Elbow – Asleep in the Back

19 05 2010

Listened: Wednesday May 19

I bought this album for really cheap in the used section of a record store, probably because I heard it was a good album. I haven’t listened to it much since and it’s definitely not good music for work. The quality of the music is technically good, but it’s so slow and sleepy, per the title. I can handle a reasonably slow tempo at work, but it took a lot of concentration to be productive while listening to this!





M.I.A. – Arular

19 05 2010

Listened: Wednesday May 19

Unlike many Americans, I have been to Sri Lanka (during my 2 week trip I encountered many Brits, mainland Europeans, and Australians, but not one American). Consequently, back in 2005 when I heard there was some hotshot indie-darling musician from Sri Lanka-by-way-of-London on the scene, I had to check it out.

I didn’t get it, at all.

I remember listening to Arular in Mountain View Tower Records and thinking it was a little dissonant for my taste. I’m not a big fan of hip-hop in general because I dislike so much of the production and while some of the lyrics are probably good, they tend to be too mumbled (exceptions include Kanye West). However, the problem in this case was that listening to snippets of Arular in Tower Records was just the wrong setting for absorbing MIA’s music.

I had to hear her second record, Kala, which is a bit more approachable, before I could go back and appreciate Arular. And despite my first impression, the sound of Arular is actually really funky, not dissonant. The crazy rhythms, sounds, and world music beats (steel drums, etc) become an amazing knitted fabric on songs like Bucky Done Gun, Bingo, Sunshowers, etc. And the lyrics are just fun to sing to yourself both while you’re toiling at work or when you’re off on some mischief (“You are a cuteeee, is your dad a dealer cuz you’re dope to me!”, “London calling, speak the slang nowwww” “Slang tang, that’s that MIA thang, I got the beats to make you bang bang bang”).

I’m honestly really surprised she has gotten as big as she has. America clearly loves hip-hop, but who would have thought an artsy, rapping, British/Sri Lankan chick with real war-zone life experience would have done so well in the sea of Lil’ Johns, Lil’ Waynes, and Kanye Wests?





Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?

19 05 2010

Listened: Tuesday May 18

Another really cohesive album and amazing debut. Full of great songs like Purple Haze, Hey Joe (a song I think Jimi owns, despite not writing it), Fire, etc. Also Foxey Lady – my first exposure to which was as the soundtrack to Garth’s pelvic thrusts in Wayne’s World. A perfect introduction, don’t you think?

It should be said that while I don’t really find Jimi Hendrix physically attractive – he was small in stature and despite having some fashion sense, his looks aren’t particularly notable – he has one of the sexiest voices in rock. There, I said it!





Arcade Fire – Arcade Fire EP

19 05 2010

Listened: Tuesday May 18

Not enough “album feeling” here for me! But I love the artwork.





Interpol – Antics

19 05 2010

Listened: Tuesday May 18

I am not cool enough to be an Interpol fan. I never had a penchant for gun holsters and severe stage presence.

I actually became a Joy Division fan after I became an Interpol fan. And man, I can see now that Interpol does rip them off quite a lot… er, I mean… “Interpol are unabashedly explicit about their influences!”





Pink Floyd – Animals

19 05 2010

Listened: Tuesday May 18

I got into Pink Floyd really late. It happened only quite recently, after seeing Roger Waters and his huge Obama checkbox pig at Coachella 2008, which relates directly to this album. Before then, I liked the music, but dismissed it as something stoners listened to (which, after all, is not an incorrect characterization) and I wasn’t a stoner, therefore… but recently I have tried to get over what I think I should like (which can be the major mindset amongst music nerds) and just get busy liking what I like. It’s worked so far!





Radiohead – Amnesiac

19 05 2010

Listened: Tuesday May 18

Amnesiac era songs always remind me of puking all over my best friend’s car, on the way to their show. I had felt ill all day, but there was no way I wasn’t going to their show. I thought I could ride out the waves of nausea, but no dice. I feel bad to this day about subjecting 3 other people to my vomit, instead of just doing a controlled hurl out the window like I should have.

Funnily enough, after vomiting and heading back home to clean up the mess, I felt fine and we headed back to the show without further incident! The quality of the show plus the unfortunate events leading up to it make that something I probably will never forget.