Category Archives: Music I stand by

Media craziness.

It’s Tuesday, and it’s a new media day. New releases from Ra Ra Riot and Sufjan Stevens (and the requisite price drops for early adopters), and also the release of the FINAL TWELVE MINUTES OF LOST! Check it out!

And thus marks my return to the world of blogging. Perhaps one day I will be like Jhonen Vasquez, or maybe not.

de Blob

One of the most surprising video games I’ve played in the last year is THQ’s de Blob for the Wii. Click the link for it’s description on Wikipedia.

One of the most innovative portions of the game is it’s soundtrack, which is a funky, upbeat jazz odyssey, and is completely governed by the way you play. As you paint buildings, you build the soundtrack. If you use red, a sassy saxophone will flare up and green is a blues guitar. Eventually, as you paint more and more, the tracks crescendo and you’re grooving, literally.

Well, after a couple of weeks of looking for the soundtrack, I found it at Amazon MP3. You can get it here. Below is one of it’s tracks, a little selection called “Euphoric” in the game. Get the entire soundtrack if you like it. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Music recently purchased through AmazonMP3:

  • Jon Foreman – Fall and Winter EPs
  • Something Corporate – Leaving Through the Window
  • A few songs from the original Ghostbusters soundtrack, especially Mick Smiley’s “Magic”
  • Grab bag of songs from the Sound of Superman soundtrack, including
    • Paramore covering “My Hero,” originally by the Foo Fighters
    • Jack’s Mannequin – “Meet Me At My Window” (sooo good)

We’ll fight for your music halls and dying cities.

I have to hand it to my friend Dave McFadyen, he makes my musical taste feel so utterly pedestrian. In the last few months he has introduced me to three of my favorite albums ever. And it’s stuff that makes me feel so damn smart, like after listening to it I have a license to walk around being indier than thou. Let’s rattle off the list:

  1. The Long Winters – Putting the Days to Bed.  Best song off this album is “Teaspoon.” I really don’t know what it’s about, something to do with being in love with a woman who loves a pilot, and all you can do is turn to a life of robbing banks… it really doesn’t matter. Those horns buffet my soul.
  2. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha. One listen to “Plasticities” (which is where they title of this post comes from) makes me feel like falling in love in autumn. But really, it’s one stand out track in an album of stand out tracks. He used to be the violinist for the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and has released plenty of albums over the years as Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire, and most recently as just Andrew Bird. His “Bowl of Fire” discography is a lot like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, with him borrowing many of the conventions of early 20th century music. Check out this show on archive.org at Mad City in 1998 for a listen to his previous stylings. He’s pretty dang slick.
  3. Radiohead – In Rainbows. I have to admit, I just haven’t “got” the last several Radiohead albums, but this one is truly stellar. It’s easily the most accessible album they’ve released in a decade. “Reckoner” reminds me of my favorite songs off of Moby’s Play, but far more beautiful.

All of those links above you should be able to play the songs right off the page. Thank heavens for Hype Machine and the Live Music Archive at archive.org.

Kevin Toqe – Love Is

I can’t believe I haven’t yet written about this, but my good friend Kevin Toqe recorded a magnificent E.P. this summer, and it’s exciting to me for three reasons:

  1. It’s really quite good.
  2. He’s released it for free on his website.
  3. I designed the packaging and liner notes for it.

So, whatever you do, I highly recommend you at least stop by his site (KevinToqe.com) and give it a listen. There’s a media player at the top of every page that plays the songs in their entirety, or you can download the entire album, including a PDF of the liner notes.

It’s interesting to note, though, that neither the digital booklet nor the actual physical cd (when it’s produced) will have the complete packaging. The digital download has all the lyrics, while, in the interests of space, the physical cd has no lyrics, but does have the tray art, of which you’ll see the inside of the tray card above.

I highly recommend the song “Keep the Faith” which is track numero uno. It’s super catchy; I find myself singing it in the shower almost on a daily basis.