Posts Tagged ‘Sparklehorse’

“fear of running out of time”

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

You may or may not have noticed that I don’t tend to scramble to post here on Frequency after the death of a prominent musician. (I will often retweet the news on Frequency’s Twitter.)

It’s not that I don’t think death is blog-worthy — I do — it’s just that news moves ridiculously fast these days, and with my responsibilities to The Bulletin’s print product, I often don’t have the time to get something posted in a timely fashion. And if four, 12, or 24 hours have passed before I can get something up, I figure everyone’s heard about it, and I often don’t know what more I can add to the avalanche of remembrance happening on the Internet.

In recent months, though, several musicians who mattered to me have passed away, and so I’m going to take one post to pay tribute to them.

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The best music of 2009 (so far)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Well folks, it’s early July, and that means one thing to obsessive music geeks everywhere: Time to make a list!

The first six months of 2009 have come and gone, and they were a bit of a roller-coaster for me, music-wise. For the first few months of the year, I didn’t hear much that I loved and was convinced this would be the weakest year of new music in quite some time. (I’m talking non-local here. Locally, it’s been a stellar year for recorded music. Click here or grab a copy of today’s GO! Magazine for more on that.)

In the last few months, though, things have picked up considerably. Truth is, I think running this blog has helped a lot. It has forced me to pay closer attention to new music, and to check out more stuff than I think I normally would’ve. As a result, there are a lot of names on the list below that I wasn’t necessarily familiar with on New Year’s Day.

And that, really, is what I love about music. I’m constantly on the lookout for what’s new. I love the thrill of discovering a new band, even if they’re not necessarily making a new sound. I like looking forward, not back. (Never mind the fact that I’ve listened to Kathleen Edwards’ 2008 album “Asking For Flowers” more over the past six months than any of the albums listed below.)

With that in mind, let’s look back (haha) at the records that really grabbed me in the first half of 2009. I’m not going to clutter this post up with CD covers or YouTube videos. Just click on the artist names to find out more.

The Best of the Best
Crocodiles, “Crocodiles” (slacker shoegaze)
Japandroids, “Post-Nothing” (noisy garage rock … read more here)
School of Seven Bells, “Alpinisms” (icy electro-pop … read more here)
Shabazz Palaces, “CD1″/”CD2″ (brainy Seattle hip-hop … read more here)
Weinland, “Breaks In The Sun” (graceful folk-pop … read more here and watch video of their live show in Bend here)

The Best of the Rest
Brakes, “Touchdown” (pure, perfect pop-rock)
Dinosaur Jr, “Farm” (guitars on blast)
Truck North, “Truck Jewels” (Philly hip-hop … read more here)

More Good Stuff
Animal Collective, “Merriweather Post Pavilion” (psychedelic Afro-electro-pop)
Arbouretum, “Song of the Pearl” (stoner blues)
Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, “When Sweet Sleep Returned” (psych-pop)
Black Moth Super Rainbow, “Eating Us” (analog weirdness … read more here)
Gui Boratto, “Take My Breath Away” (twinkling electronica)
Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch, “Dark Night of the Soul” (creepy pop … read more here)
The Decemberists, “The Hazards of Love” (indie-prog)
John Doe & The Sadies, “Country Club” (country)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart” (throwback twee)
Sonic Youth, “The Eternal” (noise-rock)
Telekinesis, “Telekinesis!” (indie-pop)
Various artists, “Dark Was the Night” (indie-rock Mt. Rushmore)
Wale, “Back to the Feature” (D.C. hip-hop)

OK. Hopefully I didn’t forget something. If I did, remind me in the comments. Think I should’ve included your favorite album? Tell me in the comments. Think one of those albums stinks? Let me know in the comments! I love nothing more than talking about music…

stream “Dark Night of the Soul” (Danger Mouse + Sparklehorse + David Lynch)

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Dark Night of the SoulThis is going to be confusing when it comes time for those year-end, best of 2009 lists.

Already this year, the double-disc “Dark Was The Night” compilation has enraptured the indie-rock cognoscenti, with its charitable aim and contributions from folks like Andrew Bird, David Byrne, the Arcade Fire, Cat Power, The Decemberists, Feist, Ben Gibbard, My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens and more.

Now comes the similarly titled indie-collabo fest “Dark Night of the Soul,” a project helmed by Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous and hip-hop mega-producer (and half of Gnarls Barkley) Danger Mouse, with some sort of visual involvement by famed director David Lynch. Up to this point, details on the album have been evasive, but today, NPR has not only details, but also a stream of the entire album. And it’s pretty great. You can listen to it here.

And you probably should, because according to the NPR story, legal wrangling may prevent the music from ever being released. Lynch’s book of photos — without the music, but apparently coupled with a blank CD-R — can be ordered at the official “Dark Night” Web site.

I’m halfway through the stream, and the album is intriguing, with a murky, post-apocalyptic sound and guest artists on each track, including James Mercer of The Shins, The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Frank Black of the Pixies, Iggy Pop and more.

Again, it’s well worth your time. And again, you can hear it here.