Yo La Tengo!

The Beatles. I'm kidding.

The Beatles. I'm kidding.

I didn’t I liked these guys. I thought they were some kind of lo-fi Velvet Underground wannabes, and if you’ve heard one of them you don’t need to hear any more.

But they’re not like that at all – they’ve got loads of stuff going on, psychedelic guitar epics, punk-ish stuff, ambient piano pieces, and loads of other good things.

I risked 15 Emusic download credits on ‘I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass‘, and I’m glad I did. The only problem with it is that it’s about 75 minutes long, andI’m not all that keen on albums that long. Which is a pretty stupid complaint to have about stuff this good.

The great thing is that they have released 15 or so albums – I have so much catching up to do. And that’s agood thing.


To Much Music: A Coping Strategy

I have too much music.  The question is: just what am I going to listen to today?

Since I was 19 or so, I have bought probably 2 albums per week, sometimes more. Recently, with my Emusic subscription and the keen prices of 7digital et al, it may even work out at more than that.  Since the reason I buy it in the first place is to listen to it, the question arises every day: What am I going to listen to?


Wilco (the album)

It doesn’t help that I feel somehow guilty if I listen to album A more than album B, and since I tend to play all my music through iTunes these days I know exactly when album B is getting played more than A.  Sometimes this is because B is more catchy, or less arty or whatever. Sometimes it’s because B is newer. Sometimes it’s because B is more obvious and i am more likely to think to play B than A, even if A is the album that is going to stay with me for years – sometimes albums need more work to worm their way into your mind.

This month ‘Wilco [the album]‘ by Wilco would have got played a lot more if  I hadn’t started listening to Kent again (see previous posts). It has got to the stage where I have made a playlist of albums I think  I may have passed over, and thanks to the magic of iTunes, once they have been played 10 times they disappear from the playlist. All I have to do is remember to play that playlist.

Surely, this is a sign I have bought far, far, too much music?

Music Amnesty – update

WarningWell the plan was to put my Emusic subscription on hold for 3 months while I had a really good listen to the hundreds of albums I have already. Maybe I might rip a few more unfairly ignored CDs into iTunes and give them a damn good listening. Also, this might save me a bit of money. This plan seems to have gone badly wrong. Since I started the music amnesty, I have bought the following:

  • a 3 CD Sinatra set (!)
  • World of Fox ‘Everything is for the best’
  • Michael Brook & Djivan Gasparyan ‘Penumbra
  • Kent ‘Du Och Jag Döden
  • The Soundcarriers ‘Harmonium
  • Flight of the Conchords ‘Flight of the Conchords
  • Kent ‘The Hjärta & Smärta EP
  • Phoenix ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’
  • ‘Wilco [The Album]’
  • ‘Information Inspiration 3’
  • ….and so on. I think there’s another 3 or 4 but I’m bored with typing

Now it looks to me that this plan isn’t going too well, although I must say these are some of the best albums I’ve bought in a while. I think the Emusic subscription kicks in later this month, changing everything, unless the prices have gone up – there seem to be big changes coming along at Emusic.

Music Amnesty – too much music

I have too much music. Really far far too much. Emusic is partly to blame, my bad habits are also in the frame for this one. I like to give each new record I buy a fair chance to be heard (unless it is really bad) and sometimes there is just so much new stuff for me to listen to that some good stuff just doesn’t get heard before my Emusic subscription re-spawns and I start again…

So I have put Emusic on hold for 3 months while i try to catch up with stuff. I have already compiled a playlist of music that needs a second chance, the slight problem of it running to 46 albums is not going to get me down

Really what I’m trying to do is hear some old stuff I don’t play that often any more. Most of my CD collection is not yet MP3’d, so I suppose I could make a start on that too.

I’ve been listening to … lots of stuff

My Emusic subscription has re-spawned, and I’ve got a quite varied collection of things to listen to this month.

deeplistning_1501‘Deep Listening’ is drone music played on digeridoo and accordian and bits of metal pipes and things, but recorded in a 2million gallon silo that has 45 seconds of echo. And the 3 of ’em are playing these almost static drones that shift and warp in a quite delightful way. If you tried doing it on a computer/synth (and you could – and I think I have at some point. Actually, some of the new Far Black Furlong sounds a little like that) it just wouldn’t sound the same, wouldn’t sound so organic.

‘Al Bowlly’s In Heaven’ is a song by Richard Thompson from ‘Daring Adventures’, which I dug out ’cause Mum wanted a compilation of RT for the car (the old cassette is no good – no player in this car). Only when putting the best of his stuff all on one playlist did I realise just how incredibly sad some of his songs are. There’s this one, ‘Withered and Died’ which is possibly the saddest song ever – or is it the beautiful performance by Linda Thompson that gives it the edge? – and ‘Waltzing’s for dreamers’. RT is incredibly underrated, except by people who have heard him who slightly overrate him I think (too many so-so tracks on each album). Someone needs to put together ‘An Introduction to..’ compilation. Didn’t do Nick Drake any harm, did it?

soweto_1501‘The Indestructible Beat of Soweto – Volume One’ is great. I had second thoughts after I’d downloaded it, do I really want to listen to this at the moment (I go through phases, I love dub and roots reggae but I really don’t want to hear it all the time). Answer: I do want to hear this, it’s bloody great. I think this was one of the releases that got Paul Simon into South African music, or maybe it just came out at roughly the same time.

I think I’ve got a little too much instrumental music this time, I tried to balance it out with Hoodoo Gurus and the new Dears album, but there’s still too much jazz and ambient.