It's really not often that a friend of mine turns me on to a band that I have both A: Never heard of, and B: Never heard their music. Usually I can claim one or both and sometimes have claimed one or both just to hide the fact that I had no clue. However in the case of Swedish band The Radio Dept., I will honestly admit that I was in the dark....and was I ever missing out on something great.
After being clued in by my new friend Chris, I picked up their 2006, Labrador Records release, Pet Grief. Its the second long player from The Radio Dept. and it's a stunning piece of work. Lo-fi, sweeping melodies of acoustic guitar and piano and electronic percussion, mixed with lush quiet spoken vocals. Mixed together it creates a swelling sound that just works.
I have been playing Pet Grief on repeat for nearly a month now. Just when I was ready to rewind into their back catalog I discovered that they have a slated October release for a new full length album.
Best of all, you can get it all on emusic!
Take a listen...
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Sky Blue Sky
The first track on every Wilco album is something special. Its a song that prepares the listener for the adventure they are about to go on. Usually slow in tempo, sometimes dragging out past the 6 minute range. Its a song that lets you know that something special is about to happen. A solid opener is something that Wilco fans expect.
On Either Way, the opening track from Sky Blue Sky, that special something never comes. Which sadly does help fit the requirement of the Wilco album opener to be a song that sets the pace. Because throughout the entire duration of Sky Blue Sky, that something special never appears.
I hate to compare a bands past albums to their current album, but in this case I feel its necessary to make exception. Progress through the first 5 albums of Wilco's catalog should not lead us to Sky Blue Sky. From setting the standard for the sound of a genre, to pushing that sound to great heights, Wilco has taken a step back here. Sky Blue Sky is the sound of a band no longer willing to take risks.
The album comes across as one long song. Never building up, and almost never changing tempo. Its not until half-way through track 5, "Side With The Seeds", that we hear anything that sounds even close to the sound they are capable of producing. The static of seemingly improvised guitar solos finally washes over. But it comes and goes, taking us right back to where we were....which was in a coma.
After two risky and ambitious albums Wilco have stripped it back down to basics. Every Wilco album is different and special in their own way. They can almost all be summed up with one word. And I suppose that Sky Blue Sky is the same.
Posted by The Dave at 5/17/2007 10:23:00 AM
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
So, for the past few days I have been crying myself to sleep. I just cant deal with the Crowvirus Ryan Adams is injecting into my ears. After finally hearing the song "Two" on Ryan's MySpace site, i am slightly relieved. You almost can't even hear her. Which brings the question...Why is her presence necessary in the first place?
On 2005's Jacksonville City Nights, Norah Jones appeared for a little background help on the song "Dear John". Upon hearing the news of that collaboration I was a bit shocked, but the difference with that is that I actually have R E S P E C T for Norah Jones as a musician, and more importantly as a human being! Sheryl Crow is terrible. When she first broke onto the music scene she was respectable...but after she decided to start soaking up sun, all respect was lost. Even worse is the fact that she is a homewrecker with yellow wrist band man himself, Lance Armstrong. "Come on Lance, leave your wife and kids for me, all I wanna do is have some fun!"
The only positive note is that when i did a Google image search for her picture, about half of the images I found involved toilet paper!
If Ryan decides to rock out with Macy Gray on his next album, I believe that will be the end of the road for me.
Posted by The Dave at 5/16/2007 12:17:00 PM