Since I live the self proclaimed â€œLive Music Capital of the Worldâ€ it is only right that my musical tastes have been largely influenced by what Iâ€™ve seen in concert. Iâ€™ve included YouTube links if you want to see concert footage of what I saw. Itâ€™s not my video but thereâ€™s always some fan with a video phone these days.
One of the best albums and concerts of the year was Explosions in the Sky, â€œAll of the Sudden I Miss Everyone.â€ This was the first rock concert (or post rock) that Iâ€™ve been to where I actually wanted it to be louder â€“ just to see what would happen. Would my brain explode? Would me liver liquefy? Perhaps I wanted it louder because there are no distracting lyrics just music. Explosions in the Sky is music that builds you up â€“ like getting a hug from the Iron Giant.
Seeing Bjork was amazing of course and she had a great new album this year too. As always, thrilling to the core.
M. I. A. was the discovery of the year for me. She is the complete artist: music, set design and costume design. Iâ€™ve always been a sucker for artists who do everything themselves. Somehow she is able to take on the hip hop megalomaniac persona but also make you feel like stands for something besides herself if not through her lyrics then through the whole of her artistry.
My guilty pleasure of the year is Interpol. There new album â€œOur Love to Admireâ€ doesnâ€™t really cover any new ground but Iâ€™ve enjoyed nonetheless. They clearly stand for nothing but theyâ€™re just so damn cool. Impossibly cool. You really have to see it to believe it.
Another great find was LCD Soundsystem and their album â€œSound of Silver.â€ From the bravado of â€œNorth American Scumâ€ to the more introspective â€œAll My Friendsâ€ they are the sort of band you get stuck in you head for days and you donâ€™t mind a bit.
Thatâ€™s all for now. Iâ€™ll get to the rest of my year of media after I get the rest of this crown molding upâ€¦.
I like the Explosions in the Sky very much, J.E., but haven’t tried much of the other stuff you mention here. I have heard Interpol’s older album and a lot of Bjork’s earlier stuff which I like.
Interesting that you enjoy so much live music. I have to admit that because of the crowds, I really do not like live music much, except in intimate venues. Of course with two kids, I don’t see much anyway.
I forgot to mention the Beirut album on the other entry which I enjoyed very much. Peters and I discussed that Anoushka Shankar has a new album out when we were together the other night. I enjoyed her first album. Might be good for world music fans. She has a song written by her half-sister, Norah Jones.
Speaking of New Year’s Eve, J.E., I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone less excited to be on the phone. Hope we didn’t offend.
Best to all for the New Year.
I’m also a fan of Explosions in the Sky, but haven’t seen them live. Same with Bjork, and I have only heard of a couple of the other acts J.E. mentions but am now pressed to seek them out. Same goes for Beirut, which Ned mentions, but I have had others recommend.
I have heard some individual songs by Anoushka Shankar but don’t know her full albums. I heard a longish NPR interview and piece on her maybe a year or two back that was interesting. Maybe time to get one of her albums? Is the new one good, Ned or Peters? I tend to be partial to her father’s music, or just know it better. Is Norah Jones still popular? I liked the first album, but then got tired of her by the later albums…
Thanks, Ned and Peters, for the New Year’s Eve phone message. Jen and I were happy to have it. We were out in Marine on Saint Croix for the holiday, trying out our new snow shoes along the streams and in the woods. A nice way to start the New Year. I hope everyone has had a good start to 2008.
I was pretty tired when all y’all called. And I felt a little lame and lonely. But I was still very glad to hear from you.
As far as live music goes, I wish I could make time to see more. Every time I go out, I really enjoy myself. In some ways I miss living in the cultural void of central Kansas. Every scrap of live performance is precious there. Now I can easily pass up amazing performances this week because there will always be something equally amazing to see next week.
However, there are certain performances I can I just can’t pass up. I go see the Philip Glass Ensemble whenever they’re in town. Same for Kronos Quartet. But admittedly I’m not sure if I would always be willing to fork out the ticket price. I’ve always gotten comps for Glass and Kronos… little embarrassing really.
Hello all, sorry I am late to the conversation and haven’t contributed to the blog much as of late. I’m trying to get life back to some semblance of structure, but I’ve been trying to keep up with freelance work (which for good and bad has been slower since the start of the year) and watching Clara when Steph is away. Steph has also picked up her client load again, and along with going back to school to pursue her Doctorate she’s trying hard to be the best mom she can. I can’t imagine how she does it.
As far as looking back on 2007, I think I am a little oversaturated with all the music that’s available for consumption at any time in any place I desire. It’s getting harder for me to filter out the good and keep the excellent. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever find the album that I didn’t respond to well at first, then rediscover it and wear out the damn thing. I feel like I listen to something and if I don’t respond to it immediately, it’s dismissed. I’ve started becoming slower in my listenings and giving music time to sink in. It’s a modern marvel to me how many (wo)man-hours worth there are out there in CDs. Each little plastic bit represents a lot of work.
Some of my favorites (some of which will make their appearance on the annual Toby Album) were Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, The National, Band of Horses, Rogue Wave, Earl Greyhound, and I’m sure there’s other artists I’m forgetting. I saw no live music this year, sadly. The brunt has really been public radio out of Lawrence, which ends up being a mix of classical, jazz, and space-age pop and showtunes.