Saturday, August 27, 2005

Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene - "7/4 (Shoreline)"

In late-2002, pretty much out of nowhere (Canada, to be precise), a little band (ok, 10 members isn't so little) by the name of Broken Social Scene completely burst into the arena. With a brilliant debut album, You Forgot It In People, that reaped lavish praise from every critic whose desk it crossed (i.e. - Ryan Schreiber) and every listener whose speakers it blared through (i.e. - mine), they rapidly transformed themselves from barely-known band of misfits into a household name - well, in indie-households, at least. In other words, they totally blew it up.
Broken Social Scene, the band's self-titled follow-up to You Forgot It In People, should quell any fears that this collective was simply a flash in the pan. On the contrary, it proves they're a major force to be reckoned with.
"7/4 (Shoreline)" is a lushly orchestrated hyper-kinetic pop marvel. Comparing it to the band's previous catalog of songs, I'd say it would lie somewhere between "Pacific Theme" and "Almost Crimes". One thing it's got going for it is a chance for us to hear some of bandmember Leslie Feist's vocal histrionics. After spending the last year and a half getting acquainted with Feist's smooth side on her solo album, Let It Die, getting to hear her let loose with BSS and rock out once again is extremely satisfying.
Ever since the entire album leaked to the internet last week, I've noticed a lot of other bloggers saying that they were shocked upon first hearing it. It wasn't at all what they were expecting to hear. It threw 'em for a loop. That, in my opinion, is one of the album's great strengths. What would be interesting about a predictable band? Who wants to hear someone rehash the same songs all over again album after album? Not me, thanks. But then, inevitably, most add that the record slowly grows on them. I must admit that my appreciation for it was a bit more...immediate. It didn't take long - maybe one or two listens - for these songs' infectious melodies to get lodged in my head. However, I can understand how some might find this new album to be one that requires just a little bit more effort than the first. Maybe it is because there aren't any clearcut standout tracks, no "Stars & Sons", no "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl" - nothing that immediately jumps out at you and shakes you. So if you have some trouble adjusting at first, give it a few more chances. You'll eventually get "superconnected" to each and every one of the songs. For me, the thing has been a fixture in my car stereo all week.
Details of Broken Social Scene can be found here. It will be released on October 4th by Arts & Crafts. I assure you that it will immediately be added to my collection at that point (a 2nd disc with 7 more songs will be included with the initial pressing). It would also be a frickin' blast to hear these new songs played live...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It's Meaningless

Summer at Shatter Creek - "All My Little Words" (MF cover)
Boy Omega - "Papa Was a Rodeo" (MF cover)
(please cntrl-click or right-click and save/download to your own computer)

Since Kaleb over at SCTAS is a good friend of mine, I couldn't go without mentioning the latest project he's put together and released under the Slight Record moniker. The beast is It's Meaningless, an online collection of Magnetic Fields cover tunes from a wide variety of artists (some more well known than others). Over the past two months, Kaleb's posted two new tracks per week. This week saw the 15th and 16th tracks coming from some fairly well-respected acts - Summer at Shatter Creek and Boy Omega, respectively.
I'm so proud of you, Kaleb, for providing a vehicle for these artists to pay tribute to the wonderful, wonderful MF. If you were here now, I'd give you a big hug.
Hey, everyone, grab these two tracks and BE SURE TO HEAD OVER THERE AND GET THE REST!!!.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mount Eerie

Mount Eerie - "I Hold Nothing"
Mount Eerie - "What I Actually Am"

Alright now. Geez. It's been about two weeks since my last activity on the blog. Things have been nuts.
I figure a good way to get things going again here is with a little Phil Elvrum. How 'bout it, kids?
Mount Eerie's new full-length album, No Flashlight was released today. Just be aware that when you go down to your local record shop, finding it may be somewhat of a challenge. So I'll give you a tip. Look for it in the vinyl section. The CD is packaged along with a vinyl LP, so trying to fit it on a CD rack would pose a bit of a problem. So there's the inside scoop. Then again, you might as well just order it directly from Phil himself at P.W. Elvrum & Son and save yourself the trouble of locating it.
It's become quite clear to me that No Flashlight is without doubt the best thing from Elvrum since The Glow, Pt. 2 (the album that won me over), back when Mount Eerie was called The Microphones. This kid is so original in his art, people. 'I Hold Nothing' is simply gorgeous, hauntingly meditative and intensely personal.
I'm serious, the album if you like these toonces. This is one of those records that you really must purchase to get the whole experience. It would not be the same without having the cover art to gaze upon and the liner notes to pour over while taking in the music. Just downloading all the songs, burning it to a CD-R, and using two different colored Sharpies® to label it would be a total injustice.