Well, I have no real excuse for the week’s delay in bringing you the first of 2007′s CD-R length quarterly podcasts, except to say that there was a ton of material to sift through this time around. Blockbuster follow ups and surprise career high points were practically falling from the trees. It’s not often that you could field a completely respectable top 5 for the year just from the first few months of recorded work.
So take a bow, Q1 ’07, we’ll not see your likes again… (more…)
Before all of the major publications chime in next week, and the backroom murmurs become conventional wisdom, I’d just like to note that Panda Bear’s Person Pitch is really quite good. It’s more accessible than even the poppiest Animal Collective material, though that doesn’t tell you much. The singing, which still sounds like it was recorded in a deep cave, is beautifully recorded and never less than completely melodic even when its being unintelligible. The first half of this song is just that; slow, sweet, and hard to make out. Then it turns on a dime to a sunnier, bouncier place. The change is so quick that if this weren’t an anti-anti-depressant song, you might think a happy pill was employed. It suddenly becomes a calypso number, for lack of a better description, espousing the virtues of deliberate living and unaltered brain chemistry. The tropical vibe is crucial to the reassurance. What could be wrong when our one day at a time is filled with sun, water, and sand? “I don’t want for us to take pills anymore/ not that it’s bad,” says P Bear. Non-judgmental to boot…
// Panda Bear – MySpace
// Panda Bear – Person Pitchbuy
With the breezy organ and an off kilter strum that nearly resembles a ukulele, you could by tricked into imagining a recline under a coconut tree here as well. The lyrical content is all about the end of a happy relationship though, so maybe the comfy backing track is meant to be a brave face? Despite the mixed signals, this track stands out as the warmest, most unassuming pop song on the impending No Shouts, No Calls, an album full of cold precision and showy dynamic shifts. An album that manages to be quite warm and charming in spite of those things, by the way.
Dinosaur Jr. – “Lightning Bulb”
(track removed by request)
I feel like it’s going to be hard to make an objective judgment about Dinosaur Jr.’s forthcoming Beyond album for weeks if not months. Right now it sounds good, but is that elation I feel still all wrapped up shock that it sounds so true to the reunited threesome’s prime material? I wonder if all their storied interpersonal problems, the ones that broke them up in the first place, ironically led them to turn out such an winningly frozen comeback? Maybe the harmony was so tenuous that all they could agree on was to try and sound just like they used to. The ratio of J Mascis to Lou Barlow fronted tracks is even roughly the same. Here we have a classic mid tempo Barlow dirge, making J’s perpetual insecurity sound almost hopeful. If the Mascis songs are enlivened by guitar pyrotechnics, this is all brooding rumble. Lou sounds bitter, but he always sort of did. This time warp is freaking me out!
// Dinosaur Jr. – MySpace
// Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me – buy
But as long as we’re here…
Dinosaur Jr. – “Just Like Heaven”
(Cure cover, video)
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