out: wordpress; in: blogger

December 12, 2005

This blog has moved to blogger.com. Please update your bookmarks: our new adress is http://deathtocds.blogspot.com. Sure, blogger has no “categories” thingie, but it lets me mess with html code, add counters and the like, so there we go.

By the way, has anyone ever actually read this blog here? If so, please visit the new URL and leave a comment.

new order

December 12, 2005

I still haven’t gotten around to compiling a proper best of ’05 list, but I’ve been devouring just about every list other fellow mp3 bloggers are publishing. The albums and tracks picked are refreshingly varied, even though National‘ “Alligator” & Sufjan Stevens‘ “Illinoise” have become all-around favourites among the community; however I couldn’t help to notice that New Order‘s “Waiting for the Siren’s Call” has been conspicuously absent from most end-of-year polls. Alas, scrap that: it’s even worse, they are nowhere to be seen (and I’ve checked over 30 lists so far). Now, that’s appalling and puzzling.

Waiting for the siren’s call” was New Order‘s triumphant return to form. Whereas “Get Ready” tried to hard to sound like the Primal Scream-meet-Oasis, this album sees them cherishing the gorgeous melodies and dancefloor-friendly beats they’re best known for without ever losing that ragged rock edge. It feels more organic than the overproduced sounds of “Get Ready” too: that record sounded like a band who was trying real hard to be New Order. “Waiting for the siren’s call“, on the other hand, sounds like they know they’re bloody New Order and they’re very comfortable with that. It’s more relaxed and spontaneous and personal. Bernard Sumner’s voice has such a lovely and charming frailty that goes perfectly with the jangly guitars, the moody synths and Peter Hook’s trademark bass.

Strong tunes, the occasionally goofy lyrics (“You had the brightest future / Writing songs on your computer”), organic synth lines: a classic New Order album, you could say, and definitely their best since the unparallaled greatness of 1989’s “Technique“.

So, today’s download is the standout track of this album, the utterly brilliant “Turn“. Pay special attention to the guitar riff during the intro and the heartfelt lyrics (and Bernard’s deeply moving vocals). One of my favourite songs of 2005; this is everything a pop record should sound like.

world cup 2006

December 12, 2005

Football is so special to me that I even created a post category for it instead of using the regular ‘non-music related’ one. As of now, we’re 178 days, 21 hours and 38 minutes away from the World Cup 2006 kick-off. The groups for the first stage have been drawn: does it get more exciting than this? ‘Though so.

I have serious doubts regarding Brazil’s performance. I suspect everyone’s a wee bit too overconfident and that might very well mar our campaign. Group F shouldn’t be too difficult, although Australia’s aerial prowess could pose a threat to our defense; the knock-out stages, however, are set to be hellish. We shall wait and see. Someone should smack some sense into Parreira’s troubled mind and talk him off of calling up Robinho. Lyon’s Fred is a much more deadly striker. Likewise, Lyon’s Juninho Pernambucano just oughta be in the starting 11.

Still, if everyone puts in their best efforts, we could very well be crowned world champions once again, especially because there seems to be few teams capable of putting on a real challenge. Argentina is always up for it; other than that, England has a strong team, but Rooney will have to develop further if he is to be their wonderkid; Germany is playing at home, which gives them an extra edge, but, honestly, their squad lacks depth and talent; Holland missed out the last World cup but could present a top challenge now. I’m curious to see how Portugal will fare: Scolari is a top-notch manager and they have a handful of very capable players, especially Deco and Maniche.

The one team that I really expect to deliver the goods though is the Czech Republic. I’ll be keeping a close eye on them; their defeat to Greece in the semi-finals of the Euro 2004 was a sad & undeserved mishap. The czech are quick, skilful and have a superb player in Milan Baros. For three World Cups now teams that didn’t have much of a tradition reached the semi-finals (South Koreak in 2002; Croatia in 1998; Bulgary in 1994). I can see the czechs puling that off too.

it’s not that good anyway

December 12, 2005

Hippocamp ruins ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. [via Metafilter]

jeff tweedy interview

December 12, 2005

The Associated Press had a Q & A session with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, also known as the greatest man on Earth. [via LHB]

Snippet:

If people aren’t willing to go out and play music live, and use that as a part of how they define themselves as a band, then it’s definitely going to hurt you. You can’t just sit in your home studio and crank out records and get rich. Because people are going to be sharing (the music). But you foster a relationship with an audience, and nurture some good will by allowing taping. Most importantly, like the Grateful Dead, whatever you think of their music, they had it right, in my opinion philosophically, that this music that you’re making requires a listener.

arctic monkeys

December 12, 2005

I’m definitely not convinced. “I bet you look good on the dancefloor” still sounds like a sub-par Franz Ferdinand b-side to my untrained ears. But go forth and check it out for yourselves [via Against the Grain]

the magic numbers

December 12, 2005

Now, is there a more dislikeable band than the Magic Numbers? Really, is there? How could they be any good with their derivative, campfire-friendly dad-rock? It’s 2005 already: do we really need another power pop band with that whole array of 60’s influences (the Beatles, the Mamas & the Papas, so on)? Does it get any more twee than this? Why do mature adults still write lyrics that sound like they were done by 15 yr olds who are just finding out about the whole boy-girl thang? Don’t they realize the twee pop niché is already way too crowded? Who on Earth does actually like this sort of thing?

Erm. I do, I s’pose. The Magic Numbers are definitely a recipe for disaster, except, well, much to my chagrin, they’re quite good. Y’see, the paragraph above is 100% accurate from start to finish, yet there’s something that keeps taking me back to their self-titled debut. And I’m already way past the ‘guilty pleasure’ line: there’s no denying that I actually pretty much love the damn thing.

It’s gorgeous. Romeo’s and Michelle’s voices are so delicate and touching and go together just perfectly. I honestly cannot praise enough the way those two sound. They could belch out the most cringesome lyrics and sound like Shakespeare. And, as opposed to, say, post-“If you’re feeling sinisterBelle & Sebastian, the Magic Numbers actually come across as being incredibly unpretentious. Even on their greatest moments, their some underlying modesty that I can’t help but appreciate. And there’s also chiming guitars (which occasionally become crunchy guitars). And elegant bass lines. And twelve tracks of pure ear-candy. And tremendous tracks such as “Love me like you”, “Forever Lost” and “Mornings eleven” [yup, that’s a download link].

franz ferdinand bonanza

December 9, 2005

Scott, from Stereogum, has just uploaded two of the most playful tracks I’ve heard in a long time: Franz Ferdinand covering both Gwen Stefani’s “What you waiting for?” and Air’s “Sexy Boy”. Hurry up and download it asap, will you?

Their rendition of “What you waiting for?” [off Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge on Radio 1] is particularly fabulous. It kicks off with a pretty damn nice guitar work and exceedingly camp vocals; a playful pub singalong. Alex Kapranos just nails it much in the same fashion he nailed it on “Do you want to?”. Sure, it’s a very humorous track, but I really like the way they’re definitely laughing at Gwen’s song: they’re laughing with it, in a brainless pop fun bonanza.

I can’t help laughing my head off when Alex does the “take a chance you stupid ho” bit. And the “look at your watch now, you’re still a super hot female“. Franz Ferdinand always sound like they’re on the brink of being too clever for their own good, but they always get it right (ie: Do you want to). Gwen’s original version was already fantastic, though.

As for “Sexy Boy”, well, it trails an entirely different path. As Scott said, it’s definitely not as dreamy as Air’s original version [subliminal message: buy “Moon Safari”. Now. Go. You know you want it] Still, it’s very enjoyable, mostly because it’s such a bold, daft step for Franz Ferdinand to record a cover of this particular song that I can’t help but to sympathize with it. Nice whooshing guitars, by the way. Overall, it differs from the bulk of the band’s back catalogue and – why not? – seems to push their boundaries a little further, which can only be a Good Thing.

sitemeter

December 9, 2005

I officially give up trying to put a counter up on this blog. Looks like wordpress won’t really allow users to meddle with their html code and whatnot. More customization is coming soon, they say. Should I believe? Hm. I’m brazilian, so I guess I won’t ever believe what the authorities tell me.

brilliant covers by wilco #1

December 8, 2005

It is a scientifically proven fact that Wilco are the most extraordinaire being of the 90’s and the 00’s. That can’t really be disputed, can it? Now that Jeff Tweedy has firmly established himself as the truly talented one in Uncle Tupelo – though Son Volt’s “Trace” still sounds pretty tight – we can comfortably wallow in the musical pleasure encapsuled in albums like “Summerteeth”, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” & “A ghost is born”.

But we won’t. At least not now. Because not only Wilco has produced some of the finest ear-candy of the last 15 years or so, but they also have stunned the world with some utterly brilliant covers. And, hey, doing a proper cover version is just as tricky as putting together an original track. There’s many options – just rehash de original track, go down an entirely different route, ditch the original melody and keep the lyrics, and so on – and none of them are sure-fire solutions. The outcome must suit simultaneously the band and the song; it should build on the strength of both. And, boy, do Wilco know how to pull it off or what, eh?

Evidence #1: Wilco’s cover of Daniel Johnston’s “True love will find you in the end”, a b-side to the “A shot in the arm” single. It doesn’t get any better than this. The steady drumbeat, the subtle harmonica, Tweedy’s dreamy voice, the understated piano. This is poignancy at its most majestic. This song will never get any better than this: Wilco’s version surpasses both the original recording and Beck’s crappy rendition (which is somewhat similar to Wilco’s cover, only worse: Beck’s voice is too rough, he ruins the melody and the overall mood). One particular strength that puts Wilco ahead of Daniel Johnston and Beck is that Tweedy and his boys found out exactly how long this song should last. Wilco’s cover clocks at a comfortable 3:51, letting the melody flow freely. Lo-fi wonderboy Daniel Johnston, on the other hand, only gave the song a mere 1:45, which halts the song development just when it was getting pretty good.

Download away: Wilco – True love will find you in the end.

fancy some awesome pictures?

December 8, 2005

Hal Bergman has lots of them in his photoblog. I actually know squat about him, but I’ve receiving the RSS with his latest pictures for a couple of months now and I’m thoroughly satisfied. I have a long-running passion for photography and can’t help being tremendously jealous of Mr Bergman’s splendid work. I’m a sucker for vivid colors and high contrast. This one, that one and, uhm, this other one are personal favorites.

now it’s official

December 8, 2005

“heavy metal” is the best song off Clap Your Hands Say Yeah‘s debut album…for the week, at least.

belchior, “a palo seco”

December 8, 2005

I thought a lot about which song I should upload first but in the end I just decided to stick to whatever I was listening at the moment. It turned out to be Belchior’s “A Palo Seco”, which is a great song from an incredibly underrated artist. Belchior is a singer-songwriter who was pretty big back in the seventies, though now he’s the epitome of ‘uncool’ and unfashionable. “A Palo Seco” is one of his more political songs – there’s the somewhat silly dream of an united Latin American – and certainly is his biggest hit to date.

Read the rest of this entry »

i guess it is working now. sort of.

December 8, 2005

I’m still getting to grips with this blogger thingie. So now I’ve added a bunch of (good) links to my blogroll and I’m currently working on a counter. Well, at least trying to because it looks like wordpress won’t let me edit the main page’s html code. Damn. Anyone can help?

well. so here it is.

December 7, 2005

is this it? probably. my mp3 blogging debut: blame stereogum, my old kentucky blog, brooklyn vegan, gorilla vs bear, you ain’t no picasso, marathon packs, muzzle of bees, said the gramophone and all the others. They all can be held guilty for getting me excited about this. And they even don’t know me. Cool, eh?

so. expect plenty of musical goodness. i hope