Monday, August 29, 2011


This post has been moved to my new dark music / lit blog, Percival Ravenwood, Esq.

The new link for this post is here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Favorite Album of Summer 2011

I've clawed my way through stacks of CDs this summer and reignited my love for rock and roll and the full-length album.  I've listened to bands I've never heard of.  I've given old bands another chance.  I've spent way too much time looking at what "customers also bought" at Amazon and the iTunes Store.

I think it's time I cop to the album that made me its bitch this summer.  My initial take was so-so.  It took more than a few listens to finally win me over, and now I can say that the album I loved the most over the last few months has been Van She's 2008 debut V.

Here are some highlights:

It's a rare thing that an album can consistently blow my face off after even the tenth listen.  Check these guys out as soon as fucking possible.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

...And I Will Know Them By The Trail Of Awesome

In 2002 I remember seeing the Source Tags and Codes poster in the window of  Minneapolis stalwart Let It Be Records, thinking that they had stumbled upon the coolest band name ever.  I didn't listen to them for four solid years.  Then in 2006 I think I must have been casting about LimeWire (Ha!  Remember them?) looking for some fresh death metal treats for my ears when I remembered seeing their poster.  Sounds like a name for a metal band. 

"I wonder what they sound like..."

What indeed.  That year I downloaded and voraciously annihilated every single song I could find by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.  I was almost immediately deeply in love, and fed often.  I wish I could explain my instant and overwhelming fascination with this band.  It's something nearly intangible, like a flash of memory resurrected by the burnt smell of late October. 

Then I dropped them like nothing had happened.  I think I had moved on to tackle -- of all things -- baroque music, and political podcasts were taking up a bigger and bigger slice of my audio diet.  Once I suck a band dry of all their genius, I tend not to go back for seconds. 

But for whatever reason I felt compelled to unearth all of my Trail of Dead MP3s this summer.  I found that some had aged a bit better than others, but the standout was obvious.  Clearly my favorite album of theirs is still Source Tags and Codes, just as it was in 2006 when I could not stop listening to them.  The album finishes strong with one of the most ingeniously written and performed songs I've ever heard...

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags and Codes

This is actually my favorite song of their entire corpus.  It blows my face right off every single time I listen to it, and it refuses to age in my mind like some demented vampire or stone statue. 

I'd be hard pressed to not include this song in a list of my top five all-time favorites. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The National

Breaking up sometimes means hunkering down with a bottle of wine, closing the blinds, switching off your phone, and crying like a little faggot.  You will find no better breakup music than this, my friends.  Even if everything in the world is going just fine.  Sometimes you just want to let it go for no reason.  You know, we won't tell.  Here's some kleenex, you little pussy.

I didn't realize what a shit day I was having Sunday until I listened to High Violet all the way through.  It was subliminal, subconscious, the way I felt.  I didn't realize what was happening until it was too late.  If you need to get it out, Matt Beringer will fucking find it in you.  Let him.

If you like these songs, which I totally do, go download their CD High Violet right now.  Amazon will sell it to you for six measly bucks.  Check out their website while you're at it.  You'll probably, like me, pick up shades of Red House Painters, Nick Cave, and Drift-era Scott Walker.

I've had a rough couple of weeks.  I think it's probably not self-indulgent, if you sometimes need to cry like a little bitch, which I kind of do.  Getting dumped sucks balls.  Matt Beringer can relate; his life must be infinitely worse.  He opens the door for a little sunlight with these albums, just far enough for us to sneak in and try to make sense of the oddly arranged vocal furniture.  It's no easy thing, getting through High Violet.  But fuck me, it's worth it.