Wednesday, May 20, 2009

[Overdue] Discovery: EDITORS

I always assumed that Editors were just a poor man's Interpol (in the same way I strongly believe that Muse is just a poor man's Radiohead and thus refuse to listen to anything by Muse). Because of this egregious assumption, I disregarded any and all Editors' tracks I briefly came into contact with. However, I have come to seriously regret my ignorance. In the past two days, I heard "Smokers Outside the Hospital Door" on KEXP twice. It was a sign. It was a sign that I must give Editors a chance. And I did.

And what I discovered was that they are a carbon copy of Interpol, except in a good way. They do the morbid and moody tones, except with a bit more English flair. The voice of Editors lead-singer Tom Smith could be mistaken for that of Paul Banks (lead singer of Interpol), except who doesn’t love a singer who embraces the fact he can express emotion through monotone vocals. Still, that is no reason to disregard their music all together. They are a tight band that rocks out through each song.

As a band, Editors have been around since 2002 and hail from Stafford, England. They have released two albums, “The Back Room” in 2005 and “An End Has A Start” in 2007. The title track off the latter album does not miss a beat and is reminiscent of Interpol’s “Slow Hands.” Currently, the band is working on a third album, which promises to be influenced by “scores composed by the man behind The Terminator soundtracks, Brad Fiedel, as well as the expected Depeche Mode, Talking Heads-type art rock,” according to this article from the UK's XFM.

The similarities can basically be attributed to the way both bands present their lyrics in a monotone yet emotional way. The guitars riffs are as important as the lyrics. This band has style. This band has grace. This band is one of my new favorites.

For more information check out their...

And here are some MP3s for your listening pleasure...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Album News: Radiohead

Let the frenzy begin. The news has broken and Radiohead fans everywhere are rejoicing. In an interview with 6 Music, bassist, Colin Greenwood let it slip that a new album is in the works. The group put in some studio time last week with Nigel Godrich, who has produced every Radiohead album since OK Computer in '97, and has since been referred to as the sixth member of the band. "Nigel [has the] ability to make [everything] sound vaguely plausible," Greenwood said. "He can take anything, whether it is an old hi-fi unit or four or five people in a band, and he'll try and make it work one way or another. I totally love and respect him for that." While talking about the "noisy and chaotic" new album, Greenwood stated, "It’s at the stage where we’ve got the big Lego box out and we’ve tipped it out on the floor and we’re just looking at all the bits and thinking what’s next?" One thing's for sure. We can't wait to find out.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Music For Your Mama

With Mother's Day upon us, I figured a mother-centric post was in order. Here are some songs for mothers, songs about mothers, and even some songs with the word "mother" in them. I am trying very hard to resist the urge to add Flight of the Conchords, "Mutha'uckas" to this list right now. Somehow, I don't think Mother would approve...

1. The Beatles, "Julia"
This 1968 release off the White Album was written by John Lennon for his mother, Julia Lennon, as well as his future wife, Yoko Ono. He is the only Beatle to appear on the recording and it marks the first song he wrote for his mother, who was killed in a car accident in 1958. The first two lines, "Half of what I say is meaningless/ But I say it just to reach you, Julia," were adapted from the poem "Sand and Foam," by, poet Kahlil Gibran. "Ocean child" refers to the English translation for Yoko's name and all in all, it truly is "a song of love".

2. Elliott Smith, "Wouldn't Mama Be Proud"
This soulful track off of Figure 8 tells the tale of a successful rockstar debating whether or not his mother would be proud of him. Lines like, "there's a silver lining in the corporate cloud," allude to the fact that he has sold out and is ill at ease about the decision he's made. The track is likely referring to Smith's contract with DreamWorks Records in 1997.

3. Bon Iver, "Flume"
The meaning of this eerily beautiful song is somewhat ambiguous. Many interpretations have been offered for the opening track off of Justin Vernon's self released 2007 album, For Emma, Forever Ago. Vernon once described his lyrics as "sounds that eventually turned into words". With lines such as, " I am my mother's only one/ It's enough/ I wear my garment so it shows/ Now you know," Vernon confesses to a kind of vulnerability which is present throughout the album as a whole. Lyrics appearing later in the song, "I am my mother on the wall, with us all," seem to reference a photograph or family portrait.

4. Scissor Sisters, "Take Your Mama"
Introduce your mama to some disco glam pop and "take your mama out all night/ Yeah, we'll show her what it's all about/ We'll get her jacked up on some cheap champagne/ We'll let the good times all roll out/ And if the music ain't good, well it's just too bad." Thanks to the Scissor Sisters though, the music is good and it will have you dancing in no time. Give this electric track from their self titled debut album a listen!

5. The Shirelles, "Mama Said"
This 1961 single off the album The Shirelles Sing to Trumpets and Strings, reached #4 on the Billboard Top 100 list. It is a jewel of a song from the New Jersey girl group. Revel in this glorious golden oldies piece of pop music and always listen to what Mama says! I know I do.

Happy Mother's Day from Euphonie!

Also recommended:
The Rolling Stones, "Mother's Little Helper
Jeff Buckley, "So Real"
The Smiths, "I Know It's Over"
Kate Bush, "Breathing"
Devendra Banhart, "Hey Mama Wolf"

*Special thanks to Mama Caseley (Curtis), Mama Roth, and Mama Kamens

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Take It From Me: How to Brave a Concert Alone

If you are a frequent concert goer, there will inevitably come a time when you will find yourself in attendance alone. It is a troublesome position to be in at such a social event. The band hasn't started to play yet and you are surrounded by groups of people chatting and dancing, or worse, you're crammed next to that couple sucking face in the middle of Webster Hall. It must be that starry backdrop they've got there that is just so romantic that they couldn't possibly resist. In the meantime, you crane your neck anxiously scanning the room thinking, "Where the f*ck are my friends!?". Here are your options. Take it from me.

  • Alcohol is your friend. Okay, Tequila did turn on you last Cinco de Mayo but you've gotten past that messy betrayal. So order a PBR and hope that it's not too absurdly overpriced and let it work its magic. The drink is your new focal point and you can let it wash over that sadness and despair at the pit of your stomach. It may even loosen you up enough to make a few new friends, but lets not get ahead of ourselves here.
  • Rock out to the awful openers. One time at Terminal 5, whilst waiting for Ratatat to begin their set or for my very late friends to arrive, I allowed to myself to focus my energies on a rather disappointing band called Panther. It was only slightly less painful than being bored and alone, but at least I had something to report to my friends when they finally showed.
  • Cellphone/Blackberry/iPhone. Not only does texting (or bbming) on your phone prove to the other non-lonely people around you that you do, in fact, have friends, but it also offers to entertain you while you wait. So, play a rousing game of BrickBreaker, send whiny texts to your friends, and maybe update your Twitter while you're at it.
  • Embrace your inner loner. Sometimes music is best enjoyed privately anyway. Keep in mind that many reporters attend shows alone all the time. They always manage to look cool jotting pretentious thoughts in their little notebooks so feel free to channel them. Most importantly, remember that you will probably never see most of these concert goers ever again, unless of course they show up on this site, so relax and enjoy yourself.

Discover! Discovery

This just in
: Wes Miles, the frontman of Ra Ra Riot and Rostam
Batmanglij, keyboardist of Vampire Weekend, have combined forces for an awesome side project. It is like Ra Ra Weekend or Vampire Riot, as Jenna put it. There is not much of a description for the new band but a collaboration between these two musicians from two great bands is definitely a notable one.

The two songs posted on their Myspace, "Orange Shirt" and "Osaka Loop Line," are just a taste of what it is to come from Discovery. The tracks are infused with electronica. Wes's signature vocal style stands out. The lyrics are generational and self-aware, like "Every text that I get from you is so so serious" from "Orange Shirt." Overall, the charm of both bands are ever present throughout the songs. The album will be out in the early summer, according to a post on their Myspace page.