Hey, There’s a Bird in This Mirror!

Diversion Enthusiast Society, est. 2007

Music Marathon 2009 – Part 3 (Camera Obscura – Cursive)

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Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
I just realized I’m only in the C’s, and I’ve already probably given the impression that I considered this a great year for rock music.  That’s probably misleading.  There was actually very little that really thrilled me.  There was, however, a fair amount that adequately entertained me, and sometimes that’s all you need.  My Maudlin Career isn’t going to blow anyone’s doors off, but it’s a small, smart, and tuneful album that’s easy to devour on a first listen, but doesn’t get boring on subsequent listens.  Being only familiar with the band by reputation, I was fully expecting their Belle & Sebastian-isms, but I wasn’t prepared for how well they reinterpret that sound, ground it even more in classic 60s pop, and basically mine the same territory that She & Him do to bigger, better effect.  And just when you think it’s all candy-coated despair, at very end, they unload “Honey in the Sun,” one of the brashest, most joyous-sounding proclamations of love this year.  Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Dave

December 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Music Marathon 2009 – Part 2 (Bat for Lashes – Bon Iver)

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Bat for Lashes – Two Suns
Despite being a relatively organic development from Bat for Lashes’ debut, Fur and Gold, there’s something risky about Two Suns‘ expansion of that album’s signature sound.  Fur and Gold was, in part, a great listen specifically because of its limitations.  It sounded like a creative and talented musician working with a relatively small set of supplies – Natasha Khan (aka Bat for Lashes) conjured up a dense sound with drum machines, hand claps, synths, and lots of overdubbing. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

December 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Music Marathon 2009 – Part 1 (Animal Collective – Atlas Sound)

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Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Let me tell you about Animal Collective and me:  we have a bit of a history, going back to 2005’s Feels, an album I… liked, I suppose.  But the repetitive beats; the screamy, celebratory vocals; and that constant wash of echo over everything made it a challenge, and, when Strawberry Jam upped the ante on some of their least appealing elements in 2007, I was puzzled by the devout online fandom I saw.  Yet that same year, AC’s Panda Bear released Person Pitch, an album that took all of the stuff that I liked about Feels and did it better – wonderfully, even.  I was convinced that Mr. Bear (Noah Lennox to his friends) was the key to all of the good parts of Animal Collective’s sound and that he’d be better off if he’d lose the dead weight.
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Written by Dave

December 11, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Music Marathon 2009 (Preamble)

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So we’ve changed the look of the blog yet again to help kick it out of its dormancy.  We’ll see how long this lasts.  In any case, this is the beginning of my annual music marathon – I re-listen to every album I got this year and waste your time with my blabbing.
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Written by Dave

December 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Posted in feminism, Music

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Dave’s a Person You Don’t Know, Too

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Well, kind of – somewhat to my relief, it wasn’t the full-on interview treatment that Raina got, so I didn’t talk have to talk about myself much.  Instead, I participated as a guest on a Spotcast episode of Euge’s People You Don’t Know site, in which he talks with someone about a particular topic.  In this case, we talked about U2.  I’ve been told it’s interesting and that I’m speaking in “my nervous voice.”  I’m not sure what that means.

Give it a listen here.

Written by Dave

March 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Dave, Friends, Meta, Music

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Raina is a Person You Don’t Know

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Well, you may know her, but she’s one of the first guests on our friend Eugene’s new podcast interview site, People You Don’t Know.  Here’s his explanation of the site: 

PYDK is a semi-professional interview show where I talk to normal, everyday people about their story, where they’re from, how they got to where they are now, and their views, opinions, and beliefs on politics, culture, media, art, or anything else that comes to mind. At the end of each interview, they recommend someone else I don’t know who’d be interesting to talk to.

To be completely honest, I was initially skeptical about how much entertainment value he might be able to squeeze out of semi-random people in this format.  But I’ve since listened to every one of these podcasts so far, and each is compelling in its own way, due in equal parts to the folks being interviewed and Euge’s engaging, creative interviewing style.  The guy’s cranking them out at an amazing pace, too.

Raina’s interview (about librarians, feminism, and the phenomenon of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl) is here.

Written by Dave

February 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Music Marathon 2008, Part 13 (Vampire Weekend – Wolf Parade)

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And a sprint to the finish (which means I’m going proofread-free)!

Vampire Weekend – s/t
The members of Vampire Weekend just dare you to hate them.  They’re a bunch of well-educated, upper-class guys who look less “amiable, troubled Wes Anderson artiste wannabes” and more “obnoxious, privileged Whit Stillman bores”.  They dabble in African music that seems more derived from Paul Simon, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel than from any firsthand experience.  Then there’s that name… that ridiculous name. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

January 31, 2009 at 6:24 pm