Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Album of the Year by The Antlers: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Become Obsessed

The Antlers - Hospice

This intimate yet grandiose album tells the story of a grief stricken nurse assigned to take care of a young girl who is terminally ill with cancer. Just to make sure that wasn't sad enough they also manage to throw in a song about abortion. This album makes Ben Folds' "Brick" sound like "The Thong Song." Sounds like a party doesn't it? I've literally listened to nothing else but it all day. I've tried to move on but I find myself transfixed by it. Hospice hardly contains the party starter subject matter of a "Feed the Animals" but it is as good, if not better. I know that's a bold statement, especially coming from me, but something about this CD grabs hold of you and squeezes feelings out of you...whether you want it to or not. I'm guessing this is what I was supposed to feel when everyone raved about that Grizzly Bear CD. NPR has named it the best album of the year so far and I'm pretty sure I agree with them. My obsession with that album got so bad that I actually took my noise canceling Bose headphones to listen to it while I went to sleep. To be fair it was also partly because I didn't want to hear my neighbor's awkward sex noises anymore. I need to stop. I don't want to over hype this more than I already have. I tend to do that to people. No one will ever appreciate an Apple Pan burger now because of how many times I've raved about them. Consider this a steak burger.

OK, No more typing for me, just go ahead and buy it and find out for yourself what I've already learned: The Antlers made a heart wrenchingly beautiful album.

NY, go check them out on the 21st.

Track: The Antlers - Bear

Grab em:

New York Hospitals EP (2008)
Download (free)

Cold War EP (2007)
Download (free)

Beatles for Sale: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Be Indecisive

We are officially less than one month away from 09/09/09 AKA the release date for The Beatles Rockband. I'm beyond excited about this. My neighbors, not so much. For some reason they don't like our Post SM Pier concert jam sessions. Perhaps its because we haven't yet had the chance to harmonize three vocal tracks at once. They're going to be in for such a treat soon. The people at Harmonix really did a top notch job with all the animations in this one. I would definitely watch a full movie in the style of the Beatles Rockband Trailer, Those 2 mins and 48 seconds are a 1000 times more fun and inventive than the torture that was "Across the Universe". I was crushed when I saw that movie. I had no idea it was going to be, how can i put it nicely, so "showy". (not that there's anything wrong with that).

To celebrate the game I'm going to attempt to pepper this blog with some Beatles flavor.

My first selection is Revolver. It's impossible to not start with Revolver, home to the greatest Beatles song of all time: Eleanor Rigby. I was struck by the beauty and pain that it invoked. At the time I was reading Dicken's Great Expectations (ah High School reading) and I saw parallels to Miss Havisham . Probably an obvious correlation for most but for a guy who had not to long ago gotten Vanilla Ice's cd as a confirmation gift this was a revelation.

I know I LIT-TRA-LEE called just called "Eleanor Rigby" the best Beatles song ever, but I may have jumped the gun...even though I've had countless years to formulate my answer. While listening to Rubber Soul its impossible for me to not place Rubber Soul's "Norwegian Wood" right up there with Rigby.

Not only is it a great song but it was the first Beatles track to use sitar and it has a nice Lennon anecdote behind the songs meaning. Lennon said of the song:
"I was trying to write about an affair, so it was very gobbledegooky. I was trying to write about an affair without letting my wife know I was having one. I was sort of writing from my experiences ... girls' flats, things like that.

Coded messages about two timing on your wife. Ballsy. No wonder he never changed his Facebook status to "in a relationship". Dude wanted to play the field!. Contrary to those statements, during a press conference back in 66 in LA this is what they had to say about the song:
Reporter: In a recent article, Time magazine put down pop music. And they referred to "Day Tripper" as being about a prostitute...
Paul: Oh yeah.
Reporter: ...and "Norwegian Wood" as being about a lesbian.
Paul: Oh yeah.
Reporter: I just wanted to know what your intent was when you wrote it, and what your feeling is about the Time magazine criticism of the music that is being written today.
Paul: We were just trying to write songs about prostitutes and lesbians, that's all
So it's either about cheating on your wife or lesbians. The Beatles were Skinemax before Skinemax. Or gay porn:

Reporter: "May I ask about the song 'Eleanor Rigby?' What was the motivation or inspiration for that?"
John: "Two queers."
(room erupts with laughter)
John: "Two barrow boys."
Paul: (jokingly) "Oh, it's getting disgusting, this press conference.

Sounds like classic doublespeak and diversionary tactics to throw Lennon's wife off the cheating trail. Well played.
The Beatles = Great Wingmen.

Again, whatever the actual meaning is I think this has to be counted as my favorite Beatles song. That is until I start thinking about Sgt Peppers' "A Day in the Life".

Screw it. It is impossible to pick one song. I think its safe to say they're all #1 in my book........except for Yellow Submarine.

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