Hey, There’s a Bird in This Mirror!

Diversion Enthusiast Society, est. 2007

Posts Tagged ‘Music Marathon 2008

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 »

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Written by Dave

January 31, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Music Marathon 2008, Part 12 (Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – TV on the Radio)

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My original intent was to finish this by the end of January, so I’m going to have to speed things up a little.  Forgive me if my reviews become a little… impressionistic from here on out.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Real Emotional Trash
One of the problems I have with iTunes and iPod technology is that it’s kind of a pain in the ass to maintain sort order by last name where it should apply.  So I ended up manually moving all of the albums in my master 2008 playlist into alphabetical order, and I missed this one. Read the rest of this entry »

Music Marathon 2008, Part 10 (Okkervil River – R.E.M.)

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Okkervil River – The Stand Ins
This review will be relatively short, since we have a little blog project coming up involving this album, but it probably deserves a few words here, as well.  The Stand Ins is the album I’ve listened to the most this year, and it’s most certainly my favorite.  Will Sheff continues the smart, poetic exploration of mid-level fame and artistic inspiration that he began on last year’s The Stage Names and his band further expands their musical palette into Dylanesque electric folk (“Singer-Songwriter”), low-key soul (“Starry Stairs”), and new wave pop (“Pop Lie”).  It both entertains on a first spin and yields additional rewards with every additional listen. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

January 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Music Marathon 2008, Part 9 (Nada Surf – Of Montreal)

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Nada Surf – Lucky
Sometimes, it doesn’t take a ton of originality to make an impression, just a well-developed sense of what to borrow and steal.  While it may come as a surprise to anyone who still associates Nada Surf with the 90s MTV hit, “Popular,” the band has never been hung up on overly obvious formal experiments for the sake of novelty.  They’re a pop band at heart, and Lucky is an unassuming collection of tightly-constructed songs that may even out-class their terrific 2003 release, Let Go, which brought them back into the public eye (relatively speaking). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

January 3, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Music Marathon 2008, Part 8 (Monáe, Janelle – My Morning Jacket)

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Janelle Monáe – Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition)
Possibly the only artist on the Bad Boy roster who even vaguely evokes Of Montreal, Monáe is tough to categorize.  Metropolis: The Chase Suite, the first EP release of a planned four-part deal, is a bizarro mix of commercial R&B, orchestrated pop a la 60s James Bond theme songs, and the most consciously cheesy elements of 80s top 40 new wave, fitted with a dystopian sci-fi lyrical framework.  In short, she’s trying to do a lot here. Probably too much. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

December 30, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Music Marathon 2008, Part 7 (Juniper Tar – MGMT)

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Superstuffed, pre-holiday blowout edition!

Juniper Tar – To the Trees
This is probably the most obscure pick on the list, if only because these guys are local.  This is a fact that I point out reluctantly and only to acknowledge the potential difficulty in finding it in stores (it’s on iTunes, though!), because, frankly, people tend to ignore recommendations when it comes to local bands, so let me start with this:  to the non-locals reading, these guys are, honest to goodness, worth your attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

December 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Music Marathon 2008, Part 6 (The Gutter Twins – Jonas Brothers)

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The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia
Ah, the burden of expectations.  Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, etc.) have been working on this project for a good chunk of this decade and only now do we have an official document of the collaboration.  And how is it?  Well, pretty underwhelming.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

December 20, 2008 at 7:18 pm