10 May 2006

slipslop litpop braindrop

saw an attractive flyer for something called absinthe drinkers that described themselves as "litpop" among other things (i think more spoken word than music.) i like it - but i'm still working it out. definitely not the same thing (or analogue) as lit rock.

well in procrastEMPinating about the big conference-out, so here are some scattered musical thoughts from my head.

• am i the only person who thinks it's perfectly normal and reasonable for paul simon and brian eno to be collaborators? it makes perfect sense if unless you take the most reductionist view of their respective oeuvres (like, music for airports vs. "mrs. robinson" or something), and they seem to be getting all this attention for being an unlikely pairing. (would it be like this if the album wasn't called surprise?) despite simon's apparent uncoolness, they don't fall that far from each other on the artiness vs. Populism spectrum, once you take into account eno's production work. and they were behind the two most ubiquitous pop/rock albums of the late eighties. i'll stop there. better question - is it actually any good? people who say so seem to be apologists for you're the one, hands-down his blandest album. where's the capeman love? also - i haven't seen the real thing yet, and sometimes this stuff just doesn't translate, but the jpegs i've seen of the cover make it look vaguely hideous and possibly disturbing.

• i'll have to report further about the rest of the babylon springs ep once i've processed it more, but i just want to say how nice i think it is for the mountain goats to cover [trembling blue stars'] "sometimes i still feel the bruise." not because it's well-suited to them in particular, or even because it's necessarily that good a cover (they don't really add much to the song, although it makes a nice bass feature for peter hughes.) i'm just glad they're nodding approval of the song, and bringing it to a new (and, er, australian) audience. because it is a terrific song, not even so much qua song, but as a beautiful and unassuming expression of a common sentiment - strangely potent regret at the absence of a one-time potential(?) lover/friend(?) - that isn't usually presented so simply and adeptly. maybe what really sets it apart is its politeness. the resigned tone and mincingly precise grammar ("i'm under no illusion as to what i meant to you") feel almost meek but don't undercut the sincerity of the emotion; the song somehow manages to avoid coming off as self-pitying or saccharine (to my ears anyway.) and usefully, it's as vague about details of the situation as it is specific and resonant about the accompanying emotion, which makes it even easier to identify with (there are at least two or three people the song could conceivably be about for me, though one most obvious.) so it's both general and personal.

• on the women-in-[nineties]-rock roots of 00s "confessional" teen-pop. (per bedbug dave's "there's a reason the veronicas cover 'mother mother'") just want to stake a claim for garbage as underheralded and underappreciated in a number of different areas, but particularly for making bold strides in the field of unabashedly poppy and ear-candy-centric "rock" and also maybe pioneering some of the emotional terrain that has become more prevalent. i feel like they had a chance for something beautiful with their new album last year, to seize on a more open-eared pop-friendly moment and maybe regain some of the status they enjoyed in their version 2.0 heyday, with a historical reconsideration to boot, but instead they retreated to boring post-grunge territory. this can be hashed out more in the future. also - what about jewel? i'm kind of curious to check out her dance-pop album (0304).

• on the basis of two listens so far... not really feeling the gnarles barkley. it really doesn't seem that catchy. the vf cover is pointless and annoying. i still don't get any kind of consistent identity or aesthetic sense from danger mouse - grey album yeah whatever dangerdoom mostly sounded like doom to me although it was fun demon days i enjoy but a lot of it just seems like hip-hopped out damon albarn - btw i <3 alex ross for shouting out to damon's compositional tendency in his emp paper - still the most dynamic and recognizable and interesting thing i've heard from him is the dm and gemini album which everyone seems to have forgotten about. so anyway i was basically approaching this as a new cee-lo record, which i figured was can't-miss on its own. but so far it seems to be somehow accentuating the annoying aspects of his voice. i dunno, it just seems cluttered and clunky. but i guess i'll listen some more.

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