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Geneva – Further

9 07 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 6

Further is one of those famous “I bought it used, very cheaply, because I heard it was really good” albums. It sat around for years unplayed, but about a year ago I decided to check it out, and immediately it became a favorite.

If a band could be described as soaring, Geneva certainly is that. The music is a bit 90s sounding, but is of high quality. The music reminds me of Travis or early Radiohead. The singing is quite unique – I’ve seen it referred to somewhere as choir boy, which is an apt description, in the best sense of the word.

It’s great to sing along to, good for working, and immediately mood-boosting. This album has gotten me through some miserable times.

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Blitzen Trapper – Furr

9 07 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 6

I have a bad habit of not looking up opening bands before I go to shows, and it’s cost me a time or two (though most of the time  the opening acts aren’t worth hurrying to see). When I went to see Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper opened for them, and I missed the first half of their set. Whoops.

Blitzen Trapper are twangy beard-rockers with a bit of jam-band thrown in. The song Furr is definitely the standout track, to the point of sounding like a completely different band. It’s clear that song comes from the same school of music as Fleet Foxes, while the rest of the album is quite different. Songs like Black River Killer make them sound like a softer, modern Creedence.

I should say that Woody was not impressed by their performance. He dismissed them right out as people who want really badly to be a professional band but who really aren’t that good. I think that’s a little harsh, but that’s often how it goes between the two of us!





The Arcade Fire – Funeral

9 07 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 6

Arcade Fire – one of the biggest bands of my 20s. Funeral was like an explosion when it came out. It doesn’t sound like anything else.

The year Arcade Fire blew up with this album they performed one of the most memorable shows of my Coachella attendance-career (which now spans 7 years, so that’s saying something). Sunset at the Outdoor Stage, embraced by a crowd of people singing along earnestly with me and the band, with a bit of theatrics thrown in – it was one of those magical moments that’s gone so quickly.





South – From Here on In

9 07 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 6

My first thought on hearing From Here on In (which I had left lying around unlistened after a “really cheap CDs I have heard are good” buying binge) was “Good lord these guys are ripping off the Stone Roses.” Not just influenced by… straight aping, with a softer touch.

Then I learned from Wikipedia they were “mentored” by Ian Brown from the Roses. Does “mentored” mean “molded in his own image”? Because it sure sounds that way!





Silverchair – Frogstomp

9 07 2010

Listened: Tuesday July 6

I remember Frogstomp being HUGE for me in high school when it came out. My good friend Audrey was the only one in our small group of friends with cable TV, and therefore we went to her house and watched MTV a lot. The video for Tomorrow was always on at that time. I’ve probably seen that video more times than any other.

Tomorrow will always have a spot in my heart for that reason. But listening to this album now…. well… it’s not very good. It’s incredibly obvious that it was written and performed by a bunch of reasonably comfortable teenagers aping their heroes and imagining what it’s like to have serious problems. Which describes us at the time pretty well, so it guess it all makes sense.

Daniel Johns sings just like Kurt Cobain and the guitars sound a lot like later Metallica to me – very chugga-chugga. I expect Beavis and Butthead (another staple of the period) to start chugga-chugging along with it.

I didn’t have as violent a reaction to this as to Core, but I will definitely have to chalk this up to “teenage appeal only”.





Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

9 07 2010

Listened: Friday July 2

The dirty slush and VW bus in the cover photo of Freewheelin’ makes the shot perfectly iconic to me, more so than the James-Dean-like jacket everyone always references. This was the first Bob Dylan album I owned, which I think was very appropriate. I acquired this album when I was about the same age as Bob was when he recorded it.

The classics are all here – Blowin in the Wind, Girl From The North Country, Masters Of War, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – great songs, but I really love Bob Dylan’s Dream. It’s a beautiful nostalgia-laced portrait of being young, blissfully ignorant, with nothing more important to do than just hang out with your friends, and how soon you realize that time is gone forever. I feel the ache of time passing every time I hear it.





Ash – Free All Angels

9 07 2010

Listened: Friday July 2

Ash is like the Irish version of Blink-182, without 12-year-old-maturity-level jokes.

I hadn’t listened to Ash in ages, but as a young high schooler I remember them being a pretty important band. They play very catchy pop-punk music with simple but poignant lyrics made for teenagers by teenagers. I regret that I didn’t get a chance to see them live back in the day. I think their music has held up pretty well. Unlike, say, Silverchair.