Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ra Ra

Sort of like a cheerleader. Or sort of like a tiger. Either way, one of my new favorite bands: Ra Ra Riot.

Now for a trip down memory lane...

While I was interviewing in Boulder, CO, I stumbled upon an awesome record store called Albums on the Hill- They had an insane collection of new and used vinyls. I was there right after the release of Ray LaMontagne's God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise and Ra Ra Riot's Orchard, so I figured I'd pick them up along with Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters.

Since moving to Dallas, I've discovered some great places to hear live music, my favorite being the Granada on Greenville Ave. That's where I heard Ra Ra Riot live. Loved 'em on vinyl, and they were even better live. (It's always depressing when artists are worse live...) Plus, any band with a cello and violin is good in my book.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not So Much "The Suburbs"

My Dad and I made a stop at Hastings, a popular entertainment store, and picked up the latest Arcade Fire album. I know! It's been out for, what, a month now?

Hear me out... I'm traveling from Waco, TX to Denver, CO (and back) with nothing more than radio tunes and one mix CD that has a couple good tunes ('Stitched Up' by Herbie Hancock, 'Put Your Records On' by Corinne Bailey Rae). By the half-way point, I was desperate for some new, good music.

So what if CDs are out-dated? So is my '99 Buick Le Sabre! This album is rockin'. If you're like me (late to jump on the bandwagon), do it! You won't regret this purchase.

Plus, I got to listen to "The Suburbs" in the not so much suburbs of the Texas Panhandle.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Like Liberty

The sky has gotten way more awesome, as have bells.

On my flight home from Italy a couple weeks ago, I was bored with the in-flight movies (Alice in Wonderland isn't as good on a tiny screen without 3D effects). I changed to the music channels and found a new collaboration between two artists I like. Danger Mouse (Grey album- mix of Jay-Z's The Black Album and The Beatles The White Album) meets James Mercer (lead singer, guitar for The Shins) to make the best kind of bells- Broken Bells.

I can't get over how much I'm digging this band. The Shins are one of my favorite bands, and this self-titled album is like an edgier, electronic-infused version of The Shins. Since the plane, I've been listening to the album on The Hype Machine. I'm keeping my eyes peeled at the record stores for this gem.

Some cool tracks to listen for:
The High Road
The Ghost Inside

New, like woah!

Most of the music I've purchased over the past 3 years has been on vinyl. Being in Thailand was like constant withdrawal from music. While on a road trip, I stopped to pick up my records and record player from my sister in Waco, TX. I waited with anticipation for a week while I made my way back to MA. When I finally got there, I found that my record player was broken- externally, internally. Painful.

Last week I made the best purchases of the whole summer: a new record player and 5 new records. Instead of being big and bulky like my last record player, this one is compact and portable (like a boombox, but way cooler). It even has a hookup so I can convert my records to mp3s. Seriously, best purchase ever.

My new records

Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavillion
Vampire Weekend- Contra
MGMT- Congratulations

The Dead Weather- Sea of Cowards
The Black Keys- The Big Come Up

I'm obsessed with liner notes- gives the music more depth and gives me something interesting to read. And in the case of MGMT's Congratulations, the liner notes are just plain awesome, with lines like...
It's Working: Love? Or Confusion? Reality? Contusion? Subterranea or Sub-fusion. The Quest begins.

Long Time, No See

Yep, double meaning. Typical.

Hey, Bonnaroo. Long time, no see. 2006, when I last went to 'Roo, was a major change for this mega-festival because they changed the make-up of their market by adding a new class act headliner: Radiohead. But I hadn't been back until this year. And as much as I thought changed between 2004 and 2006, even more changed between 2004 and 2010...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Dead Weather

I've always been a fan of Jack White, especially with the Raconteurs. His newest band, The Dead Weather, released their first album in 2009. I know I'm a bit late with the music times, but I'm in Thailand, so bear with me.

There are so many sounds in this album- from grunge guitar riffs in Hang You From The Heavens, to the funk-rhythms of Cut Like A Buffalo, to the folk and blues infusion in Will There Be Enough Water?

The Dead Weather has a fullness and soul unmatched by most modern rock bands. The album sounds as if it could have been produced in the 70's. Gritty rock & roll all the way...

The Dead Weather - Hang You Up From The Heavens

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Don't Ever Stop This Train

John Mayer is one of the best musicians of this generation with his guitar excellence and beautiful song writing. About a week ago I watched his "Where the Light Is" concert on DVD.

The concert had 3 parts:

Acoustic John Mayer
"John Mayer opening up for The John Mayer Trio"
This is the way I like music the most: sincere, simple and stripped-down. The first two songs he played (Neon, Stop This Train) are two of my favorite John Mayer songs: Neon for the guitar, Stop This Train for the songwriting. He also played a cover of Tom Petty's Freefallin', Daughters and a song I hadn't heard before called In Your Atmosphere.

John Mayer Trio
Whenever Try! was released, I realized that John Mayer was a serious and studious musician. Mayer didn't team up with just anyone; he teamed up with jazz legends Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino. This set was artfully done, starting with Every Day I Have the Blues. This 8 song modern jazz set was infused with so many solos, I almost forgot that this was the same guy who had just played the acoustic set.

John Mayer Band
This is the John Mayer I learned to love back in high school. I'm a sucker for pop. Good pop, that is. Mayer had a full stage of accompanying musicians, complete with horns, for this set 9 song set of Mayer standards like Why Georgia, Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, Waiting on the World to Change and Belief.

The best part about this concert was that it seemed like it was never going to end.