Monday, January 3, 2011

New Music Monday - Guess Who's Back . . .

back again. . .Chris is back, tell a friend . . .you know the rest.

You missed me, didn't you?  Go ahead, admit it.  You missed me.  I took a few weeks off to dedicate more time to the bender that I planned for the holidays.  Don't judge me.  I had a goal to meet, and I met it.  I'm goal oriented and that's all I have to say about that (cue Forest Gump impersonation), so Happy New Year.  I spent CHRIStmas maintaining a good buzz and looking for some music to keep me occupied.  I ended up listening to Modest Mouse quite a bit, which, in a lot of ways, will drive you to drink more because of the schizophrenic nature of the songs.

Yeah, it's dark.  Sue me.  That's a few bottles of Crown Royal Black and a bottle of 12 year old Bushmill's . . .and a beer to boot.  Yay CHRIStmas.  Seriously, everything's more tolerable with a buzz.  Coincidentally, this is the scene when I write New Music Monday . . .

and yes, that is a tiny sombrero that I "borrowed" from a Mexican midget.  He tried to chase me, but his little legs just couldn't keep up.  I taunted him by running backwards and waving at him with tiny Tyrannosaurus Rex arms.  he yelled at me in Spanish, but his little voice didn't carry high enough for me to hear, so I smiled and went about my business with a tiny sombrero.

Ooops, got a little off topic there.  Back to business.

So, like I said, I spent a lot of time over the last two weeks listening to Modest Mouse.  They have been and will continue to be an amazing band that writes songs that my dream woman, Courtney, would say have "lush texture."  With the texture concept in mind, I stumbled onto a few bands that really embody that idea.  One sounds like some sort of slow motion lysergic soundtrack to a dream and the other sounds like a few amazing musicians got together and made and album.  On to the meat and potatoes . . .

Ra Cailum is the Chicago via St. Louis musician Anthony Engelhardt.   The music is somewhere in the vein of a combination of The Cure and Explosions in the Sky.  There you have it.  I don't really need to say anymore.  I refuse to apply the "chillwave" label because I'm not a fan of labels at all.  It's music.  It makes my ears happy and my brain work somewhat properly. Head over to his Bandcamp and download "Walkabout" for FREE!!  Listen to the album in its entirety and set the crossfade to about ten seconds and let the songs bleed into each other.  It makes for a great musical experience.  Or, if you want to be a douche about it, just stream it.  It's great stuff period.  I dare you to listen to "Waterfalls" and tell me you DON'T hear The Cure.  I mean, you can, but I'll call you stupid and laugh at your ignorance.

James Vincent McMorrow is Irish.  Not like Boston Irish, but more like was born and lives and records music in Ireland.  I don't exactly remember how I managed to stumble onto this guy, but I'm glad I did.  He sounds like Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) decided to record "For Emma, Forever Ago," in Nashville, complete with slow drums and an intoxicated pedal steel lullaby in the background.  I would write more, but I wanted to share his take on his debut album.

"This record was borne out of my desire to create something singular, take the simplest of chords, wrap them in washes of melody, so lines come in, they drop out, everything ebbs and flows as the songs move towards their inevitable end. I don’t sit down with an agenda when I write, I usually have a first line, and a vague sense in my head of where I’m going, but no real solid structure. Music tends to reveal itself to me over the course of weeks and months. It’s probably quite like sculpting, you have a chisel, you know what’s waiting for you inside the stone, all that’s left is to chip away the pieces and reveal it."

The album is great and you can hear a great deal of it HERE.  If you need more coercion, think about it like this: He has the voice of the aforementioned Justin Vernon and the songwriting sensibilities of Ryan Adams.  If that's not convincing enough, something's seriously wrong with you.  Seek professional help immediately.

So, there you have it . . .the first New Music Monday of the new year.  If you made resolutions, good luck.  My biggest resolution was to stop tripping little kids as they run by me, but I've already failed at that.  Oh well .  .there's always next year.

Keep your ears open and your drinks stiff . . .