Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Hold Steady and the others...







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Sean

to Padraic
show details Jun 17
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A couple other things I'm happily digging is

Issobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan's two albums of ballads and brooding rockers mixed with shanty's and duets.

and

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Dig Lazarus Dig -- a song of which I'll try to attach here...
11 More News From Nowhere.mp3
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Padraic

to me
show details Jun 17
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Nice tune. I put in on and started surfing, then I heard it in the background after a while and assumed it was on repeat. Nope.

I dig the Hold Steady album a lot, but it lacks the immediately awesome song like Hoodrat Friend or Stuck Between Stations. It's good so far, and it's already made it above disappointment level, but I can't see it going much higher. I'm already looking forward (and looking) for the new Okkervil.

Some dissapointing news for RFC. I was all set to see Paul Auster tonight and tomorrow night, first introducing "The Best Years of our lives" and then his new directorial effort The Inner Life of Martin Frost. Unfortunately, I forgot about those pesky things called tickets so when I went up with some fellow Auster fans (he is huge in France), sold out.

The upside is I saw a great solo piano performance of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms instead by one of the most famous piano players in the world. It was pretty incredible, but I somehow don't think I could do it justice on RFC.

Sean

to Padraic
show details Jun 18
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I wouldn't have guessed Paul Auster being big in France... interesting... sorry you couldn't make it but it sounds like you caught one helluva musical experience.

I think what the new Hold Steady is missing is any of the immediacy of the previous albums. It really doesn't offer much new and upon my first listening when I disliked it it was because I had this feeling that they were actually pandering to their audience (mostly Constructive Summer and Stay Positive). I think I discovered that it works as an album -- the listener becomes more involved in the somewhat rehashed stories he's telling when taken as a whole. But listening to it again on random with other albums I again was not too happy with listening to the songs that popped up. Finn's energy is completely missing -- he used to be a bit unpredictable in the rhythm and phrasing of his delivery which is what made him an interesting singer -- and the production of the album is pretty muddy -- the songs get bogged down the more layers and instruments that get added. I'm not expecting HS to be sonically adventurous but I think they'd be well served by just trying to capture their live show on record than messing with stuff like Navy Sheets and whatever is going on in Joke About Jamaica. Both Crosses sounds too much like trying to ape Bruce. I think I'm giving the album a thumbs down. But it may have to do with having songs like this shining right next to it.

02 Today's Lesson.mp3
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Padraic

to me
show details Jun 19
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Yep, they love Auster I think because they really like sparse, existentialist kinda of stuff more than narrative based books. He also spent three years there after college and started translating forgotten French authors.

Agree with your general take on SP, but I like Joke about Jamaica! Not so much the wanking towards the end, but it's a great song lyrically: the line that "not every show can be a benefit" is a killer.

Since you suggest that they should stick to what they do best, I'm tempted to make an Anderson reference...but I'll refrain. I really like some of the more adventurous stuff, especially For the Cutters, but I do wonder what the audience is supposed to do during these songs at a live set.

Ok, and I'll bite: how are you sending these tunes?

Sean

to Padraic
show details Jun 19
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Click on Attach a File and then select your mp3 of choice. That 7 minute song I sent I think was about the max you can send.
I don't necessarily think that they should stick to what they do best. I actually bit my tongue when I wanted to write how I'd like Finn to broaden his scope a bit -- it's only in regards to their recording/production techniques that I'd like them to sound more like a live band then a studio band -- try to capture the feeling of a first take rather than a 50th take. It's why The Felice Brothers are so engaging even when they're ripping off Dylan and The Band -- they have this ramshackle approach to recording that leaves in the all the endearing flubs, coughs and clinking beer bottles and makes it surprising. HS would benefit from trying this, I think. I do like For the Cutters and Lord, I'm Discourged by the way, definitely the two best songs on the album.
That one apartment rental place that we sent you didn't have any vacancies for us so we're back to searching. We're looking into this one now...

Sean Erickson

to Padraic
show details Jun 19
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Do you have any reservations about this address?
Rue de la Croix de Fer, 12


Padraic

to me
show details Jun 19
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Wow, they aren't lying about a great location! I think I go by that building every day on my walk to the library. It's a nice place to be. Walkable to most everything, close to the tram and subway, but very quiet at night. I would recommend it.

I agree about more spontaneity on the album. There seems to be a sense where they want to create these like perfect songs, but they aren't that kind of band. Thumbs down is too strong, but I'm not going to run around recommending this to many people either. Also. new Oldham is also the only album of his that didn't take me about 5 months to appreciate. I really like that he is letting the folk flag fly a little more.

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