Recently in Music Category

All About The Shoe Gazing

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Not sure why, but tonight is apparently National Shoe Gaze Day. The following bands may be the best bands ever:

Lush - Of course, I would not kick Miki Berenyi out of bed, regardless of the number of crackers she might eat, but it's actually Emma that I fall asleep thinking of:

For Love
Lady Killers - Turns out that Anthony from the RHCPs is a dick - No one could have predicted this
Hypocrite
Single Girl
Shake Baby Shake
Sweetness and Light

My Bloody Valentine (probably the greatest band ever - only by the album Loveless though - the rest are crap ):
Only Shallow
Soon

And, of course, The Pulp. JARVIS!!!!:
Common People
Disco 2000
Something Changed

And not really shoe gaze, but I love "the Divine Comedy" too much to abandon them:
The National Express
Becoming More like Alfie
Gin Soaked Boy
I've Been To A Marvelous Party

This is why...

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I should not be allowed access to the Internets:

Duffy - the real one, not that chick

Switchblades

The Rainy Season. I think that "and you're like a mirage I could learn to hate" is maybe the best line ever.

Bongos, numbers & etc.

Maybe the best song ever

Except that this song is completely, totally, and with out dispute the finest piece of music evers - fuck all you "How Soon is Now" losers.And now...

Let's see...an ass load of Propaganda the best band you don't already worship. Duel, "P-Machinery", Dr. Mabuse (Yes, I have seen all the movies), God, I love Claudia Brücken. Really, It's sad.

I seem to remember briefly being friends with these guys.

And, of course, the greatest band ever. Really...they got a lot better. Mom, Dad, this is what I was going for. Honest...I liked girls.

Stop. Making. Sense.

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Trust a movie I didn't care about to rekindle my interest in a band I forgot.

And you may ask yourself, "My God, what have I done?"

I'm a Simple Man, With Simple Pleasures

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Oddly, I don't think there is anything that makes me happier than watching Eurovision entries.

Panic-nicking

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My initial exposure to Panic! At The Disco was as the headline band at a show that the Dresden Dolls opened, so I really had no idea how popular they were with the kids today. Shortly thereafter Ashley made me watch the video for "It's Better If You Do", which made me fall in love with them and get the album. I liked that their lyrics were so in your face and declarative. "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" was one of those rare albums with more than five songs that are all unforgettable and I had very, very high hopes. Imagine so cynical, so promising and even more amazing, so young. I think they are all, what, twelve?

Alas, having listened to their second record "Pretty. Odd." a few times I can only weep like a girl whose creepy, creepy doll has been snatched from her hands. This is honestly the most boring record I have ever heard. None of the urgency that made the first record interesting (making me ignore any technical faults). It almost seems like they decided to go back and do really bad pastiches of their influences and over produce them to the point that you really, really want to punch them in the junk. Right in the freaking junk.So, yeah, when you were young your parents made you listen to the Beatles and Chicago. Great...me too, but that didn't make me put out a crappy second album, and it had NOTHING to do with your freaking awesome first album. Now I must cry until the guyliner runs down my face.

Simplicity May Suck.

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I don't know if I want to live in a world where Panic! at the Disco song titles clock in at less than twenty words.

Not to mention that they don't seem very mean any more, which was the attraction to begin with.

(Note that this post contains no personal information at all, other than intimating that, maybe, I like bitchy people...which is actually pretty revealing. Also, obvious. I am still trying to figure out what a bone half-gallon is.).

I Mean Musically Speaking

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Top Albums

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My friend Justin recently posted a list of his favorite albums on his blog and challenged his readers to list their own. Stuff like this is always interesting to me, because it's very hard for me to prioritize things, especially in an "all time favorites" as opposed to "what I like at the moment" way.

That said, my list is below, divided into a top three and a rest of the top ten (because that's what Justin did). Within each set they aren't prioritized at all. I could not tell you which is my favorite album of the top three, for example. If you have never heard of one of these albums, click the links which will take you to Amazon where you can listen to samples.

The criteria I am using to pick albums is this:
No "Best of" collections, that's a cop out.
Having a great song is not the same as being a great album.
All of the albums are ones that I can and do listen to over and over without getting tired of them.

Top Three...
Tin Drum - Japan
Colma - Buckethead
Cake - Trash Can Sinatras (specifically the Japanese release that includes all the b-sides from the singles and is amusingly mis-titled "The Cake")

Top Four - Ten
Casanova - The Divine Comedy
Goodbye - Dubstar
Grace - Jeff Buckley
Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Loveless - My Bloody Valentine (so close to top 3)
Strange Free World - Kitchens of Distinction
The Love That Whirls- Bill Nelson

I have also decided that because we live in a world where I can have over a thousand albums on my iPod that ten albums is not enough. So here is another 10 that are just as essential as the first (though I am allowing some collections in this section, because I am lazy)

Gone to Earth - David Sylvian
Small Change - Tom Waits
In A Coma - Matthew Good
If You're Feeling Sinister - Belle and Sebastian
The Golden Age of Wireless - Thomas Dolby
The Dresden Dolls - The Dresden Dolls
Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret - Soft Cell
The Smiths - The Smiths
Flesh + Blood - Roxy Music
Swoon - Prefab Sprout
Smiles Like A Shark - Mulu

As I mentioned in a comment over on Justin's page, yes, I am aware that my choices reveal me as the biggest girl in all of girlsylvania, and that I undoubtly spend all my spare time playing with dolls. What can I say - I like my music to be, well, musical. While I can really enjoy noisy loud music, it's never going to be my all time favorite. Except for Trompe le Monde by the Pixies, which should totally be on the list somewhere...maybe a top thirty...

What is your top three, ten, or whatever?

I thought that I would have to wait until Amazon's digital music store opened before I could get away from the incredibly irritating iTunes interface, file formats and pricing, but it looks like I can jettison it right away.

7digital has just started selling the EMI catalog at $1.00 per track (about 75% the price of the iTunes tracks), 320 kps (really doesn't matter, you can't detect the quality difference from Apples 240 kps tracks) and in straight MP3, which totally beats Apple's AAC format, since these will play on ANYTHING (even my GPS navigator!).

Also, since the store is just a website, it isn't restricted to only Windows and Mac OS, like iTunes.

Unfortunately it looks like their non-EMI music is available in a mish-mash of DRMed WMP9, AAC and MP3, so it's still difficult to search only for music that is DRM free. Maybe as I spend more time with it I will find a way to make this easier.

I haven't looked into it yet, but I am hoping there is some way to buy lower quality versions of tracks, since I really don't care about anything over 128 kps and hate having to downsample everything when moving it over to a portable player. Unfortuneatly, it looks liek the lowest they off is 192 kps, which is still not too bad, I could live with that on a portable player.

Anyway, it looks like it took less than a month for iTunes to become completely useless to me again.

Wow, iTunes Plus Really Sucks

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So I finally found something on iTunes plus that I wanted to buy - Sigue Sigue Sputnik's "Dress for Excess". I didn't find this using any of the tools in iTunes - I went to Wikipedia and found a list of all EMI artists and then started entering the ones I was interested into the iTunes Store's search box. Great work Apple guys, you have made it very easy for me to use your store the way I want to.

After I clicked the "Buy Album" button, which allowed me to purchase the entire album at 256Kps, non-DRMed for $9.99, which I think is a pretty reasonable price, it proceeded to attempt to download the songs. Each one of them said it was going to take around 40 minutes, which is obviously ridiculous. I went to bed, only to find that at some point last night one of the downloads failed, iTunes put up an error dialog box and stopped downloading the other songs! Well, that's just terrible design.

8 hours later I have none of the songs I purchased last night available, and the other tracks have all timed out since then again. Maybe they will be here by the time I get home tonight, but honestly, by then I could have gone to the store, bought the CD used for $4.00 and ripped it, all perfectly legally.

I know that the reason for the download problems is that they are experiencing bandwidth issues, but come on, Apple is a multi billion dollar company with more than enough resources to ensure that amateur hour stuff like that doesn't happen.

So far, they get an "F" on the experience.

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