Sunday, December 02, 2007

November's music

Here's my picks for Nov:

Sigur Ros Hvarf/Heim Sigur Ros is one of my favorite bands of all time. Their shows are nothing short of a religious experience. They are one of the most artistic and creative bands around today. Even their videos (which I have on my ipod) are a celebration of youth, age, and love. This month, to my surprise, they released a double ep to coincide with a movie they did of their homeland of Iceland. Unfortunately, the material isn't new, but still a must for a Sigur Ros fan. Hvarf is a disc of songs that the band have had around, but never recorded until now. Hvarf is as good as any Sigur Ros album, just doesn't break new ground. The second disc Heim is mostly a semi acoustic live recording the band did of some of their material. Even in a stripped down setting, Sigur Ros shines as bright as they do in the studio.

Over the Rhine Besides I guess I'm a "Rhinelander" because the back of the disc is labelled "For Rhinelanders Only" and I rather enjoyed it. Besides is mostly unreleased material made for the fans of Over the Rhine. Some of the material is definitely good enough for any album. Over the Rhine seems to enjoy rewarding their fans with these "fan only" albums since there are a few more floating out there. Songs like "Miles" and "Lucy" show their "throw out" songs are just as good as the ones they keep. This is one of two Over the Rhine albums I got this month. I helped convinced me to get the rest of the Over the Rhine collection.
Over the Rhine Patience My other Over the Rhine album is their second album. I have to say that it took a little while for me to get into this one. After the first couple of listens, I thought it sounded kind of dated. It was made back in the early 90's, but doesn't hold up as well as some of their older material. After a few more listens, I began to appreciate it more and began to see it as a solid album.
Maps We Can Create This is another album that took me a while to get into. I read a lot on this one, and several tags it has gotten is "shoegazer"(which I would naturally love). However, it doesn't sound "Shoegazerish" in the way that I think of "shoegazer." Comparisons to My Bloody Valentine are unfounded. We Can Create is dreamy, but I didn't hear the walls of guitar distortion that I love. It sounds more electronic than anything. Of course, this is just my opinion. Once I dropped trying to compare to something, I began to enjoy much more and can see that it is a pretty good album.
Gorillaz D-Sides Another collection of unreleased tunes this month that could be passed on unless you are a big Gorillaz fan. The first disc is made up of B-sides from their last album Demon Days (which is a fantastic trippy album). Damon Albarn (creator of the band and front man to Blur) was never very good at B-sides, but can write pretty good singles. The second disc is remixes of all the singles from Demon Days. It's pretty unnecessary considering the songs are already trippy and funky without having to be remixed.

Great Northern Trading Twilight for Daylight Pretty good debut album from this southern California band (I was disappointed to hear they weren't actually from the north). Trading Twilight for Daylight has some pretty inviting textures, and a lot of good catchy indie hooks. I put this album off for too long before buying it.


f o r r e s t said...

I have all those albums except the D-sides.

I listened to OTR's Patience a ton in my college years. I got it in '93 and immediately got their first album "'till we have faces" after seeing them live. Patience took a few listens to grow on me, but boy did it have an affect. At that time in my live I was listening to a lot of electronical idustrial noise music. But I love Patience and it has some great tracks: Jacksie, circle of quiet, how does it feel..., rhaphsody, I painted my name... Great songs. It truly is an arty album. the lyrics are great.

I love besides too!

I dig the new Maps record. It is a shoegazer album in the way that Chapterhouse and Slowdive were considered shoegazer. I compare Maps to Chapterhouse's whirlpool album. However you break it down it is a great dreampop record.

Portland wawa said...

Wow, my hubby really knows his music.

shakedust said...

I didn't know you listened to the Gorillaz. That's kind of departure from the other bands listed.

Achtung BB said...

I beg to differ on that one Dust. Gorillaz was formed by Damon Alburn who was the front man in of one of my favorite brit pop bands--Blur. Gorillaz gave him a outlet to experiment with different beats--mostly urban, triphop, and work with a few rappers. The fact that his side project got far more popular than his main band is ironic- but it happens sometimes in music

f o r r e s t said...

Yeah Dust, you are way off there. A Gorillaz track would fit nicely between Maps and Sigur Ros.