I recommend spending time with family above anything else. I've been enjoying mine lately. The too drunk uncle, the hours I spend trying to explain what I do in music stuff my great aunts, the reassuring my grandma that I'm safe and sane. The loud voices, glasses of wines, louder voices and then yelling arguments about who's to blame for the national economic turmoil are all filled with love. They really are.
But now let's get onto the music:
My love for Ted Leo has resurfaced. It's been to long since I listened to The Tyranny of Distance. Above all else, I recommend that album this week.
Lady Sovereign has a new album out - Jigsaw - and it's really been my dance rap jam. I get so wrapped up in self-reflecting indie rock that I forget to let loose sometimes. She's five foot one, she's English, and she's a white rap artist in a primarily black grime scene.
The Jakes - an incredible unsigned band out of California. Huge guitar pieces, giant choruses and refined melodies - they're young, but they're making me speechless. Probably my favorite unsigned band right now.
I'd like to send some lovin' to a Baltimore band I've been digging a lot lately - The Dialogue. Fun, pop-minded alt rock with vocals that are best in line with Andrew McMahon. Good friends making new, great music and I'm excited to see where they take this project. Hopefully I'll be able to open them up to AP.net in the near future.
Another band I've been sure to spin is Kinch from Arizona - healthy but uniquely dark indie rock and they're even giving away their EP, The Economic Chastisement, for free on myspace. I think this band could really catch on - please give them a chance.
HAVING THE WEEKEND OFF! This is so relaxing. I haven't had two days of non-labor in MONTHS maybe. This is too nice.
So, in honor of my chill state, here's what I've been listening to lately:
Looking Glass Wars, The Musician - This album is so great. I didn't give it ample listening when I first got it, but the past few days I've been spinning it non-stop. Very nice if you like deep, dark jazzy tones and maybe some mystery.
Ghost Town - Easily one of my favorite movies of the year. Hilarious, touching, solid and simple storyline. Watch the trailer here.
Liars Academy - An ex got me into this band when I was 18, and I fondly remembered them a few days ago. But that also got me thinking about a few other one-time favorites of mine, like Endicott, Maxeen, The Class of 98 or Kane Hodder. It's astonishing to think about just how many bands I've cycled through over years.
What have I been listening to, and what am I dissecting this week? Explore with me.
1. A Love Like Pi - A NJ unsigned band with an indie electronica hybrid that's been sticking with me for days, especially the song "Innocent Man".
2. Bear Hands- An experimental indie Brooklyn number hearty with post-punk and Sonic Youth guitar textures. Reminds me a lot of Ra Ra Riot, which can only be a great thing.
3. In Bruges - Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell play two hit men, sent to Bruges to hide out after a job goes horribly wrong. It involves lots of midgets, blood, little boys, psychological and mental realizations and overcomings, and it's a whole lot more significantly impacting then you would think.
4. Rehashing your old Death Cab disco. Lately, I've been bringing in Transatlanticism and remembering exactly when and where I heard the album for the first time. A junior in high school, my mom and I took a random college-visiting trip to SUNY Stonybrook (one of the saddest campuses I've even seen ... sorry if you like it there, or something). We rode the train out from Manhattan, and it was just me and Death Cab and blurred lines of leaves and passing trees.
Earlier, I was watching an over-wrought Jennifer Aniston. She was convinced The Graduate (the movie, not the band) was derived from her family's own tales. Rumor Has It, I believe the movie was called. The flick was pregnant with master realizations, the kind that were wholly unbelievable. Instead of getting mad, I thought, Do I have any of those? Any of those moments where things become clear? A full moment of comprehension? And they stay that way, even if I don't spend every moment from that point consciously reacting in their presence. A Transatlanticism train ride qualifies. Definitely, definitely qualifies.
On a basic level, I realized how much I loved Death Cab. On a slightly more significant level, I realized how much I loved Transatlanticism and how full albums can be mystic rides and graceful woos. Maybe a little bit more significant, I learned that connecting to a musician or band went farther than lyrical content or general upkeep. It was also about the instrumentals - how the electronics engulf and echo, how the guitars sound, how the layers uphold, how the percussion bounces, how the transitions move and sequence ... all of that was part of a bigger picture. If the bigger picture is really good - like it was on the train that morning - then the music is coherent and inherent to the tones and texture of the scene around you, which is why I can still see the neighborhoods Mom and I pass by and the fabric of our passenger seats.
So I guess to answer my question, those moments do exist outside the movies.
Thanks to Jonathan Lullo from Down to Earth Approach (RIP) for some sweet guest reccing. He's currently covering the country on tour with Spitalfield for their farewell tour (dates here). Go to the show, flash some Spitalfield, The Graduate or The Forecast love, and bring Jon some Chipotle burritos.
Saves The Day - Under The Boards
I've been in love with this band since I was 17, and they still are putting out records that I can't take out of my cd player. Under The Boards is so, so good. Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
All of my friends always recommended these guys to me, but I never paid much attention. I'm on tour with Spitalfield right now, and our soundguy kept playing this record in the middle of the night while we were driving. I finally broke and picked it up. "On Call" is one of the best songs of the year.
Maritime - Heresy And The Hotel Choir
At first, I was pretty disappointed in this record. I absolutely loved "We The Vehicles", and thought this didn't hold up. I couldn't stop spinning it after a while, and realized while listening to "Pearl" for the hundredth time that it is a great record.
Chipotle - The best place to eat on tour. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be their carnitas burrito, covered in green tabasco.