Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Week Four

"I love pretentious music!"

Wow, The Black Keys officially rock my world! Seeing them last Thursday night put me in a real 70s good old rock n roll music mind frame. They sound so gritty and raw and so much energy exchanged between the two guys. Amazing show, and I scored an awesome t-shirt and three badges! Merch always sucks me in. So in light of being gobsmakced by how good The Black Keys were, I decided to put a bit of a 70s slant on the show with a retrospective (dedicated to none other than my Uncle Stan;) of great old school artists. It was very difficult to choose a couple of bands from back then cos my god, how many there were! Nonetheless, I narrowed it down to three songs I have been obsessed with in some point in my life: David Bowie's Rebel, Rebel (love that riff), Pink Floyd's Wish you were here and The Kinks LoLa. Had a lot of fun with this segment. Of course I ended the show with The Black Keys cover of a Kinks song: Act Nice and Gentle.

David Bowie at his glam rock best

The hype surrounding The Arcade Fire did not get the better of them. I think the album 'Funeral' is fantastic. It seems these days that every new band that comes out of a buzz city (like Montreal for example) gets loaded with hype. And it's bad cos it will ultimately set you up for disappointment, unless they really do knock the wind out of you. Arcade Fire is a beautiful band, be sure to check them out. You can check out the review I aired at the bottom of this post. Don't like it? Well just post a comment or email me and we'll get talking!

I am really looking forward to next week! My lovely friend Simon is coming into the studio to guest program with me, and he has exceptional music taste. I won't give away any secrets of what he will be airing but I can guarantee it will be a great show! As such the album review segment will be put aside for a week so we can squash in as many tunes as possible!

Thanks for the SMS and lovely emails. it's great getting feedback. Thanks particularly to David who emailed me, you'll be hearing some Postal Service next week, unless I can get my hands on the great cover song that was suggested.

Right now, it's off to watch Modest Mouse on the OC!

Playlist for Monday 14th March:

Placebo - Bulletproof cupid
The Departure - Be my enemy
Kings of Leon - Taper jean girl
The Mess Hall - Lock and Load
Modest Mouse - Float On
Interpol - Evil
Radiohead - Idioteque
David Bowie - Rebel, Rebel
Pink Floyd - Wish you were here
The Kinks - LoLa
Stereophonics - Dakota
P.J. Harvey - The whores hustle and the hustlers whore
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood 1 (Tunnels)
Gerling - Blood on the microphone (part 1)
TV on the Radio - King Eternal
78 Saab - No Illusions
Augie March - The Good Gardner (On how he fell)
Sparklehorse - Comfort Me
The Black Keys - Act Nice and Gentle (original by The Kinks)

Album Review: Arcade Fire - Funeral

Funerals are bleak, desolate affairs, faces dressed in gloom and bodies groomed in black. They are not events to keep bottled away forever hidden in the depths of your heart. The Arcade Fire’s debut album is marked with death: two of the band member’s grandparents passed away and a third member’s aunty died. As such, they use their debut album as a catharsis for the pain. Strangely, it’s not altogether depressing, but more uplifting; an epic reaffirmation of life itself.

‘Funerals’ has a recurring theme of the neighborhood, as four songs have neighborhood in their title while there are allusions to it in others. Just like a neighborhood is spread with a diversity of people, this record takes you through a multiplicity of sounds; from gorgeous pop leanings to intense, power stricken guitars, accompanied by a small orchestra the whole way. Although ‘Funeral’ is wholeheartedly vibrant and inspiring, there is always an ominous current rumbling under the surface, threatening to smother. The beauty of the Arcade fire is that they never succumb to the dark side, and as such there is a sense of ordered chaos in the songs.

Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) opens the album with intricate piano and builds into a euphoric tale of two loved ones escaping from their snow covered neighborhood to live in their own isolated world, as memories of parents and bedrooms begin to fade. Neighborhood #2 (Laika) throws a piano accordion in the mix, sounding like something coming from a café in a street in Paris. Une Annee sans lumiere, and Crown of Love are slightly subdued and controlled, they beg for an emotional outbreak and do so unpredictably. Crown of Love is reminiscent of Bright Eyes, both musically and lyrically. The song boasts a lethargic melody, before it turns into an intense orchestral showdown, as singer Win Butler laments a lost love with lyrics like “If you want me/Please forgive me/The crown of love has fallen from me”. Wake Up keeps the despairing theme, with hearts filled with nothing, but there is an elated choir singing a heavenly, wordless chorus.

Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) charges out of its cage with a dynamic drum beat and Butler’s shrill voice proclaims that the “power is out in the heart of man”, begging you “to take it from your heart, put it in your hand”. A melodic xylophone taps throughout the song, making it the most striking by far. The lyrics are marked with a sense of urgency, as they are with all the songs on ‘Funeral’ and you get the sense that Arcade Fire feel that the heart of man is corrupt. But there is always that sense of hope inherent throughout the whole record.

The Arcade Fire give a whole new definition to heartfelt emotion. The music is a welcome assault on the senses, affected your ever-changing mood throughout this 48 minutes. Sometimes it even feels like your floating above the clouds, ascending into somewhere so glorious where such beautiful music can exist. The songs are dripping with emotions and you know it runs through their veins and they succeed in injecting some into your own.


Blogger El said...

Only caught bits of the show this week but I loved what I heard! AH! I have the biggest thing for the Kinks, fab stuff. Everyone at Blanc Franc goes crazy on the dancefloor when All Day and All of the Night comes on. Really love that Departure track too, they are so great huh?!

Hope your 78 Saab interview went well & no doubt it did! You have to tell me all about it!

My soundcard is in a coma so I feel very alone. Hopefully speak after my nap!

11:02 PM  

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