Monday, August 31, 2009

The Antlers - Hospice

I got my priorties straight. I managed to finish the review for the Antlers' "Hospice", before other album from months before. Anyways enjoy this review, and wait for pics of the Grizzly Bear Brooklyn show, minus Jay-Z and Beyonce (but with Dave 1 from Chromeo!).

The Antlers
Hospice ****

Hospice is a rarity among album these days, and the same goes for the Brooklyn-based group the Antlers. Instead of relying on hype thanks to MySpace, Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan, The Antlers gained buzz in a rather naturalistic way, but with a hint of the Internet helping out. The album had been making rounds around Brooklyn with it’s droning melodies, emphatic lyrics and Neutral Milk Hotel-esque anthems, and with even more pushing thanks to online message boards, with people placing the album in much regard.
It’s no surprise why this has become, in a way, a modern day In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. That watershed album by Neutral Milk Hotel from 1998 laid the groundwork for what indie would sound like for the next ten years. Now I’m not saying that Hospice is the greatest thing since sliced bread; Hospice will defiantly hold up in the future, but the sad, introspective type of indie has been losing ground lately to the like of the noise punks from Cali, and anyone associated with Animal Collective.
That being said, Hospice is a fine work from the new indie golden boys, The Antlers. A mournful work that takes on the story of man watching his loved one die of cancer, and all the drama and memories, good and bad, that happens during the process. “Sylvia”, an excellent and powerful track, may sound relatively irrelevant to the story at a first glance, but it takes the story of Sylvia Plath and her crumbling marriage and gives Hospice a symbolic back story. Throughout the album, taking us through the somber opening of “Kettering”, the aforementioned “Sylvia”, the shuffling introspection of the abortion tale of “Bear” and the hopeful, yet tragic “Two”, the album’s best song, we get the story clearly and subtlety, and it’s a beautiful experience. Not only that, the album also manages to gives us insight into the mind of Peter Silberman, the man behind the work, who isolated himself from family and friends to produce his work.
The Antlers’ Hospice will go down as one of the year’s best album because of it’s honesty and beauty. It’s an album that makes for a wonderful and moving narrative work, aside from a just good album. Like Jeff Mangum and Justin Vernon before him, Silberman takes personal isolation to make something tender and close. It’s going to be hard for Peter Silberman to follow up this work, like the reclusive Mangum, but he may take the other way and produce something as satisfying as this work.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Ellie Greenwich

Not a singer, but an excellent writer of some of the 60s best girl group songs. There's no denying she had an influence on some of today's music. RIP.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some Irony for today

I have some full length reviews to write, and they are Wilco the Album, The Eternal, Octahedron, Hospice, The Hurt Locker and District 9. It's hard out here for a critic. So here's some food for thought today.

12 years ago, Aaron Eckhart starred in In the Company of Men, a controversial indie flick about misogyny in a corporate culture.

No fast forward to 2009. Eckhart's latest film is his third feel good romantic comedy since 2007, Love Happens. Weird. Also, Aaron Eckhart seems to never age. Somebody must be a replicant.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Avatar Teaser Trailer Review

So there's this hubbub over the film called Avatar. You know that one where James Cameron has been working on for 12 years and it's expected to cost $300 million. Of course, the media blitz is rather brilliantly constructed, using only rumors and Cameron's heady explanations for his intents for the film .

Of course the fanboys will crap their pants over this trailer, but since I am not a fan boy, looking at the hype with much skepticism, I found the new trailer, to be well, silly. Sure the animation does look pretty, but it looks more like a glorified video game than say, uber-realistic animation that was being talked about. The blue rabbit looking avatars look like Cameron is trying to appeal those bizzare Furries, than say the movie going public. Finally It looks pretentious to boot. Cameron doesn't has me excited. Okay guys, who wants to see A Serious Man?

I wonder Jean-Luc Godard has to say about Avatar. Here's a trailer for his 1965 sci-fi classic, Alphaville, shot with no budget, no special effects and in short period of time:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Momentisey - The Faster You Push Me,

God Bless You, Bill Nye.

Quick Ones for 8/19/09

Hey, I'm back for another batch of quick ones. I've been having trouble reviewing music in a speedy matter lately, and I can't seem to take on the backlog of music I have. I'll try my best, so here are ten albums that have been reviewed.

Abe Vigoda
Reviver EP ****
Everyone’s favorite Tropical Punk group return with the succinct EP. A mature sound precedes them as the shift isn’t awkward but just as confident as their excellent predecessor Skeleton. More New Wavy and Post-Punk then Noise rock.

Set Em Wild Set Em Free ***
Inspired by the works of Sly Stone and early 70s funk, Akron/Family even manage to have the sound of righteous indignation with them too. It comes of as a bit self-righteous though, as if they were living in the 70s.

Art Brut
Art Brut vs. Satan ***
Say you started a band, a band like Art Brut, clever, confrontational lyrics about music, with the hip three chord attack that will warm the hearts of fans. Your first album is great, but here’s the problem. You’re band’s sound sorta limits you. Experiment too much, alienate your fans, don’t grow enough, you lose the critics. This is where Art Brut has been ever since they shot onto the scene with Bang Bang Rock & Roll. The new album is chock full of their clever punk chords, and Eddie Argos’ self-referential and neurotic lyrics. It’s good, but you can do it differently.

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Outer South **
Let’s be honest here; Conor Oberst does have a fixation on becoming this alt-country icon or a folk hero, instead of the emo folk figure he is seen as. I always figured this when the video for “Four Winds” appeared, looking like Win Butler of the Arcade Fire. Conor Oberst continues with this attempt for indie iconography with a more rootsy effort. All I have to say is that Conor is going down the way of Ryan Adams and not a Neil Young or Win Butler.

The Field
Yesterday and Today ***½
It ain’t From Here We Go Sublime, but it sure is a good album. Personally, I think Alex Willner made the right move by trying a new direction with his music by more expansive and organic. The songs don’t stick to you as much as the songs on Sublime, but tracks like “Leave It” and the massive droning closer “Sequenced” will surely be on top of your dance music mix.

Major Lazer
Guns Don’t Kill People - Lazers Do ***½
Get two of dance and hip-hop finest producers, lock them in a room together, and we get this whacked out creation from Diplo and Switch. It’s a rather mind-blowing experience on the first listen, because of the overload of content and creativity from the two. Song about weed, zombie wars and a baby made out of auto-tune (yes, they auto-tune the baby, now Auto-tune can finally die in peace). On other listens, the album begins strong, gets weak around “Can’t Stop Now” and picks up starting with the hilarious weed anthem “Mary Jane”, and continues with great tracks like “Keep it Goin’ Louder” and “Pod de floor”. A good party record to put on and everyone in the crowd will dance.

It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright ***
Okay, I’m not really emo-enough or Christian-enough to get into mewithoutYou, but goddamn they try. They know their fans, and their fans will definitely love this album. But to the average indie listener (me), they will probably find it dry and may think Aaron Weiss’ voice can’t really do that whole Neil Young/Jeff Magnum vocals and lyrics.

Passion Pit
Passion Pit ***½
Essentially an MGMT without the pretentious douchieness, or Cut Copy without the glitzy sexiness, Passion Pit is dance rock for nerds, and that’s not a bad thing. I’ve mentioned MGMT before, and there is a similarity in sounds, and the mainstreamers will eat this album up. And it’s not surprise; this album is a step, if not two, above the overrated Oracular Spectacular. For some reason, songs like “Little Secrets” and the excellent “The Reeling” really remind of my childhood watching 90s Sesame Street. They may be rather nerdy, but Passion Pit make a fine album of dorky dance jams with ball-tightening falsettos. Excelsior!

Songs of Shame ****
A baffling batch of lo-fi psychedelic. But you have to admire this work, with it’s bizarre pacing and track listening. On one end, we got short breif songs, then we get the 9-minute lo-fi soloing of “September with Pete”. One of the years most interesting and unique albums.

See Mystery Lights ***½
A collision between the DFA sound and YACHT’s sunny pop, See Mystery Lights is a truly unique addition to the DFA library. More 80s pop and occasionally hip-hop, the songs occasionly collide with the James Murphy beats (see: “It’s Boring/You Can Live Anywhere You Want”). “Psychic City (Voodoo City)” is the album’s highlight, though compared to other great DFA produced tracks it will pale in comparison, is the right mix of sunny pop and irony that makes into a hipster summer jam. Hopefully, the band can work something out with the next one and make their own great DFA album that has alluded them this time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cops fail to recognize BOB DYLAN

Recognize this fella staring you down? That man is named Robert Allen Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan wrote songs like "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Desolation Row". He's a musical legend. Bob was on tour and staying in the New Jersey seaside resort town of Long Branch. Bob decided to take a stroll through the Latin section of the town, as he normally does, because well, he's Bob Dylan and the man can do whatever he wants (Well, if the world was owned by Rolling Stone magazine, then it would totally happen, but that's for another story). So the people naturally get suspicious of an old Jewish man wandering around their neighborhood, probably dressed like a grifter from the Old Wild West. They called the cops on him, and when the cops came, the two young cops failed to recognize the legend.

God dammit New Jersey, stop listening to Bon Jovi. I can only assume that's what the two cops listen to regularly. Bruce Springsteen moves us so far, but Bon Jovi pulls us back. This tomfoolerly extends to not recognizing genuine artists like Bob Dylan. A legend. He's a LEGEND.

The Stone Roses - Made of Stone (808 State Remix)

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of 808 State's Ninety, a classic Madchester-era album. I love the track "Pacific 202", (I do believe it was in 24 Hour Party People). I get a bit romantic for that era, and that song, and the album in particular is so of the era. It's a wonderful work and you should check it out if you love electronica, dance of the whole late 80's/early 90's Madchester culture. I stumbled on this excellent remix of another Manchester legend, The Stone Roses, and one of my all time favorite songs, "Made of Stone". It's a wonderful remix that's just as good as the original. Rave On.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Name change

So, I changed the name for a third time. Reason, well, I never liked Komar's Views, and I couldn't think of a good title. Tonight I was driving around, and I thought about how nobody really reads this blog, unless it's one of my friends being pushed into doing so by me. So, it was between Your Opinion Doesn't Matter or My Opinion Doesn't Matter. I asked a friend which one he liked more, and he picked Your. And he's right; it's funnier and ironic. I'm a very passive aggressive guy. I don't like to be part of flame wars. I'm a rare appeaser on the internet. So I figured that this title would work best cause I'm generally a nice guy, and I don't care if you criticize me, but hell, why not make my title a complete douchebag troll title. So enjoy (if you do read this) and enjoy this new era of my blog.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Public Image Ltd. on American Bandstand

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, creates some subdued anarchy on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Clark's interaction with Jah Wobble is absolutely priceless. "Wobble. Nice to have you hear."

RIP John Hughes 1950-2009

Tribute tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Day in Williamsburg waiting for Deerhunter, Dan Deacon and No Age to do a show.

What a long, long day I had Sunday. If you haven't heard, Deerhunter, Dan Deacon and No Age had just started their round robin tour and that Sunday they were to play the Jelly Pool Parties in the Hipster Capital for free at the East River State Park. Well, a little thing called persistent rain happened and it created a bit of logistical nightmare for the concert organizers.

Yes, that is Bradford Cox of Deerhunter looking like Nosferatu. Him and Randy Randall of No Age shook the fans' hands and gave them thanks, as we braved it out in the rain. Personally, as I stood their, making nice with some nice folks from Middletown, CT, I turn and I see Bradford. Bradford Cox is one of my favorite musician's out there, and when I saw him shaking hands, I broke into an excited smile and gladly chirped out his name. It easily brought up my spirits.

The orginaizers moved the show to the aestically pleasing Brooklyn Bowl on Wythe and 11th (or 12th?). The doors were supposed to open at 6pm, but it really opened at 7, so 4 hours of waiting happened and while it may have been tedious, it was still somewhat enjoyable, meeting new people talking about our towns, and even Pokemon (I brought my Gameboy Color, to occupy myself). Another one my fantasies was to have one of the members of No Age notice my Abe Vigoda shirt (for those noobs who don't know, No Age and Abe Vigoda are members of the The Smell scene in Los Angeles). Randy Randall noticed my shirt and gave me a look of approval! My plans were coming into fruition.

Now for some photos of the area:

Dickchicken on the back of the Brooklyn Bar.

A"Hipsters Suck" Graffiti, brilliantly located in the heart of Williamsburg, and possibly written by a Hipster, cause only a hipster would be so deft to actually write something like that and then secretly gloat about his hip brilliance behind his or hers hipster friends' back. But I digress...

O hai! Some cute graffiti I spotted.

A cool looking warehouse across the street.

The line of people, wanting to see the good fucking jams.

That is Infinite Body, an ambient musician. He is spazzing out. I thought he was going to throw up at one point. Also, he had a ShamWow-esque mic on him. He may be a nice dude, but he kind of pissed people off to be honest.

White Rainbow, another ambient act, but pleased crowd.

This is Ed Schafer. He was insane. In both ways. The crowd loved his rambling Charles Mansonesque songs.

Dan Deacon approves.

And now a little interlude with the crowd singing The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)".

And now onto the main attraction!

That be part of Deerhunter, and the one and only Dan Deacon.

And Cali's golden boys Dean Spunt (drums) and Randy Randall of No Age.

The opened up with Deerhunter's "Cryptograms", and the minute the bands start rocking out, anarchy ensued. People shifted into each other, putting pressure on one another. We were all so happy to see the bands we want to see. We went berserk for every song.

NoAge, Dan Deacon, & Deerhunter @ Brooklyn Bowl from Patrick Duffy on Vimeo.

Lockett Pundt of Deerhunter

Insert Andy Samberg joke here.

The moshing, surfing and stage diving occured for an hour or so, until Dan Deacon decided to chill things out with some interpetive dancing and touching people's heads.

We were told to think of that special person as we touched other people's head. I wonder what that chick touching my head thought about my sweaty mane? After that, Dan, with the voice of a the nicest guidance counselor ever, told the crowd to form a big circle in the middle and plucked out of the audience was a kid in a mustard colored shirt (I met him in the subway station after the show).

Deacon and Cox share some vocals.

Not picture, Cox and Randall jamming together like two Texas hillbillies in crouch poses.

Of course, the climax would be Deerhunter's Nothing Ever Happens. The excellent song from Microcastle turned into old school rock and roll hero worship as the crowd witnessed the members playing to the crowd.

We nearly dragged Bradford into the crowd as he got close to us. I and many others grabbed the guitar and touched it as if it were a precious relic. But alas, all good things must come to an end.

Dean Spunt of No Age doing some vocal effects on two mics during the last song. Like "Nothing Ever Happened", the final song brought the crowd once again to hero worship, as me and several other would grab Randy Randall's guitar, who left it to be attacked by us, and touched it like there was no tomorrow. I kissed the fret board. Some old dude took it and played it with his teeth. People would detune it. As a result, we breifly became part of the band, because it created some insane noise rock.

Bradford closes off the show by giving his thanks and sending out a message to the crowd. Lucky me got to take a photo with Bradford. Unfortunately, the sound guy failed to take it right, and I didn't double check (I was high on rock). So maybe some other time....

Yes, that's a didgeridoo player in the subway station. He deserved a tip.

All in all, it was a damn fun night, with many memorable moments and the interesting and wonderful people I met on this day. It was one for the record book. Wishing to go back in time is normally a sign you hate your life, but goddamn, I wanna relive this night again. And get that photo with Bradford Cox right this time.

If the No Deachunter tour is coming near your town. Get off your ass and go to it! It'll be a damn fun time.

Time for Spot me in the Crowd!
Pt. 1:

and Part 2: