domingo, outubro 29, 2006

551. The Flaming Lips - the soft bulletin

Often cited by many as the Lips' best album, the Soft Bulletin is almost too perfect - every sound, harmony, beat, effect is perfectly placed and orchestrated, like a Beatles album that was made in the future, wait!, in partnership with Pink Floyd and the Beach Boys! But perfection doesn't keep this album from being genuine. Dave Fridmann's production, which is as creative as it is obsessive, elevates the Lips sound from being something quirky and cool to almost magical and fantastical. What can I say, describing what a Flaming Lips album sounds like is tough.

9.4 out of 10

550. The Flaming Lips - zaireeka mixed down

My good friend Chad Meadows, who actually introduced me to Zaireeka decided to import all four discs onto his computer and mix all the tracks together, playing them as they were originally recorded before they cut and diced. Of course the music sounds good, but the real treat was in the concept. Still, it's cool to hear it all intact.

8.6 out of 10
Okay I'll Admit That I Really Don't Understand (mixed down)

549. The Flaming Lips - zaireeka

This album deserves a 10 based on its concept alone. Four CD's to be played simultaneously, each adding, through different cd players, speakers and directions within a room, sounds that together will form an entire song. The beauty of these discs too is that no two listening sessions will be the same. Getting four people to hit 'play' at the same time is impossible. You can also play just one, two or three cds at a time, in any combination. In short it's brilliant and the music is almost secondary, luckily though it's the Lips and the music lives up too the concept.

9.3 out of 10
Below is track 1 from disc 1. The same track on discs 2, 3 and 4 help complete the track.
Okay I'll Admit That I Really Don't Understand

sábado, outubro 28, 2006

548. The Flaming Lips - clouds taste metallic

Recorded over 10 years ago, "Clouds" sounds and tastes great. Like any good Lips album it's fantastical, epic and loud. Meadows and I have said for years, there are certain bands that can cover any artist/song and improve on the original - only a select few bands, if any can cover the Lips and make it work.

8.1 out of 10

quinta-feira, outubro 26, 2006

547. Animal Collective - sung tongs

This album was such a breath of fresh air when i came out that I feel compelled to give it a high score, yet they also break one of my standard rules. They suck live. I saw them but opted to leave early and go to bed - bed seemed that much more appealing than the band. That's always a bad thing, no matter who you are with. BUT Animal Collective use some brilliant, simple techniques to make this a great album. Harmonizing, layering, strumming. It's fragmented, it's a stream of conciousness, it's sparse, it's disjointed and a perfect fit. If they were my students, and I was an art teacher, I'd give them a resounding A.

8.9 out of 10
Leaf House

segunda-feira, outubro 23, 2006

546. Chad VanGaalen - skelliconnection

Another made up word and album, all in just one year! The ever amazing Ellen got me this cd a couple of weeks ago and I hate to say it, but at a first pass, I'm a bit disappointed. I'm sure Chad constructed the album in the same manner as before, but for some reason it sounds less intimate - it's still careful, but at times, it comes across as calculated I suppose. I know it sounds harsh, and I don't mean to be, but it contains some great moments that it's frustrating not to hear that consistency throughout. But, maybe, I just need to give it some more time, which I will.

7.8 out of 10

545. Chad Vangaalen - infiniheart

Like any great recording you're pretty much sucked in immediately by this album. Chad's crackley voice is familiar and layered making it both easy and interesting to follow - it also hovers perfectly, and delicatley, along/above his hand picked arrangements. Released by Sub-Pop last year, Chad had actually recorded this himself a while back and released it independently a couple of years back. Great, great stuff. If anything, the album runs a tad too long, but I won't hold that against him.

8.9 out of 10
Kill Me In My Sleep

544. Luscious Jackson - electric honey

If I had to guess why LJ broke up it was because of this album. I wanted to like it so much and sort of did until it got past the second track, "Lady Fingers". From there on out this thing got worse and worse... the songs sounded like they were mass produced, the production sounds glossy and flat, the lyrics are sophmoric... I could go on and on but won't. Such a shame.

2.9 out of 10

domingo, outubro 22, 2006

543. Luscious Jackson - fever in fever out

I saw the band tour for this record opening for Live of all bands and the show was great. This album really 'broke' the band out to the public making it the smoothest, coolest pop album that year, but also the most overplayed. Still, that's not their fault and the album is a perfect soundtrack to a lazy evening by yourself, reading a magazine you'll never read again... or something like that.

7.8 out of 10

542. Luscious Jackson - natural ingredients

Here's where it all started for me with LJ thanks to Meadows and Andre. This album is filled with great tracks from 'Citysong' to 'Here'. What I like about this and the last album is that you can hear the hip hop influences much more than on the later releases - even the lyrics seem to be a bit wittier and understated... all in all a solid album.

7.9 out of 10

sábado, outubro 21, 2006

541. Luscious Jackson - in search of manny

Mr. Meadows introduced me to LJ through "Natural Ingredients", then I worked my way back to this. I remember being equally impressed with 'In serach of..." and still am. Laid back and groovy. This ep makes me want to have lived in nyc during the early 90's...

7.4 out of 10
Daughters of the Kaos

540. Fog - ether teeth

I remember getting this a few years back. I was bummed about the normal things in life and really wanted a great pop album to pull me out of it. I found this used at Other Muisc, picked it up and popped it in - alas, this wasn't the album I was hoping for. But that isn't to say that it wasn't good. The album is very quiet, introspective and sample heavy - featuring on almost every track some sort of bird sound (chirpping I suppose). Anyway, it's an album that warrants both the headphone and out load treatment - and patience as well.

7.0 out of 10
What a Day Day

539. Enon - on hold 2001

Audible dribble. I picked this up at the show too. It's a homemade cdr by the band, packaged in a cool old floppy sleeve. The songs are mainly instrumental experiments that go nowhere. Boring.

2.6 out of 10

538. Enon - believo!

I first heard Enon when they opened for the Dismemberment Plan at Respectables back in 2000. Their stage show was very entertaining - the lead guy was a great performer, very funny and spastic. This album, that I picked up at the show, was from their pre tokyo pop era that they currently reside in. The disc is very much all over the place, as if every song was an experiment, making the album an interesting incoherent experience. The closest thing to a traditional song is posted below.

6.9 out of 10
Come Into

537. Pizzicato Five - sister freedom tapes

A nine track ep featuring solid outtakes... at times the songs are punkish, loungey, light fm'y or pure tokyo poppy - sometimes all together. Not bad, but you do have to be in the mood.

6.5 out of 10

sexta-feira, outubro 20, 2006

536. Pizzicato Five - combinasion spaciale

This is the most accessible PF cd I've heard - it's definitely the poppiest. These remixes are overall happy, featuring a ton of samples, guest vocals and 60's lounge nostalgia. At its worst it sounds like an outtake to the Austin Powers soundtrack - at its best it sounds like fun.

6.9 out of 10

535. Cibo Matto - super relax

They don't make ep's like this anymore. Contains the single for 'Sugar Water', two remixes for the track and an acoustic version, plus a cover of "aguas de marco" (a heartfelt attempt) and "sing this all together", a live track plus 3 songs... if you're a fan check it out.

6.7 out of 10
Sugar Water (Acoustic)

quinta-feira, outubro 19, 2006

534. Cibo Matto - Viva! La Woman

I'm sure all of you are very familiar with Cibo Matto. For some reason I always thought they were on Grand Royale, but anyway. Pegging CM as just another Japanese pop band is unfair, they are as eclectic as a band can get, trip hoppy one minute and addicitvely funky the next. For 1996 this stuff was fresh - I think the term 'fresh' might have even been cool then too. The real treat though off the album was the 'Sugar Water' video directed by Michel Gondry. Truly brilliant. Brilliant!

7.9 out of 10

terça-feira, outubro 17, 2006

533. The Folk implosion - Dare to be Surprised

We all know and love the Folk Implosion from the Kids soundtrack. Some of us actually also know kids. "Dare to be Surprised" is a mixed bag, with songs that evoke the duo's catchier moments a la "Natural One" and others that sound both repetitive and stale. Still the band, can at times make you sigh with romantic hope like every great pop song should - unfortuantely they don't do it enough.

6.7 out of 10
Burning Paper

Now Serving: Mixed Media

As the name suggests the following cds are by bands that employ all sorts of effects, sounds, visions, loose women, finger food and many more friendly things to create their unique sound. At times the result may be subtle, obvious or just plain - bad but at least it's interesting.

segunda-feira, outubro 16, 2006

Welcome to the slightly new and not improved "WIFHM" blog. Why the new look? Well as you can tell by the photo above we have reached the halfway mark of my collection (see callout #1). In the last two years I have managed to get rid of, or temporarily displace, a solid number of discs (see callout #2). I can't promise that I am going to pick up the pace, but I am going to try, mainly because I can't afford to take another two years to get through the rest (see inset #3).

At a snails pace,

domingo, outubro 15, 2006

532. Medeski, Martin and Wood - shackman

originally uploaded by jrd550.
See the last review - more the same but sort of worse.

1.8 out of 10

531. Medeski, Martin and Wood - friday afternoon in the universe

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Yes I do own a couple of MMW cd's and I'm not trying to pass the buck here but I have JP to thank for that. JP was/is Doug's buddy who was sort of a hippieish guy who liked Phish but also could play 'The sweater song' on guitar. In short, MMW play jammy jazzy freestyle stuff - songs that I might have heard once or twice in 95 and haven't since.

2 out of 10

530. Friends of Dean Martinez - the shadow of your smile

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I have to give Sub Pop credit for trying to break free from, and expand upon its grunge roots... FOD is fine example of that. The band plays soundtracky vegas/western style instrumentals. Some numbers are sincerely interesting but the majority play out like pointless dialogue.

3.5 out of 10

terça-feira, outubro 10, 2006

529. Man or Astro-Man? - experiment zero

originally uploaded by jrd550.
So, basically MOAM are kitchy sort of tiki surf music... that may not seem like it's fair to say but it's really true... It's a shame because when there are vocals to their music they really sound different and dare I say slightly unique... the album is loaded with potential but ends up being a soundtrack to a Tarantino esque student rip off film.

5.5 out of 10

9 Volt

domingo, outubro 08, 2006

528. Morphine - bootleg detroit

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Official bootlegs are beyond popular now. After Pearl Jam released 70 something shows everyone started putting these out, and for the most part I think that's great... I'm not sure why I picked this up. I can't even remember when - I think I got it at Other Music, but even so the entire event is fuzzy... I'm not a huge Morphine fan, so why all the discs? Well, the show captured on this cd is good one - it's short and as any good generic critic would say, sweet. Mark is talkative, the band is tight, and the crowd responsive... the onlt downside to the whole thing is, well, me. I just don't care enough...

5.5 out of 10

terça-feira, outubro 03, 2006

527. Morphine - the night

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Easily my favourite Morphine album... they've grabbed what had worked so well on their earlier records and really build upon it - adding a certain depth and dimension the band appeared to not have before. Paddi got this for me along with the Magnolia soundtrack as well on the same day - which, if put side by side seem like odd twins... also, sadly this was Sandman's last record before abruptly dying of a heart attack while playing a gig in Italy.

I'll put some tracks up tonight.

8.4 out of 10