~ music ~


The National – Boxer

Just a quick note to say that this album.. whoa. Really good. Lush, but not overblown. Moody but not morose.

Musically, it’s a cross between Wilco, Joy Division, and Lou Reed, and is fronted by Matt Berninger’s deep, rich vocals which wrap around your mind and make you question why you spend your time listening to other bands which, in retrospect, sound a bit like whiny teenagers. If anything, maybe the vocals are a little too prominent, but for me, it works.

The first track, “Fake Empire”, gives a sense of what the album is all about. It starts out with spare vocals accompanied by a piano playing what starts out sounding like a badly played three against two pattern, which reveals itself to be a much more complex pattern once the percussion kicks in. The song builds and swells, adding horns (without sounding like a carnival or a mariachi band, which almost all bands that include horns end up doing..)

And all of this without sounding pretentious or showy.


Quick update + Warp Records sale

So I’ve been off of work for a week, mostly relaxing. One of the things I’ve been doing with this time is listening to music.

It turns out that old school techno label Warp Records is having a sale on downloadable mp3s at bleep.com. Only a slice of their back catalogue is available, but you can find old classics like Aphex Twin, LFO and Sabres of Paradise, as well as new classics like Prefuse 73 and Battles. The sale only lasts through September so check it out soon if you are into techno.

BTW, one Warp album that I am liking a lot is Smash, by Jackson and His Computer Band. The music is aggressively sample-based along the lines of Prefuse 73, except with a more eclectic ear, a la Four Tet. The album was released in 2005 so this is possibly old news to some (and irrelevant to those of you who don’t care for this music!!).