the oh so quiet show

another store of music + The Softlightes

Soundscapes
Soundscapes

Last week I visited Toronto and did a strange repeat of my music store jaunt in Phoenix. My friend I randomly passed by Soundscapes and I ended up buying another Console and Colleen CD. They would’ve been cheaper online (how weird is it that the Canadian dollar and the US dollar are almost worth the same now?) but…WHATEVER, impulsive buying isn’t the end of the world.

I’d share some tracks with you but my Dell laptop stopped reading CDs after I got back from my vacation. Which is pretty bad. This might be a sign that I’m supposed to get a new iMac since lack of a CD drive is very inconvenient. And it’s a two-year-old Dell. So here’s a random song by The Softlightes that I particularly like:

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/softlightes-track01.mp3]

Softlightes – The Ballad Of Theo & June

album cover
Say No! to Being Cool. Say Yes to Being Happy

Actually, I like all the songs on their album, Say No! to Being Cool. Say Yes to Being Happy. I’ve had this album for months (it came out in February) and wanted to write about it earlier, but…instead I just kept listening to it and ignoring this blog. SO NOW I AM WRITING ABOUT IT.

The title fits the album. It’s…happy. And it is cool, but it’s primarily happy. And then cool because it’s happy. Yeah? Maybe? There’s a song called “If The World Had Cookies” for god’s sake. Cookies are possibly the only thing that’s right with the world. There’s also a song about microwaves and robots. Everything is quite poppy and happy in that “fat clouds and rainbows and teddy bears” (there is such a music genre, I swear) kind of way. Here’s another example for you to listen to:

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/softlightes-track05.mp3]

Softlightes – A Town Named Blue

I’m gonna go back to bed now since I keep hacking up phlegm and feeling like my blood is boiling. Too much info, I know.

Soundscapes
572 College Street
Toronto, ON M6G 1B3, Canada

Magnet is DOING STUFF?

You know I’m obsessed with Magnet, right? Maybe not.

I’ll admit I haven’t been listening to him much lately, but I haven’t heard anything about him either. I just happened to come across this Filter US Recordings Blog and LOOKS, THERE’S MAGNET NEWS. Why the hell couldn’t anyone have told me this stuff earlier?

Argh. [shakes fist] Whatever. I suppose I should be happy to hear that the new Magnet album will be out in the US on September 18th and that he’ll be touring with Stars in November.  The problem with that is if he’s only touring with them in November, that doesn’t seem to include the east coast.  Which affects me because I live on the east coast.  And…um…yes.

Sadness.

some songs that I like.

Feist – The Reminder

I should’ve gotten Feist’s “The Reminder” earlier. Like when it first came out in May.

But I’m slow. So I have it now. And I really like it. I listened to it while passing through the swampy marshy crap in the Meadowlands under a murky sky that looked as though it were about to barf rain, yet it all looked pretty while listening to Feist. SHE IS DRUGGING ME, THAT’S WHAT, OMG.

Nah, not drugs. Just prettiness. Here are two examples of the prettiness:

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/feist-sosorry.mp3]
Feist – So Sorry

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/feist-howmyheartbehaves.mp3]
Feist – How My Heart Behaves

I suppose I could post some lyrics that I really like, but …lyrics don’t usually mean a great deal to me unless I can relate to them. And I suppose they wouldn’t mean a great deal to you either unless you had some connection to them. And these lyrics are kind of depressing, so nevermind.

Actually, I like this bit from “So Sorry”:

We’re so helpless
We’re slaves to our impulses
We’re afraid of our emotions
And no one knows where the shore is
We’re divided by the ocean
And the only thing I know is
That the answer isn’t for us
No the answer isn’t for us

Mild depression may be abated by watching Charlie the Unicorn. Enjoy:

If you didn’t watch it in its entirety (and you know who you are, NO HIDING)…you should. There’s a really catchy song at around the 2:30 mark. Why deny yourself of such joy? Whyyy?

mm…swedish…

leaves!
my leaves…let me show you them

Pelle Carlberg has a bunch of albums, none of which I have listened to. Yet. But I have listened to his band Edson thanks to a friend who gave me their poppy album For Strength some years back and they’re quite peachy. So I assume Pelle in solo form is also peachy. Bursting with juicy…happiness inducing…Swedish…flavors…of some sort…thatIhaven’tidentified…um.

SO HERE IS AN EDSON SONG, FOR YOU:

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/edson-iamtheostrich.mp3]
Edson – I Am the Ostrich

This song is actually kind of depressing. I can bend the lyrics to fit my life’s problems at this very moment, and….JESUS, I’M DOOMED, AWESOME, ok. [sobs in a corner for a while]

Oh, so Pelle is doing a little tour in the US, two dates in NYC, for his latest album In A Nutshell coming out in the US on July 3rd.

May 27 – Luna Lounge, Brooklyn, New York
May 29 – The Supermarket, Toronto, Ontario
May 30 – Small’s, Detroit, Michigan
May 31 – Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio
Jun 2 – The Delancey, New York, New York

Patrick Wolf

Last week I became semi-obsessed with the music video for The Magic Position by Patrick Wolf:

Happy colors! Dancing! Smiles! Craziness! Basically the opposite of my world, which is full of earth tones, sitting, frowning, and normality! Or something! I love the continual movement of the camera in all the non-dancing scenes and every little step and pause taken by Patrick and all the twirls and claps in between. Is that weird? Choreographed walking? Strolling? I don’t know. I really like the pause at the 1:15 mark, but I have no idea why.

I thought that I wouldn’t like any of his other songs—I’ve listened to bits of his older albums before and never got into them—but then a friend kindly donated the album to “Robyn’s iTunes” and it turns out that I like it. A lot. At least until I get sick of it. It’s a weird mix of…stuff. Hell, I’m not writing an album review; there are no standards here. WEIRD MIX OF STUFF, THAT’S WHAT IT IS. Stuff that expands in your brain and fills in every squishy crevice with beeps and thumps and pianos and horns and maybe the screechings of soaring fireworks.

He’s playing at Bowery Ballroom on May 9th. Which I only just realized is the day before my (second) graduation ceremony. Crap. Stupid graduation. I’ll just be very tired that day.

Travis makes me smile

Closer
Closer…to Cooper Union?

It’s mainly Fran’s voice that makes me smile, but the whole band is…pretty important, last time I checked. So! Travis makes me smile. Watch the video for Closer, the first single off their upcoming album, The Boy With No Name coming out on May 10th [via torr]:

My thoughts while watching the video:

  • Supermarket…oookay
  • Damn, I really don’t want to work in a supermarket. Again. (My first job was bagging at Stop & Shop in high school)
  • Fran…is a giant chipmunk? This is a weird supermarket.
  • …This song is very pretty.
  • Aw, everyone is like, HAPPY AND STUFF, and full of so much joy, they have forgotten the suckiness of being in a supermarket!!! Fran’s singing heals all emotional wounds. Wow.
  • Fran is sweeping his arms around. Why that makes me happy, I don’t know.
  • CAMEO, OH DEAR GOD.
  • Aha…pwnd.
  • Muzak kills everything.
  • Kissing between random young peeps feels oddly serious for me. Should’ve just stuck with hugging. Yay! Hugs!
  • I want a happy hug.
  • …Now I am filled with sadness.

I didn’t say they were deep thoughts or anything.

Most of Travis’s videos are great, not in the groundbreaking sense but in the “it will make you smile and maybe laugh a bit” sense. Which is good for those times when you realize life sucks. …Which is most of the time. Especially when, after listening to this song, I thought about who I have in my life that I wouldn’t mind leaning on. Or rather, wouldn’t mind me leaning on them and crushing them with my lead-like density (yes, I’m thinking of the physical sense of leaning on someone, not the…I dunno, mental lean-age). And there are very few people who fit that description. It’s possible that I could gain more of these people, but I think I’m more likely to lose the ones I have now.

In conclusion, woo Travis!

Peter Bjorn and John

Janet sent out a mass email asking if any of us wanted to see Peter Bjorn & John at Mercury Lounge on January 29th or 30th.

Um…hell yeah?

061208 021
ow, my eyes

Annnnd thus I am inspired to write about the PB&J concert I went to nearly two weeks ago. (I’ve been a bit busy/lazy lately. It’s finals week and I somehow need to not fail things while say goodbye to people and eat as much in Paris as possible and buy a million gifts and blah blah blah, not that I’m complaining or anything considering that when I walk out of my apartment and turn left I have a full-on view of the Eiffel Tower.)

I disappointingly took very few trips for someone who is studying abroad for one semester, but I managed to plan a weekend trip to London that coincided with the concert. Which was great because there were no concerts I wanted to go to in Paris (or by the time I found out I wanted to go, it was too late).

IMG_6253
twinkly

After wandering around under the depressingly early sun-less sky, I met up with my awesome host/longtime Internet friend Leanne, ate a burger for the first time in months, and we both made our way through the chilly weather to ULU.

061208 023
Peter

Standing in the venue was the most New York City-esque experience I had since leaving NYC. Being squished up against the stage reminded me of the Bowery Ballroom, except…smaller. With additional legal cigarette smoke. And with everyone speaking English.

061208 022
Bjorn, Peter

I was most struck by how differently they played their songs live as opposed to on the album. Not that they replaced their instruments with chainsaws or anything like that, but…ye know, more noticably different than live performances of other live artists. Either I was really tired, or they made some of their songs longer. Or maybe some songs just feel long, like one of my favorites:

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/peterbjornandjohn_thechills.mp3]

Peter Bjorn & John – The Chills

It feels endless to me, but it’s only 3 minutes and 50 seconds long. Uh. Maybe it’s just my inherent lethargy.

Victoria Bergsman shakie shake
Victoria, Peter

Victoria Bergsman came out in some ridiculously cute purple dress + vest outfit (you will rarely ever hear me comment on people’s clothing; I usually don’t give a crap) to sing her part for “Young Folks” while Peter did some furious shaker shaking. This song was obviously everyone’s favorite song.

Bjorn John
Bjorn, John

Oh yeah, there are other members of the band; I just didn’t get good photos of them. Although Peter and Bjorn did the most talking, John did randomly get a few words in, which were somehow the only words that stuck in my head. He mentioned that the band usually ate Thai food, but went for Japanese food that night instead, consisting of some fish on rice thing. I didn’t get the impression from his nonchalant manner that he was trying to be funny; there was just…something funny about it. The randomness.

The setlist went something like:

* Let’s Call It Off
* See Through
* The Chills
* Paris 2004
* Far Away, By My Size
* Start to Melt
* Big Black Coffin
* Amsterdam
* Young Folks
* Objects of My Affection
* Up Against the Wall

…not including the possibly 4 songs during the encore.

I know this is one of the least enthusiastic reviews one could possibly write, but I really did enjoy the concert aside from the subsequent stench of smoke in my clothing. That night I ended up going to sleep much earlier than usual if it’s any testament to my tired-ness.

I think $15 is alright for their Mercury Lounge show. WHY MUST YOU WHINE? The London show was 10 pounds, aka almost $20. Yes, that exchange rate makes my eyes bleed too. The only souvenirs I brought back from London were four packs of biscuits and a Cadbury advent calendar.

— update-ish —

The Mercury Lounge shows seem to have sold out already. Oooops.

Loney, Dear

I’m supposed to be studying for my computer programming final that will kick my butt in less than 12 hours, but…

[beep boop] BEGIN PROCRASTINATION TIME [beep boop]

album cover
Loney, Dear

I don’t remember whether I talked about Loney, Dear before, but judging from the infrequency of my posts, I’m going to assume, “not so much.” Here is a song that I quite like from Solonge:

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/loneydear_iloseitall.mp3]

Loney, Dear – I Lose It All

Oh, am I supposed to convince you to download this song? Besides, “Because I like it”? Well…

BUNNY ZOMG
bun bun

BECAUSE BUNNY SAYS SO. You can’t resist the bunny. Do as bunny says. Bun bun bun.

(Where did bunny come from? My housemate got her as a gift for our homestay family. I told her it wasn’t a good idea, but my god, this bunny melts our icy cold hearts with fluffy fluffness goo. It’s sick.)

[beep boop] END PROCRASTINATION TIME [beep boop]

The Mary Onettes

Too lazy to write a real entry. This will be short ‘n sweet.

The Mary Onettes
The Mary Onettes

Inspired by guitar pop from the 80’s and indie bands from the 90’s they sound like a Swedish relative to Echo & The Bunnymen, New Order och The Jesus and Mary Chain from the future.

…OKAY.

Why am I obsessed with this song?

[audio:http://music.diskobox.net/mp3s/themaryonettes-lost.mp3]

The Mary Onettes – Lost

Their only release so far is a 4-track EP on Labrador. You can listen to 75% of it on their myspace page.

The Spinto Band – Oh Mandy

Oh Mandy video
it buuurns

Last night I felt like I needed a happy brain-wooshy song. I looked through my some-thousand mp3 library and couldn’t decide what to listen to.

..And then something random in the dusty cobwebbed part of my brain said, “The Spinto Band has a fun song, yes?” And I replied, “Uh, I dunno.” Because I didn’t remember from the handful of times I had heard their music. Then I make my way to their myspace page and listen to “Oh Mandy” about 20 times in a row because, indeedio, it made me happy.

I loves me some lilting mumbly singing. Truly.

Then I thought that they must have a spiffy music video to go with it. Thankfully, they do, stop-motiong animation and all:

And like any good Internet-happy band, they have a blog to make stalking easier.