Hey there champies! I’ve been outta commission for awhile, throwing glamorous parties in New York and staging protests outside of my local public school to stop Obama from indoctrinating our school children into his Communist trans-gender agenda, but now I’m back to talk about the latest additions to my iTunes. Let’s get down to it, boppers!
1) The Antlers: Hospice
Date added: 9/4/2009
HOLY G*DDAMN MOTHERF*CKING APE-FIST*NG PEE CLOWN, this is a great record! Okay, so full disclosure: I never really got swept up in the whole Arcade Fire phenomenon. I really want to love Funeral as much as everyone else does, but there’s something about it that feels disingenuous to me. Maybe not disingenuous … that might not be the right word. It just has all the trappings of being an emotionally sweeping epic, but something about it seems cold … the same feeling I get from Beck and TV on the Radio. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t make me feel that buzz in my tingly parts the way I think it should.
This album is all buzz in the tingly parts. It makes me tingly in places I didn’t know could tingle. The comparison to Arcade Fire is not originally mine, although the similarities between the two albums are pretty apparent … Hospice tells the story of a terminally ill child (are you crying already?) while Funeral is about, um, funerals. They’re both filled with songs that start out quiet and crescendo into giant, emotionally-wrenching codas with chimes and crashing cymbals and all that kind of over-produced what not. But where the Antlers get it right over Arcade Fire, I think, is in the immediacy of the production. When I listen to Funeral, I feel like I’m hearing it through a layer of gauze, while Hospice sounds like it’s being played inside my head.
According to Pitchfork, this album was recorded in a home-studio, which is astonishing, considering its sonic depth. It is utterly gorgeous and heartfelt and a prime contender for album of the year.
Conclusion: If you have ever loved me, you will buy this record.
2) The xx: xx
Date added: 9/4/2009
What a great week for music! I stumbled upon The xx after eMusic gave me 50 free credits for being an influential blogger, personality, and fashion icon. Also because they gave 50 free credits to all of their members.
The first reference points that come to my mind for this record are Hot Chip and Spoon. The xx have the stripped down, every-note-counts orchestration of Spoon, with the sort of blase sexiness of Hot Chip. But also with a sexy female singer, which makes the sexiness not as blase. Apparently they’re making big waves in England, probably because of their stupid name. In spite of that name, I’m going to recommend this record highly. It’s a nice sexy album for having sex to and/or with. It’s what you want the Gutter Twins to be but they aren’t because the Gutter Twins are boring. It’s maybe a little anticlimactic after the climactic brilliance of the Antlers, but on any other week, this would be the top pick.
Conclusion: My love is not dependent upon you buying this record, but it’s still highly recommended for all fans of music that sounds good.
3) Redd Kross: Neurotica
Date added: 9/4/2009
Redd Kross were a band ahead of their time. Their first record, released in 1982 when one of the members was only 14, was a snot-nosed thrash-punk classic. Or whatever, I’ve never heard it. I’m totally talking out of my ass. This album, Neurotica, released in 1987, is widely credited as being a prime influence on “grunge,” even though it went out of print almost immediately and no one has ever heard it. It’s one of those records.
I have loved the follow up to this album, (Third Eye), since high school, but I’d never heard anything else by Redd Kross until I downloaded this. It’s a hard album to judge upon first listen. It straddles the line between hair metal, 70s bubblegum, punk, and 50s pop, without ever putting down roots in any of those genres. Also, they’re from LA, and being from L.A. in 1987 is an immediate disqualification for producing good rock and roll. Wait, except for Guns n’ Roses. And Jane’s Addiction. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe 1987 L.A. was the best time and place in musical history.
Anyway, I’m tentative. Upon further listen, it could very well become a favorite, but for now I’ll have to give it a “we’ll wait and see.”
Conclusion: We’ll wait and see.