Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5 great tracks that came out this year

This year I listened to some music. Some of it was very good. Here is some of that some:

Hercules and Love Affair- "Hercules Theme"
It's appropriate that this song shares a name with the band; it demonstrates everything a great disco revival band should stand for. All the essentials are here: the strings strike, the horns shout, the bass walks. Each element drops out, re-enters, and grabs the spotlight at just the right moments, making the song not only danceable but interesting. An ideal anthem.

Portishead- "The Rip"
Portishead strayed from trip-hop on Third, but I'm down with whatever this is classified as. Beth Gibbbons' voice is as subtle and haunting as ever, first drifting across an arpeggiating acoustic guitar, then being pushed forward by a pulsing synth. Beth wonders "Will I follow?", with the last syllable sustained for nearly 50 seconds. And just like Beth's lingering echo, the song stays with you. Not in the way that "Who Let the Dogs Out" or "All Star" sticks in your head, though; "The Rip" isn't catchy. Rather, it resonates because it takes a few minutes to completely get over its powerfully grim mood.

Wolf Parade- "Kissing the Beehive"
"Kissing the Beehive" is unabashedly big; an 11-minute balls-out rock epic with killer guitar riffs and vehemently pounded piano chords, yelping vocals and heavily layered instrumental breaks, epic build ups and explosive resolves. It all so overly dramatic but also so undeniably kick-ass.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds- "Lie Down Here (& Be My Girl)"
Nick Cave is getting older, but he needs love just as much as ever. His urgent plea is echoed by a wailing guitar that screeches throughtout the song in increasing distress. If you happen to be Nick's girl, I suggest you follow his advice. Or don't; maybe he'll write another amazing song to try and convince you.

SONG OF THE YEAR: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson- "Buriedfed"
A pretty gorgeous way to say "fuck off" to an intrusive world. Beginning as a simple voice-and-guitar folk song, "Buriedfed" builds slowly throughout its 4 minutes and 50 seconds into a crowded mess that begs for a resolve. It delivers, settling back into that solitude that Robinson seeks so desperately.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tipsters (Tips for Hipsters) #1: Winter Apparel

Hello literate scenesters et al. I have some wintertime advice for you.

Remember, now that winter has almost officially arrived and the weather continues to turn colder, many people who aren't hipsters will start wearing scarves. No longer is it safe to assume that you may strike a conversation about Times New Viking with someone simply because he is wearing a scarf. He may actually be wearing the accessory in order to warm his neck. This can be very confusing! Be sure to check for other telltale hipster signs before beginning your superbly-rehearsed criticism of Spencer Krug's latest endeavor.

If you do find yourself mistakenly approaching someone who doesn't religiously check Pitchfork, you can easily recover by belittling the person in anyway possible. The most important thing is to not allow anyone to notice that you made a mistake, as this would suggest that you are fallible.