64percentmice

64percentmice

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I don't particularly like Lil Nas X's music, and when "Old Town Road" originally blew up I was mostly exhausted by it and every piece of cultural commentary that sprouted up around it. But now that I've come to understand who Lil Nas X actually is, and what he does, and what he's doing, I have to say I've grown to really appreciate him as a truly singular cultural character. And one that actually seems to have learned to outsmart the culture itself, which is what most of the great iconoclasts of the last century have done. Not sure if his artistic output will (or can) catch up with the extracurriculars—but maybe the music itself is extracurricular to the Lil Nas X experience.
I find myself listening to Shudder To Think a surprising amount. Which is odd because I missed them entirely back in the 90s, so it's not some nostalgia thing. Their albums are hit and miss for sure, but they did some real interesting musical shit, and when they nail it they really fucking nail it. (I actually came to them in the early/mid 00s through their guitarist Nathan Larson, who had a one-off band with Mary Timony [and apparently Jeff Buckley was their touring bass player???] called Mind Science of the Mind, who I absolutely loved but otherwise received absolutely zero coverage from any music publications of the time). Anyway I followed his solo and his stuff with Nina Persson (his wife!), and eventually dug into Shudder to Think well past their own expiration date. UM, what was I writing here? Just rambling? Yeah. STT. S2T? Love em.
Funny weird timing. I loved that last Snarls album—particularly "Walk in the Woods," easily one of my fav songs of last year—probably would've called it my favorite buzz-bin-throwback (dare I add the "female fronted" qualifier?) alt-rock album of the year. But then suddenly Pillow Queens came along and, no offense to Snarls, ran circles around it. Like, I truly love that Pillow Queens album. ANYWAY, I was excited to hear this new Snarls song yesterday! It's great! And then suddenly, the same day, Pillow Queens comes in and releases a new song that—once again no offense to Snarls—totally captured my attention over this one. Still! Good tune. Excited for the full release. Snarls and Pillow Queens need to tour together as soon as anyone's allowed to leave their own country. (Oh, wait, we can do that now?)
Same here, I missed it before list time, but I actually think it would be my #2 or 3. Fucking great album top to bottom, great songwriting, totally electric vocalist. Love everything about it. And this song is right up there. Want expecting a follow up so soon, but I'll take it!
Holy cow, i think you posted this mammoth music theory comment right before i started writing my dumbed down version below!
What really sells and solidifies Sinead's version of the song is how she changes the melody of "to you" at the end of the chorus from how Prince wrote it. I don't speak fluent music theorist, but close enough. Listen to the Prince version, the melody rises and falls, and then "to you" lands right where you would expect it, back on the root note, a pat little circle taking us back to the beginning, as melodies usually do. But Sinead howls that "to you" something like a half or full step above the root, a note that would usually just be one step in getting us back to the start. But she just keeps it hanging there, almost dissonant to the chords backing her up, and we're listening just dying for her to get back to that root note, to take us home, and she never does. She's melodically breaking our hearts in the same way as the titular 'U' did to her. And it seems that throughout the song, she hits that note harder and harder, never ever finding closure. It hurts. Love it, legit 10/10.
(Like my Girls comment, I want to add that this isn't to criticize or denigrate Snail Mail. They're good and fine. Don't want to pass along any bad vibes. More just truly confused about why I don't seem to hear what everyone else hears with them. It happens, but it always drives me a little crazy. I'll have what she's having, y'know?)
"...one of the best debuts from an artist in recent memory." I commented earlier this week about my massive FOMO with the band Girls, but apparently I need to add Snail Mail to the Passed Me By Entirely list. I thought it was a decent indie rock album, but nothing particularly special. One of like a dozen other comparable buzz-bin throwback guitar albums to come in that year or two. But one of the best debuts in recent memory? (This is where one might usually go all Amy Poehler and Seth Myers and say "Really?", but I'm so, so tired.) I feel like everyone had a meeting to agree to this but I had a dentist appointment that morning.
I'd like to thank Defector for completing its annual Why Your Team Sucks series, so i can finally get back to reading The Number ones over my lunch break. What have I missed?
For the last 10 years Girls has been giving me one of the biggest cases of FOMO of any band I can think of. The hype for them was wild at the time, every single critic was like "Well obviously Christopher Owens is one of the great voices of our generation," and it was just generally accepted that they were great and everyone loved them. Meanwhile I'm over here not able to name a single Girls song, and whenever I hear them, all I can think is "that was pretty good 60s-inspired indie rock song," and then mostly forget about it. Not to say they're not good, or to bash them or anything at all! I just want to hear what everybody else seems to hear! But for some reason Girls has just never ever caught with me. I wish they did! These couple albums of theirs seem like they touched something real and profound in a lot of people, and it kinda drives me nuts that I'm missing out on something. I'll have what what she's having!
I hashed through most of this on the Rocklahoma thread earlier in the week, but may as well double down here: This is a nervous release for me and my Mastodon fandom—Hunter, Sun, and Emperor of Sand were all pretty disappointing to me, and while I've come around on Hunter and Sun, I still feel like Emperor is weirdly disappointing and kind of a bummer to listen to. Even though it's more of a 'return to form' compared to the previous two (almost) pop-metal-ish releases. Like obviously they're not pop, but they do feel 'minor' compared to the rest of Mastodon's work. Anyway, I was feeling pretty down on Mastodon in general, until they released the Cold Dark Place EP a few years ago... and now I'm seeing it was 4 years ago, and I'm horrified that 4 years has passed and I don't understand the movement of time. Anyway, Cold Dark Place is excellent, and was almost entirely overlooked. It's their best release since Crack The Skye, by far. It's lush and melodic, more like Skye than anything else really. And it fully reinvigorated all the hopes I had that Mastodon could maybe produce another great album. Especially if they follow the muse that brought them to that EP. So then here we are. I feel a sort of make-or-break with this album. Like, if they just phone it in with another Emperor of Sand or worse, part of my heart might feel like Mastodon is done, or over the hill, or whatever. IMO this song isn't exactly what I was hoping for (see above, re: lush melodic layered warmth), but I'm feeling it nonetheless! It does sound like something closer to Hunter or Sun, but I'm actually okay with that. Those two albums, despite kinda frustrating me at first, definitely grew on me, and I get their appeal. This def leans into that world. Still nervous about what the rest of the album might do, and feeling a little disheartened that it's not going to be One Last Timeless Classic from the band, but who knows. Good enough for now.
I don't think it's possible to overrate this album. Any praise anyone has ever given it is 100% correct. Truly. I mean maybe there's some weirdos out there that get a little too attached to it, but I don't blame them. Random thoughts: - Glow pt 2 is in that rare pantheon of albums that I just don't/can't listen to anymore. It's just too weighty at this point, too many old memories get trudged up when I hear it. Maybe once every 3 or 4 years I'll give it a spin, when it's the perfect time of night and I'm doing the perfect amount of nothing. And it absolutely kills every time. (See also: Ys.) - It's also weirdly an album that I've barely ever listened to 100% of. It keeps going and going, and I usually get exhausted at some point. But even it was just those first 3 tracks, it would still be an all time classic. Maybe the best opening 3 tracks of all time IMO. - I bought It Was Hot We Stayed In The Water just a few months before this came out. That album frustrated me more than anything, because there was something so special hidden in there, but I never felt (at the time) that he was fully committing to the music like he was capable of. Then Glow pt 2 came out and delivered everything I wanted out of a Microphones album, and then took it 10x further. I can think of very few other follow-up releases that were so profoundly satisfying on that level. Lastly, if you weren't around for its initial release, it's hard to describe listening to someone in the weeks and months after 9/11 sing "I could not get through September without a battle / I faced death / I went in with my arms swinging", over such deeply apocalyptic music. It was an intense time. (Same goes for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. "Tall buildings shake, voices escape, singing sad sad songs." I'm not sure if anyone younger than, say, 30, can appreciate the dark and profound effects that 9/11 had on simply listening to music for the few months after.)
It's easy to get this mixed up with the other "Come Out And Play." So just remember you gotta keep em separated.
Also that Melissa Etheridge video kinda rules. Alannah Myles sells the song well enough, but it seems like Ethridge was born to sing that chorus.
I don't have much of a take on this song, definitely background fodder throughout my life. But that chorus really rips. I'd say the chorus alone puts it up to a 7 for me.
What funny timing. Just last night I was thinking about how much I liked the early singles from this album, and thought it's been so long that she released them that the album MUST be out by now—and also odd that Stereogum seemingly didn't cover its release. But then I couldn't remember what her name was, so had no idea how to look for it! So I had to start digging through previous years Albums-of-the-Year lists to find her last one to remember her name is Tirzah, and here we are. Glad I didn't miss the album release. But holy cow it's been a long roll out!
OH SHIT: https://lambgoat.com/news/34685/mastodon-expected-to-release-new-album-hushed-and-grim-in-october/
Well both Hunter and Round The Sun grew on me quite a bit over the years. I actually like them both more than Emperor of Sand, which is supposed to be their 'return to form,' but mostly bums me out. However, I think the Cold Dark Place EP they released in 2017 (and mostly got ignored) is EXCELLENT. Best thing they've done since Skye, and fully reinvested me in hoping they can put out 1 or 2 more great albums. Opeth, meanwhile, is fully a decade deep into their prog phase, and the returns are diminishing expeditiously. I still think they could turn around and release another minor classic, but I think Mikael Åkerfeldt is happy following his muse at this point.
Mastodon and Opeth are 2 of my 3 favorite metal bands of all time, and probably 2 of my 10 any-bands of all time, and I still can't fucking believe I didn't go see their tour. I think I'd already seen Opeth twice, and even though I've never seen Mastodon (tick tock motherfucker, yikes), by the time Hunter came out I felt like they were "over" and somehow didn't care to go see them. Fucking idiot I am.
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