the oh so quiet show

the psychology behind loving a musician

…isn’t easy to explain.

But if you want to read a really sweet story, check out Sarah’s experience at Jason Lytle’s Other Music performance. It might be best to read her Grandaddy eulogy first. Both entries are long, but every word counts. Every word. I’m watching…YOU AREN’T READING, I CAN FEEL IT!

[stands on the side while tapping foot]

Back? Well. I can’t force you to read it, but it’s worth it. She put into words feelings and ideas I could never do so eloquently. I especially liked this description:

bq. Grandaddy, and Jason Lytle in particular, possesses a special quality of self-expression that is haunting in its sadness and riveting in its openness. His modest, plaintive voice drives right to the truth of whatever he’s singing about, the likes of which nobody has ever equalled.

I can nothing to add to that besides…[nod] Can you hear it? I hope you can. But if you can’t, that’s okay too.

Sarah’s blog entry documenting the ups and downs (well, more ups) of every emotional punch she felt while anticipating to see Jason perform, and then seeing him perform, and then seeing him go hit me hard. I could relate. Maybe you can relate to. Have you ever loved one artist so much that maybe you looked like a wacko for doing so (not that Sarah does!…which is good, because I’m afraid I come off that way sometimes) and its just this feeling that you can’t really explain, but you feel it and…well, if you’re Sarah then you actually can describe it quite clearly and beautifully. But as well as she may write, it’s not something you can really understand unless you’ve felt it, which is something that applies to many emotions. “Obsessing” over a musician may not be as universal as other things, but she’s not the only one, nor am I, nor are some of you.

I’m sure more than one person out there has looked at my Even obsession with a critical eye. There are many things wrong with me, but I would place the intense music interests at the bottom of that list. I used to be paranoid about appearing creepy or strange or…I don’t know. Creepy was it, mainly. But I know I’m not. I’m afraid that people may get the wrong impression, not that I feel like I’m actually doing something wrong.

This may or may not be an important quote from Sarah’s post:

bq. I want you to know the weight of this love, at the risk of sounding like a total freak…So, here it is: I know the sound of Jason Lytle’s voice better than I know anything else in my life.

I think it’s important. And I don’t think she sounds like a freak.

Reading Sarah’s post made me feel like I was peering too closely into someone’s heart, but I don’t suppose she would’ve written it and put it in a public blog if she didn’t mean for other people to read it. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable writing something like that, but then I couldn’t anyway. It’s nearly impossible for me to put those things into words, things that I tend to express as “Ahhhhh!” and “Muuuhhh!” and [keyboard smash], and even incomprehensible ramblings such as those are relegated to password protected sites where few people can have their IQs lowered by my incohesive-ness…somethingorother. I have to learn how to write or learn how to feel things in an understandable manner.

Or maybe not. I’m flawed in a million ways.

Thanks to Sarah for making my day a little brighter.

worst song ever

Thank god for the International Conference on Music Information Retrieval!

The Pain, the Pain: Modelling Music Information Behavior and the Songs We Hate” (PDF) presents the results to the question, “What is the worst song ever?” Factors that influence the craptasticness of a song include lyric quality, the “earworm” effect, voice quality, music videos, over-exposure, pretentiousness, and unfortunate personal associations.


…So what’s the best song ever?

Today it’s all about zefrank.

Grandaddy and Band of Horses (or things that make me happy)

album cover For some reason I have listened to Band of Horses over and over again for two days straight. NO SLEEP, JUST MUSIC. Okay, some sleep. I can’t pin down why I like them, as listening to them makes me think about how they sound like other music that I don’t particularly like, but I guess there’s something different about them that I like. Like that their name contains the word “horses”. Yes, that’s it.

…Okay, that’s not it. But I’m not going to describe their music. All I know is that it makes me happy.

Listen to two songs from their album “Everything All the Time” on myspace. I found that myspace isn’t so bad if you only use it to listen to artists who don’t suck or subject you to staring at a page that makes your eyes bleed. The mp3s are also available from sub pop:

Band of Horses – The Funeral
Band of Horses – The Great Salt Lake

They’re playing a few shows in the NYC area soon:

* Friday June 16th: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
* Saturday June 17th: Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ
* Sunday June 18th: Warsaw, Brooklyn, NY

Figures that when an artist I want to see actually comes by, it’s during a time I can’t go. Mrrh.

kitty! Holy crap, it’s a giant kitty. Check out Grandaddy’s video for Where I’m Anymore. This groundbreaking method of “biking around with a video camera and a cat statue and singing to oneself” also has a behind the scenes video. Awesome? No—it’s…awesome3 . Listen to more songs from “Just Like the Fambly Cat” on myspace.

Although I went by Other Music last night for Jason Lytle’s performance, it took my friends and me a little too long to eat dinner, resulting in the lack of punctuality. Crap. And then my friend who agreed to tag along didn’t feel like waiting, meaning that I didn’t either since we both live far away and were suffering from “sleepy brain syndrome”. If only the store were a bit larger, perhaps we could’ve easily smooshed in. Of course, I suck for not sticking around or failing to eat more quickly.

The Music Slut has some nice words and photos of the performance. She also asks if women hate Grandaddy. NOOOOOOO! I made a friend listen to them two days ago and she liked em! Yeah, one down, only a gajillion to go. Actually, I first got into Grandaddy a few years ago when one of my friends of the female sort put “The Crystal Lake” on a mix CD for me. And then a few albums later I found out I liked…all their songs. I can’t believe the crowd was so highly testosteroned though. The only time I’ve been in a crowd of almost no women was at the 8-bit music thing, which kinda made sense because geeky game people tend to be male. Can’t really argue with that.

Jason’s voice is kind of odd—sometimes whiny, sometimes very sweet, usually soft, kind of lilty. I find it cozy and comforting. Like blankets.

If the earth were a sandwich…

zefrank and bread “If the earth were a sandwich
We’d get along so well
We could feed everybody
With a piece of ourselves”

It’s not exactly deep, but maybe zefrank has a point.

bq. The fact that the earth has never been a sandwich is probably why things are so fucked up.

I’ll go with that.

He proposes that two people on opposite points of the globe each place a slice of bread on the ground to make this earth sandwich that will help everyone get along. It won’t really work if you live in the continental US because the opposite is the Indian Ocean, but maybe somewhere else in the world this earth sandwich dream can become reality. For instance, if I lived in Taiwan all I’d have to do is find someone in Paraguay to make the largest sandwich ever.

I don’t know how zefrank can so quickly put together a movie-thinger and song, but maybe his brain is just really fast. I’m sure he has a real life…yeah?…yeeaah I hope so.

If the earth were a sandwich, it wouldn’t taste very good. Unless the earth is made of buffalo mozzerella, in which case it would be deeeelicious.

Levy + Soft = le…soft?

Levy and Soft are playing at The Delancey this Saturday. Levy goes on at 10 PM, Soft at 11 PM. FUN? MAYBE?

It’s cool to find a show with two bands you like playing the same night. I’m not going because I’m not old enough and I live in the wrong state. (There are worse reasons though, like “MAH LIMBS FELL OFF.”) Maybe youuuu should go. [points]

Jason Lytle at Other Music

Am I out of it? I just found out that Jason Lytle from Grandaddy is performing at Other Music tomorrow, May 17 at 8:00 P.M. Of course, better I found out now than…Thursday. It’d be stupid not to go to a free performance, eh? But that means I need to kill three hours after work by myself, which isn’t that lovely…

After the show on Wednesday night there’s also a Grandaddy CD release party at Hi-Fi. I can’t say the prospect of “$3 Brooklyns from 9 to midnight” really appeals to me, but maybe most humans would go for that. In my dreams there will one day be a record release party involving ice cream sundaes; I’ll be all over that.

Dear Finland…

The arockalypse is coming…

Oh god. “Hardrock Hallelujah” is Finland’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, a contest that I was only vaguely aware of until now. Now my brain will forever be tainted by Lordi.

I don’t know if I can take watching the other entries. So…um, VOTE LORDI!


cover Pandatone sounds like what you think an artist called Pandatone would sound like.

…Okay, that wasn’t helpful. Here’s Boomkat’s description:

bq. Eclectic-acoustic sound collages, glitched laptop shenanigans, inexplicably strange and yet curiously warm feeling – here’s an album that dispenses with rules and formulas, instead delivering blissed out charm and diversity on a musical whim that gloriously fits in with the sound of the moment.

…Yup, that sounds about right. I’m as bad (or worse) at describing music as I am at describing food, so I’ll say that if you are drawn to things on Morr Music, you’ll probably like Pandatone. Songs from his debut album Lemon & Limes made me think of Electric President, Marianas, a gajillion other things that sound clicky, layered, disjointed, happy, random and calculated at the same time, etc. Here’s an mp3:


Pandatone – Summerfill

There are more mp3s on the official site/blog and myspace.


BV has provided the latest Bloc Party / Secret Machines / Mew tour info. The more I listen to Mew, the more I think “…God dammit, we need a tour of JUST Mew.”

Oh well. I guess this is close enough. Which means I should try to go to that Irving Plaza show on July 27th (are they playing there?) or the McCarren Pool show on the 29th. Or…the Boston show? IS IT TIME FOR A ROAD TRIP? The last time I went to Boston was to see Beck. In 2000. ‘Twas a while ago…yeah, holy crap, I’m old.

CJ gave me this non-rock-filled alternate version of Mew’s “The Zookeeper’s Boy” recorded at Livingstone Studios. It’s sweet:


Mew – Zookeeper’s Boy (Livingstone Version)

the song I listened to a million times

It might be a good thing that I can’t understand the lyrics to “Rosor & Palmblad” by Kent. (Because it’s in Swedish…yes, I do know English at the very least.) Sometimes I like songs less once I actually figure out what they mean. I’m weird; don’t ask. (If you do know what the song means, don’t tell me. Unless it’s really cool or something.) But I love the song to death, and since I don’t know what it means I can make up my own meaning. TAKE THAT…SWEDEN.

don’t look at me–I didn’t design the cover

If you haven’t heard their album, Du & Jag Döden, you are missing out. A lot.

So here’s that song I like:


Kent – Rosor & Palmblad

It took me a few listens to appreciate it. Maybe I like the key changes. Or the lilting-ness. Or the twinkles. Or horns. Or all the “ahhh”-ing. I hope one of these things appeals to you. Or maybe you just like the way Swedish sounds.

I am officially going to Bergen, Norway from June 8-16 with D. I wasn’t planning to do any music-related things there, but I should probably look that stuff up.