Fun is the new brainchild of Nate Ruess (The Format) and Andrew Dost (Anathallo). News of this project has helped keep me from spiraling down into a deep dark depression over the loss of one of the greatest pop bands of all time. While I love the name, I am slightly annoyed that yet again I will have a hard time finding anything on them with just a google search. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to hear this album. Nate has written in a blog post that these are some of the best songs that he has ever written. Not to mention that he has been getting the help of Andrew Dost for the arrangements. And if for some reason you are unfamiliar with Dost or his former band Anathallo, the guy is a musical genius who can play pretty much any instrument, “switching from singing and playing the glockenspiel to playing the piano and flugelhorn” all mid-song. Not a joke, I’ve seen him do it. So far they are still unsigned, which I am assuming is by choice, cause I don’t know why all the labels wouldn’t be fighting over them. But as long as the new album gets finished and makes it to my ears, I don’t care how they do it. Unfortunately, I don’t have any more information to share with you all. But I will leave you with this great demo version of one of their new songs.
Unfortunately they have only updated their studio journal 3 times in the past three months, so I’ve learned a whole lot of nothing about this new record. Except that it is going to have a reggae song in it and that Ryan plays an omnichord on one of the tracks. But honestly all it takes for me to get excited about a new Guster album is to know that it is being made. These guys put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen (easily top 3) and their last few studio albums have just blown me away. There are tracks on Keep It Together that still give me chills. Like the track I sampled below for those poor unfortunate souls that have yet to discover the wonders of Guster.
Here is a video of some guy named Larry playing a fluglehorn on one of the new songs that is tentatively titled “Lost at Sea.”
Yeah I know, I am behind again. Another of my most anticipated albums got released before I could write about it. And unfortunately I have been too busy and too poor to listen to it. But I will tell you why they made it all the way into my top five. It is because somehow Bono and his crew have not only managed to have an incredibly successful and lucritive music career that has spanned over 3 full decades now. And all the while they have managed to attain the attention and the respect of both music critics and the mainstream media. So for as long as they are in the business I am sure that I will get excited about anything that they create. Not to mention, they were like my second music love as a child. Although I must say that I am slightly disappointed with “Get on your Boots.” It seems to be a less awesome “Vertigo” in my mind.
The creators of our favorite album of 2006 are finally back with their fifth studio album, The Hazards of Love. I absolutely cannot wait to hear what apparently started out as a musical, and has turned into yet another themed record from The Decemberists. According to frontman Colin Meloy, it is a “mossy and evil” record, that tells the story of a woman named Margaret. I absolutely adore how nearly every song they write tells a story, and I am excited to know that this new album has a cohesive story to tell. I am also glad to know that My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, has lent her gorgeous voice to a fair number of tracks.
I don’t do it often, but sometimes I actually read my e.mail. Sorry if that upsets anyone, but the ol’ inbox gets quite flooded with submissions. A while back I started listening to less and less, as they got worse and worse (not gonna mention any names). Well I had forgotton that I also receive a nice selection of fine quality tunes as well.
The guys at Asthmatic Kitty records did us a solid, and sent us some quality tracks this week, and I was in one of my open-ness moods.
For those who aren’t familiar with My Brightest Diamond, (and I’m about to compare them to another band, something I hate when people do, but I’m going to do it anyways) she sounds like Imogen Heap meets We vs. Death. But depending on your familiarity with those two artists, the metaphor may be lost on you.
I always get nervous when the remix of a song is longer by a considerable margin than the original. I usually chalk that up to being some ridiculous intro that I can’t stand; or some instrumental section that is either perfect, or complete rubbish. Well this one is going to be the latter, the instrumental section. And as for the other part of that, it’s a perfect instrumental section.
This remix builds on the intensity of the original with some great added break-beats, but the strings are what made it for me.
So I don’t know how I missed this project the first time around. This is exactly the kind of music that I love. I mean my Gnarls Barkley cover by Ray Lamontagne and that acoustic cover of Hey Ya have become two of the most played songs in my library. So in fact I am even upset that I didn’t discover this collection of covers til now. But not too upset. Because now I have lots of incredible new cover songs to love and cherish. I will let the music speak for itself. But first I want to complain a little about the title. Yeah it’s really clever and all, but I just really don’t like the idea of guilty pleasures. I mean why feel guilty about liking a song. So what if it’s not cool to like it. So what if there’s an Avril Lavigne song that you secretly love. Or that you listened to that One Republic collaboration with Timbaland over and over. Now I’m not saying that I’m about to start praising these artists and comparing them to The Beatles or any of the other greats. But I will freely admit to both of those confessions. Without guilt.
Anyway. Back to the matter at hand. Engine Room Recordings has announced the release of the second edition of the Guilt By Association cover series. The cd is set to hit stores on February 17th, but it has already been released for download on Itunes. But for those of you short on cash, you can go ahead and stream it over on the Engine Room Recordings web-site. Also here is My Brightest Diamond’s installment in the series. I know that I just wrote about here not too long ago and that I had thirteen others to choose from. But I was just so excited that she chose to record this song, because I actually saw her play this song when I saw her open for The Decemberists a couple years ago and it was seriously the highlight of the show. Shara Worden is an incredible performer, with one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. I cannot recommend seeing her live enough. Or the Decemberists for that matter. Well to wrap things up, here is the tracklist for Guilt By Association Vol. 2. I hope your ears bleed (but not really).
Sorry I am so late on this guys. Maybe someday I’ll get caught up on my e.mail inbox and I’ll actually share something brand new with you all. But I felt like this was better late than never. For those of you that don’t know, My Brightest Diamond is in the middle of their Recession Blues tour, and simply because they are awesome, they are giving away 2 free tickets to two different winners every show day for the rest of the tour! Now the tour started a couple of weeks ago, so for those of you whose town she already hit, my apologies. I should have let you know sooner. But I figured since she still has like 15 shows left that I better get this info out for those who still have the chance to take advantage of it. Anyway, here is how it works. “Every show day at noon, Shara will make a Twitter (on the main page of the MBD website in the bottom left hand corner) with the city name and the quiz question. The first two people to respond with the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org will win a ticket (plus an extra ticket for a friend) for the show that night!” This is just one of the many reasons that we love Shara Worden. Here is a list of the remaining dates and one of my favorite tracks off the new album.
My Brightest Diamond – If I Were A Queen (removed 2/13/09)
11/22 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
11/24 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
11/25 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
11/26 – Los Angeles, CA – Hotel Cafe
11/29 – Tucson, AZ – Solar Culture
11/30 – Albuquerque, NM – The Cooperage
12/03 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
12/04 – Little Rock, AR – Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack
12/05 – Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree
12/06 – Knoxville, TN – Square Room
12/07 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
12/09 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
12/10 – Charlottesville, VA – Gravity Lounge
12/11 – Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
12/12 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
12/13 – New York, NY – (Le) Poisson Rouge