Thursday, January 31, 2008

january's music

I found this to be a rather slow month for music. Didn't find a lot of inspiring music this month, so I went back and picked some albums I missed last yearArcade Fire Neon Bible I became fixated on buying this album after it topped nearly every music critics "best of..." list. I'm glad I did, it was just the kind of "big rock" sounding album I was looking for. I found it pretty refreshing since I had been listening to a lot of slower, softer music recently. Neon Bible has drawn a lot of comparison's to Bruce Springsteen. At their best, Arcade Fire rely on the same melodrama Springsteen uses to achieve their grandeur sound. It works pretty well for them.

Stars of Track and Field Centuries Before Love and War Portland has a pretty happening music scene. Portland music fans are proud of The Dandy Warhols, The Decemberist, and most of all, The Shins. Honestly, I never really liked any of these bands, but now I finally have some local heros. Portland's Star of Track and Field are quickly building a name for themselves around here for fans of more "ambient rock." They combine a lot of old rock styles (like jangly guitar) with new atomosphereic (electronic--Radioheadish) beautifully. Dreamy at times, and granduer at others. I'm doing my part now to support local music.
Ride Waves A complation of their sessions at BBC and with John Peel. Ride was one of the most successful bands to come out of the "shoegazer" movement of the early 90's. They were everything I love in a band. Their sound was a wash of guitars of swirling distortion. Dreamy, ambient, and with a real pop sensibility. I love the begining of this album when they were true shoegazers (their later material tended to be less noisy and more psychidelic towards the end of their career). Anyway, they only got a few stabs at recording the material for BBC, so what comes across is a real raw experience (shoegazers used a lot of studio equipment and editing to get their sound).
Bill Mallonee Permafrost Itunes finally released this album for digital download this month. Permafrost has been on Bill's website for a while, but I had a bad experience downloading from his site so I put off buying this one. It's a shame I did, because it is a great album. I usually go on about how unfair it is that Bill is such a unrecognized talent in the music industry, but it doesn't do any good to complain. It's other people's loss not to hear Bill. I would rank Permafrost among some of his best recordings.


shakedust said...

You're right, it must be a slow month. Only four albums.

Portland wawa said...

Is that the local band you went to hear last Friday? The guys from church???

f o r r e s t said...

I just can't get excited about the Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible." I think it is over-rated and a lot of critics favored it because they didn't want to be the one that said the emporer had no clothes. I am not saying it is a bad album. It is just more of the same coming from them. It think I posted on my blog when that album came out that they had everything that I should like in an album but somehow it fell short. Maybe, it came out at the wrong time for me and I should revisit it. They would also be better if Win had a better voice.

That is funny, I also picked up Permafrost this month. Good album...and "Threadbare" has the marks of a classic Bill Mallonee song.