Saturday, February 04, 2012

Finding a Place in the World

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More songs from my heavy rotation playlist:

Seed, Crop, Harvest - Prinzhorn Dance School - Minimalism isn't always my bag but these guys know how to build a song.  I might even go so far as to say that Wire has some competition.  There are several gems on their 2012 album Clay Class.  This one has been around awhile but is worth digging into agin.

Usurper - Prinzhorn Dance School - Following in the same lyrical tradition of Harry Chapin's "Father and Son" but with a slightly more insistent and forward bent.  A son sings to his father to get out of the way while many years previous the father sings to his baby boy that he knows that the son is his "replacement" and a symbol of his mortality.  That all said, like Seed, Crop, Harvest, this one features some exciting singing and guitar even while the bass/drums which come in and out of the mix are on a loop.

Leonard Cohen

Darkness - Leonard Cohen.  I was kind of expecting something more, lifechanging(?) big(?), er.  from Cohen's new album.  Dunno why - it's just that it might be his final statement and all given his advancement of years (too soon!).  So after listening to the entire thing, I kept on coming back to this cut - perhaps because it is sort of the song we expect from a bitter old man facing his last few years.  Why not give a massive f.u. one more time to the one that broke his heart?  Like Dylan in his latter years, Cohen is using standard chord progressions - this is clearly I-IV-V blues (why do you think the LP is called Old Ideas) - but the arrangement which mixes in piano, organ, rhythm section, backup singers providing woo-woos and echoed lyrics and Cohen's ever-more gravelly voice just pulls you in.  From Old Ideas.

Thirteen - Albert Hammond, Jr.  I'll forgive the drum machine and the stock arrangement as it seems almost like a throw-off someone put together for a benefit album.   But I like it despite all that.  Plus it's by the son of the guy who wrote "It Never Rains in Southern California" - it's almost like some sort of circle has been connected.  This comes off the Lunchbox Fund benefit album which also includes a twee cover of We're Going To Be Friends by Bright Eyes.

F U C-3PO - Zammuto.  This is a Books side proj. that has picked up blog buzz and now that the EP (Idiom Wind) is out, we can see that at least for this cut the fuss is worth it.  This is a treat for the headphone, a sort of modern day Traffic song about ill-mannered robots and the humans who their "acid tongues."


Seahorse for Dragon - Hyperpotamus.  A capella indie rock.  I wouldn't have believed it could be pulled off but by damn, this here One Man Glee Club does it all and more.  I'm afraid to listen to the rest of the LP (just-released Delta) as I wonder if it will wear out its welcome as a gimmick but I suspect it won't if I time it right (late night, 'haps?).  I see a considerable future in vocal arranging if the band doesn't pan out.  A beaut, don't pass it by.

Lilacs - Lilacs & Champagne.  Another spin-off, this time from the guys behind Grails so you know you gotta at least sample it if you treasure the proper health and maintenance of your ears.  What it is, I'm not really sure... what it sounds like is a kind of a dirty ambient groove, chill e-drums and an arrangement that snakes around a single verse before slinking away.

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