there are a lot of attractive qualities about aluminum. boLth musically and otherwise. wood absorbs tone, which robs you of certain frequencies, no matter how beautiful/nice/expensive your guitar, bass, or drumset is. have you ever listened to a les paul next to a telecaster? the difference ain't all in the pick-ups, friend. lps are made with a wood that absorbs higher frequency and leaves you with a thicker lower tone. the telecaster is the opposite.
with aluminum (provided that the instrument is entirely aluminum or the neck and pick-ups are isolated from the wooden body, like on a travis bean) all tonal frequencies are represented, warts and all.
this is admirable not only because it provides a wholly unique sound that often gets mistaken for abrasive, but is in fact pure. it also strikes me as more accurate representation of the kind of interactions one should strive to have. presenting everything for the eye and ear appears abrasive at first, though some refer to it as "honesty", and either alienates or at least makes some people wary. but fuck those people.
suck it up. we are adults, and should be able to deal rationally and calmly with such....tonal honesty.
after impulsively hitting shuffle on my itunes while playing solitaire it launched into "deformative" by black eyes, followed by "the money will roll right in" by mudhoney, followed by "nub" by jesus lizard, then followed by "victory" by nomeansno. i had to go to bed because i was a little scared of how closely it was following my fucking thoughts
so i was reading this spin today (i know, i know), and that dude, craig finn from the hold steady was quoted as saying "that's hard: if you're a guy who's trying to make good records, not being able to drink is the kiss of death." this guy is an idiot and his band sucks. apparently "the hold steady" don't listen to "fugazi." and are also douchebags, as i had previously suspected.
year end list. again. this is by far the least far reaching, most obvious list i've ever compiled.
in alphabetical order:
the blood brothers - "young machetes"
yo, these are some weird motherfuckers. i only really got into crimes this year, after shelving it for like two years because it wasnt "accessible". well fuck accessible, crimes is genious. young machetes is less genious. however, it is still pretty fucking wacky and a lot more listener friendly. i don't know if that will help or hurt in time, but it's still a good record. also, guy picciotto produced it. that guy could put his name on an N*SYNC record and i'd buy it. i mean, look at him:
that's good shit.
the decemberists - "the crane wife"
same shit, different year. this is definately no "the tain" because that is one flawless jam. but this record gets the ups because of 'the island', a nine minute rape jam. biggest balls in "indie rock", i swear.
the evens - "get evens"
really guys? this is what you wanna call the album? whatever, your ian mckaye, do whatever you want. these are just some fantastic protest songs. not a lot of people make them like this anymore, and also, who plays a fucking baritone guitar? wweeeiird. anyhoo, amy farina's voice is also the nut high. and her weird sloppy drumming sounds like a limp writsted buddy rich waking up from a nap.
gnarls barkley - "st. elsewhere"
fuck this band. i fought tooth and nail against it. fucking hype machine. yea yea yea, it's undeniably catchy and hard not to love. i coulda done that. (and that violent femmes cover sucks.)
joe lally - "there to here"
i cannot believe how good this album is. i saw him play in new york about three months before this album came out and was really wary of his "bass and vocals" songs. they seemed weak. i was wrong. his silky vocals and smooth ass bass lines combine with (suprisingly) good lyrics for a nice little combo. also, there is a lot of help. yet again we see guy, as well as amy farina and eddie janney (come on people, eddie "i-have-such-bad-stage-fright-i-haven't-done-shit-since-rights-of-spring" janney!) this album is amazing, buy it (but dont pay more than $10) or at worst, listen to "factory warranty" it rules.
mastodon - "blood mountain"
it would be really hard for this band to rule any more. this may be the worlds greatest crossover metal band. ever. fuck metallica, this is what metal should be: crazy bullshit about crystal skulls and "making the blades bleed" and fucking ents. ENTS. also one of the most technically impressive bands around right now. also, this:
mission of burma - "the obliterati"
worst album art of '06. hands down. also, i'm gonna say it: this stuff is better than their old shit before they went deaf. that's right. the album is great from start to finish, which is rare, especially on a like 16 song album. also, there is a powerfully funny if not outdated song dissing (of all people) nancy reagan. also, the word "sacroiliac" appears. i love old guys.
nomeansno - "all roads lead to ausfahrt"
all of my friends have failed me. how did NO ONE turn me on to this band years ago? this band is fucking amazing. they are all like sixty now and rock four thousand times harder than all those make up wearing pussies combined. and they're canadian. it should be hard for them. but it isnt. ok, i havent actually heard "all roads..." but they have like 439 albums and it's hard to hear them all. i have, however, heard 1995's "the worldhood of the world (as such)" and that album is better than anything that came out this year, last year, or any year since jesus lizard's liar came out. (which was 1992). listen to this band.
tv on the radio - "return to cookie mountain"
yea, you try saying something new about this record. (however, pitchfork was right on in saying the cover looks like a dead can dance record. shitty album art and album name, the double whammy!)
no, i never had that moment that i'm sure many lucky women (and men) had at some point in their youth when sleater-kinney simply changed their lives. whether it was opening their eyes to what women could do with or accomplish with music, or what good music was in general. really to me it's not even about women. Sure, s-k were at their heart a feminist band, which i understand and love them for, however, feminism is not confined to women. sleater-kinney were one of the greatest american rock bands in the last 20 years, without fail, and that has nothing to do with their gender or sex. it has to do with the fact that they were masters of their instruments, rhythm, instrument interaction, timing, lyric writing, social commentary, fun, and forward thinking. and although i am functionally in love with carrie brownstein (not an uncommon occurence i'm sure) none of their mastery is due to them being women, nor is it somehow "enhanced" or made more "novel" because of their sex. s-k are a band that so perfected their sound and execution that someone would be hardpressed to talk them down and have valid reasons.
i regret not having the "life-change" moment with regards to s-k. in fact, i never had a life change moment with any band, i simply slowly and gradually got into better (in my eyes) music. no one band really changed my views. i was introduced to sleater-kinney 3 years ago when my friend josephine made me an all s-k mix cd. the first song on it was dig me out. first of all, that song is so fucking good. i hadn't and still havent heard a person with a voice as captivating as corin tucker's. conor oberst would cut of his dick to warble in vibrato half as well as tucker. first time i heard her bellow out "whaddya want, whaddya know, do you get nervous making me go" i swear to god i got chills and half a stack. and not in a "pretty girls, sexual" way. (it was 30% that way). only a couple songs make me feel that way. in a similar vein, s-k manage to escape certain associations i have regarding music i'm listening to at a certain time. they feel timeless to me, and with the exception of production values any one of my favorite songs of theirs could have been written five minutes ago about how i'm feeling now. not only lyric-wise either. the way their guitars wrap around one another like vines or lovers makes me jealous as a guitar player. if i ever write two guitar parts that compliment themselves so well i will hang up my guitar forever. (luckily it will never happen). oh also, janet is an amazing drummer. she is subtle, yet has the chops to back some of the most sophisticated guitar parts in rock music. kudos.
even thought they have 7 albums it's not enough for me. i regret never having seen them and i guess i will have to settle for quasi. and then hope carrie and corin are there. and don't get me wrong, i love the woods. however, i truly wish that the "official" last song of their career was one beat's closing "sympathy".
that song is too much for me, i sear to god. i listened to it something like 50 times at work yesterday after reading pitchforks coverage of their last show. corin and carrie's epic ode to the fear and love that wells up in a persons heart at their child's birth makes me want to cry, laugh and meet these women once just to shake their hands. in fact, a couple people at the library caught me very animatedly mouthing along to:
"when the moment strikes it takes you by suprise and leaves you naked in the face of death and life there is no righteousness in your darkest moment we're all equal in the face of what we're most afraid of and i'm so sorry for those who didn't make it and for the mommies who are left with their hearts breaking"