Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving with Kanye

I made this.

In case you hadn't heard on this fine Thanksgiving Day morning, Kanye West is making an appearance on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While I can hardly think of a stranger holiday match-up, I'm a little excited.

Looks like Tom the Turkey has competition.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Musically Inclined "Things," For Lack of a Better Word

Well folks, TMI's been laid up sick since Friday, and by TMI, I mean yours truly. In the spirit of not having the focus to write about one thing, here are a few items of interest that I thought were worth mentioning.

- Obligatory Beatles/iTunes post: We all knew it was going to happen at some point. There's just way too much money there. Though, before the news leaked or whatever last night, I was hoping the announcement had something to do with the fabled iTunes Cloud. Gizmodo did a funny post on the the matter.

- Avett Bros in unexpected places: There's a website called Design Sponge that I nothing short of adore, we'll say. While perusing my Google Reader this morning, I saw they posted about the Avett Brothers and upon scrolling realized they did an interview with Scott Avett about his artistic pursuits. Great stuff!

- Speaking of cool brothers: The Gregory Brothers turned up on the Today show recently. Points to the dweeb reporter for the stiffest, most out-of-touch explanation of Auto-Tune. Speaking of Auto-Tune, it couldn't even save the Today Show crew from the most painful a capella cover of "Dynomite."

- You Can't Tell Me Nothin': Apparently some guy put out a book with lyrics from rap songs, saying what fine poetry it is, without ever actually having listened to the songs. NPR sent him links to the songs on Youtube and had a conversation with him about his impressions and the relationship between the lyrics and beats/rhythms of rap. I just thought this was really interesting because for the most part, I always thought the rhythms were rap and hip-hop's saving grace. Then again, one of my mottos for a happy life is "quote Kanye whenever possible."

- Make it stop: Pop is so much better than it was in the 90s. Evidence: I can't get this song out of my head. I'm mildly ashamed, but mostly perplexed by why it works at all. Stupid Glee. I think I will be blogging about the value of a solid pop song very soon. Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Katy Perry-- your credibility will suffer death by cotton candy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise : Avett Brothers

Just to drop a quick line, I finally picked the Avett Brothers' last album I and Love and You this weekend. It's been on my list a while. I first heard about them in 2007 around the time their album Emotionalism came out. It was this summer though, that I really started to dig the North Carolinian trio. Their Bonnaroo performance (Not that I was there. Thank you Youtube and NPR.) was so energetic and so entertaining. I think I played it back a several times over the next few days. When cheap synth and poorly-used Auto-Tune threaten to overtake us all, it's bands like the Avetts whose sound keeps us grounded.

Anyway, here's a video they put out this summer for "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise." Take a look if you're not already quite captivated by these guitar/piano/upright bass/banjo-playing/foot-stomping fellows.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Sound of Settling : Death Cab for Cutie

As obvious as it may sound, the older I get, the more certain bands, albums or songs make sense to me. The National is a good example. Boxer is one of my favorite albums. I know I appreciate it more than I did as a freshly-graduated high schooler and I know I'll appreciate it even more when I'm 30. There can hardly be a better occurrence than a band that grows up with you.

Death Cab for Cutie works that way for me too, but maybe in a different way. Lord knows I've written about them ad nauseum, but its hard not to after repeated realizations that there's a line in a song that sums up perfectly what I'm thinking. (And no, I could not really use a wish right now.)

Example: These days whenever one of my friends get engaged, (and man, are they getting engaged) I like to have a ceremonial playing of "I Was Once A Loyal Lover," chiefly for the lines that say "All my friends are forward thinking, getting hitched and quitting drinking. I can feel them pulling away as I'm resigned to stay the same." Cheers, right? It's great stuff.

Today I figured out that a thought I'd been trying to condense into a tidy phrase was already hanging out in Death Cab's "The Sound of Settling." Partly, I think it's a testament to the songwriter. While the lyrics v. music debate rages on, I think I'll continue to put put my faith in words.

In any case, check out the video. 1:55 is probably the best part of any given music video I've ever seen.