Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Members Journal
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-28-2011, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
Paedantic Basterd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: BC
Posts: 5,102
Default Crosswalking



I've spent a great deal of time and energy over the years working at keeping a neutral persona, but unfortunately, this doesn't allow people to know me very well, and this blog is designed to share more of my feelings on music and personally-relevant commentary. Member Journals is an appropriate locale to set up a soapbox, so for those who are listening, I present Crosswalking: "A time consuming project which I am likely too concise and too lazy to make worth anybody's while" or simply "A pedestrian's perspective".

The breakdown is below.


Midway through 2010, I decided to pull up the Wikipedia article of albums released within the year, and slowly make my way down that list, keeping track of the year's releases. Recently is a section designed to keep up with the new releases of the year, and a brief summary of my feelings about them.

Realistically, I'm not going to be able to cover absolutely everything released in the coming year before it's 2012, so this blog will concern itself with new releases that I have taken an interest in, and specifically, my first response to them. Suggestions for albums to cover are welcome.

Albums will be rated on a simple three-point scale:

Good. A worthwhile listen. Receives my seal of recommendation.


Evokes neither positive nor deeply negative response.


This is not for me. Possibly not for anyone else either.


Retrospect will be a section dedicated to non-new releases; any albums from past years that I feel strongly about, wish to re-evaluate, or generally have plenty to say on the topic of.



In which I rank items according to how much I like them (or otherwise).



Scathing track-by-track reviews of the skidmarks buried in my lastFM library.


And Freetalk is for any other unrelated crap I feel like speaking my mind about.

Expect some actual content soon!


Spoiler for Entries Under the Cut:

Freetalk: A Backpacker's Microblog From the United Kingdom
Freetalk: More Observations By a Simple Backpacker
Freetalk: Redefining Loneliness, and the Loss of Self
Freetalk: The Final Installment of Idiot Comments Regarding the United Kingdom
Freetalk: A Backpacker's Photoblog
First Impression: James Blake - James Blake / Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
Retrospect: Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Freetalk: A Backpacker's Photoblog Prt. 2
Freetalk: Keeping to Myself and Making Adjustments
Freetalk: Cutting and Running on Friendship
First Impression: Radiohead - The King of Limbs / Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
Freetalk: A Backpacker's Photoblog Prt. 3
First Impression: Violent Soho - Violent Soho / Melanie Laurent - En T'attendant / Grouper - AIA: Alien Observer/Dream Loss / Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi
First Impression: Lightspeed Champion - Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You! / Tune-yards - Whokill / Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol 2: Judges / Cass McCombs - Wit's End
Retrospect: The Antlers - Hospice / First Impression: The Antlers - Burst Apart
First Impression: Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues / Panda Bear - Tomboy / Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys! / Destoyer - Kaputt
Freetalk: Doyle & the Fourfathers
First Impression: City & Colour - Little Hell / Bill Calahan - Apocalypse / Low - C'mon / Giles Corey - Giles Corey
Freetalk: A Backpacker's Doodleblog
Freetalk: City of Bricks
First Impression: Braids - Native Speaker / Cut Copy - Zonoscope / Lia Ices - Grown Unknown / The Devin Townsend Project - Ghost
First Impression: Gillian Welch - The Harrow & the Harvest / John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves / Amanda Palmer - Goes Down Under / The Horrors - Skying
Freetalk: The Last Installment of Filler Travel Photography For 2011
Freetalk: Aspiring: e01: Draft 2, Part 1
Freetalk: Aspiring: e01: Draft 2, Part 2
Freetalk: Tread the Streets
Freetalk: Art as a Commodity
Freetalk: Pedestrian's Polaris Prize Coverage 2011 pt 1
Freetalk: Pedestrian's Polaris Prize Coverage 2011 pt 2
First Impression: Bon Iver - Bon Iver
First Impression: Feist - Metals
Freetalk: Y So Srs?
Retrospect: Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Retrospect: Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
Recently: Snowman - Absence
Retrospect: Róisín Murphy - Ruby Blue
Retrospect: Trellis - Green Wing: Original Television Soundtrack
Recently: Other Lives - Tamer Animals
Retrospect: Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
Freetalk: For Sport
Retrospect: Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Freetalk: Aspiring E02, Draft 02
Freetalk: Treatment
Recently: Of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks
Freetalk: Declining Involvement
Freetalk: Exercising Restraint
Retrospect: Cardiacs - On Land and In the Sea
Freetalk: Autotune the Unicorn I
Freetalk: Autotune the Unicorn II
Freetalk: Autotune the Unicorn III
Freetalk: I'm Not Drew: An Ongoing Narrative of Inadvertent Identity Theft
Freetalk: Autotune the Unicorn IV
Freetalk: Autotune the Unicorn: TOTAL STRIFE FOREVER
Freetalk: Aspiring - Pilot - "Apartment Story"
Recently: The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
Freetalk: Nope, Still Not Drew or: Continued Misadventures in Identity Theft
Dirty Laundry: A Burning Water - We Can See the Sky From Here
Freetalk: She: The Baklava
Dirty Laundry: Aiden - Nightmare Anatomy




Last edited by Paedantic Basterd; 06-05-2014 at 04:41 PM.
Paedantic Basterd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2011, 12:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
Account Disabled
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Eyrie, Vale of Arryn, Westeros
Posts: 2,999
Default

very nicely decorated
Sansa Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2011, 12:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
Registered Jimmy Rustler
 
Dr_Rez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 5,171
Default

Great layout. Im looking forward to this.
__________________
*Best chance of losing virginity is in prison crew*
*Always Checks Credentials Crew*
*nba > nfl crew*
*Shave one of my legs to pretend its a girl in my bed crew*
*Flakes on Dates to go Hoop crew*

Power: Yamaha Rx-v363
Speakers:2 Boston Acoustics A100's, 2 Pioneer HPM-60's
Headphones: Audio Technica M50, Sony MDR-XB500
Dr_Rez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2011, 01:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
wasting my youth online
 
Chubbysailorvenus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: bum**** nowhere
Posts: 987
Default

You're a fascinating individual and now I see that you're also pretty good at photoshop.
Very interested in your journal.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavves
I'm going nowhere
going nowhere
going nowhere
Chubbysailorvenus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2011, 12:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
Paedantic Basterd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: BC
Posts: 5,102
Default




John Vanderslice - White Wilderness (2011)

John Vanderslice is better known as a producer than a singer-songwriter, but on White Wilderness, he abandons that role in favour of straight-forward songs supplemented with strings and woodwinds. Honestly, I wouldn't immediately recognize this as Vanderslice. Even his yelpy vocals have softened almost to a Sufjan Stevens whisper, but a darker, slower album is fine in my books. Bearing in mind that I haven't heard Pixel Revolt, I would say that this is my favourite Vanderslice album so far. The Piano Lesson and 20K are highlight tracks.



Hesitation

I'll be honest, and say that I don't really think I'm cut out for blogging. I laboured over the decision to write more thoroughly than I did the decision to become an organ donor. But let's be fair; nobody is going to critique my internal organs. My kidneys aren't going to bore anyone, and I'm not going to have to listen to feedback about my liver. There's no pressure to deliver an entertaining retina.

I don't think of myself as much of a writer. It's not so much a lack of ideas that plagues me, but a lack of words. Specifically, I consider my problem to be that I am too concise to qualify as a writer or argumentalist. I have the underwhelming gift of being able to state an entire perspective in less than a paragraph on any given topic. I'm sure there are occupations in the world that consider this a valuable trait, but in writing and discussion it goes woefully unappreciated.

It is this quality of mine that causes me to question the point of this journal. I would hate to reduce journals to twitter-length remarks on music, but the reality is that I am a Reader's Digest of opinions, delivering only the bare minimum required for following the plot, so I hope you could all do with some easy reading.

Last edited by Paedantic Basterd; 04-28-2011 at 01:17 PM.
Paedantic Basterd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2011, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
Paedantic Basterd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: BC
Posts: 5,102
Default




The Decemberists - The King is Dead (2011)

This isn't a proper First Impression piece, because the album leaked in December and I've become very familiar with it since then, but I wanted to address it because it was my most anticipated release of 2011. The Decemberists are one of my favourite bands, but I'm not subject to bias. Most of my favourite artists released poor albums in 2010, so if anything, I met this release with hesitance, even dread.

The King is Dead is unlike the Decemberists. If not for Colin Meloy's nasally vocals, you probably wouldn't know that this was the followup to The Hazards of Love*. The songs are simply constructed Americana, predictably paced, but the melodies deliver on Meloy's reputation. Peter Buck** makes an obvious appearance, but Gillian Welch outshines him on the 7 tracks she contributed harmonies to.

Lyrically, The King is Dead disappoints, describing straightforward rustic scenes without the whimsy and humour of previous work. Storytelling takes a back seat. By now you expect The Decemberists to regale you with stories from bygone eras, but without such a strong delivery, you lose interest.

This album gains credit for being better musically than The Hazards of Love, but falls on the wrong side of the lee compared to their previous high points. It is an album that I enjoy, but couldn't say holds up to the quality of previous work under scruitiny. Nevertheless, I give it a green light as a standalone album; just don't expect it to match Picaresque or the Crane Wife.

* 2009 prog-inspired rock opera.
** REM guitarist.

*

*But look both ways before you hit the gas.



Paedantic Basterd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2011, 02:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
Killed Laura Palmer
 
ThePhanastasio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ashland, KY
Posts: 1,661
Default

Good write up on The King Is Dead. I was thinking about not actually checking this one out, because I figured they'd be discouraged by the reviews of their previous album and churn out some garbage in pursuit of their "glory days" in which music reviewers loved them.

"The King Is Dead" caught my attention moreso than "Down By the Water", although it's still not particularly close to the band as they were when I loved them. Still, definitely sounds worth checkin' out.
__________________

I am, in a manner of speaking, as a matter of fact, the accidental illusion.
ThePhanastasio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2011, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
Model Worker
 
Gavin B.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,238
Default

Your first two selections of albums to review are great choices. There were only about five worthwhile album releases in January and you picked two of them. John Vanderslice's talents as a songwriter, musician and producer are remarkable and only a handful of people have noticed that Vanderslice has released two perfect albums and six near perfect albums since 2000.

My favorite Vanderslice album is Cellar Door (2004) which along with Pixel Revolt (2005) qualify as the "perfect" albums; while Mass Suicide Occult Figurines (2000), Time Travel Is Lonely (2001), The Life and Death of an American Fourtracker (2002), Emerald City (2007), and White Wilderness (2011) are the "near perfect" albums. Only one Vanderslice album, Romanian Names (2009) has been less than stellar. I can't think of another musician who has pieced together a better body of work in the past decade than John Vanderslice.

From my perspective, The King Is Dead matches up to every other Decemberist album, on a song by song basis. Frankly speaking, I was getting weary of their fixation on the minstrel balladry of the British Isles folk tradition. The elegant simplicity of The King Is Dead may not please the Decemberists early fans but it lays the foundation for creative expansion by the band.

The King Is Dead is the Decemberist's first foray into the music of their American homeland and a wise movement away from their earlier interest Celtic influenced music of Seventies UK bands like Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Pentangle. When you add up the large number of Celtic influenced American musicians like the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Espers, Faun Fables, Joanna Newsom, and Fern Knight, there's more American groups performing Celtic influenced folk rock than Celtic influenced bands in all of the nations under the British crown. It would be nice to see some of those neo-traditionalist American bands bring it all back home by tapping into rich streams of Americana's folkway traditions.

It's no coincidence that Peter Buck and Gillian Welch are guests on the album because much of The King Is Dead sounds like a hybrid between the neo-Americana folk rock of R.E.M.'s Fables of the Reconstruction and Gillian Welch's more traditionalist Appalachian influenced album Hell Among the Yearlings.

Again... thanks for your first rate journal. Keep up the great work.
__________________
There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt
Gavin B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2011, 01:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
Paedantic Basterd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: BC
Posts: 5,102
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhanastasio View Post
Good write up on The King Is Dead. I was thinking about not actually checking this one out, because I figured they'd be discouraged by the reviews of their previous album and churn out some garbage in pursuit of their "glory days" in which music reviewers loved them.
I didn't consider Hazards to be a failure, but it was the least successful of their albums to me. I maintain appreciation for what they did on it, even if I didn't find it had the same substance or lasting power of their other albums.

Gavin: Finally heard Pixel Revolt, and it's probably his best. I'd need to spend more time with it to place it personally. I've been looking for Cellar Door for an eternity (Coming and Going on Easy Terms was my jam for a long time), but haven't been able to find it. If you'd be so kind as to hit me with it, I'd be very appreciative!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin B. View Post
From my perspective, The King Is Dead matches up to every other Decemberist album, on a song by song basis. Frankly speaking, I was getting weary of their fixation on the minstrel balladry of the British Isles folk tradition. The elegant simplicity of The King Is Dead may not please the Decemberists early fans but it lays the foundation for creative expansion by the band.

Again... thanks for your first rate journal. Keep up the great work.
I appreciate the change in both subject matter and style, I just wish the lyrics were as visual as they once were, and that a couple of songs would stray from the formula. Meloy's still a top rate song crafter though, and I'm not overall disappointed. Still very much excited to see this material live in March.

And thank you for your encouragement. It was a little awkward at first not knowing if anybody was interested.
Paedantic Basterd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2011, 02:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
Paedantic Basterd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: BC
Posts: 5,102
Default




PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

While I'm only familiar with maybe two albums of her early work, I often feel alone in thoroughly enjoying the late* PJ Harvey. I frequently return to Stories From the City..., and I thought White Chalk was an interesting departure, but To Bring You My Love failed to draw me in for return listens.

England seems in ways to merge the lo-fi sounds of her earlier albums with the songwriting of the later ones. Harvey retains the upper register vocals from White Chalk, which are not preferable to her assertive voice. Harvey sounds like an elderly woman narrating stories of her youth from her rocking chair on the porch. Perhaps this is what she had intended (having stated that she required a more narrative approach for the songs) but isn't most flattering. Musically, England is positive and quickly placed, each song moving with the drive and rhythm of a freight train on the countryside. The Colour of the Earth ends a little awkwardly, sounding as if there's more to come instead of wrapping things up neatly.

I was not particularly grasped by this. I think she's written better albums, and while I appreciate the positive tone and the rhythm of Let England Shake, I didn't find it particularly memorable. I like to see artists go for changes in their styles, but simply put, PJ Harvey has written better.

* As in late work, not as in deceased.






Last edited by Paedantic Basterd; 02-13-2011 at 10:22 PM.
Paedantic Basterd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes



© 2003-2018 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.