So, I’m sort of back. The last few months have been tumultuous in so many ways, but at last I have found myself to be in a place where I have the time and mental order to try and start doing this again. The inspired peacefulness of “Song For Dennis Brown” resembles my state of mind at the moment.
The Mountain Goats – “Song For Dennis Brown”
And I know it takes a new addiction
to keep you from what you’re addicted to
which is why I wish I could find a distraction
whose efficacy is tried and true
Bedhead – “Roman Candle”
I went to a funeral lately and “Kettering” by The Antlers has been echoing throughout my head ever since.
Portraying the inevitable decline of a terminally ill hospice patient, the song possesses an almost Bergman-esque sense of bleak beauty in the face of the devastating hopelessness conjured by both its gloomy lyrics and slightly eerie chord progression. It is also one of those rare songs that I have not managed to grow tired of yet, despite having listened to it an unhealthy (pun definitely not intended) number of times by now.
The Antlers – “Kettering”
If you need the pain
Well you are, yes you are so much like me
Nothing lasts for long
Except the earth and the mountains
So learn to sing along and languish here
Help me languish here
Those four first mentioned lines might not sound to optimistic when put in print, but they are a part of a song that I generally tend to think of as something along the line of cherfulness. “Freeze the Saints” from Face the Truth, the third solo album by the former-former Pavement-singer Stephen Malkmus (they are reunited now, remember?), manages to maintain that pleasant quality of feeling sunny enough to take the listeners’ minds of their troubles while simultaneously avoiding the obnoxious yelping of the twee-abyss.
In other news, I am back from Germany. And I am pissed off at the hipster movement. More on that later, perhaps.
Stephen Malkmus – “Freeze the Saints”
For the second time in four days, Beach House is the subject of this segment. Instead of spreading christmas joy with their holiday creations, this time they have been guesting that wonderful red-headed Irish-descented talk show host. Giving an enchanting performance of “10 Mile Stereo” from this year’s critically acclaimed Teen Dream (as Conan puts it, it “appears on numerous year-end lists as one of the best albums of 2010”), Beach House proves that they are one of the most potent live bands in their genre.
Beach House – “10 Mile Stereo”
A few days ago, Sweden’s finest currently active pop band made a radio session recorded for KEXP available for download via their website. The set contains acoustic renditions of three songs, taken one from each of their albums, aswell as a live version of the moderate-bashing anthem “The New Improved Hypocrisy”. The brightest shining track is “Heaven’s on Fire”, the awkwardly titled yet danceable live favourite which has here been turned into a heartbroken, piano-driven ballad centered around those mesmerizing chorus lines:
It seems like everyone is on your side
We’re outnumbered by those who take on pride
In constantly moving against the tide
Charlatans just out of reach and out of time
The whole thing can be downloaded from here.
The Radio Dept. – “Bus (acoustic)”
The Radio Dept. – “Heaven’s On Fire (acoustic)”
I do not have a Twitter account, nor do I keep myself updated with what other people write using theirs. That is why I am two days late with discovering Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s addition to the collection of seasonal music. It is called “I Do Not Care For the Winter Sun” and sounds exactly like an ordinary Beach House song, accept for the addition of bells as an excuse for labeling it a christmas tune. Which is a good thing, considering the fact that an “ordinary Beach House song” is usually splendid.
Beach House – “I Do Not Care For the Winter Sun”