Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The State of the Art 2009

Favs at the moment;
Them crooked vultures - Nobody loves me & neither do I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M89qz4aWbBo
The Dead weather - I cut like a buffalo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhPhV7Z7_3o

I like these two songs cause a. they fucking kick arse & b. they show two song writers at such a high level they're starting to write rediculously easily. Jack Whites writing & guitar playing has gotten to a stage he's just lethal. That White Stripes single from a couple of years ago, 'Blue orchid' was an amazing piece of minimalist knife point writing & you can hear it in this Dead Weather track. The way he's messing with timing & his arrangements are top notch. Them Crooked Vultures has a similar fell to the Queens album that Dave drummed on, 'Songs for the deaf', again there's a minimalist feel, with absolutely no fat on it. The tempo change half way through the song is brutal & you can almost hear the fun Dave is having playing those massive beats to such a big riff. The song builds to a climax similar to 'A song for the dead' from 'Songs' - my favourite tune from that record. It's great to hear Dave doing what he does best.

Speaking of Dave Grohl, another of my favourite tunes this year was the new Foos single 'Wheels' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wTBp7aQokM I think it's a really nice change of pace for the band. It shows Dave's confidence in his songwriting ability to be able to release a nice standard tune & not have to hide behind massive guitars & screaming vocals. Really like this track.

Nicest surprise of the year: Karen O's return to form with the 'Where the wild things are' soundtrack. After the lackluster YYY albums since Fever to tell it's nice to hear her doing something interesting again.

Fav kiwi tracks: Loving the new Phoenix Foundation track 'Everybodys money'. The Nok track 'Magic' is great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qODcxtsiTy8 I heard it driving one night playing on Active. As soon as I got home I jumped on their website & found out it was the Nok. At first I thought it was Fat Freddys but once the MC started I knew it was someone else. A promising start, I'll be keeping an eye on them. Speaking of FF, their performance of 'Boondigga' at the NZ music awards was a definate highlight. They were far & away the best performed on the night. Awesome track. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRuRcgA057A

Most inspiring: Living with War - Neil Young. What a fucking awesome record. I missed this when it was released a few year back & discovered it via the CSN&Y DVD 'Deja Vu'. It's an albums worth of protest material , but that in itself would be pointless from a musical standpoint if the songs weren't any good & that's why this records so great. The tunes are fricken awesome. Simple but sooo effective. & it's fucking great to hear someone speak out against the 'War on terror'. Love it. Here's an amazingly brave track from the album 'Let's impeach the president'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3_cS_iQ-w0&feature=related God bless Neil Young!

Best finds of the year: Benji Hughes - A love extreme & Bon Iver - For Emma, forever. Fricken awesome albums from two extremely talented writers. Love the fun side of Benji & the serious, romantic side of Bon Iver.

Nice to hear they still got it: Rizzer Adams - 'Cardinology' & 'Little Honey' by Lucinda Williams. So nice to hear two old favourites still doing their thing.

Coolest song I heard while driving: This gem from Guy Clark http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=1577193349654584847&postID=8382462922403877554, followed closely by 'Magic' by the Nok. See above.

Not as good as as their first record, but still pretty cool: FOTC - I told you I was freaky. Particularly this gem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bte1M8d2Mu4 Brabara... I love it. : )

Best crazy man: Daniel Johnston - Covered, Uncovered. Fell in love with DJ's writing with this record. Disc 1 are Daniels originals & Disc 2 are covers of the same songs. How can you listen to 'Story of an artist' & not have your heartbroken? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_RbSAwMa3U, also attached is M Ward's cover. Equally beautiful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GOoccNI6pM&feature=PlayList&p=1B2C5E3ED80C1C09&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=24
Honestly, if you want to hear some absolutely beautiful, heartfelt, painfully honest songwriting, you'll go a long way trying to find a better set than this disc. Heartbreakingly sad.

Coolest song: 'Quiet Dog' - Mos Def. Great track, great MC, dope beats. Check it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuwVP1WoIhg

Coolest use of alternative instruments: Beirut - 'March of the Zapotec/Real people Holland' & TV on the Radio - 'Dear Science'

Nice to know I still like blues: Bessie Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go6TiLIeVZA

Favourite book of 2009: Naomi Klein 'The Shock Doctrine'
Favourite movie: Tie between 'Coraline 3D' & '(500) Days of summer

Well, that's about my 2009 summary for my favourites for the year, I'm sure I've left stuff out, but like someone smart once said 'everything that's supposed to be there is there'

Ka kite

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