Tuesday, May 27, 2008

With a buzz in our ear we'll play endlessly - Sigur Rós

Our friends in Sigur Rós will release 'Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust' the 24th of june. The title translates into 'with a buzz in our eyes we will play endlessly' and features 11 new songs. One of them is called Allright and Jonsí does that one in, yes, english. Interesting!

About the album it's said: "SR adopts a looser approach in the writing and creation of með suð. the material for the album was written, recorded and mixed entirely in 2008 and is being released just one month after its completion. the album glows with the perfect imperfection of live takes, the sounds of fingers playing guitar strings, cracked notes, and a stark, upfront presence not found in previous sigur rós recordings, moving away from reverb-soaked guitar sounds towards something altogether more affecting. the record also contains some of the most joyous music the band has ever recorded."

The artwork is done by visual artist Ryan mcginley. Mcginley first met the band when he photographed jónsi six years ago; the album cover was taken from a flyer for mcginley's most recent exhibit i know where the summer goes, which happened to find its way into jónsi's inbox just as the band was deciding on how to best visually represent their new collection of songs.

Someone on Stereogum said about first song Gobbledigook: "Like Animal Collective covering Dave Matthews Band's "Grey Street." In Icelandic. In a good way." I must agree. Very different. Very wild, playful, joyous and truely a new style. I'm looking forward to more!

  • Gobbledigook - Sigur Ros
  • Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Bon Iver - Emma and a civilised habitat

    Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver is a lonely lumberjack. But a loveable one.

    The short version is that Vernon - Wisconsin - were getting tired of bandmates and set up a home in a remote log cabin. He lived a self-imposed primitive lifestyle, chopping firewood and hunting wildlife and that awesome man-stuff you do when you'd want to be completly authentic and in touch with your innerself. In three month he did that while writing and recording - often in ten- to twelve-hour blocks - ensued, the process only being able to continue at times thanks to Vernon's self-taught hunting skills: some of his prey could be exchanged for recording equipment or guitar repairs.

    By early 2007 the album, For Emma, Forever Ago was pretty much complete, in demo form at least, and Vernon, now back in a civilised habitat, with a record really worth listening to. It's realllyy good.

  • Bon Iver - Blindsided
  • Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Bjørn Svin - Modular Noia

    Sometimes noise is just what you need. I quite enjoyed exploring the sounds in this piece by danish electronic-engineer Bjørn Svin. I'm not sure it's good, but it's different. I need that sometimes.

    Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    And the prayers are finally heard... Tom Waits 'Glitter and Doom Tour'

    Holy Halloweenhead. He is coming! Tom Waits has announced a US tour and a European ditto is in the works. Check out details at Pitchfork and watch his hilarious "press conference" where also reveals the hidden meaning of "PEDHTSCKJMBA". Enlightening stuff, indeed.

    Monday, May 05, 2008

    Radiohead & MTV campaign Against Human Trafficking

    Our beloved Radiohead have joined forces with our not so beloved MTV in the struggle to put focus on slavery. Thom Yorke & co have made 'All I Need' - my favorite track of 'In Rainbows', well probably of the entire 2007 - available for a simple but chilling video made by Oscar-winning cinematographer John Seale and director Steve Rogers. As Yorke puts it: 'Quite powerful'!

    Saturday, May 03, 2008

    New sounds from New York

    For a long while I've been meaning to round up on some very exciting bands that have appeared for New York in the last half year or so. Great stuff ahead:

    First up is Yeasayer (pic). An absolutely mind-blowing quartet from Brooklyn. Their debut album 'All hour cymbals' has quickly become a firm favorite of mine. It's bubbling with what they themselves describe as "Middle-Eastern-psych-snap-gospel". In any case, a lot of very different references comes to mind when listening. A few exs: Talking Heads, Black Sabbath, Crosby, Stills & Nash - but most importantly, Yeasayer sounds very original and unique - a quality that is very rare nowadays.

    Yeasayer - '2080' (1st single)
    Yeasayer - 'Final Path' (non-album track yet brilliant)

    Now we turn to also Brooklyn based MGMT who already has a bit of a radio hit with their first single 'Time to Pretend' of the album 'Oracular Spectacular'. This is poppy disco-flavoured indie with just enough creativity and experimentation to make it interesting. They don't knock me off my feet quite like Yeasayer but is certanly an enjoyable experience.

    Finally, I present Vampire Weekend who - like Yeasayer - takes inspiration from the world music scene, at least in a way similar to Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon. I also detect a slice of the softer side of The Clash in there somehow. Mainly it's just top notch indie and their self-titled album is packed with catchy tunes and clever arrangements. I've seen them being criticized for being "too clever" - I guess I'm not clever enough to know how that could be a problem.

    Vampire Weekend - 'A-Punk':