OfMiceAnd

Comments from OfMiceAnd

Funny, I'd never heard that Unconditionally song before, until just tonight! It was playing over the speakers at Target, and OMG holy cow! un-CON-di-TION-a-lly. That's amazing that nobody hears that and says "Hey, this is really weird and not really how English works." It just reeks of cramming some halfassed lyrics into a melody that wasn't intended for them.
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February 11, 2017 on Katy Perry – “Chained To The Rhythm”
Hot take: "Song 2" is a shameless retread of The Rentals "Friends of P".
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February 10, 2017 on “Song 2″ Turns 20
Back when In Evening Air came out, I was immediately hooked by these guys, but at the same time, I never in a hundred years would've put money down on them becoming this universally beloved, late-night-show-stealing indie crossover success. But I'm totally cool with it. (Just wish this Late Night audio mix wasn't so rough. And that I didn't have Jimmy Fallon's shrill "Future Islands!" stuck in my head).
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February 10, 2017 on Watch Future Islands’ Stunning Tonight Show Performance
Whichever part of the team is responsible for syllable emphasis placement needs to have a talk with HR. DIS-tor-SHUN? zom-BIE? rhy-THM? hap-PIL-ly? un-DER? Unless that's a thing that singers do now?
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February 10, 2017 on Katy Perry – “Chained To The Rhythm”
Yell yes to 2:15 and 3:43. I haven't loved anything they've done since Women As Lovers, but this really does it for me. Love it.
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February 9, 2017 on Xiu Xiu – “Get Up” Video
Well this'll probably make Shut Up Dude this week, but I'll just go ahead with it: Is there any point soon where we'll start a slow but steady backlash period on Beyonce? Shit like this just happens more often than probably should... smaller, lesser known artists coming out and saying, "Hey, Beyonce copied my work without credit or compensation", and the world at large responding to them with "You should consider yourself lucky that Queen Bey took interest in your dumb work at all." Even if it doesn't necessarily hold up in court or whatever, it's still an unfortunate trend. She's a good performer (duh), and clearly has enough taste to get good people working with and around her (and has enough cultural capital built up that she can get basically any artist in the world to come work for her). But at some point I just have a hard time knowing what BEYONCE has to say, what she has to bring to the table, other than molding other people's ideas into her own image. Ready for your downvotes.
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February 7, 2017 on Beyoncé Sued By Messy Mya Estate Over “Formation” Sample
No, I like with Greenwood's TWBB work, that was a good pairing. The Master's score was fine. Inherent Vice, I don't even remember the score from it, but to me was something that Brion could've totally nailed, given the tone of the movie. And from what little we know of the movie yet, I'd like to hear Brion's take on this new one. Just given that PTA/Brion had such a perfect partnership up through Punch Drunk Love (which is an incredible soundtrack on its own, maybe my favorite all time to just listen to as an album), it just sort of bums me out that Jon's seemingly been kicked to the curb for the sexier Jonny. I've sort of been wondering what's going on behind the scenes in the Hollywood film scoring world. It seems like Jon Brion just hasn't had a good movie gig in a long time now. Lots of little things here and there (Apataow comedies, whatever), but he's just not getting the high profile Eternal Sunshines and Punch Drunk Loves that he used to. And then I heard Aimee Mann on some podcast a year or two ago, and she was talking about him, and she sounded sort of sad about him... like there's something going on behind the scenes there that she didn't really want to touch on. Very odd. All the more reason for PTA to help him get his mojo back!
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February 2, 2017 on Jonny Greenwood Soundtracking Another Paul Thomas Anderson Movie Starring Daniel Day-Lewis
"Phil Elverum covering the Band" ... I didn't think this could possibly be correct, but it's not too far off.
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January 30, 2017 on John Andrews & The Yawns – “Drivers” Video
So good. Totally shameless and unapologetic about their influences, but that doesn't even matter because they're legit good at it.
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January 25, 2017 on Stream Once & Future Band Once & Future Band
I'm not usually much of a FJM fan—I see his talent, but for whatever reason he usually rubs me the wrong way. But this is 'holy shit' good.
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January 23, 2017 on Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy”
(Upon writing this comment, I've gone back and scanned through Mount Eerie a little, and apparently I have very skewed memories of it! There's other voices on it, but it's still very much Elverum in the lead most of the time. Weird. I'm definitely going to have to sit down and give it another reevaluation one of these days!)
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January 6, 2017 on Phil Elverum: “Please Don’t Come” To Tomorrow’s Mount Eerie Show
I personally felt (at the time, especially, since I very rarely go back to listen to it) that Mount Eerie was paced in a way that just made it hard to really get into; more prolonged instrumental stuff than IWHWSITW and TGP2, though clearly that's the route he wanted to go when he switched his "band" name to Mount Eerie from then on. And even then a lot of the more song-based stuff on it leaned into the other contributors so much that it didn't even really feel like a Microphones album. It was like a K Records group project or something. That sounds really harsh though... I liked it, I still like it. I just think The Glow Pt 2 was damn near impossible to top.
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January 6, 2017 on Phil Elverum: “Please Don’t Come” To Tomorrow’s Mount Eerie Show
Almost too good! I don't necessarily LOVE everything else he's done, but I absolutely respect his entire body of work AS a body of work. But The Glow Pt. 2 is so good, and so perfect, that it's hard to get the same satisfaction out of any other single album he's made. I'd say start with It Was Hot We Stayed In The Water... then maybe Clear Moon... then if you like what you hear, go ahead and jump into Glow Pt 2 for the full payoff. Point is, Phil Elverum is a treasure, and what he's going through is awful. But I think it's a beautiful thing that he had to even post this "don't come to my show". Because even though I can't (though I considered for half a minute what it would take to get there), I would absolutely love to go.
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January 5, 2017 on Phil Elverum: “Please Don’t Come” To Tomorrow’s Mount Eerie Show
I'm a bit of a metal outsider; I follow the scene from a distance, and sample as many of the more acclaimed new releases as I can, but honestly only a tiny bit of it really hits me in a deep way. What gets me about the "world" of metal that this preamble is trying to make sense of, as I see it from my arm's length, is that you Metal Guys seem obsessed with sub-genre. There's so much focus on the details of what bucket a band fits into, or which two or three buckets they're combining, and the music in turn just starts to feel like an assembly line of bands who don't have the guts to try anything new or truly make something great. The ones who seem to get credit for experimenting are often just taking one sub-genre, and adding some identifiers from another on top of it. It's rare that I really hear anything truly new or fresh or musically progressive in metal. And it seems that for a big part of the community, that's not the point. It's a contest to see who can be the MOST. That said, here's my very short list of metal releases that really impressed me this year. (AGAIN, noting that I'm a tourist. I don't live in Metal World. I do think I know music, and I like to think I have good taste in general.) I'll probably get laughed out of this comment thread, but I'm curious to hear the opinions of those more metal-centric than me: 1. Moon Tooth - Chromoparagon This is actually my #2 album overall this year. The near nu-metal/Incubus vibe almost makes it too embarrassing for me to even mention in mixed company, but I think what these guys are doing on this album is incredible. Talking about sub-genre, it seems to pretty much blow away any of those walls. It's just guys with crazy chops having a blast playing smart interesting music (and major chords!), and a singer who isn't afraid to actually sing. A little corny, but amazingly good. 2. Katatonia - Fall of Hearts I feel like Katatonia has been doing the thing they do for long enough now that nobody pays them much attention. But this is their best album in a while, just track after track of perfectly constructed Katatonianess. 3. VRTRA - My Bones Hold a Stillness Technically an EP, but whatever. Also it probably plays too many of those sub-genre games that I was complaining about before, but I just thing it's GREAT. Total intensity, but with some really good riffs hidden back there. 4. Astronoid - Air I thought it got more praise than it deserved at first, but I found myself coming back to it all the time, and now I just chill out and let it win me over. 5. Opeth - Sorceress Full disclosure, I'm an absolute Opeth fanboy, so grain of salt. But I think Sorceress is easily their best since Ghost Reveries (Watershed did nothing for me). Heads and shoulders better than their last two prog experiments, though on first listen I was pissed and ready to give up on them forever. But it totally grew on me. It's worth giving a second chance if you wrote it off.
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December 14, 2016 on The 40 Best Metal Albums Of 2016
These guys are better than everyone else.
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December 1, 2016 on Run The Jewels – “Legend Has It”
I'm a month late to this, but I just read this comment earlier today and checked out that EP, and holy shit it's good. Thanks for the rec!
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November 30, 2016 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – October 2016
Very cool. Love the low-key (no pun intended) piano that pops up at the bridge. Crab Day is one of my favorites of this year—one of those happy genre-less records that is completely of its own voice, current trends be damned. I'll take all the leftovers they can muster!
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November 21, 2016 on Cate Le Bon – “Rock Pool”
34 here, although I think your question might be better suited towards those still in their 20s... I feel like anyone currently hovering around 35 is basically at Peak Belle & Sebastian in terms of when we got into them, generally all getting into college or late high school just as B&S were becoming less of a Secret and more of a Thing in the US. Personally I was introduced in 2000 right as Fold Your Hands Child was released. I remember downloading a bunch of songs, and feeling that Sinister was the obvious cream of the crop in their discography (although in my opinion, "Jonathan David" is their unimpeachable masterpiece). As for Boy WIth The Arab Strap, I've honestly never had much opinion about it; it's one of their more forgettable records in my opinion. But to me, Sinister, and surprisingly Dear Catastrophe Waitress, are B&S's only two perfect albums. All the others have a handful of duds on them that keep them from reaching the same level. Still, they're on my short list of all time favorite bands. But also I'm a snob. SIDE NOTE: As far as this idea of B&S being a gateway to 90s kids' embrace of softer, non-aggressive music, by 2000 I had already been primed for that world by Elliott Smith's XO (and Good Will Hunting soundtrack before that), as well as the Eels' Electro-Shock Blues. Neither were quite a pillowy soft as B&S, but they were definitely the records that made teenage blockhead me appreciate a more gentle palette in my music.
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November 18, 2016 on If You’re Feeling Sinister Turns 20
I don't know what I think anymore! After leaving those comments, I went back (confused) to iTunes to scan through the last three, and I realize I actually confuse and mix up a lot of them, which maybe says something about their interchangeability? Either way, I feel like Women As Lovers was a peak, and the last three haven't quite satisfied me. Also I realize that Knife Play is a lot more screwy than I seemed to remember. I just have this driving 4/4 beat in my mind when I think of it, but that's not really the case. Point is: Xiu Xiu clearly fucks with my mind. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
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November 16, 2016 on Xiu Xiu – “Wondering”
Oh wait, I totally forgot about Angel Guts! Hah. So forget the thing about Dear God I Hate Myself, really I meant that Always and Angel Guts are the poppiest. Goes to show how their records have been slipping a bit lately.
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November 16, 2016 on Xiu Xiu – “Wondering”
It's hard to really pin Xiu Xiu down album to album, but in general, they've been slowly moving towards this more structured pop sound more as the years go on. The last two, Always and Dear God I Hate Myself are probably the most pop heavy, though I don't particularly love either of them. The thing with Xiu Xiu is that almost every album of theirs has at least one or two absolute perfect pop gems on it, even if it's surrounded by more 'difficult' noisey stuff. For what it's worth, I think Women As Lovers is my favorite of all their albums, followed by Knife Play (which is maybe one of their most straightforward 'pop' albums, despite being their debut). It's not necessarily 'synth pop', but the songwriting and melodic structure of that record knocks my socks off, particularly "I Do What I Want When I Want," which is their masterpiece as far as I'm concerned (apologies to "I Luv the Valley OH!")
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November 16, 2016 on Xiu Xiu – “Wondering”
Hah, I was listening to this thinking, "I bet these guys have listened to a Hum record or two in their day," and only now realized there was actually a Matt Talbott connection there. Cool song, I like these guys.
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November 2, 2016 on Cloakroom – “Big World”
I like that attitude! People shit on Lars because like, yeah he's not a master technician. He's not Neil Peart or Brann Dailor or Dave Lombardo. But the dude was the co-writer and backbone of the greatest songs of an entire genre. His drum parts are never necessarily the BEST or FASTEST or TIGHTEST, but they're more often than not the CORRECT parts for the composition. It's just in these last couple albums, in the band's desperation to get 'back to thrash basics' or whatever they're trying to do, he's no longer playing the correct Lars parts for the compositions, he's trying to be fast and hard and Lombardo-y, instead of doing what works.
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September 27, 2016 on Metallica – “Moth Into Flame” Video
Instrumentally and musically I like this WAY more than "Hardwired". Vocally and lyrically... yikes. But then the chorus almost redeems it. Finally getting a little melody back into the mix. Still, not terribly exciting.
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September 26, 2016 on Metallica – “Moth Into Flame” Video