Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Live Coldplay- LeftRightLeftRightLeft

Coldplay just kicked off yet another tour, signifying the third Viva La Vida tour I have not been able to attend. I have a theory that the bands hates me. For last summer's tour, I was able to go, but then they rescheduled to the day after I left to work in PA. For their fall tour, the show was the night before I had to take the SAT. This time around, it's on a Thursday night the same week that I'm seeing Bruce Springsteen (my parents don't let me see concerts on weeknighs, so Bruce is a big deal) and the same night as my school's Spring Fair, which I help organize. So yeah, they hate me.

For this tour, Chris Martin & Co. put together a live album called "LeftRightLeftRightLeft," which they will be giving away for free at shows and for free download for those they hate/can't attend. I just downloaded it this morning and I loooove it. I am an unabashed Coldplay fan and as someone who has only heard stories of their live show (After I missed last summer's tour, my friend sent me a pages long email complete with setlist, her song-by-song review, and a link to videos. It's why we're friends.) this album will have to do. It's great to hear them sounding so good live, and the crowd seems really into it (necessary). I'm so glad that they included "Strawberry Swing," which might be my favorite track off of "Viva La Vida" (it's definitely my most-listened).

Download it now HERE.

The link's been a bit testy, but I'm sure if you google around, you can find a torrent of it.

Passion Pit vs. MGMT

While MGMT's "Oracular Spectacular" was one of the best reviewed albums last year, but looking back, I'm not sure if it deserved all of the praise. "Kids," "Time to Pretend," and "Electric Feel" were all awesome songs (I'd put "Kids" as one of the Top 10 of 2008), but as a whole, the album was a bit spotty. I think that if some tracks were looked at in a test tube, completely separated from the hype of the album, they wouldn't be as well-received. The second half of "Oracular" just feels repetetive- I would personally have enjoyed the album much more if they stopped at "Kids." The first five songs are by far the strongest. Another gripe I have about MGMT is their concern with image. I know a lot of rock n' roll is about image, but I feel that they are so concerned with maintaining status as trippy hippies who never give interviewers straight answers that they don't care if they half-ass an album. They have confidence that hipsters wearing face paint and feathers will still show up for their shows and rave about their records and videos (which consistantly push the bar on ridiculous/bizarre).

This brings me to my next point. Passion Pit, currently one of the most buzzed-about bands around, have been compared a lot to MGMT. I see the resemblance in that both craft trippy electronic jams, but so far, I prefer Passion Pit. PP is much more polished than MGMT, and it seems like they care much more about the quality of the music they put out. Last year's "Chunk of Change" EP didn't have a bad song on it- and "Sleepyhead" was simply mind-blowing. Based on that EP alone, they're only 4 songs short of matching MGMT's repetoire. With PP's album "Manners" to be released Tuesday (May 19), many tracks have already leaked to the web. And, not surprisingly, each is a gem. "Moth's Wings" is an almost-anthemic joint that seamlessly blends organic vocals and beats with synthetic dribbles and drones. "Little Secrets" kicks off like the soundtrack to a vintage Nintendo game and then becomes a syrupy sing-along banger. The last song I've heard off of "Manners" is "The Reeling," a thumping jam with breezy vocals and heavy synths overlapping a thrashing beat. Each of these songs is just so well-crafted; they set Passion Pit miles above MGMT. [Plus, in reference to my complaint about MGMT's image concern, Passion Pit just look like a group of regular guys trying to make some good songs. Can't complain.]

Moth's Wings- Passion Pit
Little Secrets- Passion Pit
Sleepyhead- Passion Pit

Friday, May 15, 2009

Adventures in Atlanta

My sister graduated from college last weekend, so my family went down to Atlanta. Here's my weekend in music:

Most listened album: Only Way To Be Alone- Good Old War (runner-up: It's Blitz!- Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Most listened song: Hysteric- Yeah Yeah Yeahs (runner-up: Glad Girls- Guided By Voices)
Songs heard performed by an a capella group: I think about 8, including Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Chris Brown's "Kiss Kiss," and Blackstreet's "No Diggity."
Record Stores Visited: One- Decatur CD. It was a pretty cool little shop. Mostly CD's, but also a fairly good collection of new and noteworthy vinyl. The walls were covered in signed Wilco posters, which, in my book, is enough to make me love a store.
Albums bought: Just one, and not even a full album- Fleet Foxes's new Mykonos 7''.
Artists Met: One- Annie Clark of St. Vincent! After buying the Fleet Foxes 7'' at Decatur CD, I was waiting outside for my dad and brother to finish up. A group of four or five (including an adorable baby!) were walking past and they started laughing and pointing to something inside the store. I had a weird feeling I recognized one of the women, and once one of the men said, "Hey Annie, it's you!" [in reference to her face, plastered on the front of her fantastic new album "Actor"] I knew it was in fact St. Vincent. When I asked if she was, they all laughed and said yes. The whole group was very friendly and left me smiling. I was definitely starstruck! And yes, Annie is as pretty in person as she is on the covers of her albums.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


One of my favorite music magazines, Paste, is lacking in funds. I've been a subscriber for a few years now and I would say that of all the magazines I read, Paste most closely follows my music taste.

SO. Donate now, and help save this great magazine! No matter how much you donate, you get entered in contests to win sweet stuff and you get 70 free, unreleased or rare MP3's from artists such as She & Him, Umphrey's McGee, and the Avett Brothers.


Stream Wilco (the album)!!!!!!!



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Access Hollywood

My school's talent show is a really big deal. The school and crew spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lighting and sound equipment. This trend began in 2004, when senior Andrew Maury, the director (the entire production is student-run), decided to make the best show ever. His theme was "I Want My MTV,” and the three-night sell-out show blew everybody away. Since then, “I Want My MTV” has been the show to beat.

This year’s theme was “Access Hollywood,” and I would say that it is one of the best since Andrew’s. The bands this year were awesome, across the board, and every style of music was represented. People played everything from Radiohead, Jason Mraz, and blink-182 to the Swell Season and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Below is the playlist of the songs bands played. That’s all…

***I'll write more on Andrew Maury at a later date. He's gone on to be the sound technician for Ra Ra Riot and a member of the Remix Artist Collective.