Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Things I Think Are Beautiful

Or something like that. Here are three songs from bands that don't suck right now.

First, Nightlands' "I Fell In Love With a Feeling" has an awesome blast of horns and infectious little melody. Plus, this music video has a weird transforming science ball that looks like the TV show The Secret World of Alex Mack, which my babysitter would let me stay up and watch after my sister went to sleep.

Then, there's the Hot Chip-y dance fun of Dutch Uncles' "Flexxin." This music video features a man who may be trying to do the dance moves of the Backstreet Boys in "Backstreet's Back," but he looks more like a cat. There's also some really gorgeous strings that remind me of the happiness I feel when I listen to Ra Ra Riot.

Finally, we have Woods' "Size Meets the Sound." I really slept on this album (Bend Beyond). I remember liking it upon first listen, but dismissing it because I was looking for something great to be in my top albums of the year list. I'm not sure how I could ignore something this blissful when my number one was Tame Impala. I'm really, really digging this guitar riff and the mood this song sets. Plus, it has an bridge of epic wall of fuzz. There's a certain genre that I just want to classify as "Danielle wants to be on vacation and listen to this so loud with no distractions and pretend the whole world is just this moment and this song." This song fits that genre. Have fun.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mac DeMarco - Dreamin

This video disgusts me. I don't want to see slime covering a man's made up face, ever. (spoiler alert, too late) I don't want to see the tricks you can play with smoke. I don't want to see lipstick on Mac DeMarco's lips.

I also absolutely love this song, and since seeing this video yesterday morning, I can't get it out of my head. I love it so much. It reminds me of Real Estate, with its languorous guitar licks and just irresistible mellow vibe. In a way, I wish his music videos were more like theirs: filled with puppies and sunshine and all the things that this kind of music belongs with.

But it's better this way. The off-kilter video is memorable, and gives me a new way of thinking of a song I might have just thought was sappy goodness before.

Oh, and after watching it 8 times, I'm starting to dig that outfit.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Generationals - Spinoza

What's up, world?

Let's start off the day right with Generationals. I had a crazy fit of small worldness or coincidence when I found out recently that members of The Eames Era are now Generationals. The Eames Era was one of those bands that I used to play on my radio show in college all the time. Nobody ever really commented about them, and I'm convinced that probably only one or two people in the world ever bought their album because I don't remember reading anything about them anywhere. But they were big on my radio show. And I loved them and forgot them.

So now that pop glory is coming alive all over again in Generationals. Happily, I saw them open for Apples in Stereo a couple years ago in Cleveland. I've loved them ever since. And here's a track off their upcoming album, Heza, which will come out on Polyvinyl in April.

It's the same sort of joyful, gooey pop ditty that made Actor-Caster so much fun. It's making me long for nicer weather and car drives with the windows down. Soon enough. Actually, probably just in time for this album to see its proper release. Until then.

Father John Misty - Live at Headliners

Halfway through the show, J. Tillman looked to the back of the venue, where there’s a bar lined with mirrors. He gazed at his reflection, wondering out loud, “who is that anorexic homeless person dancing around in his long underwear?”

And although that was a harsh self-assessment, he scattered antics like this throughout the show, tackling everything from Kentucky’s stance on the Iraq war (neutral, he explained – like only one other state – his home state of Maryland) to how Kentucky must have had the most onstage silverware per capita (he found a spoon within the first two minutes of the set, and stopped the opening number, “Funtimes in Babylon,” midway to explain).

It was this attitude, this freeness, that set the tone for the show. With ease, Tillman belted out songs with a voice like caramel melted in the sun. It was as if he didn’t need to take breaths; sugary notes just fell out of his mouth miraculously.

The smooth ooh’s and laid back vibe of “Nancy From Now On” made you forget that he was actually singing “pour me another drink/and punch me in the face,” and instead concentrate on the way the guitars meshed beautifully with his voice in a blissed out melodic wonderland.

Four other people joined Tillman onstage, and though they sounded like integral, elaborate pieces of a beating heart, the frontman was one of those happy disasters that drew all the attention. While he played drums with Fleet Foxes for a while, Tillman got his start as a solo artist, and the man obviously belongs center stage.

His dance moves were reminiscent of elementary school girls coordinating a dance to the latest boy band song – complete with finger wagging “no’s,” shimmies, and some of the best booty shaking to ever come from a man’s body. Britney Spears couldn’t do what he did without lip-syncing. Some of the more dramatic moments seemed modeled on Elvis Presley’s moves.

Not everything was a dance party. The band freaked out on “This is Sally Hatchet,” a dark, moody song that broke them free of the mostly carefree-sounding set. The cathartic guitar breakdown begged you to close your eyes and let it take you places. Tillman fell to the ground, stretching his arms to the skies, reminding the crowd that these songs are more complex than they may appear on the surface.

“Now I’m Learning to Love the War” slowed things down, but Father John Misty bounced back up to speed with “Tee Pees 1-12.” The band made it through nearly their entire catalog, nailing almost all dozen songs on their debut, Fear Fun.

For Tillman to pack Headliners – after just releasing the first album under this moniker last May – is an unusual and surprising feat. But when the striking beat behind “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” echoed to the back of the room on the last song before the encore, and Tillman seemed near explosion with his jerking dance moves, it made sense. This was not only an entertaining show, but one with the kind of musical genius that doesn’t come around every day.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Youth Without Youth

So I was listening to all-request radio on WFPK this morning because my hands were too cold to plug in my phone to the auxilary jack in my car, and I was only going to the post office. The problem is: I hate all-request radio. Or whatever they call it. Because, let's face it. People have no taste. I mean, seriously? You're going to request a cover of U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)" by Dierks Bentley? Are you even a real person? Was this a joke? If so, you win. But anyone listening to the radio is losing three minutes of life.

Luckily, a real person called the station. I know because I heard this gem from Metric's latest album, which I thought I was sick of after listening to it 14 times to review it. But I'm not. Apparently only the song "Artificial Noctourne" makes me want to hurl things at my speaker -- not the rest of the album. Phew. I was starting to worry my girlcrush on Emily Haines was facing some lovers woes or something.

"Youth Without Youth" is the only jam (today) that makes me involuntarily swing my arms around and feel cool while doing so. (Don't worry, it's not cool.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sky Ferreira

I don't make new years resolutions. But if I did, it might be to post more frequently, on a whim, when I hear something that wakes me up or when I revisit an older album that blows my brains out. Another non-resolution is to maybe listen to more of the emails I get from publicists instead of letting them sit in my inbox and eventually archive them when I get overwhelmed by the sheer volume.

So I opened this email today about a girl named Sky Ferreira, and she's a little too skimpy black tank top for me. She's a little too early Fiona Apple, crawling on the floor to be sexy, for me.

But the heavy rumble of this song is a little too much for me to avoid, and it's got enough pep and atmosphere to warrant repeated plays. The beginning starts a little bit Muse-y, and it grows and flowers from there.

I think, if you're like me, you'll like it.