Monthly Archives: October 2012

Holger

Ilhabela

Does everyone here have a Soundcloud account? If not, might I humbly suggest that you sign up?

Not only is the service great for bloggers who want to embed songs in blog posts like this one, with a visually appealing, waveform-revealing player that’s strangely fun to watch, Soundcloud lets users follow bands, so you can find out the moment they upload new tracks. You have your own personal dashboard with the latest “incoming” tracks, and that’s how I found out that… wait for it

Holger is back!

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Jonathan Fire*Eater

Wolf Songs For Lambs

Merch isn’t just fun to buy and great for periodically pushing exceptional concert memories back to the front of your mind. Merch is useful. For real!

(OK, I know I sound like someone who’s reaching to justify compulsive behavior, and that’s because I am. But I swear I have a point.)

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Mountain Goats

Moon Colony Bloodbath

So The Mountain Goats visited The National on Wednesday evening. Sadly, I couldn’t make it out, though I did see some fantastic photos on PJ Sykes’ blog, and it looks to have been a great time. But before the show on Wednesday, as excited, anticipation-fueled tweets started showing up in my Twitter feed, I was having less than a great time. Actually, I was miserable. But not because I couldn’t go.

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Radiohead

Airbag

If you caught my “Call Me Maybe” post, you already know that this is a shame-free music blog. Think of it as a safe place, like those signs they put on libraries and schools that are somehow comforting and unsettling at the same time.

Today’s embarrassing honest admission comes in two parts, the first of which came about when I was listening to the wedding band from last weekend prep for the reception. As the keyboard player was going over the set list and the requisite synth settings, the unmistakable sounds of “Dirty Work” floated through the room, prompting one of the other groomsmen to say, “This is my favorite Steely Dan song.” I quickly shot him what I assume was the same look that Copernicus got when he went around telling people that the Earth wasn’t actually the center of the universe, because I had NO IDEA “Dirty Work” was a Steely Dan song. My stink-eye quickly gave way to a facepalm-worthy moment of clarity — OF COURSE it’s a Steely Dan song. It has the Dan written all over it. Those harmonies. That crisp, clean production. Those jazzy changes. I don’t claim to be a Steely Dan aficionado or anything (Aja is pretty much as far as I’ve gotten), but this still felt like a piece of information I should have obtained at some point. A hole. An absence. A nothing where something should have been.

I got the same feeling the other day, when I came across Radiohead’s “Pearly” on Tumblr.

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Wolf//Goat

In Watermelon Sugar

Some music helps you remember. Some helps you forget. Sometimes you listen to music to work against an emotion, like when you want to cheer yourself up or snap out of a destructive train of thought. Other times, you hit “play” to extend or enhance what you’re already feeling, as if “love” or “alienation” had a bobsled in the Olympics, and you decided to hop on in for the slickened, linear ride. And then there are the times you listen to feel all those things at once — to engage in a chaotic catharsis that feels clean and messy and scary and comforting simultaneously. That’s Wolf//Goat’s wheelhouse, and their new full-length, In Watermelon Sugar, satisfies my craving for well-constructed chaos in a most buoyant, life-affirming way.

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

If you caught my musical away message on Friday, you know I was up in Baltimore this weekend. Charm City. Home of the playoff-bound Orioles and the recently victorious Ravens. (Hey, 9-6 may not be pretty, but a win’s a win). Mrs. YHT and I made the trip to see two of our good friends get married almost exactly 3 years after our own wedding day, which I’ll always remember as one of the best days of my life. In many ways, it feels like it happened just yesterday. I can vividly remember the food, the conversations, the quirks that made the ceremony one-of-a-kind, and maybe more than anything else, the way my usual social anxiety was replaced by a joyful, floating feeling, as if a spell had been cast on me.

As time goes on, and I’m given the opportunity to watch friends and family members have their own special days, it gets harder and harder to celebrate without feeling pangs of guilt, knowing that the state I live in is preventing some of my very best friends from getting married because the person they love is the same sex as them. I was born in Virginia, and am proud to have lived here all my life, but sometimes it can be a huge asshole. Everyone deserves the chance to have that joyful spell cast on them. Period. End of story. Well… unfortunately, it’s not the end of the story, because the misguided selfishness of so many people has turned marriage equality into a protracted battle/wedge issue/lobbying money pit. All the same, I believe with all my heart that it’s a battle that will be won, and I have the utmost respect for artists who stand up to do their part in pushing our country toward a more equal future.

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brb

Gram Parsons — “Streets of Baltimore” [Spotify/iTunes]

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