[“I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation. I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard.”]
Day #7: “To Old Friends and New” – Titus Andronicus
New Jersey? Walt Whitman? The American Civil War? All feature prominently on last year’s The Monitor, but what remains to be explained is why I should care about those subjects, living in relative obscurity from them as I do? Well Titus Andronicus convinced me that all those things are fucking relevant to my teenage Canadian life by way of their completely unhinged, uncontrollable, as close to perfect rock music as possible. The Monitor is only the second LP from Titus Andronicus (Bandomynology: One of Shakespeare’s shittier and more graphic plays) but I’m floored by how seemingly every square foot of this album sounds masterfully written, recorded and engineered. Their sound is brilliant, classic rock overtones but not exactly like anything I’ve ever heard before. You can easily pick up on the Springsteen connections, especially in A More Perfect Union, but when listening to the album as a whole you get the idea that there’s truly bit of everything in there. None of their influences are excluded from the final product; they have Craig Finn of The Hold Steady reciting Whitman’s poetry, and recently on their appearance on A.V. Club Undercover they sampled Charles Bukowski while covering They Might Be Giants. They are a band after my own heart, when listening to them I feel like a witness to the turning of the Rock n Roll ages, and I can not recommend them highly enough.
A passion project/collaboration between Man Man frontman (man) Honus Honus and Vancouver Island’s Nicholas Thorburn that also features the drummer from Modest Mouse and occasionally Michael Cera on bass, Mister Heavenly is exactly what you want to hear, right now. All the time, in fact. Their sound is somewhere between Man Man’s Tom Waits-channalled mania and The Temptations’ dreamy Motown sound. What results is a genre affectionally labelled Doom Wop by the bandmates themselves as they attempt to mix sounds like “Mister Sandman” with “King Rat”. They’ve only released two songs so far (the above namesake and an equally catchy “Pineapple Girl”) but they’re already leading the race to become my favourite new band of the year.
Besides, they’ll have to do until the (hopefully) inevitable formation of a real Sex Bob-omb.
Nothing glamorous today, folks! I just thought I’d give you a long overdue (read: belated cause I’m a lazy fuck) list of some of my favourite things that came into existence over the last year. THAT’S RIGHT! A 2010 “Best Of” list from Grub Street! You feel that? That ‘s what it feels like… when dreams come true…
So here you are, just some humble and innocuous opinions on the year that was. Enjoy, and please, feel free to share your opinions as well.
Top Five Albums of 2010 (With respects to Rob from High Fidelity)
Odd Blood – Yeasayer
Click to view on iTunes
This was a bold new direction for me; coming from strict indie-rock backgrounds and having certain, chaotic psych-rock expectations from their first album. But I was absolutely blown away by the relatable pop-influenced rhythms and serious, impressive lyricism. Honestly, the album embodies everything I’ve ever want from pop music: I can finally talk about the amazing addiction of certain hooks without being down-trodden about the terrible lyrics therein. It reminds me of the sound that Radiohead used for In Rainbows, but more up-tempo, and with many of the same themes. It was a wonderfully mature follow-up to their first album; it seems they were able to focus each track to produce the highest quality pop-rock they could.
DIEHL: So, changing the subject slightly, you recently challenged Susan Boyle to a mud-wrestling match. Has she responded?
KE$HA: No. I totally would do it, though. She looks like she would be a good mud-wrestling partner.
Why would you do that? What was the point in challenging an incredibly uninteresting 15-minute star from Scotland to a mud wrestling match? Publicity? Image? Do you fancy her? Is that what you’re getting at here, Ke$ha? It’s just that doing something like that is such a “there hasn’t been a story about me on TMZ.com in three hours, what can I do to get them to talk about me again?” thing to do. I mean, did you think she was actually going to accept? Come on, people must realize that this is all just…contrived eccentricity to appear unique or off-beat. Continue reading →
So singer/songwriter and international clock interpreter Ke$ha gave an interview to the grossly misnamed “interview” website in order to shed some light on who she really is as a person. I took it upon myself, in a completely unbiased fashion, to look into the interview and see if any true revelation came about that can help us understand this recent wave of her music we’ve all been subjected to recently, songs such as “Tik Tok” and “Blah Blah Blah” becoming smash hits across the world. Here is the interview in full, detailing how Ke$ha tells us about herself, along with my comments dealing with what Ke$ha really reveals about who she is.
Artists: The Beatles / The Kinks / LCD Soundsystem
You can kind of see it in the song, can’t you? “Get Back” is pretty simple, easy chord progression, unremarkable feel, just kinda catchy. This is exactly what it needed; some DJ to groove it up a little bit by filling in those missing pieces with extra, fun-sounding instruments and backing vocals from some of The Beatles’ contemporaries. A simple remix for a simple song. Continue reading →