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Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Go (Jónsi)

In albums, current listenings on March 30, 2011 at 11:45 am

album art

Wow.

So first off, serious thanks to Alex Lepinski for this find. Alex and I were rehearsing a tune for the open mic on Jeju when we got side-tracked (surprised) and she played some of this awesome (literally, awe-some, as in…awe-inspiring) album for me.

Jónsi is the lead singer of a beautifully explorative band known as Sigur Rós (pronunciation here!), which, if you don’t know already, then there’s another new music suggestion for you. They’re an Icelandic, atmospheric-rock band (I made that up, but that’s what I think) with really powerful and intentional compositions that create a really liberating listening experience. Sigur Rós has a number of studio albums out. All of them are great, really but my favourite is probably ( ), released in 2002,  (yes, just parentheses). Favourite tracks are Untitled 4 and Untitled 8 (both from ( ).

Now, back to Jónsi. This album is a short, start-to-finish work of beauty and genius. I don’t really want to say much about it, because I feel like it’s better to explore it on your own, if you choose. It kind of feels like an art-project recorded onto a CD and presented for your ears to enjoy while your mind paints whatever pictures come to it. Seriously.

The album plays about 40 minutes in length, I believe. And once you’ve done that, you can check out the beautiful YouTube videos of the Go Quiet film, which was included in the deluxe edition of the disc as a DVD. It’s the entire album played as an acoustic set. And then, if you still haven’t had enough, check out some of the YouTube videos of the live performances. Jónsi and his new band (Sigur Rós is on hiatus for now) performed an extensive world-wide tour, which, I sadly missed. But watching these videos will make you fall even more into fascination with this fantastic album.

Check it out, and let me know what you think. I love it.

more than just RS150

In musings on March 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

Recently, I’ve been listening to new albums (in addition to the RS150, of course!) and thinking how much I want to start a dialogue with people about them, and that the way my blog is currently structured is kind of limiting me from creating a space for discussion (or at least the opportunity to inspire  some sort of deeper thought about music, whether it creates conversation or not). So then I thought “Why don’t I just…change it?” and alas here I am writing this post.

In addition to my exploration of the RS150, I really, really feel this burning desire to write about other albums as I listen to them, so I am going to! I’ve added a section that I will continue to fill with posts about or relating to music that I am digging right now. It may not be a full entry. Maybe just something that’s interesting, or relevant to my current music tastes in some way.

My hope is that whoever does stumble upon this blog will either:

a) discover new music;

b) or, indulge in a deeper conversation (aloud or internal) about music;

c) or, share some new music!

Please feel free to join in the fun and post your thoughts and favourites.

Enjoy!

ZT7C3N26SWRJ

#148 – Deja Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)

In 150-125, Top 150 on March 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm
Cover of "Deja Vu"

Cover of Deja Vu

So here’s the interesting thing about this project for me so far, aside from listening to all this great music, clearly.

First off, I’m moving through the albums much slower than I anticipated. I’m only on 147! What the deuce!? But to be honest, I’m okay with that. Although right now I’ve listened to one album and written something about once per month. At that rate, it will take me 12 years and 2 months to finish this project. I should probably pick up the pace, eh? Alas. I will go as I please and enjoy.

So number 147…here we are!

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I am loving this project already so much because I am making a ton of connections with different bands and understanding so much about the development and restructuring of different artists and groups, and how it leads to other groups and legendary records. Very cool. For one (and I feel ridiculous saying this), I had no CLUE that “Young” in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is Neil Young. What the hell!? How did I miss that! Wild. Anyway, now I do. So long story short, The four members of this group decided to use their last names to identify their group for a few reasons. One, to keep identification with their own individuality, and make sure that people knew them as their own artist as well. And the second (which is partially what caused the first reason) is that two members of the band were part of The Byrds and The Hollies, and when they left their respective groups, the bands continued performing without them. So to use CSNY to identify themselves meant that if one of them left (which, of course, did happen later on down the road) then they were still always known by the names of the musicians in the band. Makes sense to me!

My immediate thought when I put on this album is Flower Power! This has got such a 60s-70s rock sound to it, whatever that means. I guess lots of raging, experimental, sometimes ethereal rock-guitar riffs mixed with exasperated vocals. And that early classic-rock effect on the guitar. I have no clue what it is, but its so distinct.

The vocal harmonies on this album definitely stick out as well. But how could they not, I guess. Especially after listening to the Springsteen album (OH GOD, here he goes again, talking about how much he hates The Boss).

Side note: I was running yesterday and a Springsteen song came on my iPod, and I actually thought to myself, “You know, this Bruce Springsteen guy is growing on me”. So there.

Here’s the track listing for this radical album called Deja Vu, released in March 1970 (after their second-ever live performance at the infamous Woodstock festival).

Side One

  1. Carry On
  2. Teach Your Children
  3. Almost Cut My Hair
  4. Helpless
  5. Woodstock

Side Two

  1. Deja Vu
  2. Our House
  3. 4+20
  4. Country Girl: Whiskey Boot Hill, Down, Down, Down, Country Girl (I Think You’re Pretty)
  5. Everybody I Love

When I first listened to this album, I remember a friend here on Jeju wrote me a message on Facebook and said something along the lines of “This is my favourite album!” and I was, admittedly, a bit shocked. I didn’t appreciate this album nearly enough. The more I’ve listened to this disc, the more I appreciate CSNY.

Favourite tracks? Carry On, Teach Your Children, Woodstock, Our House, Everybody I Love You. I don’t know why, to be honest. But they’re great.

Track One, Carry On. There’s a great intro to this album at the beginning of this track. The guitar sets a driving beat and adds momentum to the track, and then 10 seconds in, the great vocals start. The recording sounds really controlled and precise, which I love about it as well. I don’t want to say constrained, because I don’t think it is, but its almost as if the first track is a teaser for something bigger and better to come.  And I would say that the first side of the album ends a bit grittier, a bit more relaxed, and more wild with “Woodstock” (Track 5).

So overall: new appreciation for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, definitely. And its awesome! I’m loving all these connections I’m making while I listen to these albums. This is exactly what I wanted to get out of this experience, so I’m pretty pleased.

Onwards to the next album!!


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