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Author Archives: Andy

[stream] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart // Eurydice

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart // Eurydice

the pains of being pure at heart eurydice cover [stream] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart // Eurydice

I suppose its somewhat fitting that I am lured back to blogging by a song titled “Eurydice.” If your grasp on Greek mythology is rusty, here’s a short take:

Eurydice was the wife of Orpheus, who died after being bitten by a viper. Distraught, Orpheus traveled to the Underworld and played music so beautiful that Hades agreed to let her return with him, on the condition that he walk in front of her and not turn back to look at her until they reached the upper world. Of course Orpheus, being impatient and untrusting of Hades (who could blame him), turned back to see Eurydice prior to her crossing the threshold from the Underworld to the upper, and she was taken back.

Now, I’m not saying that this “Eurydice,” the second single from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s upcoming third album, is enough to make Hades change his mind about a dead significant other, but it’s enough to warm the cockles of this jaded blogger’s heart. And that’s plenty good enough for me.

Days of Abandon is due out on May 13th through Slumberland Records, just in time for all your summertime road trips.

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[random] On 2014 So Far

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [random] On 2014 So Far

It’s amazing how quickly time slips past us; I’ve posted on the blog literally ten times since the calendar turned to 2014. Considering that we’re already ninety-some days into the year, that’s not a great average.

But it’s been a great year to this point: I’m newly-engaged and learning to not call my fiancée “my girlfriend.” Old habits are truly hard to break. And with that engagement comes all kinds of busyness: scouting locations, deciding on what food 180 people will be allowed to eat, what we want to listen to throughout the reception, colors, flowers, ties, dresses, etc. There are myriad things available for which I never knew there could even be options.

Bringing things back to music, I’ve been spending 2014 looking backwards, in part because of the engagement, so I’ve been looking for specific types of songs – old soul in the vein of Freddie Scott’s “You (Got What I Need).” That’s led me down rabbit holes into a lot of Howlin’ Wolf and Bo Diddley and into my live Van Morrison bootlegs and recently into Simon & Garfunkel. My time with new music has been limited, and I’m enjoying thumbing through old records at the shops for albums I never would have dreamed of previously, or discovering The Mad Lads, or needing to listen to all of Stevie Wonder’s output with fresh ears.

It’s been rewarding to tap back into this great wealth of music that so often goes unnoticed by the bleeding edge blogosphere to discover this vast expanse of new-to-me music. I mean, I’ve listened to Howlin’ Wolf’s “Moanin’ at Midnight” two dozen times this year. It’s likely that my most played list for 2014 won’t have much representation from the twelve months that preceded it.

And that process has been doing me so much good. I’m losing some of the jaded veneer that I’ve so snarkily cultivated when it comes to what I like. Music should be enjoyed, and dredging up all this great stuff from the past has enabled me to do exactly that again.

[stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

tame impala live versions cover [stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

Record Store Day, that annual celebration of all things limited, local, and vinyl, is exactly one month from today. The floodgate of releases has opened, with the extensive list of things to drool over and subsequently save for taking shape. I personally haven’t done much list scouring, but the two I have seen that I really want are the Sunny Day Real Estate split 7” (because who doesn’t want new SDRE?) and the live EP from Tame Impala.

Creatively called Live Versions, the EP features eight tracks culled from the Aussie band’s live show – specifically a 2013 show in Chicago, handpicked by the lead singer to showcase versions that were substantially different from what fans already have on the studio albums. This track, “Be Above It”, is the second to last on the EP, and first on the band’s sophomore album, and while the first few minutes feel familiar, the band turns its Sixties stoner-psych to 11 in the second half.

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 19, and if you happen to be in the record stores around Rochester and prevent me from getting my copy of Live Versions, you’re in for a world of pain, my friends.

[stream] Years & Years // Real

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] Years & Years // Real

years and years real cover [stream] Years & Years // Real

Do people still use the word ‘banger’? I hope not, because it only makes me think of Tobias as Mrs. Featherbottom in Arrested Development, or a bunch of orange individuals dancing at a club. But if people do still use it, chances are it’s appropriate to describe this track from London’s Years & Years. The London trio already has an EP under their belts, released last September through the folks at Kitsune. “Real” is the title track to their new EP, due out again through Kitsune – this time on February 17th.

The song starts off fairly unassumingly before morphing into something much larger and addictive. It’s a tale of lust and/or longing, and though it maintains its danceability throughout, there’s a melancholy to the lyrics that ultimately makes “Real” much more grounded than the normal themes of getting drunk/high/laid (not that there’s anything wrong with any of those goals for a particular evening).

And while we can feel bad that the protagonist doesn’t get his wish of the object of his desire staying the night, his pain makes for a hell of a song. I’m talking frontrunner for a track I’ll play incessantly for the next eleven months.

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[stream] SALES // Chinese New Year

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] SALES // Chinese New Year

sales chinese new year cover [stream] SALES // Chinese New Year

SALES give me hope that there are still bands out there honing their perfect indie pop chops, because their song “Chinese New Year” is just about as perfect as it can get.

Quick: think about the soundtrack to indie-ish love stories like 500 Days of Summer or Celeste and Jesse Forever, and you’ll know exactly what SALES’ music is good for. Think about a montage of a twosome driving around in a well-worn Volvo, hitting up garage sales and buying old records, a lampshade that someone will wear on his or her head while they shop, and a used blender. This song plays over top of that cute overload.

And then everyone breaks up or dies.

But before that happens, “Chinese New Year” will do just fine.

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