Archive for category Liked Things

The Anticipation

So let’s talk about things I really like and absolutely cannot wait to hear more of, specifically, Bon Iver’s sophomore album. A good while ago I picked up a single release, “Calgary”, and upon recent rediscovery in my library, I have to listen to it at least once a day. When that quota is met, I usually end up listening to it many more times.

I love just about everything Justin Vernon is a part of; from Bon Iver to his work on Volcano Choir and even into his appearances on Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Naturally, his album coming out soon is giving me jitters. I just can’t wait much longer. In the mean time, though, “Calgary” will have to quench my thirst. You should check it out, too. There’s clearly the classic Bon Iver style of falsetto beauty, but it throws down a very full orchestra sound on top of his folksy sound heard on For Emma, Forever Ago. You can also hear some of the remnants of the sounds heard in Gayngs, another collaborative work of Justin’s. The harmonies are ballad-like and solid. The simple drumming politely keeps the groove charging. It’s fantastic and it’s hopefully just a taste of something spectacular coming later this June. Take a listen.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bon-iver-20110516

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Iron and Wine in concert

Rather than bore you all with another ill-informed “album opinion”, I’ve chosen instead to bore you with a mostly irrelevant episode of my musical life. Well maybe not wholly irrelevant since I gave my opinion of Iron and Wine’s kiss each other clean a couple months ago, but irrelevant because it’s me.

Last night I had the opportunity to see Iron and Wine in concert. Despite an extremely rude, talkative, and drunk crowd at the Cleveland House of Blues (I saw the two buildings!), the show was awesome. They didn’t play any of their songs the way they appear on the albums; I actually liked that a lot. Their new arrangements were refreshing and still close enough that you could sing along and I enjoyed it quite a lot. Also, on several occasions they opened up some of the songs to some incredible jam sessions. Their saxophone player was phenomenal. Every musician on stage (it’s a 12 person band) was able to display exceptional improvisation. Sam Beam and his band truly own their music.

If the opportunity to see Iron and Wine live wasn’t enough, the group I went to see the concert with and I decided to wait around outside his tour bus until he boarded it. Yes. Yes, I know, that sounds like the epitome of crazy fandom. If it’s any consolation, there were two completely normal married couples waiting with us who we happened to bond with well. And no, that bond wasn’t just due to our shared psychopathy. In the end, we determined that all Iron and Wine fans are really nice (the Cleveland House of Blues audience were by this logic not fans). Anyway, after hours of waiting (makes us sound more crazy) Sam Beam made his way out of the building. He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met for five minutes about to make his way onto a tour bus on a relatively freezing cold day of Spring. He even pretended to care about my one friend’s ramblings about the tube amps he makes in his free time. Truly though, the guy was very cordial and I was quite surprised by his altruism.

Crazy fandom aside, the important thing to get out of all of this is that if you’re ever given the opportunity to see Iron and Wine in concert, do it; it’s awesome. And if you can wait a little while to meet Sam Beam, he’s a great guy to meet.

Sam Beam signing my ticket. Cell phone camera. His beard overtook technology and made the picture appear darker (at least that’s what I want to believe).

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Savage Skulls and Douster: “Bad Gals” (ft. Robyn)

I liked this video. I liked this song.

http://pitchfork.com/news/41364-watch-new-videos-from-robyn-memory-tapes/

(There are two, but I liked the first)

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