Monday, April 30, 2007

...What You Been Listening To? #4

Short post this time, here's what I'm geeking on lately...

- Hailing from Denmark's Faroe Islands, singer, songwriter; imagine rainy days, the North Sea, cups of tea by the fireplace, acoustic guitars- this is the world of Teitur Lassen. Emotive without being annoying, heartfelt without making you uncomfortable, he'll slowly seep into your mind and is damn-near impossible to shake. Please check him out!

Cassette tapes - Berkeley, CA is the unquestioned king of junk sales. Yard sales, garage sales, "tag" sales, whatever... And there's an over-abundance of cassettes, and my car just happens to have a cassette player. Sweet! So when I'm sitting in horriffic Bay Area traffic, I just pop in Fugazi's Margin Walker or The Cure's Boys Don't Cry and am immediately taken back to my childhood of the 1980s...

Stars Of Track & Field, Centuries Before Love And War - this is the band that Coldplay should've become, instead of that "band" they're pretending to be now.

(Side note on Coldplay: when I first heard Parachutes back in 2001, that became one of my go-to albums, probably my biggest album of that year. I fell in love to that album, had my heart broken to that album, and picked up the pieces of aforementioned shattered heart to that album. Then A Rush Of Blood To The Head came out and I started to back away. The Live DVD was okay, but by the third time I listened to X&Y in its entirety, I knew this band was done. I hate you Chris Martin...)

But anyway, Portland, Oregon's Stars Of Track & Field, named after the Belle & Sebastian song, have all the elements that make a band huge- except for some reason they're not. They've got the right tone and tenor, the ability to shape mood, and the focus and scope to grow into an awesome band. And they're on Wind-Up Records, a subsidiary of Sony/BMG, so they should be enjoying near-major label status and success. So what gives?

Six Organs Of Admittance - I've been having a deepening and heartfelt connection since January to Devendra Banhart and his music. Call it freak-folk, psych-folk, acid-folk,
New Weird America, whatever- I call it good music. So as I pour myself into his music, I'm also finding a connection to Vetiver, Joanna Newsom, Jana Hunter, Espers, Brightblack Morning Light, along with a deepening appreciation for other associated and more established acts like Will Oldham and Iron & Wine. But recently I watched an interview on YouTube with Devendra, and he said that Ben Chasny and Six Organs of Admittance was at the fore-front of whatever you'd like to call this experimental-folk music coming up from the bowels of the American independent music scene. So I checked out his music and was not disappointed. Their album Dark Noontide is full of ambient and creepy atmospheres, abound with hurdy-gurdys and earth-colored textures, and School Of The Flower, possibly Six Organs' masterpiece, a mysterious and beautifully executed series of airy, yet mysterious vocal and instrumental songs. You don't need drugs when you have psychedelic music like this- the music itself is your drug. I'm tripping so hard, man...

This week's reviews:
Dntel, Dumb Luck
Charlotte Gainsbourg, 5 55
Feist, The Reminder

...also, I'm in the middle of moving into a new apartment, so don't hold me to any of these until at least Thursday-slash-Friday.

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