Friday, August 18, 2006

Musical Quark: Familiarity

Well, I really can't say enough good things about French Kicks. This track in particular, which kicks off their album Two Thousand, is a great example of what I'd like to call familiarity. Familiarity?!? Did anybody else have the same initial reaction when that skrangy guitar starts up? Wow, that sounds like the De La Soul song "Eye Know"! The funny thing is, that's kinda what makes it cool; it's actually just two notes, that the De La boys stole from Steely Dan (who stole their moniker from William S. Burroughs: the circle of life continues) in the first place.

I suppose one thing all of these folks all have in common is an ability to express themselves through experimentation. Or perhaps a need. And the more experimental you become, the more you can rely on otherwise familiar elements to express yourself.

French Kicks - So Far We Are

Myspace Page

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Geek-cast part 3 has arrived! Okay, I have a great deal of respect for M. David Peterson, for his thoughts on open source and XML technologies, and on the software industry in general. I also read his site religiously (no pun intended) because I lived in Salt Lake City for three years (where I met my lovely wife), and it's always interesting to get a local take on some of the crazy things going on in that town from Mark Peterson and Heather Armstrong. I am linking these three podcasts mostly because I think there is a lot of value here, and I want to return to them again, and am too lazy to use, but they are definitely a beneficial listen for anyone involved in "the community"

Geek-cast - Part 1
Geek-cast - Part 2
Geek-cast - Part 3

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Story Box

This weekend we unpacked a big box from the move, containing a bunch of Jack's toys and other things. So, naturally, he spent the next two hours hard at play... with the box. This was on saturday, when he used it as a slide, turtle-shell ("Freakin-shell, Freakin-turtle" he screams. "Freakin" is Jack's pronunciation of "Franklin"), rocket ship, house...

The next day, Jack climbs inside the box with a crayon and one of his notebooks and starts to draw lemons and circles quietly by himself... which made for a relaxing 10 minutes, at least. Then he started to draw inside his "story-box"....

"Story-box! Story-box ! Hey, offa-bit!"
"Off of what?"
"No! Offa-bit, daddie, offa-bit."
"What's that, Jack"
"Of - a - bit!"
"Another bit... of crayon?"

He hides back in the box, disgusted with his father's stupidity.

"Oh, alphabet!"

Jack had discovered the writing on the side of the box that said "Jack's stuff, and added his own penmanship to it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Downing a tube-steak at midnight, or "Homage" isn't just a descendents album

Okay, so the tube-steak sounds pretty good... but it's actually the name of a song by the Jam, sort of. I've just finished reading "A long way down" a Nick Hornby novel Katie got out of the library. I really enjoy the way Hornby refers to bands like Drive By Truckers and the Replacements in passing (not to mention all the lists in High Fidelity), without really seeming to care too much about explaining the reference. I respect that. And he's become enourmously successful doing it. I have a theory that most writers and computer programmers alike are music geeks because they spend so much time sitting in front of a typewriter or laptop with nothing better to do.

So would the Black Angels sound as much like Joy Division as they do if they hadn't named their album "Passover"? Maybe not. And really, they sound more like Spacemen 3 than Joy Division anyway, but, what's in a name? If they'd named the album "Walking with Jesus", that would have been the first thing I thought.

Also, speaking of Spacemen 3, this could well be my new favourite, favourite band: Soundpool out of NYC. The vocals are reminiscent of Seefeel or My Bloody Valentine (obvious influences). I really like the way these songs build and build. I want to listen to On High over and over again.

Black Angels - The First Vietnamese War

Friday, August 04, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Musical Quark: Audacity

Okay, one of my knee-jerk reactions to a new piece of music is often based on what I am going to classify as "audacity". Point in case, maybe three or four times now, I have been listening to the new Yo La Tengo track, "Pass the Hatchet, I think I'm Goodkind", 11 solid minutes of guitar wonkiness/wonkiness. Thing is, I love Yo La Tengo, and I'm not sure where to file this away. I mean, the album is called I am Not Afraid of you, and I will Beat Your Ass, for starters (I really think the follow up to "I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One" should have been titled "I Can See the Ass Beating in Your Future", but there you go, I'm not in charge of these things).

Anyways, I almost exclusively listen to internet radio at work, and I tend to keep myself busy, and so I find myself thinking in the back of my mind "what is this? I need to find out what this is... it's been going on for an awefully long time", and invariably it is "Pass the Hatchet" playing. 'nuff said, sorry, I totally don't recognize this song as Yo La Tengo. But the song has balls! Maybe that's a better word than audacity anyways. Same goes for that Built to Spill epic of a few months back, "Goin' against you mind"... you're just setting out for a take no prisoners approach when you start out with drums n' guitars like that.

Also noted... after the infinite coolness of "Crazy", which I mostly hear in shopping centers and emanating from Jeep YJs these days (oh well), Gnarls Barkley's cover of "Gone Daddy Gone" - sounds so much like the original I find myself thinking it is the original if I'm not paying attention. That's gotta count for audacity, because it was a kickass song in the first place, and the cover is, well, it has a level of subtletyin there somewhere. umm, elsewhere, then.