Sunday, September 23, 2007

If You're Not Happy Where You Are, You'll Never Be Happy Where You Go

It's A Crab's Life

If you tuned in back in March, then you may have caught a story about Jon of the Atom's life in Groton, New York. In that cold and blustery month he was a mad scientist; stirring his dark stew, adding frog lips and hog hair to his steaming cauldron. He was on the brink of a remarkable new musical discovery, or was it aural hysteria?

Sometime around mid-May he opened the door, the fresh country air poured in and overwhelmed him. He gathered a few necessities and headed for the hills. After a short trek he built a shelter of twigs, and traded in the maniacal steps of a scientist for the slow amble of a mountain recluse. He played Elvis and Hank Williams songs in his cabin to the attentive ears of the local fauna. Squirrels, foxes, deer, sparrows and chickadees were all regular sites around his abode and soon they joined forces to help Jon create his latest masterpiece, "Critical Mass: Flying Things vs. Crawling Things".

He would stumble into town now and then, with a new moustache and view of the world. The folks there never expected to see him but we're never surprised when they did. They knew he was harmless, and only wanted to trade his wares for a few kind words, a whiskey sour, and a good nights rest on the couch.

I heard rumor that he will most likely release his new creation upon the world in 2011, most likely the day of the apocolypse. I traded two Little League baseball bats, 16 cherry tomatoes, and a bail of twine for a copy of the disc, and I believe it was well worth it, though I've now resorted to using brooms and pears to get my baseball fix.

You can find some good things to trade to him for his new disc, or go to his Myspace and ask politely for one, though none of the songs from the album are up as his songs as of now, he doesn't get very good wireless in his twig hut.

JOTA's Myspace

mp3: Jon of the Atom - Ducks Flying By
mp3: Jon of the Atom - Moths at the Bug Zapper

Disclaimer: This post went no where and was entirely made up. He was never a mad scientist (to my knowledge), and (to my knowledge) has never been any sort of wilderness recluse. He lives somewhere in mid-Western New York, and occasionaly sleeps on my couch. Flying Things vs. Crawling Things has been on a steady rotation in my room. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam

Other blogs are probably writing better reviews on this album than I ever will, but seeing as how I haven't posted in a while ( and there isn't anything else that I've listened to that has been worth writing about) here we are.

I've always felt like the fairest way to review Animal Collective is to have a rather ambivalent attitude towards them; most people you ecounter or either Animal Collective fanatics or they don't have the patience to sit and down and figure out what this band does. Speaking as an ambivalent listener (in all honesty I can typically take or leave AC) Strawberry Jam is probably the most accessible record from these guys to date. However, they are good enough at what they do to maintain the eccentricities and complex time signatures that have earned them so much respect in the music world. This album is much more poppy than their previous work and differs a lot from their last release. Feels was very spacey and introspective, Strawberry Jam has a much more jubilant, melodic vibe. The songs are almost (dare I say it) catchy. Longtime listeners will appreciate the fact that Animal Collective have not lost their original sound at all when making this record, they've really just enriched it and taken it another direction. What I've always found interesting about AC is how they really don't sound like anyone else, it's as if they come from another dimension, all of their songs could very easily be songs from a distant planet. Animal Collective is one of the very few bands that successfully pushes the creative borders in a way that keeps one interested without getting too annoyed with their pretentiousness. (Because lets be honest, of COURSE they're pretentious.) Avey Tare's vocals only add to the very surreal feel of the band, sometimes his voice can be hard to really get into, but I think it meshes with what this group is all about very well.

Regardless, Strawberry Jam is a good album, it has something for both the faithful listener and the newbie. If you want to read a more specific review of this band I'm sure you will figure out a way to do so, all I am really trying to say here is that I think this a record that truly deserves a listen. Love them or hate them, Animal Collective is a band that consists of some of the most innovative talent of the current music scene. Give them a try if you haven't already.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Ants go Marching

Mirah And Spectratone International - Community

I saw Mirah in chicago this summer and along with playing all of my favorite songs that she has ever written she played small snippets from her new album Share This Place and asked the crowd to guess what each song was about. Community the first song on the album is a beautiful meditation on selflessness and community. Ants of course can't think, well at least about themselves but as a group do some really impressive things. The wonderful wisdom of having no wisdom.



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