Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Good, The Bad And The Queen – S/T *

Yes! My New Year’s wish for another band fronted by Damon Albarn has been granted! Based on an October news item, PF thinks this band sounds a lot like Gorillaz. I don’t have much else to go on, so given that Demon Days got a 6.9, and the debut fared little better at 7.0, I’ll suggest PF is getting tired of Albarn’s side projects and creative outlets and predict a 6.7 for this one. Actual rating: 6.8. Point differential: 0.1.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ghostface Killah - More Fish *

It's been a busy night for Mr. Tower, but I figure I should at least get in a prediction.

I see PF gave this chap's last album, which came out earlier this year, a 9.0. There is no way they would give a quick follow-up like this a similar mark. But I've heard this one's good too, so I'll predict an 8.2. Actual rating: 7.3. Point differential: 0.9.


Album of the Year

This won't be your typical AOTY wankfest where I spout off about the hip albums I bought this year. I didn't buy that many albums this year. I downloaded a shitload of songs - probably 500 to 1000 individual songs - and I judged many new albums by those songs.

I discovered some great stuff, and I also discovered there are a lot of shitty songs that come out every week. This reinforced my belief that I can create music people will hear whether they want to or not.

When I think back to the albums I did buy, and what stood out, it is very easy for me to pick a winner. If you have read this blog more than once you probably know who it is. If you know the definition of the term "indie cred" you also probably know who it is.

Yes, I am going to go way out in left field with this one and pick an album that very, very few people heard in 2006, let alone liked: Boys and Girls in America by The Hold Steady. What's that? You've heard of it? Well, what about Joanna Newsom? You've heard of her too? I simply don't believe it. Surely you've never heard of a fellow named Sufja...oh, I see.


I bought an Ipod online. Did you know Apple ships them from China? They are the absolute ultimate model for online shopping. I bought it Friday night, I even got an engraving on the back. It was shipped 12 hours later: from mainland China, to Hong Kong, to Anchorage, to Memphis, and then to my town five days later. Unbelieveable.

Where are all the Wiis? They must get shipped by boat.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Shins - Phantom Limb

I know this is just a CD single, but as someone who - while the anticipation is painful at times - refuses to seek out the leaked version of Wincing the Night Away, this is all I got to feed my Shins obsession. I don't think PF typically reviews entire CD singles. They already reviewed the song Phantom Limb, but I got this is the mail yesterday and wanted to talk about it to someone.

There are so many incredible things about James Mercer as a songwriter, but let me focus on his melodies. I remember reading an interview once where he was asked how he writes songs. He says he comes up with a chord progression and then adds a dominant melody and there you have it. Many people probably write songs that way; I know I often do in my attempts. And yet my melodies sound forced, whereas his sound revolutionary.

So what really struck me with the two songs on this CD single that I had not heard until 30 minutes ago was that the unheard melodies in Shins songs have a crack-like hold on me. The chords start, and I sit there for the first few bars thinking to myself "Where is the melody going?" It always ends up being something way more creative and interesting than I imagined it would be. In short, there are lazy ways to write melodies, and then there's the James Mercer way.

All hail James.