>Currently absorbing… part deux

>So, my busy days are coming to an end, thank goodness, and my school responsibilities have started to prove less time-consuming and exhausting. This is good, because now I finally have time to do things that I hadn’t done in a while for lack of time or energy, like breathing, or eating, or sleeping. Damn, I missed eating. Also, now that I have some “me” time again, I can do one of my most favoritest things in the whole world: music rant. This past weekend, I did some extensive listening, and here is some of the most remarkable shit I listened to:

Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires
Hands down, one of THE best releases of ’08, this little band screams hipster. It’s half New Order, half Pavement, with a touch of My Bloody Valentine to spice things up. The result is something I would expect from the ultimate dance-punk label, DFA, and that speaks goddamn highly of these guys.
Recommended track: Jump in the Pool – Um, this is some funky shit, alright. Groovy… this makes me shimmy and shake and smile🙂.

Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
Ok, so I’ve been revamping some albums from last year, especially the ones I liked. This one isn’t really one of my favorites, but it’s still worth mentioning. This album sounds a little bit too much like its predecessor, The Warning, and that’s okay, cause that was a superb album. I expected more from these guys, though, hence my ignoring of this album on my “Best albums of ’08” post. Although I did include The Faint’s Fasciinatiion, which blows. Yeah, well… Made in the Dark doesn’t necessarily blow. It just lacks a little bit of pizazz. I wish they’d got a bit more edge and made something totally different, cause their synth pop is quite good. On the bright side, they did include some nice ballads on this album, which I enjoyed very much.
Recommended track: Ready for the Floor – Not one of the ballads I mentioned, but rather one hell of a good dancefloor song. Yummy.

Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Another precious offspring of ’08, only totally different and… well, much better than the two former. I don’t even know why but I get a certain familiar vibe with these guys that I cannot point at. Nevertheless, this album is one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard. Their mix of classic rock with folk is impressive, and yet approachable enough that it comes in the form of catchy, four-minute-something tunes, with typical pop song structures and somewhat of a PG-13 feel to it. This could be a great recipe for a disaster pie with a nice flop cherry on top, but… goddamn, this is nice. Some of these songs are so poignant and beautiful and dark, I could potentially see this band as Nick Cave’s much folkier, Led Zeppelin-loving little kid.
Recommended track: Tiger Mountain Peasant Song – Insightful, mellow, fragile, touching, simple, warm, alluring, sweet… Like, half of those adjectives alone are enough to make me cry, so imagine how hard I bawled when I heard this song.

Trip-Hop
Mmm… Bristol. Pure genius. I mean, the only good thing about the nineties -other than Nine Inch Nails, of course- is trip hop. It;s funny how, while America was still feeding on the hype caused by Kurt Cobain and his disheveled creation, grunge, an entirely different, yet much more innovative, in my humble, rock chick opinion, movement was brewing in the UK, and came to fruition with the success of bands and artists such as Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky, blah blah… Those Brits, always ahead of their time. I can’t explain why, but thanks to this fellow, I found my newest obsession: trip hop, and now I adore it, even more than I already did. Zero 7’s Simple Things, Lamb’s self titled debut, Elsiane’s Hybrid, and more recently Morcheeba’s Big Calm; these are some of the albums that are now an essential part of my life simply for being unique.
Recommended track: Morcheeba – Big Calm – This sounds very hip-hop, but it’s cool enough to make me love the crap out of it.

Radiohead
So, I’ve been on a Radiohead binge these last couple of days, which I cannot explain since I’m not going through a crisis or a depression, and casually, these happen to be the only occasions when I find myself drawn to Radiohead. Goddamn, why do they have to be so fucking sulky?! Still, I don’t know, but I used to be the kind to take my Radiohead in small doses. Now, I can’t get enough of them, and I’m pretty worried cause I don’t really like Thom Yorke, and I make fun of his gimpy eye. I really don’t like liking things I don’t like (lol), dammit!
Recommended track album: Kid A – This albums beats, rapes and murders In Rainbows, and I just realized that. Never really saw what the big deal about it was until now. The Bends used to be my all-time favorite Radiohead album, but now I’m reconsidering it. Hmmm… yeah, well, Street Spirit (Fade Out) is still one of the best effing songs ever made but… eh, whatever.

Sonic Youth – Sister
This is Sonic motherfucking Youth, I don’t even have to say anything to evidence their greatness. My ears still hurt from the noise and the distortion and all that feedback and dissonance, but hell, I would be glad to go deaf while listening to this album. One of my favorite albums, still after all of these years, the only thing I don’t like about it is that it’s too damn short. This is a great alt-rock record, artsy, experimental, full of complex, yet enjoyable noisy tracks. ‘Nuff said.
Recommended track: Beauty Lies in the Eye: This is one of the calmer tracks on the album. Kim Gordon’s trademark stream-of-consciousness poetry, most clearly on display on Teen Age Riot, makes an appearance here, and gives this song a warm, womanly feel of confort amidst all the chaos.

Devendra Banhart – Rejoicing in the Hands
This guy is awesome. His name is weird, he lived in Venezuela, he looks like a hobo, he sings stuff that makes no sense whatsoever; and yet, he managed to get signed with Michael Gira’s label, Young God. I mean, Michael Gira! THE Michael Gira! Well, his music is minimalistic, emotional and rather freaky at times. This is pure folk, the heart and soul of the country, this album reeks mountains and forests, primitive influences evoking wonderful times that are long gone now. This is a rather visual album, with a certain sumthin’-sumthin’ that will leave you in awe.
Recommended track: Poughkeepsie – Oh Jesus, could this be any more depressing? Holy hell, this guy is, indeed, Gira’s long lost child. Wow…

Yup, that’s it. I’m happy now cause my stress is gone, and even though this school term isn’t over yet, I feel like I can take time to do useless shit again, and that feeling is priceless. I will be back when I think of something else worth blogging about. Don’t wait up.

Listening to: Can – Mushroom
Eating: Fucking evil Chinese food! Why do I have to be sooo goddamned weak?!
Drinking: Lemonade

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