Dave Heaton has been writing about music for independent print and web publications since 1994. He is an Associate Music Editor for PopMatters.com and the Editor/Founder of online magazine ErasingClouds.com. He currently lives in Philadelphia, though at heart and by birth, he is a Midwesterner.
The pace of the album, which veers constantly among pop songs, clips from what seem like 50s radio or TV broadcasts, and the band’s renditions of ad jingles, resembles a sugar high from eating too much cotton candy.
The song begins, to clapped hands, “Happy new year / my dear / it is time to face our fear”. That’s the line I kept singing, like a mantra. It’s a good alternate New Year’s theme, I think – welcome to a new, fearless year.
New doesn’t have to be new, if that makes sense; or, familiar-sounding music is still new if you haven’t heard it before.
It’s a rush of noise around good-old-fashioned pop melody, and of course wrapped up at once with wishes, dreams, and hopes.
It’s Anderson’s Astral Weeks, not in sound but feeling, in the internal journey of it and the transcendence it reaches for.
In a sense Lucky is an album of love songs. But refreshingly these are love songs that aren’t narrow in scope and don’t rely on clichés.
There’s a wild streak within – clear-headed musicianship, but also many surprises, all coordinated gracefully by a maestro who into his sixties is making music that’s as visionary as ever.
So far this year, not from any great personal endeavor but just from circumstances, most of my favorite albums have been keeping fairly low under the radar.
I’m feeling this growing desire for a map. It sounds ridiculous, really, but I’ve started the Sisyphus-like task of documenting every piece of music I own.
This year the films included many that I was interested in seeing, those daily-life considerations made me end up seeing just 8 films.
Hissing Fauna is the artistic representation of a breakdown. Importantly, though, the sound of the album is not the stereotypical doom-and-gloom.
Isn’t a key part of the absolute joy of music – one reason we all obsess so much – this pleasure in that moment of recognition, and in getting to know the song itself that well in the first place?
It’s impossible for me to say definitively what are the 10 most important albums of the year, or even my 10 favorites, without continuing to think “what about this other one?” Here, then, is another Best of 2006 top 10 albums list, one reflecting my thinking today as far as my favorite albums of the past year.
What we have are some truly special releases…this new one as much as the others, or possibly even more so.
Critics debate the usefulness, or uselessness, of canons all the time. I only care about personal canons, about what albums really mean something to individual people who care about music.
In our Internet era, anyone can instantly become a music critic, and for a lot of reasons I love that. At the same time, what’s the point if everyone’s writing variations of the same article?
I have a hard time writing concert reviews myself. The reason: it’s hard to write about a concert without it turning into a journal entry.
In receiving these CD versions of long-forgotten-but-once-precious-to-me albums, I’m enjoying re-experiencing them, facing them head-on once again.
Listening to that much GBV in a row was never tedious; instead, I found it consistently exciting. I was reminded of how many truly great songs ROBERT POLLARD has written…
The flip side of the too-much-music dilemma is this: the more music I open myself up to, the greater the likelihood that I will be surprised.
While I’ve always rejected the notion that there’s too much music released day-to-day, sometimes I wonder whether there’s too much music in my world.
It’s one of the least straightforward albums Keene has made, and is easily the most straightforward, bordering-on-conventional, album that Pollard has ever made. It’s this balancing act that has led to a certain type of magic—not groundbreaking, but truly satisfying.
You don’t put a 100-voice choir on your album, its members singing to the heights of their voices, if all you’re trying to do is express anger.
Sometimes it seems like a fruitless exercise, because that night has happened. It’s over, done. It’ll never happen in the same way again.
This show was the final one of the duo’s existence, making it a bittersweet evening: a time to celebrate their music and say goodbye.
With that many films shown across 13 days, who could see enough to summarize the festival? All I can give is a summary of what my Philadelphia film festival was like.
Each piece can only use one note, in octave, but other than that the musicians have free reign. The results so far have been fascinating.
Showtunes is the right name because it simply states the fact of it: this is Merritt writing songs for actual works of theatre instead of imaginary ones.
I start to imagine that every city, town, or village has so many of these unknown bands in their past, present, and future: bands without the ambition or resources it takes to “make it big” (or even semi-big), yet whose music meant so much to their fans.
The general spirit of Bro Zone is that of progress, of combining styles and genres in exciting ways. And of creating what you feel, making the music you want to.
Producers are doing much of the most innovative work in hip-hop, and JAY DEE was one of the best, always pushing the boundaries of the music.
Lewis directs her doubt upward at a hypothetical, likely non-existent god, outward towards friends, lovers, the government, and religious leaders, and inward towards herself.
There’s still something truly special about records. On the other hand, in our digital era, there’s nothing special about a CD.
On this quiet, rainy Tuesday night, the odd yet still laidback mood of the place ended up seeming just right, particularly given the gentle (and odd) nature of the music.
Isn’t it more useful to read a list of 10 albums that you’ve never heard of than to read one more list of the same 10 albums that you already know are supposed to be ‘important’?
Repetition isn’t always a sign of being stuck in a rut. Sometimes it’s the mark of someone who has built his or her own distinctive musical world and is working within it.
THE CAPSTAN SHAFTS are no mere GUIDED BY VOICES rip-off. Ultimately what makes their music so compelling isn’t the style of it, but the songs.