Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sights through sounds

Death Cab For Cutie, The Roots, Atmosphere, Blue Scholars, the Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, Justice...what do all these bands have in common? New additions to my library recently. My taste in music is nothing if not eclectic, though it usually falls squarely along an indie rock/hip-hop binary, with a skew toward my native Pacific Northwest. I like to think that what all this stuff has in common is being good music; trying to understand any more behind it would be stupid.

Death Cab's new disc is rather good. I certainly like it, at least, making it a worthwhile purchase. My reaction, after listening through it five or six times, is that it starts out really well (so long as you're not overly creeped out by "I will possess your heart," the lead single off the disc that weighs in with a four-minute plus intro on the album), hits a real high note with "Cath..", falls off a bit, but recovers by the end of the disc. For some reason I like "Grapevine Fires." On the way to the Death Cab/Decemberists show in Bend last weekend, Nick thought it was an interesting song about wildfires (it sounds so happy, contrasting with the content), but that just immediately made me think of Bad Religion's "Los Angeles is Burning," a good song about SoCal in flames. It'd be good in Rock Band.

I don't think you could get more diametrically opposed to Death Cab as you could with The Roots. Their new disc is really good, and brings an immediate, brutal sound, but I think I'll get used to it. I'd forgotten how in-your-face Game Theory was until listening to it again with my dad on a road trip a few weeks ago; the first few listens to Rising Down are just like that. Then again, I would love it, because I'm a backpacking fanboy in the biggest way.

I'm swinging back into hip-hop, though. Right now Blue Scholars' new album is halfway through its first play, and I really, really like it; good soulful loops, much, MUCH improved rhyming by Geologic. I loved their disc from a couple years ago (fanboy moment: got my copy at Sasquatch two years ago, and they signed it for me, eep!) and this is spectacular on first listen. I have to love hip-hop like this from the Northwest, it's just a shame Seattle has a much bigger scene than Portland.

Atmosphere and the Rhymesayers artists are also in the queue to listen to more. I've listened to "Simply Leakage" far too much recently; time to find the proper albums. I'm working on that right now, actually.

Trent Reznor deserves some fucking love right now, but I'll save that for another post at another time. Needless to say, I need to listen to The Slip more because it's a free album from Trent that isn't five years after his previous recording. All of those things together are astounding to NIN fans like me, that much is certain.

Gaming thoughts tomorrow, and as a prelude, I think I'm going to work on that post while grinding through an RPG. I'm thinking of playing two right now that are on my Pile or should-play-again pile, but I'm just trying to decide which it should be...

No comments: