Archive for June, 2010

Look out!

I am celebrating this stupidly stuffy late-June night by sitting in my air conditioning on my computer.  This is the best idea I’ve ever had.  Today I’ve got two of my favorite albums ever.  Usually I’m not keen on having favorite things, but as other albums have come and gone, I never go more than a week or two without listening to Neon Golden and Goodnite Life.

The Notwist: slanty musicians are the best musicians.

The Notwist has been around for 21 years, changing their sound from heavy metal, indie rock, electronica, and whatever lies in between.  While I’m not at all a fan of heavy metal, I do love indie and electronica, a combination of which has been dubbed “indietronica.”  People are so creative nowadays.  I guess both of the albums that I’m showcasing today fall under the “indietronica” label, with Neon Golden sitting near the middle of the two genres, and Goodnite Life straying to the electronica side of things.

After experimenting with electronic music while making Neon Golden, The Notwist released The Devil, You + Me 5 years later, removing the electronic beeps and boops from their sound that I love so much.  I was pretty disappointed by TDYAM, but that’s only because I had extremely high expectations because I love Neon Golden so much.  It’s a decent album, but Neon Golden blows it away.  I just gotta have those beeps and boops.

That being said, my favorite song on the album is probably the rockiest.  Then again, that’s what I love so much about this album, it combines different kinds of songs together in a way where they all compliment each other perfectly.  Have a listen to “One With the Freaks:”

“Consequence,” probably the most well-known of the lot, is the perfect closer for this album.  Though there’s some instrumental bonus tracks, “Consequence” marks the real end of the album, and it couldn’t be better:

Whenever I write about something on here, I put on whatever album or artist I’m writing about.  As I listen to “Consequence” right now, all I want to do is hop in my car and drive somewhere.  Windows down, warm weather, dark sky.  Though that sounds wonderful, gas is $3 a gallon, and the a/c is on here.  I can’t let that go to waste.

I know I’ve written before about my affinity for poppy music during summer, which I don’t think is uncommon, but I think summer nights call for more relaxed music, which can be accessed with the link below.

Download Neon Golden

Electrical Engineering is the coolest!

This album cover ranks as one of my all-time favorites.  It not only has resistors, but capacitors too!  Also, I’m not certain, but I think i see a little transistor action on the bottom too.  Not only that but they wrote their name in WIRE!  As an Electrical Engineering major, these things excite me more than they should.  Fortunately for you, the cover is not the reason that I love this album so much, though it is insanely incredible.

Philippians is a duo out of some place in California.  Sadly, this is their only release.  No EP’s, no singles, just this.  At one point, even finding any information about the band was hard, as it just didn’t exist on the internet.  The band actually has two myspace accounts, for reasons unknown to me, but they both seemingly have gone dark as of March 2007.  Of course, a band releases one of my favorite albums of all time and then promptly falls off the earth.

As I said before, this is much more electronic than Neon Golden, but for some reason I think they are kind of related in some way that probably only exists in my mind.  Goodnite Life is absolutely chock-full of beeps and boops.  I just can’t get enough.

"Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."

The album as a whole is one of the most complete albums I’ve ever heard.  The songs fit perfectly together, even more so than in Neon Golden, and that’s saying a lot.  When I think about a great album I rarely think about individual songs, and more about how they fit together to form the full LP.  Each of the songs on Goodnite Life is great, but there is one that sticks out from the rest.  Listen to “100 Knives:”

That’s actually a “remix” of a song by Mirah.  I use the quotes because it sounds nothing like the original and has been made 163 times better.  Though one thing that is great from the original is the lyrics.

I had a hard time picking the second song that I wanted to put here because they are all so good, but eventually I settled on “Heart Machine.”  I think it’s a good representation of the album as a whole, some songs being more beat driven with others more melodic.  The moment when the strings come in is one of my favorites on the whole album.

Download Goodnite Life

So there you have it.  Possibly my two favorite albums ever.  They don’t nearly represent the full spectrum of my musical tastes, but whatever.  Maybe it’s just the beeps and boops that keep me coming back.  Here’s some stuff that I’ve been listening to a lot lately:

Discovery – “Osaka Loop Line”

Klaxons – “It’s Not Over Yet”

Kid Cudi – “Up Up & Away”

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”

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As promised, it’s time to talk about “Brazil’s answer to Daft Punk,” or, The Twelves.  I don’t really understand that comparison, as I find The Twelves much funkier than Daft Punk, but whatever.  The Twelves thrive on remixing other artists’ tunes into something you would hear in a dance club.  At first you may think that it’s all done electronically, but they do play bass and synths over existing samples to make something that’s impossible to move to (think Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal”) into something upbeat and danceable.  (Speaking of “White Winter Hymnal” remixes, this is just delightful.)  Aside from remixes, the duo also has a few originals, which are quite good as well.  Here’s The Twelves remixing Metric’s “Help, I’m Alive”:

Daft Punk – Nightvision:

Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You

(This was already an awesome song, and now it’s more awesome)

I could go on and on, as they have a seemingly endless number of great remixes.  I’ve downloaded all the remixes that I could get my intertubes on, and compiled them in this nice zip file.  I’m sure this isn’t exhaustive, but I think it covers the majority of their work.

Download The Twelves’ Remixes

The Twelves also appeared on BBC’s Essential Mix, which is a 2 hour long live set that contains most of their more well known remixes, and is all in all a great listen.  It can be found, complete with track listing, over here.  They also have a few mixtapes floating around that are quite nice as well.

Happy dancing.

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Kanye at his best.

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