Purple Bottle
2. Banshee Beat
3. Peacebone
4. Leaf House
5. Grass

*Note: I make no guarantees. I judged solely on cool-sounding song titles. "My Girls" would have been included but iLike didn't have it. Sadness.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Day the Music Died

Perhaps a tad dramatic, but that's how the song goes. It is a little hard to believe it's been 50 years since Buddy Holly's plane crashed. I won't even try to explain why the guy was a giant. I think the fact that anyone remembers the day he died so long after makes the point just fine.

I remember sitting in the shopping cart in the super market when I was barely four singing this song. It's "Maybe Baby." Take a listen.

Don't forget Richie Valens and the Big Bopper, either.

Peace, kids.

Monday, February 2, 2009

TV on the Radio on SNL on and on and on

I saw today that TV on the Radio will be performing on Saturday Night Live this coming week. Strange. All of a sudden the program has taste.

In the interest of staying fresh and getting some extra sleep, I thought I'd mention it briefly. Also, this month's Mini Mix in is the works, so sit tight kids. It's on it's way.