Real post this week! Maybe!
If you’re an avid reader of p&p+s (as I’m sure you are) you’ll remember that I was quite excited for Bibio’s upcoming album Mind Bokeh due to this tantilizing album sampler that was released in January:
More labels/artists should make these little youtube videos, because this moved Mind Bokeh from “Mild Excitment” to “Insomnia-Inducing Fervor” on the p&p+s Album Anticipation Scale (PPSAAS) (haha pee pee ass). The video definitely put this album on a lot of people’s radar, including mine. Thankfully, Mind Bokeh leaked today, and I have been genuinely enjoying it from the first listen.
When asked about the album title, Stephen Wilkinson, the lone man behind the sound, had this to say:
Bokeh is the out of focus region of a photograph. It’s not a quantifiable thing, but photographers and lens manufacturers are obsessed with it. In Japanese it means “haze,” “blur” or even “dementia.” I called the album Mind Bokeh because I’m interested in the effect of defocussing your mind, whether through meditation, chemicals or whatever — it’s a state of mind quite alien to Westerners.
It’s always cool to hear artists’ reasons for titles and lyrics for things, even if you don’t like being categorized as a high-strung Westerner.
Bibio’s last album Ambivalence Avenue was hailed as a great album by pretty much everyone, so as with any follow-up to a great album fans were wary of disappointment (The King of Limbs anyone?). Mind Bokeh is better than Ambivalence Avenue. I can’t say there’s a song that I don’t enjoy. Maybe this is a side effect of the album sampler, as I find that I tend to like things that sound a little familiar.
That being said, if you think this album is going to sound like the album sampler repeated 10 times, you’d be extremely wrong. Wilkinson always manages to blend electronic and folk and I don’t even know what else to make his extremely unique sound. Listen to “Saint Christopher“:
This was the song from the sampler that I was most eager to hear. Since the sampler only contained a few seconds of each song, it made me really excited to hear the rest of the ones I liked. So, pretty much all of them. If you can’t tell already, I kind of loved this sampler thing. I probably listened to it 50 times or so.
I think the sampler really worked for this album because it’s a very cohesive piece of music. I don’t think it would work for an album comprised of a few good songs and a bunch of filler tracks, because inevitably you’d be left with a large percentage of shitty song clips.
So, yes, I love this a lot already. And gauging from other reactions I’ve read around the interwebs it’s going to be on a lot of Best of 2011 lists. So listen, love, buy, and let your mind defocus.
Also, a bonus music video:
Hello Mr. Blog, it’s been a while. While I was gone, Radiohead decided they would announce the release of their new record The King of Limbs much in the same vein of their In Rainbows release. Again they’re releasing independently, but without the pay-what-you-want scheme of In Rainbows. Digital downloads are priced at $9 for MP3 and $14 for lossless WAV files. There is also the fancy vinyl package for $48.
The price point is very interesting to me, as retail CD’s don’t go for much more than the $9 or even $14 they want for the download. Especially since they are releasing this independently as a download and distribution costs are virtually zero, they stand to make lots and lots of money.
Well enough about that. After In Rainbows seemed to be a combination of their previous records, I was interested to see where Radiohead would go with this one. They had released a couple of singular songs in the past year or so, none of which I was really a fan of.
The King of Limbs is short. 8 songs, 37.5 minutes. Radiohead had previously said that they would like to move away from full-length albums and more toward an EP-based approach, so maybe that’s why TKOL is at a kind of in-between length. So for a minimum of $9 you get 8 songs. I think that’s roughly what an album costs on iTunes, though I haven’t bought music from there in a long time. Apple takes something like 30% of all sales on iTunes, which means Radiohead is making more per-sale than they would on iTunes. Which is a long cry from the pay-what-you-want model of In Rainbows. HAHA OKAY REALLY DONE TALKING ABOUT MONEY NOW.
As for the music, the album is a lot more stripped-down than anything else from Radiohead. Stylistically I’d say it’s somewhere in between Amnesiac and In Rainbows. It’s more percussive and a lot less melody-centric than I’m used to from them. It’s certainly a long way away from the triple-guitar driven days of the late nineties.
I guess everyone should stop being surprised when new Radiohead sounds completely different than old Radiohead, seeing as this is the band that has released Pablo Honey and Amnesiac without skipping a beat.
I’ve been discussing this with one Rajib K. Mitra, and we both agree that if you’re looking for serious catchy guitar riffs, you’re going to be disappointed. Fortunately, Radiohead does downtempo sad songs as well as anybody. The King of Limbs is not something you’re going to want to listen to when you want to rock out and pep up your day.
There are some rumors going around that the band is going to release more songs at some point, as the album currently is quite short, and there are many other songs known to be recorded that are not present in the track listing. There’s also something in the lyrics for “Separator” (the last song) about ‘If you think this is over/Then you’re wrong.’ Radiohead have been known to put little hidden things (the presence of the number 10 in In Rainbows, Kid 17) within their albums, so I guess nothing’s out of the question. I would think this would be the last release for at least 6 months though.
So, watch this:
The jury is out on whether this is a legitimate artistic dance interpretation of “Lotus Flower” or whether Thom is snickering at everyone taking this seriously. It’s certainly a change of image for a man seemingly irked by the spotlight throughout his career. As happens with an video of something dancing goofily on the internet, people have taken Thom’s dance and set it to a variety of hilarious soundtracks, this being the best I’ve seen so far:
via Dumb-Bee Elkins
Regardless of your enjoyment of the album, I hope you can agree that Thom dancing to Beyoncé is hilariously awesome.
This is definitely one of the most interesting/awesome/neat-o music videos I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t hurt that the song rules too.
HD > Full Screen > Aw Yeah.
I really thought I had, but I just looked back and it looks like I haven’t. Even if this is a double post, it’s worth watching again and again and again and again because the Black Keys are the coolest people in the world.
Aw crud embedding is disabled because WMG sucks. Click through anyway though cause it’s mad awesome.
Uh well the first time I tried to play it on-site it wouldn’t play and made me watch it on youtube, but now it plays. So I don’t know what’s going on. JUST PRESS PLAY AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
One new (free) logic board later and my laptop is alive and well. So I do get to post Mine Is Yours after all. I’ve been listening to it more and more, and it continues to grow on me. There are definitely still some tracks better off skipped, but overall I think it’s a solid album. There’s some very catchy parts, but also some parts that are boring as heck. It’s definitely worth a download and few listens though. Here’s “Bulldozer”:
I can definitely see myself listening to this a good bit in the near future. Though it’s decidedly poppier than the Kids’ previous efforts, it maintains enough of their edge to be very listenable. There’s still some of that signature CWC guitar to be heard, but what will keep me coming back is Nathan Willett’s voice, because it’s awesome.
I also just found this, which is interesting.
Yesterday, the video card on my laptop died. So I most likely will not be making any new posts in the near future. Not that I would have anyway. Though today I listened to the new Cold War Kids album for the first time and wanted to put up a download link/share my thoughts.
There won’t be a download link, but so far I think most of the album is pretty forgettable. Many of the songs have lost the edge that made Robbers & Cowards so awesome. Though there are still some good parts, such as “Bulldozer,” which to my ears sounds like the best song on the record. I really wanted to put up a little streaming thingy for it, but when I try to use my computer it turns into a crazy flashing mess. Epileptics stay away.
I figured that someone would have posted all of the songs to youtube by now, but for some reason the one person who was posting all the songs from the record decided to leave out a few songs, including “Bulldozer”. So you get nothing.
Anyways, Apple is supposedly fixing my poor computer for free, so hopefully it will be back and operational by the weekend, just in time for some Saturday Voxtrot lovin’, perhaps.