Kill Your Co-Workers

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Monday, July 31, 2006

J'aime bien cette fille

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I'm a bit late on this one (in more ways than one, kids) but you know what? It doesn't matter to me. I've been trying harder to become inspired by new music for KYCW as opposed to reviewing older artists and albums but sometimes they don't come so easy. A friend sent a single video my way- Camille's "Ta Douleur," saying that I might like it and if I checked out more of her stuff it might be worthy of a post. And I'll be darned if she wasn't right.

An Amazon review tries to group her in with fellow artists by saying "Feel free to add French chanteuse Camille to that extremely select group of adventurous female singer/songwriters that also includes Bjork, Fiona Apple, Kate Bush and Julieta Venegas." Some of the comparisons in that group might be more warranted than others but Camille definitely seems to share the ability to craft songs that are both experimental in nature to some degree while at the same time being both catchy and accessible. I don't understand any of the words whatsoever in "Ta Douleur" but you know what? I still repeatedly find myself humming the tune and trying to sing along in my own nonsensical mumbo-jumbo speak.

Much along the same lines of Bjork's Medulla, nearly all the sounds on Camille's Le Fil are made with her voice. This ranges from simple humming and singing to more beatbox or scat-singing style percussive sounds, including a steady vocal droning tone (the thread?) that is throughout the entire album. Think Bobby McFerrin but with much more hypnotic and beautiful effect- some of the songs can become nearly operatic and intricate, with different voice parts threading in and out of other vocals. Maybe even a comparison with Petra Hayden would be a bit more appropriate in this case.

I'd enjoyed some of the music of Nouvelle Vague but it wasn't until after the fact that I discovered that Camille had sung vocals there as well. Some of the songs are a bit alike in style but overall, I enjoy Camille's music much more on her own. Already popular in her home country of France, Le Fil is Camille's second album and has only recently gotten its US release in June of this year.

Buy Le Fil on Amazon

Camille Fan Club

Camille- Ta Douleur

Camille- Assisse

Camille- Vous

Thursday, July 27, 2006

This town is coming like a ghost town...



Sorry about the lack of posts, folks. Between a week's vacation and then catching up after that vacation I haven't had a lot of time left over for anything particularly relevant. But don't worry, just when you least expect it...

Give me a day or two.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Not a pregnant girl...



Oh wait- yes she is. Woulda thunk it- according to Scenestars, and in turn AP, Ani's pregnant.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hey- am I making any sense at all?



Boom boom boom, pow pow pow, click click click... It all adds up to !!!. One of the words that seems to go hand in hand with "difficult" music is pretentious. And pretentious is a word that I've seen a number of times from both fans and detractors of NYC band !!!. Taking on a bnnd name like !!! could make a band seem pretentious right from the start, without even listening to their music. Clued in folks know that it's to be pronounced as any three repetitive sounds- most commonly chk-chk-chk.

Do Nic Offer's sneering, half spoken-half sung vocals come across as pretentious, combined with the inanity of the lyrics? I don't think so- but if you're looking for intelligent, insightful music to listen to while studying for an exam or while enjoying a romantic glass of wine by candle lihgt, definitely look elsewhere. This is sly, funky, contemptuous dance-rock to listen to at loud volumes, with groove galore.

!!! has been classified within a number of genres, and their sound and style has developed somewhat to perhaps place them in more than one area. Agitfunk, no-wave, whatever. Offer was quoted as saying “It’s a matter of the eternal quest for the groove. For the funkiest, fattest thing you’ve ever heard.” I'd imagine they're keeping up that goal. Latest news is they were hoping to finish up their third album, the follow-up to Louden Up Now, in June. They're touring Europe now with US dates to follow in the fall. Don't miss it.

Watch and listen to live !!! on BBC

!!! Official Website

!!!- Pardon My Freedom (live)

!!!- Hello, Is This Thing On? (live)

!!!- Shit Scheisse Merde Pt.2 (live)

!!!- Dear Can (live)

!!!- Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (live)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Scattered stones...



Read a pretty hilarious "Pop-Song Correspondence"- Notes on "Sweet Child O' Mine," as Delivered to Axl Rose by His Editor.


Weezer is now "on hiatus" according to Rivers Cuomo. Thank the lord for small favors- if only they had done it immediately after releasing Pinkerton.


Check out the best second albums of all time, at least according to Rolling Stone. Just off the top of my head, my first vote would have to be for Radiohead's the Bends.


There's a pretty wide array of opinions and reviews of the Eraser as shown by Metacritic. According to Prefix:

For an album dominated by computerized beats -- didn't Yorke predict this in some way? -- The Eraser is not a lifeless product. And neither, like the aforementioned example, is it purposely dark. What makes it breathe, what allows it to flourish above its glitchy techno, its processed wizardry -- courtesy of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and most likely one or more laptop computers -- what untangles it from a mess of circuitry and power strips and anti-virus pop-up warnings, is Yorke's incredible, distinctive voice.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

R.I.P. Syd Barrett 1946-2006

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Remember when you were young- you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger,
you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter,
you piper, you prisoner,and shine!
Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Pile on many more layers and I'll be joining you there.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
And we'll bask in the shadow of yesterday's triumph,
and sail on the steel breeze.
Come on you boy child, you winner and loser,
come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine!

Syd Barrett- Terrapin (the Peel Session)

Syd Barrett- Gigolo Aunt (the Peel Session)

Syd Barrett- Baby Lemonade (the Peel Session)

Syd Barrett- Effervescing Elephant (the Peel Session)

Syd Barrett- Two of a Kind (the Peel Session)

Get out miles away from anywhere...

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More Thom Yorke solo goodness here with a live performance of the title track from the Eraser- unbelievably good performance from Thom, and bringing the more complicated studio track to life simply with an acoustic guitar...

Eraser website

On sale at Amazon

By the way- when attempting to visit the website for Thom's solo record, make sure you type "THE Eraser" and not just "Eraser" or you'll instead be taken to the website for these guys. And believe you me, you certainly don't want that.
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Monday, July 10, 2006

Experiencing musical difficulties...


Difficulty #2

The simple fact that the lyrics of a song are in a foreign language can make some music extremely challenging for the majority of listeners. If you can't even pronounce the name of the band (I go with INE-stur-zen-duh NEW-bow-ton) how can you be expected to enjoy their music? Einstürzende Neubauten are considered forefathers of industrial music, with a name that translates into English as "Collapsing New Buildings." I'm not exactly sure how, but somehow the meaning seems entirely appropriate. You wanna talk avant garde? How about a band that records in an abandoned warehouse, clanging bars against metal plates for percussion combined with droning guitars?

Some of Einstürzende Neubauten's work isn't really that far removed from the sound of or style of Nine Inch Nails. Think of Trent Reznor banging out an alternate version of the Downward Spiral with a rusty bar and a bit of a penchant for tribarhythmsms. The main difference being that the computerized synthesized tones of Nine Inch Nails beats and music tend to have a more cold, exacting feel than the more earthy aspects of Einstürzende Neubauten.

Does it make it less challenging or more enjoyable to translate the lyrics and actually understand the intended meaning of a song or to intuitively half-mumble English words that sound similar and come up with your own story from the emotion and feel of the vocals? I've been surprised a number of times by discovering the actual lyrics of an Einstürzende Neubauten song and learning what a tune that I'd listened to dozens of times was actually about. But of course that's not to say that their lyrics are solely in German- they've also recorded in English, Spanish, and French.

No matter how many times the tea-kettle whistle vocal screech of Blixa Bargeld unexpectedly appears out of nowhere in a song, it still tends to startle me as much as it did the very first time. Touches like this and the atmospheric layering, no matter how complicated or simple, are what make much of the music of Einstürzende Neubauten more of an experience than simple music listening. A good starting point for the curious but unexperienced would be one of their three Strategies Against Architecture compilations or their classic album Haus der Luege.

Einstürzende Neubauten- Selbstportrait mit Kater

Einstürzende Neubauten- Haus der Luge

Einstürzende Neubauten- Salamandrina

Official website

Buy it at Amazon

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Are you trying to be difficult?



#1 in a series of musical difficulties...

What do you consider difficult music? Is it music that's hard to listen to? Music that needs repeated listens before it "clicks?" Maybe it's the opposite of pop music, which is nearly always catchy and easily accepted by the masses.

Either way, I always find it satisfying to finally "get" and enjoy music that didn't at first seem inviting at all. It's like becoming good friends with the antisocial cool rebel kid in high school, I suppose. All the trials and difficulties in finally enjoying a band or artist makes it all the more sweet when it finally hits you.

A good handful of my favorite albums were at first disappointing to me, and seen in a completely different light from the way I've grown to now hear them. Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible and Spiritualized Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space are the first two that immediately come to mind. I would consider the former to be more of an example of "difficult" than the latter, which is less difficult and more of a "grower."

I'll start off with The Holy Bible. Considered by the majority to be their masterwork, Manic Street Preachers released the album in 1994 complete with dark imagery both in lyrics and artwork. The songs are intense and brutal in subject matter- dealing with topics including abortion, anorexia, the death penalty, and concentration camps. Not exactly love songs on a sunny day, and all coming from the mind of Richey Edwards- who disappeared shortly before the tour was to begin to promote the album.

Manic Street Preachers- Yes

Manic Street Preachers- Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitsworldwouldfallapart

Manic Street Preachers- Faster

Manic Street Preachers- Faster (live acoustic)

Buy it on Amazon

Official Manic Street Preachers website

Monday, July 03, 2006

Just a few tidbits here on a Monday...


Surprise news from NME today that Babyshambles are releasing a surprise single called "Beg, Borrow, or Steal." Not for sale though- somewhat reminiscent of the Manics' God Save the Manics EP giveaway, the new Babyshambles will be available only to ticketholders at Get Loaded In The Park, which the band is to headline. Fingers crossed that their appearance actually goes down without a hitch. You can hear the new tune here. Not surprisingly, it's pretty damn good.




Jarvis Cocker has now popped up on MySpace (just like everyone else 'cept your grandma) with a new tune to boot called "Running the World." Jarvis takes just short of five minutes to vent about all the douchebags of the world, and yes- it's quite good as well.


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