Music Review - April 08, 2006

I've been buying a lot more music lately.

A few weeks ago, in the midst of a fit of technical wanderlust, I was playing around with iTunes and essentially discovered internet radio. What a neat little invention. I've heard lots of people talking about satellite radio and I've come to understand that the offerings there are ... well... rich. I don't know what that means necessarily. But I might. Because internet radio is just such a stellar improvement over just about anything you can get on the airwaves. Sure, there's a lot of crap. But man, if nothing else it's just way-the-hell more interesting than the, what, 40 song playlist of broadcast radio.

I've heard stuff I'd have never have heard of otherwise. And it's exciting to hear all kinds of new stuff. At first I went out and bought a few albums I thought would be awesome. Two Death Cab for Cutie albums, and Cat Power "The Greatest." I admit, cat power is probably pretty good, but I haven't gotten into it because I probably just haven't given it enough of a chance.

Death Cab for Cutie, however, got some serious play a few weeks ago. Some of those songs are ridiculously sad, verging even on maudlin at times. And they have a nice range of sounds. But the problem with them is that they're, well, a bit pretentious. You get the feeling that they think that everything they write about is just very... "special." I'm wondering if there's a word that describes the way they come off. But the music ends up feeling like piffle. Pretty, sad piffle. But piffle nonetheless. I don't hate it, but it didn't seize me.

And don't get me started on what's-'is-name's voice which after about one point two five songs, is like an unscratchable itch on the surface of that music.

Then today three more CD's arrived: The High Violets - "To Where You Are," Film School - "Film School," and Clearlake - "Amber."

First The High Violets. Definitely less fluffy and more moody than DCFC. Wall-of-sound fuzz guitar overlayed with Kaitlyn Ni Donovan's studied, gravelly soprano. With a sound that ranges from Sarah McLachlan to Liz Frazier, her voice over those wailing, sometimes screaming guitars creates a warm, enveloping sonic blanket. One which, as it happens, was nice to wear while I was running out in the cold.

But ultimately, all that sound and fury signifies nothing. Or at most not enough. And there's a tendency for it all to sound the same. There's nothing annoying about it, and that's a flaw. Actually, there's one thing annoying about it: "Cool Green" features a repeating pop-corn synth line that sounds just like the one on Duran Duran, "Hungry Like the Wolf." It's just way, way too much. Particularly when you add in that, uh... "guitar." It's an icky sweet pop-sound poised to send me into glucose shock. I have to give more attention to the lyrics, but right now, here's the equation:

(The High Violets + (.15 Sarah McLachlan * .15 Cocteau Twins)) / Lowlife = The Sundays / The Smiths

But every group mentioned in that equation has more guts than "The High Violets." Whom, after all that, I don't dislike...

Next there's Film School. Now there's a group with some guts. I was going to talk about them directly here, but I think I'll save that little rant for next post....

...I'm way more tired than I was when I started writing this. But this idea of artistic "guts" is something that I've been thinking about.


OK, I read the above just after sipping on half a grande latte, iced, natch. So must go back & reread. But what I can tell U is that I now have some cool new iTunes to explore... much needed BTW 4 this Tart!

Funny the photo I am just about to post is 'falling water' & low-n-behold, here is UR water. ; ) Which BTW.. this is beautiful...where is this place? love the steamy dreamy white at the bottom of the falls.

Monday smooch,
The Tart

Pssssst. Love that fire hydrant.. adds some intrigue to the already cool pic! See ya on my bloggyroll. ; )

Posted by: cheap tart on April 10, 2006 12:08 PM

nice landscape ...

Posted by: Marius Muscalu on April 24, 2006 07:33 AM