05 Oct 2010 @ 7:47 PM 

Anyone who knows me knows that there are 2 things that I focus on in life: Fashion and music. Well, music and occasionally Project Runway. Recently during London’s Fashion Week, a memorial service was held at St. Paul’s cathedral to commemorate the life of Alexander McQueen who died earlier this year. Björk was in attendance and even performed a special song. In case you weren’t aware(and why would you be), McQueen designed multiple dresses for Björk over the years including the dress/make-up she wore on the cover of Homogenic. Ironically, he also designed for noted arch-villain and friend of evil, Lady Gaga. No matter, the reason I bring all of this up is because of the song that Björk performed: Gloomy Sunday. Gloomy Sunday is originally a Billie Holiday song and as I mentioned before I’m a purist when it comes to songs I love and thats a big reason I hate covers about 98% of the time. I usually find them about as pleasant as a mosquito bite on my temple. But every once in a while someone gets it right… so right that I like the cover as much or more than the original. Bands like The Get Up Kids and Sun Kil Moon know how to perfectly execute them and so does Björk. Gloomy Sunday wasn’t a song I was familiar with before, but I’m glad I found it. And hell, I’ll even share some of my other favorite covers, or the exceptions to my no-covers rule.

Björk – Gloomy Sunday (Billie Holiday Cover)

Sun Kil Moon – Ocean Breathes Salty (Modest Mouse Cover)

Damien Jurado – Place To Be (Nick Drake Cover)

The Get Up Kids - Alec Eiffel (Pixies Cover)

Deastro – Dr. Who Original Theme Song (some 60s sci-fi theme song writer guy… cover)

 11 Jul 2010 @ 10:53 AM 

Hi. Its understandable in today’s modern music landscape to overlook the other types of music out there. What with musicians dressing-up like super villains and some of these same entertainers simultaneously distorting their voice electronically in ways I personally can do by simply flicking my throat whilst speaking, its also understandable that the casual music-listener tends to focus on all of the shiny bullshit while ignoring what other music is out there.

Now, I don’t wanna make this into some elaborate social commentary or anything, I only want to highlight a series of reviews I read about a Lo-Fi band recently. What the fuck is Lo-Fi, you ask? Lo-Fi, or Low Fidelity is a term used to describe music in which the sound is of a lower quality than the usual standard. The sound tends to be a bit washed out and when used at it’s optimal level, creates a specific artistic branding. And it doesn’t have to be limited to a specific type of music either. For example:

(1)

Animal Collective

Experimental indie rock with a Beach Boys-type twist

MP3 Derek

(2)

Washed Out

Aptly named electronic artist whose sound is also quite washed out

MP3 Good Luck

(3)

Dum Dum Girls

Slacker girl post-punk

MP3 Bhang Bhang I’m A Burnout

…and so many more. But my specific comments are on the last of these examples and their newest LP, I Will Be. Now, I’m not going to say I’m a big fan or even a casual fan of Dum Dum Girls, but I am going to stick up for them in response to the bad ‘reviews’ they got on a popular site recently. Well, I’ll let them speak for themselves…

“Yeeech!”

With all the technology out there enabling musicians to make good recordings, there’s no excuse for the lousy quality here. It doesn’t enhance the “indie-punk” quality, it just make it sound like it was recorded in a closet (the one pictured?) on a little tinny analog recorder. Ugh. Give this a miss.

and

“Poor Recording”

I can’t say if I like this or not, the quality of the recording is so poor I can’t listen to the music

or the wonderfully coherent

“Worst song”

This is one of the worst songs I have ever heard. It’s hard to believe someone would listen to this.

This is the problem I’ve always had with mainstream music. If people haven’t heard it replicated before, they think theres something wrong with it. And if someone from the mainstream adopts it, all of a sudden they’re innovators of artistry. But this is the way its always been with music. Whether its Elvis stealing from black people, Michael Buble stealing from Sinatra, or Lady Gaga stealing from the Power Rangers, its not going to stop anytime soon.

My point is, don’t be afraid to embrace something that sounds different. After all, variety is spice of life and once you’ve taken salt and pepper off the table, all you’re left with is bland, runny mounds of yellowish chicken mush.

Posted By: thelittlefield
Last Edit: 21 Nov 2010 @ 08:41 AM

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