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JV
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 09:19 am:   

Here's my latest blog post about the best (and worst) music of the year.

http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2004/12/music-2004-in-review.html

I'd love to hear other people's recommendations.
JeffV
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 02:33 pm:   

Interpol's Antics? I thought it was a great album, not a weak song on it.

Blonde Redhead, too, released a fine album with Misery is a Butterfly (which makes you wonder what a moth would be). This is fairly soft and sweeping Indie stuff that nevertheless reaches delicious heights of agony and ecstasy and, well, basically sounds everything like the title of the album suggests.

Apart from that, Jeff, I humbly salute your very fine choices for 2004 and, for the names I don't recognise, must thank you for some welcome tips for things to look out for.

You had me swooning with your recommendation of the Virgin Prunes. They were an outstanding band, if we can call them a band. If there's anyone out there who's seen the footage, then you'll know what I mean. Stunning weirdness to say the least.

In addition to Jeff's recommendations for If I Die I Die and The Moon Looked Down and Laughed, I would also add the CD that brings together A New Form of Beauty. This was originally released as a 7inch followed by a 10inch followed by a 12inch collection of "songs" which manage to combine terror with beauty with things we don't have names for yet. And, while we’re at it, Heresie (originally a double 10inch box set) is a must. It’s true that, in many respects, it is unlistenable, but in the same way that listening to a soundtrack of your own nightmares would be unlistenable. Anyone interested will find New Form of Beauty and Heresie through the links Jeff has provided for the Virgin Prunes in his 2004 albums list.

Like Jeff, I was very keen on Bauhaus, but the Prunes had a real power about them. They had a single, highly recommendable again, called Pagan Lovesong, and I think that's all that can be said about them. They were pagan. The release of more or less everything they recorded on CD this year is rare treat.

But I must take you to task on one thing, Jeff. A guilty pleasure in In Flames? But they’re marvellous! In Flames is what you need to put your guilt... er... up in.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 03:06 pm:   

Hi Jeff --

When I started reading your list, I didn't expect to find anything I liked on it, but then I was delighted to see you listed In Flames (my favorite band) among your "guilty pleasures" (though, like Alistair, I also object to this term, especially when referring to In Flames).

I just wanted to point out that your friend Dan is not correct in identifying them as "Danish prog metal." Firstly, they're Swedish, not Danish. Secondly, their genre of music is death metal, not prog. Sometimes they're further sub-categorized as "melodic death metal," which is also known as "Gothenburg style metal" -- a style In Flames, along with Dark Tranquility, pioneered in the early- to mid-90s.

Incidentally, if you like In Flames, also check out Dark Tranquility. Besides being the founders of the new wave of Swedish death metal, they also share some history -- Anders Friden (vocalist of In Flames) is the former vocalist of Dark Tranquility, and Mikael Stanne (vocalist of Dark Tranquility) was the vocalist on In Flames's first album (Lunar Strain). Strange but true.

Check out this metal resource: http://www.bnrmetal.com/. They've got excellent pages on many bands (including In Flames), and there's a good page describing the sub-genres of metal. If you want to sample Dark Tranquility for free, you can download "Monochromatic Stains" (which is a bad-ass song) from their website (http://www.darktranquillity.com/media/audio/mono.mp3) for free.

Besides In Flames, my other favorite death metal album of the year has to be Cradle of Filth's Nymphetamine.
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bryan
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 03:50 pm:   

here are the best albums of 2004:

devendra banhart 'rejoicing in the hands' and 'nino rojo'

probably my favorite albums of the years. does he sound like tyranosaurus rex? maybe a bit, but he's better. i'd trade the entire tyranosaurus rex catalog for either of the above banhart records. he's intelligent, has a sense of humor, and knows when to let go and let the song take over. great great stuff.


the double 'palm fronds'

experimental without being the least bit pretentious. a warm warm fuzzy strange little record. lots of neat things going on in the production that dress up smart songs. reminds me of can, without sounding like them. first we couldn't get it to go up / then we really got it going (mohawks). i've played this record a ton.


animal collective 'sung tongs'

the first animal collective cd i didn't sell back. it actually makes me want to relisten to their previous bargain bin releases to figure out what i overlooked. loose and tight at the same time. lyrics that human beings can relate to. sounds that come from us. the sunny brother to comus' 'first utterance'.


ariel pink 'the doldrums'

not quite sure why i like it, but i do. probably 'cause i can't figure it out. it sounds really good on a buzz.


the fiery furnaces 'blueberry boat'

a song suite. sweet songs. strange lyrics that make a lot of sense. playful in a charming childish way.


autolux 'future perfect'

i've been listening to this a lot lately. i think it's really good. lots of familiar bits from the 90's without sounding dated. shake the clouds up / shake the stars down (turnstile blues). the right album at the right time. a cool modern psychedelic record influenced by groups like smashing pumpkins, my bloody valentine, and sonic youth; minus the annoying bits.


damien youth 'these days are but molecules'

if you don't know damien's music, shame on you. i've been pushing him for years. if he was making music in the 60s he would have given the beatles a run for their money. 1970s? john, paul, george, and ringo wouldn't have been able to touch him. that being said, damien wouldn't be damien without the beatles (or the 60s and 70s british invasion for that matter). however, even though he sounds like his influences, nobody sounds like him. he filters out all the best parts and makes them his own. a great fucking songwriter. 'these days are but molecules' aka 'phantoms of fables' is one of his best albums.


of montreal 'satanic panic in the attic'

they had to change. thankfully they changed for the better. this record breathes. it opens up. it flys around the room.


dungen 'ta det lugnt'

i can't help it, my great grandpa came to the united states from sweden. i have to support my people on this one. a neat little sixties influenced psychedelic record. gustav ejstes can really play. i'll be really interested to see what happens when he gets bored with the flower power generation. he'll really blossom then.


baseball furies 'let it be'

shit hollow production, just the way i like it. the singing steals the show on this one. throat glows like cigarette burns. hot wax. bad ass rock 'n roll.


other records worth your money:

vetiver 'vetiver'
modest mouse 'good news for people who love bad news'
kanye west 'the college dropout'
stones throw 101 'mix cd by peanut butter wolf'
vast aire 'look mom... no hands'
reigning sound 'too much guitar'
madvillain 'madvillainy'
rob sonic 'telicatessen'
faun fables 'family album'
joanna newsom 'the milk-eyed mender'
comets on fire 'blue cathedral'
6 organs of admittance 'the manifestation'
mf doom 'mm food'
panda bear 'young prayer'
vordul mega 'the revolution of yung havoks'
ted leo and the pharmacists 'shake the sheets'
antony and the johnsons 'the lake'
outrageous cherry 'why don't we talk about something else'
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 03:52 pm:   

hey jeff--

i dug the green day and waits albums as well. i've been a bit shocked about the green day album, since i'd sorta pushed them into the not interested side of things years ago. still. old dog, new tricks. kinda.

the other albums i enjoyed this year were the polyphonic spree's 'together we're heavy', thee silver mountain reveries, pretty little lightning paw, and william shatner's 'has been'.

i've been doing lists of things i like on my livejournal for a while, so there's more written there if you get curious to see me justify shatner. (it was really a fantastic album. honest to goodness.)

http://benpeek.livejournal.com/251458.html

b.
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 05:10 pm:   

Jeff--
Thanks for the list! I'm always on the lookout for new music, and your tastes in post-punk stuff seem somewhat close enough to mine that there are several items on your list that I should really check out. Plus a few of the CDs you mentioned were things I liked quite a lot this year. I totally agree that the new Tom Waits is his strongest since Bone Machine. Not as good as, but very, very good indeed. The opening track, "Top of the Hill", is especially strong.
I still haven't listened to nearly enough 2004 music yet to make anything close to a formal top 10 list, but so far my five faves of the year, in ascending order, are:
5- Masada String Trio
4- Björk - Medúlla
3- Tom Waits - Real Gone
2- The Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
1- The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads (there's tons a new material on this long-overdue CD issue of this classic live album, and all of it is great.)

However, I did recently compile a top 10 of 2003 CDs: http://lostpagesfoundpages.blogspot.com/2004/12/2003-top-10-music-albums.html
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JV
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 06:19 pm:   

Claude:

Hey there! Thanks for the list and the other recommendations.

Okay, for me In Flames is a guilty pleasure because I rarely listen to metal of any kind. But you're right--to group it in there with Rhapsody is kind of ludicrous. And, in fact, there's no point in separating out a guilty pleasure from the other choices: one either likes something or doesn't!

More soon--have to go watch a boxing match.

JeffV
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 08:55 am:   

A little point of trivia regarding the Virgin Prunes and Tom Waits. I think I'm right in saying that at the time Gavin Friday (former vocalist of the Prunes) released his first solo album, he used the then band or group of musicians used (perhaps still used) by Tom Waits.

If you listen to this particular GF album it certainly does have a similar sound probably mostly to TW's Rain Dogs but, on the other hand, is very different.

The Friday album is called "Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves" and is very much worth getting hold of. Released around the late 80s, I think was.

Just found this -
http://www.gavinfriday.com/
- which may be of interest.

Well, excuse the digression. Back to best of 2004. I forgot in my earlier mail to mention what may well be my number one of the year - Louden Up Now by Chk Chk Chk. When I first heard the album I thought it was OK. Then I saw them in concert and it was one of the best gigs I've seen. Changed my view on the album completely.

I'm curious to know how successful they've been in the States, if anyone cares to enlighten me. In Europe they've made quite an impact.

Alistair
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 09:44 am:   

My own favorites for the year...

Augie March - Strange Bird: This is a US release of the band's 2002 album, previously only available in Australia. It's somewhat folk rock, but that doesn't quite do justice to them. I'll just quote Pop Matters: "Lewis Carroll commandeering the Yellow Submarine." They've got the most dense lyrics I've come across in rock music for a long time.

Blackfield - Self Titled: Blackfield is a duo of Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen. The music is melancholy pop with lush production. It's not too far from Porcupine Tree's material, but much shorter and catchier.

Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus: Two CDs of subtlely different styles. The first is dark gospel rock. The second is also gospel, but more mellow. Simply some amazing rock music.

Hope of the States - The Lost Riots: Imagine harnessing the dynamics and orchestration of Godspeed You Black Emperor and using them to craft songs. Then add a singer a bit reminiscent of Billy Corgan. The name is apt - even with the dark music, there is a definite feeling of hope.

Orphaned Land - Mabool: This is a very ambitious heavy metal album. It mixes death growls with clear singing, a female vocalist and a choir. The music blends heavy metal and Middle Eastern folk music. The result is almost like a metalized version of Dead Can Dance.

Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill: Smith's final album, it's more raw than previous work, with a somewhat lush but lo-fi sound. I've played this more than anything else this year.

Norah Jones - Feels Like Home: I've heard this called "Starbucks jazz" and I suppose it's fitting. It's mellow, inoffensive stuff, and fairly beautiful. It's more acoustic than her first CD, and I enjoy it more.

Marillion - Marbles: Marillion's mix of prog rock, pop and bits of indie rock has been the secret precursor to Radiohead, as well as many other contemporary bands (Elbow, Doves, Travis, etc.). Marbles finds them the same place they've been for years, writing good music. They made a 2 CD version for sale through their website, and a 1 CD version through retail stores. The 2 CD lacks cohesion, but the 1 CD version cuts much of the filler and presents a better picture.



I feel a bit disappointed that my list isn't too bizarre this year. I guess travelling and being without online CD ordering made my buying more traditional.

There are still quite a few CDs I want to check out: Chroma Key, Riverside, Paatos, Drive By Truckers, Wilco, Woven Hand, Chris Thile, Of Montreal.
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JV
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 10:25 am:   

Robert:

I liked Woven Hand a lot, but not quite enough to put them on my year's best list. I didn't care for the Elliott Smith that much, even though I like a lot of his other stuff.

I gave the Augie March not one but two tries, re-buying it, but finally gave up on it. It's just not for me.

Re the Virgin Prunes--thanks for the additional recommendation, Alistair. I think "pagan" is a good term for the Prunes. I also like "tribal". Using modern instruments. It's such a weird, wild, yet ultimately satisfying mix.

Bryan--thanks for your list. I'm not familiar with a lot of what's on it, but will be checking it out on Amazon.

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 10:36 am:   

You know, today, listening to the Wilco again...it sounds like #1. It sounds even more wonderful than the first few times I listened to it. Hummingbird is a marvelous song.

Jeff
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JV
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 10:43 am:   

Bryan:

I'm glad you say Of Montreal has changed. They came to town a few years back, I dutifully went to see them and bought a couple CDs. I hated their CDs. They were like bad pop from an alternate universe. And the show sucked. But I heard a song of theirs recently I liked, so maybe I'll pick up this new one.

JeffV
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Robert Deverex
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 11:48 am:   

I gave the Augie March not one but two tries, re-buying it, but finally gave up on it. It's just not for me.

That's sort of how I feel about the Arcade Fire. I wanted to like them, I went back to them a few times, but just decided they weren't for me.

I'm glad you say Of Montreal has changed.

I just listened to a few mp3s by them. The one from their most recent album was listenable. The older ones weren't.


I realized I only had 8 CDs on my list. I had a few more I liked, but didn't think they deserved to be on a best of list (Vast, the Tea Party, Elbow). I suppose I could list Muse - Absolution, since that was a 2004 release in the US.

I also figure my list will be completely different in a few months, once I finally hear more CDs.
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JV
Posted on Monday, December 20, 2004 - 10:31 am:   

Robert:
Now that I've got my iPOD, I've been going to iTunes and they've got the Ambergris CD up there. I had no idea! Pretty cool.

JeffV
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, December 20, 2004 - 12:00 pm:   

CDBaby has some good deals for indie musicians, and one is including CDs in the iTunes store. Not many sales from there yet.
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Luís
Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 09:32 pm:   

Quick list:

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Nick Cave - Ababtoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
The Arcade Fire - Funeral
Tom Waits - Real Gone
A. C. Newman - The Slow Wonder
Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Shigeru Umebayashi - 2046 OST

AND LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST:

WILLIAM 'THE SHAT' SHATNER - HAS BEEN

Cheers,
Luís
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 08:30 am:   

Jeff, are you serious about Duran Duran being one of your favorite bands?

You liked Franz Ferdinand. Have you heard The Cooper Temple Claus? because if you havn't you should check them out.

Alistiar, I've heard Interpolantics and I wasn't that impressed, although it was alright. The singer in Interpol sounds quite like the singer from Tragically Hip.

Claude, I'm glad someone mentioned Bjork's Medulla.

Colonol Claypool's Bucket of Barnie Brains: The Big Eyeball in the Sky, is a kickass album which I think is one of the best albums of the year. It has Les on bass and vocals, Brain on drums, Buckethead on guitar, and Bernie Worrel on keys. Need I say more? Check this album out.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 08:38 am:   

Yeah, I'm serious. Seven and the Ragged Tiger, or whatever it's called, is a seriously weird, seriously cool pop album--just put those bombastic, flamboyant videos out of your head. I only know the singles off their other CDs.

I'll check out Cooper Temple Claus--thanks!

I didn't much care for the second Interpol CD.

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 08:44 am:   

Stephen:
Checked out Cooper Temple Claus on itunes. Like it a lot. Got it and listening to it now.

JeffV
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 09:16 am:   

Quick List from JK (some may not be 2004, but they were new to me in 2004):

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Gavin DeGraw - Chariot Stripped
Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk
Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked for the Holidays
Slipknot - Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Seal - Best: 1991 - 2004

And that's it until I open gifts. Not a good year for exploring new things as I had no time.

JK
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 09:26 am:   

Good to hear that you like them Jeff.:-)
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Nels
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

Despite occasionally sounding like he borrowed some Bumper Book of Junkie Clichés from Jason Pierce, I think Mark Lanegan's newie, "Bubblegum", was right up there.

And Polly Harvey's too.
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Mike S
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 09:20 pm:   

Here's my top ten of the year (roughly speaking and unranked).

Funeral, by The Arcade Fire
More Adventurous, by Rilo Kiley
Here Comes Everyone, by Aloha
Strange Bird, by Augie March
A ghost is born, by Wilco
The Slow Wonder, by AC Newman
Love Songs for Patriots, by American Music Club
The Milk-Eyed Mender, by Joanna Newsom
Blueberry Boat, by The Fiery Furnaces
Shake the Sheets, by Ted Leo & The Pharmacists

honorable mentions:
Has Been, by William Shatner
The Dirty South, by The Drive-By Truckers
Good News For People Who Love Bad News, by Modest Mouse
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Ben Payne
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 11:03 pm:   

Can't resist these lists:-)

My top five (that i first heard this year):

5. Action Pact... Sloan
4. Hidden Vagenda... Kimya Dawson
3. The Trouble with Success. Paula Kelley
2. Transatlanticism... Death Cab for Cutie
1. The Lifting... Bright Eyes

and also worth mentioning... the Fairground Attraction Best of that I picked up for ten bucks... surprised how much I liked it...

Cheers

Ben

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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 05:59 am:   

I'm just now listening to Blueberry Boat by Fiery Furnaces and the newest Pinback. Both would have at least made my honorable mention list, possibly the main list. And I forgot about the Bright Eyes.

But American Music Club?! That's the most boring CD in the history of boring CDs!

JeffV
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Mike S
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 07:39 am:   

What do I know?! I'm the only human being who wasn't at all impressed with Franz Ferdinand.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 07:46 am:   

You're supposed to defend your choice, not bail! LOL!

Jeff
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GabrielM
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 08:07 am:   

Mike, historians have typically regarded the Archduke as weak, unpopular and ineffective. He is also said to have lacked charm and elegance and was regularly shunned by the Austro-Hungarian nobility despite being the heir to the throne. I don't think you are alone in your views.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 11:09 am:   

Ha!

Man, I totally, totally screwed up.

I thought The Church's Forget Yourself CD was a 2003 release. It was 2004--it would thus be at the top of my list. And the Dandy Warhols Welcome to the Monkey House would also be on the top 10 list.

When I return to blogging, I'll do a post about it.

JeffV
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 01:52 pm:   

Jeff:
Welcome to the Monkeyhouse, as far as I can tell, is a 2003 release. I put it in my 2003 top 10.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 02:01 pm:   

Oh--whew! Then I only partially screwed up.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 03:07 pm:   

Gwotet by David Murray and Gwo Ka Masters is my favorite album of the year. A jazz album strikes a weird note among these lists, but that and garage punk like the baseball furies,
and some weird new zealand shit's all I've been listening too lately.

Gwotet is one of Murray's experiments, mixing in Carribean singer and brass with jazz. It's excellent.
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Chris
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 02:00 pm:   

Jeff,

Your honorable mention section has an error: The band you call Tuesday is actually called Thursday. But hey, I confuse days of the week all the time. Also, I think "War all the time" is probably their weakest release, and if you enjoy it you'd certainly be into "Full collapse," which is their gem in my opinion.

Best cds of the year?

Isis "Panopticon"- Seriously, Jeff, use your Growing cd for a coaster and go pick this up. Isis would best be described as an atmospheric metal band, and their live show is absolutely jaw-dropping. In the same vein, I'd also recommend Pelican's "Australasia," or any other Isis cd such as "Oceanic" or "Celestial."

Blood Brothers "Crimes"- Punk rock is supposed to make you uncomfortable, right? These guys spit on melody and metal enough to make any music fan cringe, and listening to them is like walking down a fine line between ecstasy and torture. Schizophrenic punk/hardcore. Music as art. And not the Matisse soft-around-the-edges kind.

Chris
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JV
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 02:23 pm:   

Yeah--I noticed that! LOL! Thursday, indeed. I need to change it.

I've heard "Full Collapse" and didn't like it nearly as much as "War All the Time".

Thanks for the recommendations!

JeffV
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 08:03 pm:   

How does Panopticon compare to Oceanic? I liked Oceanic initially, but don't find myself listening to it anymore. I'm just so rarely in a mood for heavy stuff anymore (although as I go back to work next week, I might get the urge again).

I did try Pelican. Good in short doses (1-2 songs), but the full CD wore thin quickly (unlike Isis).
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Jon Hodges
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 07:25 am:   

The new In Flames album is, in my opinion, the best In Flames album to date hands down.

Several other superior albums from '04:

Lamb of God: Ashes of the Wake (USA)
God Forbid: Gone Forever (USA)
PJ Harvey: Uh Huh Her (UK)
Fall of the Leafe: Volvere (Finland)
The Duskfall: Source (Sweden)

It was quite a slow year for good, new music from where I sit; hopefully 2005 will be better. I know Katatonia and Dark Tranquility are both working on new albums. Now if Madder Mortem would just follow up Deadlands with some sense of urgency.
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Chris
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 10:07 am:   

Robert,

Personally, I think Panopticon is better than Oceanic - it's a bit more complex and dynamic in my opinion, and it has a lot more mellow parts. I saw them play a few weeks ago with These Arms Are Snakes, and the stuff transfers great to a live performance. I think the key to listening to Oceanic is not starting at the beginning, or at least that's what I've found. I'm not sure if I think Panopticon is better than Celestial, though, which is a jewel of album in my opinion.

Jeff,

I'm curious... what is it about War All the Time that you prefer to Full Collapse?


...and although it's from 2003, I still can't get enough of Cursive's The Ugly Organ
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 10:20 am:   

Chris:

I thought War All the Time was more melodic. Full Collapse just seemed grungier. It's been awhile, though. Perhaps I should revisit it.

Jeff
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Chris
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:02 pm:   

I completely agree that War All the Time is more melodic. I think what I loved about Full Collapse is that it interwove harmony and dissonance in a way that very few bands can pull off. It seemed to me that on War All the Time they left that dissonance behind and became just another melodic hardcore band.

I think Planes Mistaken For Stars' seft-titled cd is another excellent example of combining harmony and dissonance, as is the song "sunfalls and watershine" by This Day Forward which features the lead singer of Thursday on backup vocals.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:07 pm:   

Chris:

I'll check out Planes Mistaken For Stars.

Re Thursday--I'm not much on the emo hardcore stuff (at least, that's what my stepdaughter calls it), which probably explains why I liked War All the Time better. It passed my Nirvana Unplugged test: would this sound good unplugged, no matter how raw in the original form?

I didn't dislike Full Collapse, though. But I was also writing war scenes on my novel at the time I got War All the Time and thematically it worked for me, too, as a result.

JeffV
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Chris
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 10:03 am:   

Jeff,

When you check out Planes, make sure to listen to their self-titled release (on Deep Elm records). After that, they kind of went the opposite direction that Thursday did, pretty much dumping all their melody for dissonance.

Chris
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Neddal
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 03:04 am:   

No, it goes like this the new Growing disc, "The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light" while , not as good as last year's "The Sky's Run Into The Sea" walks all over the Isis record. The Isis record made me want to yell, and not in a good way - nine versions of the same, long-ass, boring song - noodling intro followed by build-up, followed by some yelling, followed by some moody singing, followed by some more "moody" soundscapey stuff, maybe some more yelling, repeat, repeat, repeat... The drummer is on a painful Neal Pert trip and the bass player spends way too much time in the upper register - you play bass, you stay below the 12th fret dammit unless you're Geezer Butler or Kira.

As for Planes, you want to start with the records they did after they left Deep Elm, "Fuck With Fire" and this year's "Up In Them Guts." They've moved past the "screamo" and are doing their own thing. The label, No Idea, is based in Gainesville - http://www.noidearecords.com Their prices are insane - $7 per cd, you also want to check out the two Floor discs to see where bands like Isis and Pelican lifted part of their sound.

Why has no one mentioned Mastodon as the metal band to check out?
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Chris
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 07:59 am:   

Wow Neddal, I couldn't possibly disagree with you more. By the way, I lifted this quote from the review of Growing's "The sky's run into the sea" from Delusions of Adequacy, which pretty much sums up my opinion about the release. Skyscraper ran a similar review.

"I'm not going to lie to anyone about my feelings for Kranky Records... The majority of their current releases fall under the cookie-cutter ambient-rock category that pays no attention to detail, has little regard for melody and innovation, and, the majority of the time, remains staler than two-week old bread at a bakery thrift store... While I usually find the majority of bands in the ambient/space-rock genre interesting - this CD in particular proves the point that if it is not done well, it is probably not worth doing at all."

I actually recommended the first Planes cd because it is by far the most melodic, which seems to be a key to Jeff's listening tastes. I do like the albums you mentioned, particularly the new one. However, I think their debut is by far the most original sounding thing they ever did. If by "doing their own thing," you mean "sound more like Hot Water Music," then yes, now they're doing their own thing.

I'm sure we'll disagree on Mastodon as well - I thought Lifesblood and Remission were phenomenal, but their new album sounds like a lame rehash of Ride the Lightning.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 08:36 am:   

Oooh--music fight.

Anyway, No Idea--yeah, I know them. I used to live in Gainesville. They were really struggling when they first started and have seemingly clawed their way up the ladder. Very cool.

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 09:09 am:   

Anybody know anything about The Dears? I've downloaded some of their stuff, and it's interesting.
JeffV
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Neddal
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 09:34 am:   

Q: What's worse that a Chomsky quoting punk band?
A: A Foucault quoting metal band.

Chris -
I've not heard a lot of Hot Water Music, but the one song I did hear had nothing on the past couple of Planes... discs. Maybe I heard the wrong song?

Growing, ah man, Growing stomp all over most of of the Kranky bands (w/the exception of the Charalambides.) Check this quote from Dusted <http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/802>

"On their debut album The Sky’s Run Into the Sea, the trio relies on guitar, bass and electronics to create something that defies words, categorization and listener apathy. In six tracks lasting just under an hour, the group creates wave upon wave of noise and drones, comparable to Sunn O))), but equally reminiscent of the ambient mysticism of Fripp & Eno. For a moment the group takes a guitar lick worthy of Randy Rhodes’ devil horns, only to distill it to its bare acoustic essence. Rows and rows of cymbals cascade against each other to levels of uncharted edginess; guitars crash with drums like whales jumping waves in the Atlantic."

I agree with you about Pelican, by the way - excellent.

Mastodon - You think so?

What do you think of the new Converge record?

Jeff - The Dears - Oh man, they're like the Barenaked Ladies of orchestral rock. Of course, it seems like I'm the only person who thinks so, and I'm a picky, contrary bastard. A lot of people whose taste in music lines up with mine love them.

Someone above mentioned the PJ Harvey disc? I was not impressed w/it at all - it seemed like she decided to rehash a couple of songs from each of her earlier records. I think she must have used all her good ideas on the Lanegan and Desert Sessions discs. I had a feeling that I was in for a disappointment when I looked at the liner notes and saw that one of the songs was dedicated to Vincent Gallo.



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jv
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:08 am:   

also listening to a band called tin tin. somewhat interesting.
jeffv
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jv
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:39 am:   

actually, tintin isn't that interesting the more i listen to it.

course of empire--just discovered them. like them a lot.
jeffv
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Chris
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:10 am:   

Hot Water Music is one of No Idea's first and most popular bands (they're from Gainsville as well). I agree that the Planes cd's are better, but when they moved to No Idea I really think they changed their sound to fit the New Idea mould. I still love Planes (I've seen them twice in the past year alone), but their pre-No Idea stuff is still my favorite.

Mastodon - Yeah, I think so. Don't get me wrong, though. Remission will have a place in my row of favorite cd's for a long time to come.

I honestly haven't heard the new Converge record yet, but I'm going to check it out this weekend when I see my brother. Jane Doe was an album that really grew on me, but I always felt that songs like Phoenix in Flames were pretty pretentious. As if they were climbing onto a soapbox and yelling "look at us, we're artists!" From the reviews I've read of the new cd, I think I might like it better than Jane Doe.

Also, my girlfriend is a huge PJ Harvey fan and, like Neddal, was not really impressed with the new album.
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des
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:44 am:   

Hot Water Music is one of No Idea's first and most popular bands
**********
Didn't they do Firework Music, too? With Noman Candles?
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j:osh
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 05:54 pm:   

the one cd of 2004 that really stuck out for me is codeseven - dancing ecoes/dead sounds. good modern rock that sounds like it might've been recorded deep inside of the moon . . .

j:s
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JV
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 06:10 am:   

Here's a funny Amazon list of 2004 music:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/listmania/list-browse/-/1K6BCN1RB0DLW/ref%3 Damb%5Flm%5Fgw%5Flmq%5F1%5Fcenter-5%5F151766/002-5933632-7256029

Jeff
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Dunmore
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 03:32 pm:   

But what a great recommendation for Isis. Seriously good stuff. Thanks for pointing it out.

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