Donnerstag, Dezember 28, 2006

03 the animal five - the animal five (2006)

03 the animal five - the animal five ep (2006)

the having-so-much-fun record

the animal five is not really a full album, rather an ep, with six songs on it. not bad to have such a short record, after all this meant i could listen to it even more often!
to start your very first release with a song line like "you keep on begging for more" is a very posh thing to do. may i be reminded of oasis' debut phrase "tonight i'm a rock'n'roll star". but naming it spareparts instead of rock'n'roll star gives the whole thing an ironic twist (given that my assumption on an oasis-animal five connection is there at all, which obviously isn't very likely). how humble to ask for "only spareparts". this first song has what defines the animal five for me: melodies, a crazy singer, and the energy to really play with the guitars.

this one, sharks, was released as a single. i really like it, but the cream of the crop is the next one, sonic sea. you can listen to it on the animal five's myspace page. i can't really explain why, but it just moves me. is it because of the viking-esque male choir? or how the singer martin von inghardt squeezes so many lyrics in so little notes. or the fact that i interpret it as a song about music? what do you think? look for the answer here

i am waiting for the day when i'll hear pixiedust included in a dj set. it should get every indie kid on the dancefloor, when lyrically it's already hinting at next day's hangover. i've praised i love myself for hating you as "song title 2006" before, and now it officially gets the award. and i couldn't conclude this review any better than with the song title of the last track: live fast die old. listen to it, it's over, listen to it again, it never gets old.

btw: i was told the animal five got their name because the rolling stones mentioned them as one of their favourite bands, back then in the 60s or so. and well, the stones are not in this years' list, so guess which band i think is better..

Mittwoch, Dezember 27, 2006

04 cocorosie - la maison de mon reve (2004)

04 cocorosie - la maison de mon reve (2004)

'oooh, cocorosie...' seems to be the normal reaction from everyone who has heard their music. cocorosie wrap you in their music, they put you in a dreamy state and make you feel dizzy and stoned without drugs.
when i listened to them, i wondered how someone could come up with music as fragile as this and yet be so strong and humourous. i wondered why there had been a time in my life when i disliked female voices and it's own sensuous touch. cocorosie's songs are like carefully constructed swings that look instable, but when you ride them you can reach heights you never reached before. their fragileness and the open-hearted lyrics actually prevent vulnerability. the vulnerability i would have expected from girls making music like this.
to the songs: by your side is a perfect example of what i like about cocorosie. you've got this sporadic, yet unignorable beat, a beautiful melody and lots of extra sounds. squeaks, clangs, chirps with a voice like glass. yet the lyrics are far away from being naive schoolgirls' dreams, are rather extremely ironic:

"i'll be the best girl you'd ever meet
and for a diamond ring
i'll do these kinds of things
i'll scrub your floor
never be a bore
i'd tuck you in
i do not snore
i'd wear your black eyes
bake you apple pies
i won't ask whys
and i try not to cry
i'll always be by your side
even when you're down and out
i'll always be by your side
even when you're down and out
and its nearly midnight
and all i want with my life
is to be a housewife"

not convinced yet? how about these lyrics from jesus loves me:

"jesus loves me
but not my wife
not my nigger friends
or their nigger lives
but jesus loves me
dat for sure
'cause the bible tell me so"

(nevermind the video, i don't think it is an official one)

this is a fan video for not for sale:

05 tom tom club - tom tom club (1981)

05 tom tom club - tom tom club (1981)

the inspiration record

unbelievable that this record was released in 1981. it sounds so fresh. hiphop beats, a female rapper, sing-along melodies. this is a good mood record, a well-made one. a friend and i honestly thought about forming a pop-group when we listened to this record. if we made music, it should sounds like this, we decided.
the record hits you already with the intro of the first song, wordy rappinghood, a rant about communication.
'ramta tamtam ramtamtam...'
ignore the video, the audience's clapping and the host's stupid words (!) and enjoy how the singer emphasises the lyrics:

genius of love conveys the impression of being really badly produced. the whole songs sounds low-fi and not well mixed. yet it is very inventive, there is so much going on in this song.

wordy rappinghood and genius of love may be the two catchiest songs, but the rest of the album is similar. tom tom club is the kind of stuff that you need before you go out or when you party at home. sounds like i had a lot of parties this year. ;)

Montag, Dezember 25, 2006

06 jens lekman - oh you're so silent jens (2005)

06 jens lekman - oh you're so silent jens (2005)

the a-flirt-to-come-back-to record

i got into jens lekman because pocketful of money was on a mixtape i got. I didn't instantly recognise this song's beauty, but one day at work it totally hit me. I had to press play again and lekman's gorgeous voice filled the shop with warmth. Then the girl who had made the mixtape for me and i discussed him. So here come the (very random) facts: jens lekman, living in göteborg, sweden, 25 years of age, loves music and travelling, gives away his music for free on his website, keeps a blog about music that outshines this one here. jens lekman and i had a short flirt this summer, but recently i put his record on again, and i think it is one of those that you don't listen to regularly, but will come back to every once in a while for a very long time. Read more here where i wrote about him before.

Sonntag, Dezember 24, 2006

07 professor pez - we found the beach, where is the ocean (2005)

07 professor pez - we found the beach, where is the ocean (2005)

the from-zero-to-hundred-
in-eight-months record

professor pez is a special case, and a hard one indeed. i did not at all like we found the beach, where is the ocean when i got it back in february/march. i had lots of trouble with the singer's voice, something that thankfully has been confirmed by another extensive listener. sometimes i still do not feel that comfortable with it. yet i gave the record a few spins and the chance to find its way into my musical memory. i realised this when suddenly i woke up with imperial airwaves playing in my mind or when the perfect test became my earworm for a whole week. there even was a song i instantly liked: steady amputations was so damn catchy it did get hold of my right at the very first time i heard it. what i love about professor pez is the lightness with which they create great melodies, the playfulness of their songs and arrangements, and the fact that they are an adorably bunch of young people – creative, intelligent, not at all made-up musicians playing the games of the record industry. these guys deserve not stardom, but praise for the fact that they love to make music. And hell, my wish for 2007 would be the chance to see them live on stage – either in bergen, where they come from, or because of a german release of their material.

the perfect test video. the ninjas are a norwegian bunch of people who call themselves new age ninjas:

Samstag, Dezember 23, 2006

08 the whitest boy alive - dreams (2006)

08 the whitest boy alive - dreams (2006)

the love-at-first-sight-and-not
-even-the-slightest-doubt-before record

a record fof the category „i would never have discovered on my one". It was a present by a smart friend, the kind of friends that make a note somewhere in their mind when you say things like „i think erlend oye has one the greatest voices ever." and then they give you his latest record, a project called the whitest boy alive. A record that sounds like a unity. cosy, but danceable at the same time, with oye's voice very present in the foreground. I obviously share my favour with lots of other people: myspace is full of whitest boy alive fans, music press adores him. And this is very much a berlin thing. erlend oye, who put the musical world in awe with his band kings of convience and their records quiet is the new loud (2001) and riot on an empty street (2004), moved from bergen, norway to berlin in to become a dj at the club wmf. From there he made it into all sorts of music and arts magazines all over the world and onto the wall of the loo of my current favourite astro bar:

pencil: „... ?? ... be quiet"
blue writing: „quiet is the new loud"
black writing: „riot on an empty street"

ok, not that funny, but quite striking after three beers.

this live recording of burning gives a good impression of the sound and the people's love:

09 los lobos - ???

09 los lobos - ???

the unknown record

i have no idea which los lobos record to put here. basically because i don't really know any los lobos record. the ride is quite good. it's from 2004 and it has a lovely version of bobby womack's across 110th street on it. someday from just another band from east l.a. is a killer track. i found it on the love song for bobby long soundtrack last year. what i like about los lobos is not a certain track or a certain album, but mainly the fact that i like their music at all. two years ago i would probably have neglected these mexican vibed sounds with partially spanish vocals. i didnt expect this, but i fell for them, instantly. i'm gonna listen to los lobos more frequently, more systematically. come back here to read more next year!

down on the riverbed:

10 postal service - give up (2003)

10 the postal service - give up (2003)

the gonna-need-this-kind-of-

shit-for-the-rest-of-my-life record

because i listened to death cab for cutie's plans already in 2005 and because i listened to it extensively when i was unhappily in love (so it has this bad taste to it now) i'd rather want the postal service's give up in this list. the music is similar, but more electronical, more dreamy, less guitar. give up is not as good as death cab for cutie's plans, though. On plans i love every single song, am able to recall every single melody. give up is not that catchy. But i have ben gibbard's voice stroking my ear drums with lyrics just as sensitive and poetic as those on plans:

'tells your new friends
i am a visitor here
I am not permanent'

(the district sleeps alone tonight)

'they will see us waving from such great heights
"come down now" they'll say
but everything looks perfect from far away
"come down now" but we'll stay'
(such great heights)

'i want so badly to believe
that there is truth and love is real
and I want life in every word
to the extent that it's absurd'
(clark gable)

that's how you feel when you feel lonely, that how i feel when i yearn for something i don't know what it is. these songs, the district sleeps alone tonight, such great heights and clark gable are just randomly picked examples, the whole record is soo good.

just like plans, give up was there to lull me into sleep without making me cry, and to make me get out of bed the very next morning (when i put it on again) without making me skip forward to whichever song was my current fave.

This record was given to me by one of the dearest friends i gained this year, to let me know what kind of music he was into. Bingo – me, too. great way to become really good friends.

Donnerstag, Dezember 21, 2006

11 gnarls barkley - st. elsewhere (2006)

11 gnarls barkley - st.elsewhere (2006)

the must-be-in record

why not start my top ten with a number 11? i made a list of records and ended up with st.elsewhere being the left-over. but hell, this record deserves a place in the hit list. let us start with the facts: crazy, the first single, was the summer song 2006. and righteously so, not only because it is damn catchy and puts everybody in a great mood, but also because it was the first song ever that reached the top of the charts in the uk without any distribution of physical copies of the track. in other words: it got number one only by downloads. make a note in your history books, people!

but what is even more important: gnarls barkley easily keep the standard of crazy throughout the whole record. the intro song go-go gadget gospel is a hymn that sets the pace for the rest of the songs.
gone daddy gone, i had to learn, is a violent femmes cover, one that is in fact quite close to the original version.

smiley faces
is my favourite, just a thought the breakbeat ballade and transformer the song with the funny gimmicks. all in all, st. elsewhere is a record that lines up in a row with those of gorillaz or dj shadow. it combines hiphop with breakbeat with pop with soul with dance. we need more music like this. we need more summer songs like these - next year!

smiley faces, video version with a touch of the likes of spinal tap or a mighty wind:

tba's top ten records 2006

music magazines are full of them, people talk about them in music forums and on christmas parties and i had already planned this one when i started the tba blog in september: my top ten records of 2006. it's not a list of albums released this year – it's a list of records i listened to extensively this year, the oldest one of them released in 1971. records that are part of my year 2006, that i won't ever be able to listen to again without recalling certain things that happened this year – the year, that for me personally was the best i've had so far. i'm trying to explain personal things a bit, aswell. if that's not objective, forgive me, but rankings never are and maybe this makes reading the blog a bit more entertaining.

count down!

Donnerstag, Dezember 07, 2006

Excuse me ?

In the past months I listened to alot of 60s and 70s funk/soul/blues with female vocalists and got struck a few times by the lyrics, songs about their husband leaving them for the babysitter or the secretary (?), songs about obviously violent alcoholic men they love (??) but the song that popped up in my playlist just a few moments ago hits the can :

Donna McGhee - "Mr. Blindman"

"Mr. Blindman, you're a blind man, come and talk to me".

Wouldnt it be better to walk over to him ?! I mean, if he is blind ...

However, this also brings me to one of the best/worst musicvideos I know : Lionel Richie- "Hello". Enjoy, especially the crazy end.

Gosh, I need to make a house/brokenbeat-mashup of that track. I got it on vinyl, luckily.

Mittwoch, Dezember 06, 2006

Vocal Harmony

Pandora Radio, a website I like as such, has opened a blog to give non-musicians insight in the history, techniques and process of making music, first podcast being about vocal harmony. Might be quite interesting for everyone loving music but having not much of an idea what it takes. The advertisement-like voice of the narrator sucks abit, but the topic makes that up.

dj me

i made my debut as a dj last night, when the real dj had to go to the loo. i played three songs. one was a tune by dogdy, the second i dont remember, the third one was cigarettes and alcohol by oasis. i jsimply put the records on the player and faded in when the other one was over. i didnt get the chance to use the headphones because i didnt know how they worked. i counted the people that were in the bar afterwards - there were 21 people listening, bar staff not included. nobody danced, but nobody danced anyway. i think it was mighty sucessful. it was great.

Dienstag, Dezember 05, 2006

disco punk

looza is looking for a nice compilation of disco punk, or what we think is called disco punk: electronically remixed, danceable, fashionable rock music. basically guitar sounds mixed with electronic bleeps to get the whole crowd moving.

any recommendations, anyone?

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