Almost seven years ago when Everyview was first getting started, I penned a review for an Explosions in the Sky concert at the Congress Theatre in Chicago. It was my first time seeing the band and they blew my mind.
Last year at Denver’s Riot Fest and Rodeo, I finally got the chance to see them for a second time. I had a significantly better view right up at the stage this time, but one couldn’t help but notice the technical difficulties being endured by guitarist Munaf Rayani throughout their set. They were still great, but it didn’t quite match the flawlessness of the Congress show. Shit like that happens at festivals, and I definitely don’t hold it against the band. Continue reading
Overview: Guys, Radiohead released a new album today.
And it’s incredible.
Offering up their first album in five years, Radiohead returns to the scene with a melancholy (well, no shit), ambient technical masterpiece that solidifies their reign as the greatest band of the new millennium. And it isn’t just because of the music contained on A Moon Shaped Pool, though in itself that’s transcendent enough. It’s the way this band has endured over time and still found the ability to put something truly magical together each and every time they release something.
Sure, they’ve had their ups and the higher-ups (I refuse to say they’ve had any downs). 2011’s The King of Limbs wasn’t as well received as I believe A Moon Shaped Pool will be once enough pretentious bastards like me get a chance to give it a few listens and review it. It’s a return to form and an escape from form at the same time. It’s probably an album you can sort of imagine the sound of before you give it a listen, but that doesn’t mean it lacks surprises along the way.
And by surprises I mean those moments when Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and company take a song that’s going one direction and shift on a dime into an unexpected tune that ends up being more beautiful than you imagined. Over eleven songs on A Moon Shaped Pool, I never found a song that felt out of place, forced or redundant. As a total package, it’s a sweeping, epic affair that will please both diehard fans and also offers a great new album for newer fans to dive in and get to know them.
I first stumbled across feel good anthem band Fang Island in 2010 shortly following the release of their self-titled album, and they quickly climbed to the top of my most listened to bands. Their overly awesome riff-heavy, guitar-driven sound — accompanied by an overall lightheartedness — was just something that clicked with me. Two years later and they’re still one of my favorite bands for summertime drives, with the windows down and no destination in mind.
Their follow-up, Major, is an equally awesome collection of rambunctiousness that I was highly anticipating. After a few days of nearly constant listening, I’ve found that my eagerness for Major — which has its flaws — was certainly warranted. Continue reading
Over the past few years, I’ve developed a pretty intense hatred of most art-rock. A great deal of it is irritatingly pretentious, self-congratulatory and worthless.
So when I stumble across a bands like Akron/Family, who are able to throw together a seemingly endless barrage of musical styles and still create songs that sound as if they are being performed by human beings, I must admit I find it very exciting.
The band has been on quite a hot streak over the past few years, a streak I’m happy to say they’ve continued with S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT.
With such an epic title, I suspect there are expansive story elements to Shinju TNT which may provide it with deeper meaning. In time I will perhaps explore them, but thus far I’ve tried to enjoy the album on a purely visceral level, and I’m happy to say I very much have.
Of the three A/F albums I’ve heard, Epic Journey is the most atmospheric, with certain songs achieving an almost Sigur Ros quality of ambiance. There’s an almost hypnotic quality to tracks like “Island” and “Fuji II (Single Pane” which makes for quality relaxation at the end of a stressful 28 hour work week.
Listening to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is an event. Somehow, in a world saturated with great music, Kanye West has proven an ability to regularly produce some of the most compelling, globally and internally poignant at once, most listenable pieces of music today. On his fifth album, as he has regularly done for nearly a decade now, Kanye has raised the bar to superhuman levels yet again, potentially changing the game one more time.
There is an internalized swagger that bursts out of your speakers for the entirety of this album. Kanye has never been lacking confidence, and here, it’s like listening to a man who is truly the best in the world at what he does. Kanye lets you know what’s truly on his mind, and that’s the sign of a truly good lyricist. He’s not painting these vague, generalized portraits here, these are personal songs. Kanye proves he hasn’t lost touch with the world. In fact, he might be getting a better handle on it with each album.
Kings of Leon exploded in 2009. Out of a cannon they shot to music super-stardom upon the enormous success of their album Only By The Night, and seemingly overnight they went from being alternatively popular to pop music juggernauts.
As is the case with most bands who rise to significance relatively early and somewhat suddenly, the potential to lay an egg on a follow-up to their mega successful album was great. It has happened dozens of times in music history, and I’m sure you have bands you got into only for them to engage in a career of mediocrity and disappointment following their biggest exposure.
It happened to The Killers after Hot Fuss. Two disappointingly decent albums later, and I’m still waiting for them to bounce back to form. Alanis Morrisette never found the formula to breaking the glass ceiling following the phenomenal Jagged Little Pill. Audioslave’s studio work went steadily downhill following their very good debut, and I think we’re all still wishing and waiting on The New Radicals to put out another album (Seriously, I totally am).
As I’ve stated in past posts, I have developed a borderline obsession with My Morning Jacket. Because of their nearly flawless blend of a vast array of musical styles, no other band not named Wilco has any right to suggest itself as America’s best band of the moment.
But aside from their amazing musical catalog, I have discovered in recent months the band also has an impressively extensive list of covers. While I suspect it’s of little interest to anyone else (you know, like everything I write), I’ve compiled a list of my five favorites.
Musical collaborations can be a pretty hit or miss proposition. For every awesome Santana and Michelle Branch song (there happen to be two of them), there is an entire album of misery with Chris Cornell and Timbaland. Some genres tend to overdo the concept (looking at you, Rap/Hip-Hop), but a really solid collaboration takes a known entity and blends that artist’s style with the signature of another artist for a unique tune.
These are ten pairings I thought of that I think could produce an awesome song. Just because I’m pathetic and lead a very streamlined social life (see: Girlfriend), I’m even going to title the song I imagine the artists putting out.
I’ll admit before hand that the titles are going to be terrible and generic, but oh well.
Arcade Fire did it. Amidst unreal expectations and an absolute cavalcade of hype, the Montreal based alternative rock band managed to deliver an album that embodies a genuine sense of suburban frustration while coupling it with a slight embracing attitude of the situation.
The album contains sixteen tracks, and it’s the variety that keeps the album fresh even after several listens. This isn’t a fast food album, where you whisk through the drive-thru, pick up your food and go and it’s over too quick. This is a fine dining experience at a five-star restaurant, where each course blends together with the previous and subsequent selections.
This review originally ran as a post on “Man Walks On The Moon…Again,” my ill-conceived attempt at running my own blog. Seeing as how that required actually work, I’ve decided to take the easy way out by returning to Everyview, so as to have the pleasure of working under the thumb of 14-year-old dictator Zac Pritcher.
So even though this concert was a week ago, and we already ran a Wilco live review over a year ago, I’m posting it, because it was awesome, and my opinions deserve to be heard, dammit.
So, anyway… Continue reading