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Old 02-19-2021, 03:12 PM   #781
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LM, I'm enjoying this Empty Country record, but I can't for the life of me identify who this singer reminds me of. It's a very recognizable voice from some indie rock band, I think. I'm thinking in particular of his vocal delivery in Marian.
It's not Cymbals Eat Guitars, is it? Seriously, I don't think anyone here listened to them much except for me and Mikal.
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Old 02-19-2021, 03:23 PM   #782
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It's not Cymbals Eat Guitars, is it? Seriously, I don't think anyone here listened to them much except for me and Mikal.
No no, I don't listen to them. And I did read your post!
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:24 PM   #783
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As I was saying the other day with MBV, similarly I love "Marian" so much, from that Empty Country record, I couldn't quite get into the rest of it. "Marian" was my 2nd favorite song last year, after Charli XCX's "Forever".
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:48 PM   #784
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I’m liking the new Matt Berninger song.
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:33 PM   #785
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UMMM





Where is all this great music coming from?? Getting to be tough keeping up with it all.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:58 AM   #786
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Daft Punk Announce Breakup

This sucks, but sadly isn't that surprising. They've been really inactive since Random Access Memories. I just wish we had one more album or another chance to see them live before they called it quits. But "Contact" is a great last song for them to go out on.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:54 PM   #787
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UMMM

Where is all this great music coming from?? Getting to be tough keeping up with it all.
Truly a gorgeous album. It starts off sounding almost like early Angel Olsen, but becomes this meditative, pastoral piece halfway through. The spoken word bit in Hard Drive was not my favorite moment, but that song gets so good towards the end (not to mention the Kaputt-like sax throughout) that I forgot about it.
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:21 PM   #788
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Daft Punk Announce Breakup

This sucks, but sadly isn't that surprising. They've been really inactive since Random Access Memories. I just wish we had one more album or another chance to see them live before they called it quits. But "Contact" is a great last song for them to go out on.
Yeah I'm really sad I'll never get to see them live. It's strange, because they've done nothing except a bit of production since RAM, but gets me all reflective and nostalgic all the same. Absolutely remember being 10 years old in my living room watching Rage and seeing One More Time for the first time.
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:54 PM   #789
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I know RAM has its detractors here, but I still think it’s pretty damned cool that Daft Punk won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Not something I ever would have predicted considering the conservative tendencies of the voting body.

And I guess I’d say the same thing about Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:06 PM   #790
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It's a pretty conservative album though, really. It's full of yacht rock and sounds that have been established for decades. I really, really like about a handful songs (Get Lucky, Giorgio By Moroder, Lose Yourself to Dance, Doin it Right and Contact), but the whole album was marketed as a throwback to "real" music. It's cool that Daft Punk won, but if you look at the film clip that launched them into superstardom, they're in the background behind Nile Rodgers and Pharrell.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:18 PM   #791
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So I was looking at my Amazon account and I stumbled upon some music reviews I wrote over 20 years ago. They're pretty cringe, but I thought some here would get a good laugh out of them:

Madonna - Music

5.0 out of 5 stars Even Space Cowgirls Get The Blues
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2000
Maddy has thrown down the gauntlet to pop music once again, daring her audience and contemporaries to follow her to the next big scene. Is this a mainstream album? With Madonna, she MAKES it mainstream with her amazing ability to fuse her knack for pop songwriting with her nose for fresh styles and sounds.
The first three tracks on the album tell you that the club is still open, and the joint is jumping. But the AfterParty starts early: The heart of the album is the middle, tracks 4-8. Here Madonna retains the reflection of Ray of Light, but this time without the spiritual searching. When you hear the twang of the acoustic guitar and the easy shuffle beats, you'll understand the album's cover and layout: It's Space-Age Bachlorette Ranch Music.
"I Deserve It" begins as a mellow ode to a new love, drops down a streetwalkin' rhythm, then the spooky Western Movie-style strings by way of X-files-esque keyboards come in and you're under her spell. "Amazing" continues this enchanting mood, before sliding into a fast number which is the song most reminiscent of Ray of Light. "Nobody's Pefect" features the now-cliched Cher/"Believe"-style vocal effects, but somehow here it's appropriate. The warbling of the voice suits the title and the subject matter. "Don't Tell Me" manages to incorporate some country-style guitar picking, a head-bobbing beat, and lush strings. Don't worry, it works.
"What it Feels Like For a Girl" is probably the album's masterpiece, and one of Madonna's finest hours. Almost an update of "Express Yourself", this powerful song looks again at female empowerment, but in a more poignant way than her 1989 anthem. It begins with a sample from another artist, which nicely sets up the theme. If this doesn't become a number one single, it should at least inspire and affect many young women. It moved me deeply, and I'm a straight male.
After a longer, trance-y track that is more a display of producer Mirwais' skills (it also appears on his album), but none the less a treat for the ears, we have the mellow and magnificent ballad "Gone", the finale of the album. Madonna hits an almost-Emmylou Harris level of singing here, and the results are sublime. You walk out of the club, it's 5am, and there's just enough sunlight for you to find your way home. Sweet dreams.



And definitely throwing a "come at me" with this one of Pavement's Terror Twilight:

5.0 out of 5 stars indie rockers "too cool" to still like pavement
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 1999
I have a theory as well, that indie bands are abandoned by "old fans" the better they seem to get. It seems you're not worth your weight anymore unless you crash and burn before you can achieve even a hint of success.
Pavement's indie-rock crown was dislodged slightly by rock critics who thought their favorite pets were getting a little too in-jokey for their own good (for a film parallel, see Coen Bros. & Big Lebowski) on Wowee Zowee, which oddly enough seems to be a favorite of many "Paveheads". Yet it seems to be the audience and not the critics who have thumbed a nose to the last two releases. Exactly what makes "Slanted & Enchanted" so great that "Terror Twilight" lacks? Amateurism?
Perhaps S&E was influential and deserves to be noted on Best of the 90's lists, but are we looking solely at the work, or also at the times we associate with it? Many indie rockers want to remember the moment in time when the band was THEIRS, and not everybody else's, so they view the early years as the best.
What they fail to see, especially in Pavement's case, is that their absence of mass popularity has allowed them to grow with a minimum of distraction, on their own terms. If you ever really got what Pavement was about, you'll see that they are older and wiser, but still more perceptive and subversive than 99% of the music world. Slower songs do not equal bad music. Static and lo-fi fuzz do not equal good music. It's just the medium used to convey the message, which for me, in Pavement's case, is just as relevant and enlightening as it has always been.
Terror Twilight is something warm and cool at the same time. It is shrugging and winking with grace. It is as diverse as Wowee Zowee yet focused. It is filled with great songs played by great musicians. It is, as most of Pavement's art, difficult to categorize, which is why they are adored so much.
It may be important to kill your idols, but Pavement were always more like our friends, which are worth keeping.


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Old 02-22-2021, 08:59 PM   #792
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I'm not a huge Daft Punk fan, but I respect them greatly and am very sad that I will never get to see them live.

Also, Discovery is a legitimate classic and has one of my favorite dance songs ever, Digital Love. That was part of the Trashley wedding reception playlist, which I wish I still had lying around somewhere.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:33 AM   #793
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Oh my God, that review of Music is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. I love it so much.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:10 AM   #794
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Shit, cat.

Pitchfork would have been proud.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:47 AM   #795
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Can we please name the next thread Random Music Talk CXXIX: Space-Age Bachelorette Ranch Music?
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:23 PM   #796
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I've recently had a medical issue that's put me on short term disability from work, and I've been enjoying the time away not listening to new music, but going back through great catalogs that I haven't listened to in a while.

When we talk about some of the best album runs in music history, it's mostly the usual suspects - The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, etc. But I've revisited Stevie Wonder's classic period over the past week and damn, I don't think we talk enough about how good he really was. Obviously the peak is considered Music Of My Mind to Songs In The Key Of Life, but there's an argument to be made that the albums directly before and after those five should be part of that discussion (not including Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants since that is a soundtrack), and I wanted to give them some love.

We all know the story. Berry Gordy had final say over Wonder's 60's output, which had remarkable singles intertwined with needless filler throughout the decade. And Wonder was able to negotiate a new deal in the 70's that gave him complete control, setting the stage for his most remarkable works, but the last album under the old deal, Where I'm Coming From in 1971, is really the starting point. Knowing that it was the final record to be delivered and he had all the leverage, Wonder created his first fully self-produced album of all original songs. It's not the most cohesive album - after all, here was a 20 year old bursting at the seams with all these musical ideas, but the stepping stones are there. Do Yourself A Favor is a musical pre-cursor to Superstition, opener Look Around introduces us to the beautiful clavinet sound that becomes a prominent mouthpiece in his upcoming masterpieces, and Sunshine In Their Eyes displays the first thoughts of stretching things out, here with horns and a chorus. Not everything on the album works - I Wanna Talk To You, for example, falls flat with its delivery and just comes off as extremely awkward, and he's still holding on to that 60's Motown sound at times that no longer jives with his new direction, but if you like what followed, you'll love this album.

At the other end, sometimes forgotten because Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants gave us a weird detour in between, is Hotter Than July, his last truly great album. What sets it apart from it's predecessors is the overall loose vibe found throughout, perhaps a result from Wonder's time spent with Bob Marley. Indeed, its biggest hit is a direct homage to him, and one of Wonder's very best singles. But beyond that, the album has a terrific blend of fantastic riffs (Did I Hear You Say You Love Me), ballads (Lately) and even a slight venture into country territory thanks to steel guitar echoes (I Ain't Gonna Stand For It). And it finishes with one of his best and most important songs ever, the MLK ode Happy Birthday. So if your Stevie Wonder classic period listening has generally ended with Songs In The Key Of Life, do not lose sight of this one.

That said, the mountaintop is still for most those five revered albums, although I personally slot Hotter Than July above Music Of My Mind, with Innervisions and Songs my personal top two. But really, every single album in this run is just a tremendous joy to listen to, especially with headphones.

1. Innervisions
2. Songs In The Key Of Life
3. Talking Book
4. Fulfillingness' First Finale
5. Hotter Than July
6. Music On My Mind
7. Where I'm Coming From
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:51 PM   #797
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Looks like I'll be listening to Stevie Wonder today.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:10 PM   #798
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Thanks for posting that, phanan. Hope you are doing well in your recovery.

Despite being so popular, I think Stevie is somehow still underrated as an album artist - which is maybe the reason why his album run is not in the collective psyche like the other artists you mentioned (the other reason being that soul and other forms of black music were marginalized for such a long time). His peak albums are still full of hits (I mean, Songs in the Key of Life could be a best of compilation, really), but they also stand on their own as albums.

I have a soft spot for Fulfillingness' First Finale (which I am listening to as a write this). It is perhaps his least talked about album from that run? It's easy to forget about it, as it is sandwiched between Innervisions and Songs..., and it's not on that level (but what else is?). It doesn't really have big hits, but it has Stevie at a more spiritual and inward-looking moment after the more serious Innervisions and before the exuberance of Songs... (that said, You Haven't Done Nothing, perhaps the best song on the album, is a fantastic roast of Nixon).
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:54 AM   #799
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St. Vincent Teases New Album Daddy’s Home With Street Posters

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“Warm Wurlitzers and wit, glistening guitars and grit, with sleaze and style for days. Taking you from uptown to downtown with the artist who makes you expect the unexpected.”
Literally sounds perfect. She's making a Prince record
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:53 AM   #800
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Masseduction was an underrated masterpiece and I can't wait to hear what she's cooking up next.
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