Tag Archives: AMR

FMD: Texas is a landlocked state

I took advantage of my cold to listen to some new music. Aided by a Saturday trip to the library.
Some quick takes on passing listens:

Mitski Bury Me at Makeout Creek.
Mitski Retired from Sad, New Career in Business.
Mitski Lush (less about this one).
There's love for her around here, but I didn't have the same immediate reaction as everyone else. Her music reminds me a lot of Angel Olsen (I'm sure Will Oldham has already asked her to sing on an upcoming album), but more dangerous. I'm not sure her best songs hit the highs of Olsen's, but the albums are better overall. There's no drag at all... hit hit hit (as in "punch" or "jab"). I hear a bit of Regina Spektor in Mitski's vocal acrobatics, but Spektor could have turned each of these songs into 6-minute meanderings. I went to bed last night listening to "Shame"... uh, wow.

PS. Can someone translate "胸がはち切れそうで "? Or even give a phonetic transcription?
Continue reading FMD: Texas is a landlocked state

Friday Music Day: Best of 2014

After a few years of feeling blah about most new music, I'm excited about some things again. Maybe it's that Random Access Memories is enough in my rear-view mirror that I don't hate music any more. Though that album couldn't have been the cause, it might have slowed my recovery.

Copied from last year (with a slight edit)

My rules, you don't have to use them:
Songs from the album list are pretty much excluded from the song list.
Released in the calendar year.
This is some mix of "favorite" and a more objective "best", but "best" is just about how well things meet my (capricious) tastes.
I go until I don't.

A few years ago, I also explained my editorial idiosyncracies. (A/k/a the "Why no Radiohead Run the Jewels?" explantion.) Also, I don't want to spend so danged much time writing this as I have in the past.
With no further caveatting...

Albums of the Year.
1. Lydia Loveless Somewhere Else
I expected something like this (though I feared I might not). You probably expected this. You may even agree with this. Lydia (and her band) continue to impress me with their songs and performances. This album was a change in style from a rockin' outlaw alt-country to something with a lot more pop songwriting built into it, while still sounding like Lydia. Love the songs I'd been craving for years, love the new songs. Whenever I decide a favorite, I change it to one of seven others. Right now, I think it's "Verlaine Shot Rimbaud", definitely the best love song told through the prism of French poet-lovers and their violent discharges of firearms at each other that I've ever heard. Continue reading Friday Music Day: Best of 2014

FMD: Guest DJ week

I didn't have a plan. I'd been listening to some decent Einstürzende Neubauten, but I looked up their videos, and Blixa Bargeld is someone whose voice you want to hear, not see. He comes across as too theatrical, campy. I didn't want to share that.

I've been putting bird songs in my Random tens, so I figured I'd go with mostly them. Hope you enjoy them.

Time to share your ten.

Veery “Call and Song”


I first saw these migrating through this spring. Calling, but not singing. They're alleged to breed here, but I've only encountered them as migrants (I saw a handful more this fall).
The video is mislabeled a bit. Though it's a thrush, the bird is just the "Veery", named after its call note of "Veer". Bonus thrush action after the break... Continue reading Veery “Call and Song”

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Friday Music Day: Best of 2013

Three big themes for me this year:
1. I spent a lot of time listening to stuff that was new to me but which didn't come out this year, or which I hadn't listened to in more than a decade. Aaron Dilloway, Emot, my own 90s records, some other things.
1b. Is this what middle age feels like?
1c. I also spent a lot of time listening to digital libraries of bird songs and calls, trying to get better at recognizing them. That really shouldn't be relevant here, but it took a lot of my listening time.
2. I've given up on my old reliable methods of staying current on anything, and nothing's replaced them. I haven't even read my smattering of reliable top-#0s lists. There are probably awesome things I missed like house singles.
3. I almost want to talk more about the albums that don't show up on these list. Yeezus, the Kniφfe, Beyoncé, Modern Vampires (only because I believe some here think it stellar), etc.

My rules, you don't have to use them:
Songs from the album list are pretty much excluded from the song list.
Released in calendar year 2013.
This is some mix of "favorite" and a more objective "best", but "best" is just about how well things meet my (capricious) tastes.
I go until I don't. Continue reading Friday Music Day: Best of 2013

Friday Music Day: Oct 4, 2013

Peter Tosh's Legalize It. I owe my owning of it to some anti-prohibitionist views held much more strongly in my youth (and The Nice Price discount), but leave aside the first track and you've got eight tracks that are some fantastic reggae, and I've been listening to this a lot more over the past few years than I have anything from Tosh's more famous former bandmate. I think Tosh has more character depth in his voice (tad more "this guy's lived something and really believes these crazy ideas" than "this guy is a good singer"). While his singing is clear enough, but with enough Jamaican patois and nonstandard grammar to make unpacking his lyrics a challenging but not impossible puzzle. (Earlier this week I mentioned to E-6 how I enjoyed parsing Boomhauer's lines on "King of the Hill", this is similar.)

The tracks behind his vox are probably the highlight for me, kindof sounds like the pinnacle of the early 70's reggae sound (is that "Roots Reggae"?). After this point, Bob's records showed some London polish and subtle disco influences leak in. Tosh, too. And there was a rise in groups with a later sound like Black Uhuru, or the American-influenced songs on Darker Than Blue.
(I'm not a reggae historian, this is just the feel I get out of listening to these things now and piecing together a timeline.)

But the tracks on Legalize It really have none of that overt influence, and I'd be happy with just the instrumentals alone. There's a "Legacy Edition" reissue that has a whole disk with "Tosh's Original Jamaican Mix" or something that hits me as even better (thicker drums? grittier bass?). I've basically blind-tested myself, when I have my iPod on shuffle and a track from the album makes me say "Dang!", I look at which version it is, and it's invariably one of the older unreleased mixes.

Anyways, if you're looking for branching out on some reggae past Bob Marley, you've now got my recommendation.

Now leave your random ten.

Friday Music Day: July 26, 2013

In my "Best of 2012" column, I mentioned one album and one track that I though maybe should be there, but of which I had just learned. Well, upon 7 months reflection, and finally getting it on CD, Aaron Dilloway's Modern Jester is my 2012 album of the year. I've been listening a lot on headphones and computer speakers at the office, but listening to it loud was something else. I think he's done something with the sound waves and cancellation like Ryoji Ikeda where turning your head makes it sound different, that just doesn't register on headphones. This album is the kind of thing that's gonna ruin my life listening to tons of absolute crap that sounds similar but isn't actually very good (it already has and now I've got to re-try them all loudly). The genre tags at the bandcamp site are pretty descriptive: "crude drone electronic experimental junk modern classical musique concrete noise sound art synthesizer tape music Ohio." Continue reading Friday Music Day: July 26, 2013

Friday Music Day: June 28, 2013

I made some music comments this week. To summarize:
Daft Punk album: Joy-Destroying
Scout Niblett's cover of "No Scrubs": Opinion contaminated by Daft Punk
Yeezus: Palate-Cleansing
Scout Niblett's cover of "Uptown Top Ranking": Great.
Miley Cyrus single: awful, but I can get past it.

More thoughts:
Scout Niblett's got some greatness in her, and some stretches on her albums that absolutely get lost and have nowhere to go. (Oddly reminds me of Regina Spektor, who she sounds nothing like.) So far, I've mostly needed a hook to get into her songs, like if it's a cover (two listed above, plus a take on Palace [Will Oldham]'s "Trudy Dies"), or a Will Oldham duet ("Kiss")

Yeezus: I don't really think this entirely works, especially lyrically. (Not only is there little coherence within the album, but single tracks are all over the place, except for anger. Which makes it feel more genuine.) I'm glad there's someone with big pop success who's willing to take big artistic risks like these. I betcha Alec Empire (Atari Teenage Riot) and Kevin Martin ("The Bug", "Techno Animal") are kicking themselves for not getting involved with this album. The beat for "Black Skinhead" is pretty fantastic; it's got the swing from "Gold Digger", the drums from "Love Lockdown". And if Miss Cyrus is singing (autotuning) "We like to party / dancin' with Miley" in her single, then Mr. West could be singing (autotuning) "When we tried our first Miley / and came out of our body". I could listen to this album a lot.

You can download Aaron Dilloway's Siena for free. Or just listen. I believe this is what the kids are calling "Noise". It'll probably be on a best-of-the-year list for me in about six months.

Some random tracks I listened to that appeal a lot to me:
Mikal Cronin "Shout it out"
Disclosure "When a Fire Starts to Burn" (Hadn't looked at the video before, ignore it.)

And two old songs that are great, just because:
Mylo "Need You Tonite" (feat. a Judie Tzuke sample)
Camp Lo "Luchini AKA This Is It"

Friday Music Day: March 15, 2013

So far, I've played for y'all two of the pieces of music I've made. Today, I'm going to share a piece that I'm pretty sure is my favorite thing I've ever done. Called "Mbeer", I assembled it solely from one short .wav file of Homer Simpson saying "Mmmm...beer", and teasing it all until it fell apart, stretching it, folding it back on itself, until it was a ten-minute piece of angry, jagged sonic taffy. My only functions were cut, copy, paste, delete before, delete after, reverse, halve speed, double speed, volume +25%, volume -25%, and echo. I had one level of undo.

If you don't have ten minutes to listen to more-or-less unpleasant noises, I also assembled a three-minute radio edit, with which to focus your discomfort. I wish I could remember how I did that.

I know so little about noise as a music genre, and I know way more now than I did when I made this.
One thing I've really enjoyed about listening to Aaron Dilloway's Modern Jester is that it's reminded me of this one thing I made that I'm really, truly satisfied with, even after 15 years.

I know this isn't "music" or what most of you would listen to, but please be kind, I've never really shared this with anyone other than EAR (who can't really do much more than "That's nice, hon"). If you've listened to either, a good Minnesota-nice "That sure is different!" is fine by me.

Friday Music Day: February 1, 2013

List day!
1. Last week I mentioned the beat I made (back in 1999 or 2000) combining James Brown and Iannis Xenakis. Well, here it is, for your listening and downloading pleasure. The James Brown and funky drumming is obviously from "Funky Drummer", and the strings and horns are from ST-X Ensemble's 1996 recording of "Kraanerg" (which was released on Asphodel).

1b. I believe this was all done in Pro Tools. One of my driving inspirations was trying to break the software.

1c. The version that I rapped Slick Rick's "Children's Story" over is the last 40 seconds or so on loop. I've found on cassette with my distorted vocal take on it. Not sure if or how I'll ever share it. I need to remember to never sing when there are people around me that could hear it.

1d. I do have a few more things that I did back then that I might like to share. Some is on another CD I have yet to find.

2. Off to see Soundgarden at the Orpheum Tomorrow night.

3. Local Group the Bad Bad Hats have a new EP out. I find it quite enjoyable, and the price can't be beat.

4. Earlier this week, Zack had me craving New Kingdom at a point where there was none on my iPod. Fixed that, but that first day was tough.

Caitlin Rose – Answer In One of These Bottles

after a slightly covert theme week, we move on. i'll give thanks again to AMR for turning me on to ms. rose. after falling in love with her feature album, i picked up her debut EP this weekend, and she's still awesome.

that's a pretty gibson right there too.

3 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 103 votes, average: 7.33 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 7.33 out of 10)
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AMR Graphs: The 2012 AL Triple Crown (Part 4 of 4)

I experimented with batter stats last year, but that was looking at the horrible and injury-and-demotion skewing Twins. This year, I decided to look at the development of the American League triple-crown stats' leaders, as, at the end of the year, one Tiger was atop all three lists.

For parts 1-3, here are Monday's look at the AL, and Tuesday's look at the NL, and yesterday's look at the Wild Card and Draft Position races.

American League Batting Average:
Showing the top nine finishers, all that finished over .310. The first point on the graph represents the first day's play. I didn't start players at zero.

Well, that doesn't look all that usable. Let's zoom in starting after the All-Star break: Continue reading AMR Graphs: The 2012 AL Triple Crown (Part 4 of 4)