Friday, January 26, 2007

Of Montreal, of iTunes

I bought the new Of Montreal album from iTunes last night. This was a significant purchase for me. While I have bought a few songs from iTunes, this was my first complete album bought online, with no actual cd to hold in my hands. As such, it was a very emotional evening. The internal struggle made me a bit crazy; I drank much more than my normal nightly amount of lemon tea, and in fact I may have cried once or twice with the realization that I have reached a new stage in my music-buying life.

I really wanted the album. Normally when I really want an album I will go to the cd store. But I was drunk on tea, and it was -31 outside with the wind chill. Then I thought about iTunes; to be honest, I had been thinking about iTunes a lot lately. The album was only $9.99 on iTunes. That is a very good price. And really, I haven’t listened to an actual cd since getting the iPod just over a month ago.

So I bought it. I’m listening to it now. It’s very, very good, and I feel a little bit sad and dirty.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is what is sounds like when fauna hiss

If you ignore my wildly off-base Shins prediction, I'm on a bit of a roll lately. Two 0.1s and, today, a 0.2 for the new Of Montreal album. Funnily enough, yesterday while waiting to buy the Shins album I was stuck behind this incredibly annoying woman at the cd store. She wasn't actually buying anything, just engaging the clerk in a discussion about Montreal, and stopping me from paying for my cd. So I politely put the cd on the counter in the middle of her conversation, signifying my desire to pay, she gave me an ugly look as in "how dare you," so I stepped on her dog's foot on the way out! I'm nothing if not passive-aggressive.

Oh yeah, the "funnily enough" part was that during the Montreal discussion I asked the clerk about the Of Montreal album cause I was going to buy it too, but apparently there are some distribution problems so it wasn't in.

Monday, January 22, 2007


It's official. I'm a Shins fanboy. How else can I explain the whopping 2.7 point difference on my Wincing the Night Away prediction? Regardless, I think I'll enjoy the album much more than PF did.

But I was very close (0.1 off) with the new Sloan album! In fact, in the past two weeks I have had two predictions miss by 0.1. This pleases me.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Just found out about Parsefork via largeheartedboy. A useful tool for those of us who attempt to predict PF ratings.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity *

I recently downloaded a couple of songs off this new album. I had never heard anything by the band before. Let’s just say that on first listen, I am not a fan. I’ll give it a chance; maybe it will grow on me.

I have no idea what this one will get or how to predict what it will get, so I ran some quick calculations (thank you Windows calculator) on PF’s ratings for previous Deerhoof releases. From what I can tell, the band’s previous five albums have received an average rating of 7.9, with a high of 9.0, and a low of 6.0. I’m going with the average and predicting a 7.9 for this new one. Actual rating: 8.9. Point differential: 1.0.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Close one

A remarkable 0.1 off on the album from The Good, The Bad & The Queen!

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away *

Hipsters. They suck.

I may have hipster tastes and sensibilities, but I am not a hipster. I am unequivocally anti-hipster. How else could I show such shameless devotion to This Shins? A true hipster would never publicly admit he worships a band like The Shins; a band that gained a hefty chunk of its popularity by being name-checked by Natalie Portman. A true hipster would be worried others would think he discovered the band via Portman in Garden State. (Yes, I realize most normal, well-adjusted adults don’t think about shit like this.)

I did not discover The Shins by watching Garden State. I did, however, discover the band via the video for New Slang, which is the song Portman suggests will “change your life.” She was right. From the time I heard that song, my life changed; my measuring stick for great music changed. To me, there is The Shins, and then there is the rest of my music collection. I’ve bought and downloaded some outstanding music since discovering the band, but nothing comes close. The music is simple yet inventive; the lyrics are thought-provoking and meaningful, but sound effortless.

So I am clearly biased in predicting the rating for Wincing the Night Away. I haven’t heard the album. In fact, I have intentionally not downloaded songs from the album when I have come across them on-line. The anticipation is annoying. It’s 2007. Who waits for anything? But at the same time I feel like I did when I was younger and would have no choice but to wait the standard 18-24 months for a new album to be released from any of my assorted favourite bands.

I know James Mercer will not let us down. Will PF give this one a fair shake? Or will it get caught up in the hype, or the anti-hype? I already made my prediction a few posts ago, but I’ll make it official here: 9.7! Actual rating: 7.0. Point differential: 2.7.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Sloan - Never Hear the End of It *

The last Sloan cd I bought was Between the Bridges. I don’t think I listened to the whole thing. I loved One Chord to Another, but I grew tired of Sloan and there were plenty of other things to pay attention to musically after 1998. But this new Sloan album has 30 songs! Apparently it even has snippets of songs that shouldn’t even be considered “songs” as we know them. I like it when old bands do shit like this. Will PF remember Sloan? I think its role in Canadian music history is underappreciated. Canada’s current hip bands should thank Sloan for helping clear the path for them. They should do it via email, and also in old-fashioned letter format. I’ll predict a 7.6 for this latest Sloan effort. Actual rating: 7.7. Point differential: 0.1.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? *

Another one from the crop of sacred modern indie bands, adored by hipsters everywhere. PF hasn’t been incredibly kind to the band; it appears its highest-rated album got a respectable 8.3, while the rest hover around the 5s and 6s. Indications are this album is mind-blowing, but in a good way, not like in Chuck Norris’ Missing in Action III.

In fact, I’m listening to the stream right now. On first listen it's good, I find it interesting and different, and a bit like The Shins. I’ll predict an 8.5. Actual rating: 8.7. Point differential: 0.2.

Happy New Year!