Grizzly BearIt says it all. I recently got to see them live in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago and it has become my favorite concert that I have been to, ever. They use reverb like it’s going out of fashion and more people sing in the band than CSNY, well they’re tied. Anyway they have a very unique sound and I am very excited to see where they will be going in the future.

I highly recommend them, and I would start with songs like “Two Weeks” and “Knife.” If you like, then try some deeper cuts like “Little Brother” (Yellow House or Friend EP are both wonderful) and “Colorado.” I don’t care how you listen to them, just do it!

For all you Twilight fans, they will be appearing on the New Moon soundtrack with a new song “Slow Life” with a guest appearance by Beach House singer Victoria Legrand (Who also appeared on “Two Weeks”). I have heard a little sampling from the Amazon.com page and I already lie a lot

Pitchfork.com had them play two songs from their most recent effort: Vectatimest. Both of the songs are quite beautiful, Now Listen! http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/episode/2043-grizzly-bear/1

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Artist: Santigold

Album: Santogold

Released: April 2008

Label: Downtown Records

I think I have found my weakness as of late. Pop music. Granted the “pop” music is not as popular as Billboard top 100 but I do feel that much of it is based on those lyrics and hooks that pop music was born with. Anyway the song that I has been stuck in my head is no exception. Santigold’s Lights Out is catchy and I dare you to listen to it just once.

I’ll be honest, I am not the biggest fan of Santigold, I dismissed her as a record label’s attempt to jump on the M.I.A. bandwagon of woman singers who dress crazy. A few of her other songs I just can’t get into. However this song is very good.

Anyway check out the song, its crazy good, almost as crazy as the video.

wolfgang-amadeus2

Artist: Phoenix

Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Released: May 25, 2009

Label: Glassnote

 

 

I, like many viewers watching Saturday Night Live on April 4th, was unaware of a French rock group by the name of Phoenix. Apparently these dudes have been playing music for over a decade and most of it is very listenable, much of it being categorized as alternative, electronic and dance. Anyway, that fateful Saturday night has now given me a song that has been stuck in my head for a few days now. “1901″ is the hit single off Phoenix’s latest effort, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” which will be hitting stores in the colonies May 26. The song is upbeat, toe-tappin’ and overall very lighthearted, which is a mood that I am always on the hunt to find new songs to satisfy. If you are in an economically stimulating mind frame, then head on over iTunes where there is a four song EP for sale which also includes “Lisztomania,” the second song Phoenix played on Saturday Night Live, which is also very good. If not, here is the video of the performance, or the album version.

Fantasies Review

April 20, 2009

fantasies-metric-reduced1  Artist: Metric

  Album: Fantasies

  Released: April 14, 2009

  Label: Metric/Last Gang

 

              

For those of you unfamiliar with Metric, the band hails from Canada and plays energetic pop-rock written by the dazzling Emily Haines.  Haines is also the main vocalist and gained a great deal of fame as a member of Broken Social Scene, especially for her song “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl” off the album “You Forgot It in People.”

Metric has been touring mostly in Canada since their last truly new material came out four years ago as Live It Out.  Grow Up and Blow Away was released in 2007, but was comprised of old material that would chronologically have been their first album; situating it between their “Static Anonymity EP” and “Old World Underground Where Are You Now?”  During the past four years Emily Haines has released two solo albums under the name Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton.  Metric’s latest album is evidence that if Haines didn’t come into her own as a writer while solo, then she certainly found a new center before “Fantasies.”

The album kicks off with “Help I’m Alive,” an almost mesmerizing song that teeters between brazen pop and well, even more brazen pop.  The song uses the driving energy of their more punk rock albums and explodes it with echoing synth and hissing ambience.  “Satellite Mind” is the quintessence of classic Metric rock, with pounding bass and exhilarating vocals.  “Twilight Galaxy” lets the energy level drop and showcases the more chill side of the band, maintaining that aspect demonstrated before in songs like “Calculation Theme.”  The first few times I listened through the album “Gold Guns Girls” always took me by surprise  The guitar intro is jarring and throws the listener back into a vigorous rhythm and sharp riff, which is a minor shock coming straight out of the previous track.

“Gimme Sympathy” is incredibly catchy, indeed it was deemed “dangerously catchy” by N. Smith the first time he heard it.  It is catchy on the level where you find yourself humming it the following day.  “Collect Call,” “Front Row,” and “Blindness” is the only part of the album that might be considered a lull.  Those three tracks are well written, but lack the distinction that most of the songs on “Fantasies” exude.  The album closes with the roaring synth and raucous drumming of “Stadium Love.”

The lyrics of “Fantasies” contain a great deal of uncertainty, but the music is assured and even grand.  It is a sort of confidence in uncertainty, which is probably a result of Emily Haines’ soul-searching time spent in Buenos Aires prior to writing “Fantasies.”  The lyrical material is broad, and focuses on human interaction on a personal level more than previous albums.  Personal doubt is ubiquitous at times as in “Help I’m Alive,” and rebellion in the face of relationship confines seems to be the topic of “Sick Muse.”

Metric also revisits political/social criticism with “Gold Guns Girls,” where they censure material greed as well as objectification of women.  However, this song does not target a population directly, but is addressed to a particular person – another example of the personal level of “Fantasies.”  In what is absolutely the catchiest song on the album, “Gimme Sympathy” pleads with you to stick with unknowns and real feeling – and why wouldn’t you?  The finale of “Fantasies” is “Stadium Love,” and Haines displays the confidence that has always been there as she assures the listeners that “No one’s getting out, Without stadium love.”

 

You can hear the whole album here:

http://www.ilovemetric.com/