Posts Tagged ‘Leah’

(Every Duel I’m Shufflin’)

Shuffle Dueling is a fun thing we do here at The Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever. The rules are simple: two of our writers sit down with their ipods or mp3 players on shuffle. They then write down the first five songs that come up on shuffle (skipping audio books, stand up comedy, sounds clips, etc). Then people vote on who has made the best random five-song playlist. After a while, the results will be be locked and the winner goes on to round two where they face a new opponent. Win and loss records will be created over time. Now that you know the rules…IT’S ON!!!

Name: Darion

Weapon of Choice: 4 GB ipod nano (1,099 songs)

Possible Weaknesses: KORN, 30 Seconds to Mars, Coldplay.

Most Albums By: NoFX (9 albums)

Shuffle Songs:
  1. The Rascal King by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  2. Candy by The Presidents of the United States of America
  3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
  4. Aeroplane by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  5. Dead and Bloated by Stone Temple Pilots

Name: Leah

Weapon of Choice: 80 GB ipod (6942 songs)

Possible Weaknesses: Counting Crows, Coldplay.

Most Albums By: Bob Dylan (52 albums)

Shuffle Songs:
  1. What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) by DJ Shadow
  2. Young Hearts Spark Fire by Japandroids
  3. Suddenly Everything Has Changed by The Flaming Lips
  4. Middle Cyclone by Neko Case
  5. Bone Machine by The Pixies

Now it’s up to you, dear reader.
Who has won the duel? who will proceed to the second round?
YOU DECIDE!

~Darion

So, I finally bought a turntable.  I have been wanting one for a long time but for some reason I thought it was way too late to start collecting vinyl.  I have so much music, and would want to get ALL of my favorites (probably hundreds of albums), and I have been to so many shows where I could have gotten the record and…I don’t know, these are pretty stupid reasons but whatever, those were my thoughts.  I kept hearing that small nagging voice randomly telling me that I need a record player in my life, possibly fueled by my nostalgia of listening to records as a kid and flipping through my parent’s record collection.  I remember listening to The Police’s Synchronicity and Michael Jackson’s Bad on vinyl, and I have missed the feeling of having a great album in my hands, tearing off the plastic, pulling it out of that paper sleeve with as much care as my trembling hands could give, putting in on and dropping that needle down, hearing the slight fuzz as the needle settles into the grooves and then a sweet sweet feeling sets in when that clear beautiful sound comes blasting out of the speakers….ahhh, bliss.  I would always reverently soak in the album art, the liner notes, lyrics and pictures, anything that was on the album sleeve, as I went through my first few listens of an album, trying to get a feel for it all, reading every word as if they were the most poignant and meaningful words ever spoken (written, whatever).

My first record?  Radiohead, The King of Limbs, one of my favs from last year.  As I listened to that record I was BLOWN AWAY and have vowed to get every one of their albums on vinyl so I can hear it all like that.  The clarity of it all, the subtle nuances and complex layers of sound, the Thom Yorke mumbling that suddenly sounds like words or lyrics or something, it is truly an experience to listen to it in that format.

Don’t y’all miss that?  Wasn’t it a great time, when you so looked forward to something new to be released by your favorite band and the happiest moments were when you brought that sucker home and popped it on and cracked out on it for days and weeks?  There was no internet to leak the album onto or download or stream before you decide to buy it.  These days there is so much great accessible music out there and all you have to do is spend some time online to find it.  I can get lost online searching and streaming and listening and buying and downloading.  I can get 3 or 4 albums at once, throw them on a playlist and listen to it over and over for a while.  And I love doing all that, I really do.  But, but…..something is different, there’s that old feeling that seems lost now, the ritual of buying some coveted album and hearing it for the first time and just getting lost in it forever.

That feeling doesn’t have to be lost.  We can still buy and listen to vinyl.  We SHOULD still buy and listen to vinyl.  I found a really rad turntable that also plays CDs, tapes, iPods, and radio.  I now have a way to play every single method of music I could want, all in one appliance.  And I have some old tapes I wanna play,  I still have CDs I wanna listen to.  And of course I have everything on my iPod as well.  One thing I did not realize as I bought my first few records was that they all came with a CD or access to a digital copy so you can enjoy it on the turntable at home and on the iPod on the go.  That is a pretty great deal, I think.  I recently purchased a record from a small label in Boston and although it took a week to get the album I was able to download it immediately.  So, overall I am so pleased with the quality of sound from of the records and the availability of the music in different formats.  I don’t know why it took me so long to come around to this, but I’m arguing for buying vinyl whenever available for the ultimate listening experience.

And yeah, I know that a lot of people aren’t willing to buy music at all these days, and I understand that.  Vinyl is for the serious fan or collector, I agree.  I just think that if I want to actually buy something, vinyl is now my preferred format.  I feel like I’m getting the most bang for my buck now.

And yeah, I know that there’s a lot of pretentious fucks out there who act all self-righteous about only listening to vinyl and all that, but it doesn’t have to be like that.  I promise you can listen to vinyl for all the reasons I talked about without becoming a jerk.  I mean, look at me.  I write for The Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever so I’m proof that you can do some things that may be seen as pretentious without becoming that way.

~Leah

I went to Seattle to see Los Campesinos! at the Neptune Theater.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  I had never been to this venue, I hadn’t seen anything about an opening band, and I have only been listening to the headliners for a couple of months.  So, I was curious enough to go up and check it out.

The show began around 9 with four dudes creeping out onto the stage and launching into probably the most rousing cover of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” that I have ever heard.  As a shameless lover of all things Phil Collins/Genesis, I was sold, just like that.  A fitting start to what was an awesome set by Seattle natives Kithkin.

This thing in the air I felt that night came from these four dudes who had so much energy, so much charisma, and so much obvious love for what they were doing that it was impossible not to laugh at their silly showmanship and dance right along with them.   They made me feel like there really was something special happening that night and just by being in that place, watching them play, I was a part of it.  The music is pretty intense though, straight up crazy with all the drumming and percussion going on, I don’t even really know how to classify them but it doesn’t really matter.  If you saw these dudes live you would have a really great time, you just have to.

Think drums, drums, drums, and more drums.  They all play drums and sing, the main singer has the biggest drum set though and the other guys play keyboard, guitar and bass.  That’s it, just these four dudes pounding out with so much intensity and having a fantastic time with it.  Check out their E.P. Takers and Leavers here.  But go see these guys, seriously, they are from Seattle so you should have ample opportunity.

Oh yeah, and I saw Los Campesinos! that night too, on tour after the release of their fourth album Hello Sadness, which came out this past November. I had been reeled in by the undeniably catchy first single “By Your Hand” and ended up listening to the album a good bit, mainly for two songs, “To Tundra” and “Light Leaves, Dark Sees pt. II,” which are intense, emotional kind of anthems that I quite enjoy for the sad poetry and music that kinda reminds me of the early 90s (the musical glory days of my youth).  I like the way the dude writes: witty, sarcastic, ironic, bitter, you know, all the tortured self-loathing emotions.  One of the things I like most about this album is that it sounds very honest and personal, there’s some real raw emotion coming through the lyrics and the music that I keeps me listening.  I hoped that they would bring this same raw intensity to their live performance and I was not disappointed.

The show was really good.  They band all seemed to have a good energy and the crowd was super into it, people were dancing and singing and even lots of crowd-surfing, surprisingly.  I found the show to be pretty solid, overall.

Did I leave way more impressed with the opening band than the headliner?  Yeah, yeah, maybe I did.  But I couldn’t help it, the energy of Kithkin is way too infectious to be denied.  As lead singer Gareth Campesinos! pointed out, the crowd was a little bit too into the opening band and he found it kind of rude.  A joke?  Perhaps, but not entirely untrue. People were so into Kithkin that I even wondered how many people were there just to see them and if they even cared about the headliners.

There are some really good pictures from the show in this article from the KEXP blog as well, for those who are curious.

A note about the venue, because it’s relatively new.  It was at the Neptune Theater, owned by Seattle Theater Group, who also operate the Paramount and Moore Theaters in downtown Seattle.  A pretty cool little venue, an old restored theater at about 90 years old, big enough to book good bands and small enough to feel intimate.  Try to get up there and see a show soon, they have some good shows coming up.

Okay, it’s been great, catch y’all next time.

~Leah

First of all, thanks to the folks at Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever for letting me contribute to the fun with articles and music-talk.  I just moved back to Olympia after a long hiatus and I am anxious to participate in anything musical that could be going on around here.

I spend a lot of time searching out and listening to new music that I would like to share with people to spark interest and discussion.  Stuff that may not technically be new but is new to me counts in my book, so if I talk about something that has been out for a while, well, don’t get all up my ass about it, okay?

I tend to find something I like and crack out on it for a couple of weeks until I find something else that gets my attention and then the cycle continues, so I should always have albums I’m all about for any given period of time.

So what do I love right now?

Okay, so we are deep in the throes of another northwest winter and won’t be seeing much sunshine for a few months, and for me that means it’s time to find some great winter, crappy-weather melodic music that I always crave come January.  Luckily, I have found just the thing.  The Lower 48, Minnesota transplants to Portland, recently self-released their debut album Where All Maps End.  I have been cracking-out for the last couple weeks and still going strong.  It evokes that timeless feeling I get when I listen to past winter favorites where it can just play on repeat for days and I never get tired of it.  It’s definitely a folky sound, and done really beautifully with some gorgeous instrumental interludes, a couple of super catchy tracks such as “The End” and “Come Awake” always demand that I sing along and do a little dance, and on the whole displays a versatility that keeps it interesting.  All of the songs are really good actually.  They are original enough so that I don’t feel like I’m just listening to recycled garbage.  Beautiful, melodic, atmospheric, intimate, innocent, and just plain good fucking shit.  Have a listen to “The End” and if you don’t find yourself wanting to hear it over and over again, well then, that’s fine, this is just a suggestion, y’all can do what you want.  But if ya like it you should definitely get the album and support these guys, I think they are gonna do good things in the future.

-Leah