Posts Tagged ‘bible babble’

It’s time for a New Junk showdown!!!! In the Sophomore-Slump-Busting Corner we have Ra Ra Riot’s The Orchard. In the Released-an-Incredible-Album-Then-Just-a-Really-Good-One Corner we have Arcade Fire with The Suburbs. DING DING!

Sorry, but this is all that came up on my google image search for "suburban riots."

When we ran out of tickets for the main event tonight, things got ugly.

The Rhumb Line is amongst the most played full albums in my music library.  It is the ever elusive complete album, with not a bad song to be heard anywhere.  I tried not to expect too much from the follow-up, as I have learned I am easily disappointed.  Especially with a relatively new band in Ra Ra Riot, as I have no idea if they can be consistently awesome or not.  Even with all my efforts, I couldn’t help but be massively excited to have my first listen.  It was definitely the most excited I’ve been to listen to an album for the first time in a long time.  Incredibly, I was not disappointed.  At all.

The Orchard is plain wonderful.  It keeps all the energy and verve of The Rhumb Line while still progressing and not being boring.  The band certainly knows how to arrange songs on their albums too, as this one is built superbly.  The title track is the perfect opener, while “Keep It Quiet” rounds out the only 39 minute aural adventure.  In between lies a contrast of fast and slow, of dark and playful, and of new and old.  “Boy” sounds like a track straight from their first album, which is a huge compliment.  Perhaps one reason why I think so highly of this album is that my future wife, Alexandra, gets to sing a whole song!  By herself!

Future wife number two. Or three? I don't remember.

I’m still trying to find a bad song, but I haven’t yet.  I think I’m just a sucker for strings.  Got that Alexandra?  Good.

Have a listen to “You And I Know”:

This is the part of the post where I would link you to the album that I host somewhere, but since this album isn’t out yet doing so would probably get this post deleted like last time.  I could rant about why me linking to a download is a good thing, but instead I will link you to google, which will then link you to roughly 130,000 places you can download it other than here.

Google Facilitates Music Piracy (and it’s not my fault so don’t delete my post)

Win Butler and the hipster mullet.

I don’t know if that’s really a mullet, but that’s what I’m calling it because it deserves a strange name.  When I heard that Arcade Fire’s new album was called The Suburbs, I was scared.  Scared because the suburbs are the city’s less exciting cousin.  Would that mean this album would be a boring version of Funeral.  In a way, I really expected it to be.  I’m not sure what it is exactly, but I just couldn’t see them making another solid album.  I was wrong.  Hipster Mullet 1, Eric 0.  Whatever strange brain that lives below those beautiful flowing locks of Win’s is here to stay.

The Suburbs is not at all a departure from the band’s previous efforts, rather a reinvention of them.  Capturing the unwavering energy of the band and dark songwriting edge of Win, the album is one full hour of solid listening, which few bands can say they create.  Not a whole lot sticks out to me, which isn’t a bad thing.  “Empty Room” sounds like Owen Pallett spent some time in the studio with Broken Social Scene (in a good way).  “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains” touts a synth line straight from the 80’s.  These things, mixed with the well known Arcade Fire strings, piano, guitar, megaphone, and bible tearing make for one great record.  Listen to “Ready to Start”:

I haven’t decided where The Suburbs sits in my mind in relation to Funeral and Neon Bible.  It’s definitely up there somewhere though.  Funeral is an amazing album all the way through, Neon Bible has some incredible songs, but could The Suburbs tie it all together?  Probably not, though time will tell.  Neon Bible took a long time to achieve its “Quite Awesome” rating in my mind.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see it past Neon Bible fairly soon.

GFMP (AINMF) (133,000 results)

Oh right, boxing metaphor, I forgot.  Well, Ra Ra Riot came out swinging fast and hard, but Arcade Fire used the illusion of the Hipster Mullet to dodge the blows.  The Suburbs struck back with bowling alleys and movie theaters, while The Orchard started throwing apples.  Wait what.

It’s a very close call, as both albums are certain to be on many Best of 2010 lists (and deservedly too).  However, I’m going to say Ra Ra Riot wins this edition of New Junk. Did you really think I would pick against my future wife?  There’s no way I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.

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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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