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 All Singing, All Dancing - Miscellaneous Debris – Archive

All Singing, All Dancing

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

14 Dec 2005

I’ve been listening to a lot of new music lately. Some found through last.fm, some rediscovered in my CD collection after the Great Digitization, some just, well, new. Here’s a quick recap:

Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
Took me a while to get into their first album. Not because it’s not catchy, but because I simply didn’t give it a chance due to their Galgalatz and dance-floor popularity – Take Me Out was a good song, but I had my preconceived notions. When I finally got over them, I discovered a fun, well-produced rocker of an album. A bit uniform in style, but excellent nonetheless. So when this, their second album came out I didn’t wait before downloading and then buying it My reaction at first was mixed – some of it sounded like the first album, but much more richly produced. Not as thin and direct as the first, with the obligatory Beatlesesque sound in some of the arrangements making them sound like Yet Another Britpop Band at first. A few listens on, though, really started flowing. There are several slower, less aggressive songs (like “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”, which is nice) and in general is a good album, though not as fun as the first, but shows that they ARE allowing themselves to stray from the formula that got them on the charts. I hope their third album, whenever it is released, will get more interesting.
Recommendation: Good, clean fun. The CD version sold in Israel doesn’t contain all the bonus tracks found elsewhere.

The Fiery Furnaces – Rehearsing My Choir
The Fiery Furnaces – EP
I stumbled across this name through last.fm’s recommendations engine and downloaded a sampling – and ended up getting the Rehearsing My Choir album, which turned out to be a rather problematic choice.
The Fiery Furnaces are a an American band led by a brother and sister (Matt and Eleanor Friedberger (after which the aforementioned Franz Ferdinand song is named, it is rumored)) and being characterized by Eleanor’s excellent voice and a lot of weird keyboard noises and blues rhythms, but all generally more “fun” than “annoying”. “Rehearsing The Choir”, their latest album, turned out to be weirder even than their average style, since it is a collaboration with the Friedbergers’ grandmother (!) who weaves (along with her granddaughter) two seperate stories alongside instrumental whimsy and abrupt rhythm changes. Not very musically pleasing, but certainly interesting. Their earlier stuff, though, is much more fun. The EP contains the single “Single Again”, which is great, and other sometimes blues-ish and somewhat messing-around-with-the-keyboards-ish.
Recommendation: Download a few tracks from “EP” and “The Gallowbird’s Bark” before making up your mind.

Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
Apparently a popular player in the American indie-guitar strumming-angst ridden-very sensitive-scene. Has about 8 albums or so, out of which I randomly decided to pick the one above. The style draws from Nirvana, a bit of country music, and a lot of generic “The world is a cold, empty place” emo-angst. The music isn’t bad, though the whining grates after a while.
Recommendation: Enjoyable, but not enough for me to buy it, probably.

The Moldy Peaches – The Moldy Peaches
A while ago I bought an album by Kimya Dawson who was, apparently a member of this short lived alt-folk duo alongside one Adam Green. While the basic structure of her solo music is similar to the duo’s – very low-fi low-key singing with acoustic guitars – her solo album is more “here are things that bother me in life”, while the Moldy Peaches material is a bit more electrical and more “let’s get stoned and see what we can get away with”, as evidenced by such songs as “Who’s Got The Crack?” and “Downloading porn with Dave-O”.
The music is minimalistic strumming and occasional screaming, and is mostly not very interesting. A track that stood out is “New York City’s Like a Graveyard”.
Recommendation: Can live without.

Elbow – A Cast of Thousands
Elbow – Asleep At The Back
While also of the uber-tragic my-life-is-meaningless-without-you vein, both the above albums really caught me. Their sound is very rich, with guitars and keyboards laying it on heavy. A Cast Of Thousands took me a while to get into, but after that Asleep At The Back quickly made it into my MP3 player and is staying there for now.
Recommendation: Not if you’ll looking for feel-good music, but very good if you want immersive music to get lost in.

That’s it for now. I’m also working on dEUS, Of Montreal and solo Frank Black albums. We’ll see if anything sticks.

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