INDIEchouette


L’AMOUR PEUT NAÎTRE D’UNE SEULE METAPHOR

I tried on Deerhunter for size because I have tickets to see them with Spoon and Strange Boys in March, and they fit.  This trying-on also caused me to intensely long for the ability to take Bradford Cox into my arms and carry him everywhere.  Here’s why I fell in love with Deerhunter: Alex showed me this video on Pitchfork, which follows Bradford Cox around 2008’s Pitchfork Festival.  Guest stars include King Khan, High Places, Britt Daniel, and the late Jay Reatard.  It’s seriously the most hilarious and uplifting video I’ve seen since Will Ferrell’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.  I know that you want me to be joking, but I’m seriously not.  If there is one useful fact to know about me, it is that I actually adore that film.

Anyway, here’s my favourite track by Deerhunter, “Agoraphobia”.  It’s actually one of the few songs penned by Lockett Pundt and not by Bradford Cox, and it therefore retains a far different, more mellow, more spaced-out feel, but it’s a great introduction to Deerhunter for those who have only heard stray tracks.  To give you a more typical Deerhunter sound, I’m also going to throw in the album’s title track, “Microcastle”, because it completely changes by the end and really, how can you not love the transition in the middle?

Agoraphobia | Deerhunter
[mf] [buy]

Microcastle | Deerhunter
[mf] [buy]

I just managed to cover my glasses with accidental glitter for two reasons.  One, I am wearing one sparkly-ass skirt and two, I just returned from a Valentine-making sesh.  Here is the front of one of the few sweet-ass valentines I made.  Um, plus my face?  You might have noticed, too, that over the past four or whatever years that I’ve been maintaining INDIEchouette, I’ve omitted my face.  You can click links to get to my Facebook, MySpace, whatever <<< that way somewhere, but I’ve kept my face out of it.  I recently realized, however, that this keeping-my-face-out-of-things has rendered certain years of my life more graceful but completely undocumented in photographs.  Upon sifting through my Photobucket for photos of my olde “emo” self (harhar), I realized that I couldn’t really find many.  This might be for the better, but I remembered that when I took the ones that I did find, I felt extremely ugly in one hundred percent of them.  Looking four, five, six years into the past, I realize that youth is fleeting.  I thought I looked ugly then, but I’ve got to give myself some credit.  I looked young, and even though I didn’t look the way I wanted to, I still wasn’t unattractive.  Just uncomfortable.  Now, however…

I suspect that the cycle will continue so that by the time I have gained a mere thirty years of age, I will simply begin to wear a bag over my head.  And maybe I’m wrong.

Speaking of thirty years, let’s talk about the thirty-some-year hiatus Vashti Bunyan took from the music industry!  I am late to catch on to things, but when I found out that Feist and Ben Gibbard’s “Train Song” was a Vashti cover from long, long ago, I was kind of impressed and excited, because I love to hear covers.  I immersed myself in Vashti Bunyan and in the work she did with Animal Collective, and from three of her most renowned works, I surfaced with three favourites.

First of all, you have to love “Train Song” from Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind.  Lyrically, there is this sense of anxiousness for the singer to finally see her lover (if this person would still accept the title of lover) after an incredibly long time, and you can’t help but grasp some of that anxiousness too.  But if you didn’t listen to the lyrics, it would be a chill and slightly melancholy piece.  Feist’s proud voice and Ben Gibbard’s lullaby croon make the cover a real keepsake.  Vashti’s got a voice like cotton candy clouds, which washes over the song with an air of effortlessness.

Train Song | Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

From her work with Animal Collective, I prefer “Prospect Hummer”, the title song from the Prospect Hummer EP.  According to ReynoldsRetro, Vashti says of her work on the EP, “My daughter says she can hear me smiling on the title track […] and I was. I loved having the freedom to sing as I wanted. I was still finding my voice after burying it for years.”  That’s why I love this song.

Prospect Hummer | Animal Collective & Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

And of course, on 2005’s Lookaftering, the track that stands out most is “If I Were”, featuring the harp stylings of sweet, sweet Joanna Newsom.

If I Were | Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

But I haven’t even told you that I’ve developed a huge crush on Joanna Newsom’s Appalachian voice!  Agh.  Right now, my favourite is “Bridges and Balloons”.  It makes me feel cool and floaty, possibly because somewhere in all that seriousness is a bit of whimsical crazy.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, she has a new album due out on the twenty-third of this month, entitled Have One On Me, which sounds strangely drinky and down-to-earth for the country fairy tale girl who wrote Ys.

Bridges and Balloons | Joanna Newsom
[mf] [buy]

Some day, I will take music reviews more seriously, but for now, I will just write from the heart.  I like these songs.  They make me happy.  That’s all you need to know.

Also, if you get bored, you might as well hit me up with questions on formspring.me/almostness, where I am trying to figure out whether or not life has meaning.  I am kind of kidding, but I know that truth box-esque formats like this can tend to lead to many interesting escapades.  If you have a formspring ID, tell me so that I can pose you some questions.  Since I now have a Twitter, a Tumblr, and a Formspring.me, I’m starting to think that I’m almost too tech-savvy.  Something is bound to go wrong!

It will snow this weekend in Richmond after last weekend’s humongous catastrophe of a blizzard, and I will not be prepared.



SEE INSIDE OF THE EYE

I am unable to get in touch with Derek. This must be some higher being SMITING me.

Anyway, today has mostly consisted of music. Music, and eating, and driving my mother to Quizno’s. My madre is going to a concert tonight in New York. I know that’s funny. Now here’s the real kicker: I asked her who it was and she said that the guy she was going with described it as indie. Indie?! My mother doesn’t like indie! So I flipped and made further inquiries, excited that maybe she was going to see someone I liked. Matt Nathanson, though, sounds like a prissy name, and I was disappointed.

Because someone had described him as “indie,” I was interested. I hopped onto the Hype Machine and looked him up, uber eager to hear this newness. I was disappointed.

While he’s not bad, there’s nothing about his songs that I am particularly fond of. He has a voice made for the radio, the industry (which could be negative), but none of his songs are catchy enough. Lyrics are above average–though they rhyme, and he makes fun of James Blunt for bad rhyming–but eh. I’m not smitten. It’s probably because of substandard instrumentation, too much cymbal, and lack of creativity in writing the parts for the substandard instruments. The only thing I found notable in my search was a kind of teaser that hints at the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” But You have to get to about 3:26-ish for the part, and it’s far from the best cover I have heard. When I listen to “Such Great Heights,” it is supposed to be modest and unassuming in…appearance, I guess…but heavy on the heart. Instruments are fine. But Matt tries to go fancy-ass on the vocals and most likely makes a constipated face while singing, and it’s too pretentious because he has no backing instruments. After the line from “Such Great Heights,” by the by, is the segment mocking James Blunt. No lie, it does guarantee at least an internal chuckle.

Bent (live with “Such Great Heights” Postal Service teaser) | Matt Nathanson
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Matt Nathanson’s MySpace

Matt Nathanson’s Website

Additionally, I have been listening to loads of Animal Collective aujourd’hui, and “Derek” remains my favourite. I bet some of you think that when I talk about person-Derek, I am actually talking about an imaginary friend who I have named Derek after that tasty song. You probably think that I made his MySpace, too. Stole photographs and shit. Yeah, but I didn’t. He’s real.

Lurking a while ago on YouTube, I stumbled across a Blonde Redhead video featuring my love, Miranda July. She poses in a green turtleneck, blue pants, and red-looking high heels. And she has a flower in her hair. It’s an intriguing video, and Miranda July looks stunning (might I add that you can almost always tell a beautiful person, a beautiful soul, by his or her hands?), and I love Kazu Makino’s voice. It is smooth and quirky, as well as versatile. In this particular song, she sounds like she is from a different era. In other songs, she can sound funky and modern. But it’s always the same voice.

Top Ranking | Blonde Redhead
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Blonde Redhead’s MySpace

Blonde Redhead’s Website

Notice, if you will, that I have a new link below the mp3s, “file named properly.” This is because while the original song link from the name is a direct link (I finally figured out how to do it), that gives you a messy title for the song with all these +es. Even though you can fix it, that’s a pain in the ass. So if you just take maybe an extra click to go to MediaFire and save that there file, it will give you the file with a proper name (if you do it like I do, Artist – Title). I just cleaned up my music library this weekend, retitling files and such, so I figured that maybe some of you other people with beautiful music libraries would appreciate it.



DEGA CAN STAY ON THE FARM

A few things.

First, I have been playing Pokémon obsessively for the past two days. Pokémon Blue, to be exact. And I use an emulator. So here is the website for those of you who may be bored and unfortunate enough not to own a Gameboy or any Pokémon games.

Someone (mega-cough) left an Arizona Peach Tea can tab on my front porch on Easter. I now wear it proudly with my old one and yes, I can distinguish between the two.

Easter, by the by, was hellish. Everyone was fighting and I got pied in the face and my great-aunt cried for her beloved slice of lemon meringue pie or some shit like that. My family is nuts.

I actually have a twenty-three second clip of a high-speed chase in my cousin’s basement.  I can’t upload it places, though.  Ugh.

Also, my Tamagotchi family is growing up to be cute (for once in their miserable lives).

Here is the song that I have decided would fit so nicely on a sountrack.  Like the soundtrack to my life.  I think it would be on a walk before something really intense.  You could see it, couldn’t you?  When it breaks down, something intense is going down.  Like a drug deal or passionate eyes.  On YouTube, I saw a pretty neat dance routine to this song, but I wanted them to breakdance at the mood shift.  They stayed graceful throughout, though.  Not bad, but not what I would have done.

Derek | Animal Collective

Here’s the dance clip.  Someone commented, “I never pictured someone dancing to this.”  But I did.  Every time I hear it, I feel like frolicking for serious.  I feel like grabbing the nearest person’s hand and dancing.

And also, for old time’s sake, I shall present you three of my favourite Rilo Kiley songs.  I am in a real Rilo Kiley mood lately.  Not even Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins.  Just Rilo Kiley, plain and simple.  I am fairly certain, right now, that The Execution of All Things is my favourite album.  I don’t know, actually.  That’s probably a lie.  It’s so close.

“Capturing Moods” is uplifting and beautiful and patient.  “Paint’s Peeling” is quite different–slightly unhappy and unsure.  “Pictures of Success” is a favourite, though, from Take-Offs and Landings.  “Mexico can fucking wait.”

Capturing Moods | Rilo Kiley
Paint’s Peeling | Rilo Kiley
Pictures of Success |  Rilo Kiley

Maybe tomorrow I’ll do something different.  Maybe.