Entries in music reviews (2)

Wednesday
Jan272010

Grizzly Bear

My brother Mark has turned me on to Grizzly Bear, specifically the Veckatimest album.  So far, I've been connecting with the first three songs strongly.  At first listen I didn't really think they were all that good - we saw them live at a Radiohead concert and the mix was terrible.  But after hearing him tell me "it's replaced radiohead in my headphones" I gave it another listen.

The drummer is doing some crazy stuff, and you'd miss it if you didn't listen closely.  There is so much layering (something that the singer discussed when finding out the album was ripped off before release, and the layering wasn't completely added to the mix), it's almost like listening to an early Yes album or even Gentle Giant (there's going back to the cheesy 70's for you).

If you're into progressive rock, you should probably give these guys a listen.

Monday
Mar302009

My Brightest Diamond - wow!

I must have been sleeping under a rock, or maybe it was the fact that my Radiohead obsessed brain was stuck in the 'on' position. Whatever the case, I picked up The Decemberists' latest, The Hazards of Love, which I think is both ridiculous and fantastic at the same time. What an amazing album. If you're curious, head over to Sound Opinions and listen to show #173. (their review here)

A side note, if you loved the album, check out the SXSW recording of the entire event from NPR All Songs Considered's concert podcast. They pulled the whole thing off live, and it was an amazing performance. I hope somebody recorded the full video. Heck, they have some great concerts on that podcast stream.

So, I was digging through the guest list, and saw they used two female singers, Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond plays the Queen, and Becky Stark from Lavender Diamond (nice interview here) plays Margaret. Both amazing singers, Becky sings gently and has an amazing soprano voice. I really found Shara's music to be very engaging; she is so unique and the compositions are really fascinating. Here is a taste:

Another song, the opener from the current album:

I picked up her 2008 album A Thousand Shark's Teeth and have to say it's one of the most original things out there. She's classically trained, was composing from a very young age, and is just expressive, lyrically and musically. I have a feeling the Decemberists will give her and Stark a breakout. I hope she keeps it up.