Saturday, December 27, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
A Shot of White Noise
I recently re-curated my Elliott Smith rarities into two collections. The idea behind these two compilations was to try to create two albums that could feasibly be like actual Elliott Smith releases. The first record, A Shot of White Noise, is more acoustic and the second, Violent Girl, features compositions with more instruments and usually electric guitar.
"A shot of white noise" is a lyric from "Crazy Fucker" (also called "Another Standard Folk Song"). "Crazy Fucker" starts off in the middle of a recording session where a disappointed Smith has already finished a song and says, "That wasn't such a good version of that..." The lyrics that follow capture an unique autobiographical portrait of the Elliott Smith in accounts from people that were close to him like photographer Autumn De Wilde (check out her excellent Elliott Smith photo and interview book here). It's a perspective of his music, flirtations with drugs, his juxtaposing character that sings sensitive songs and also gets into bar fights, as well as subtle hints of his past. Arrow also happens to be the name of Autumn De Wilde's daughter that had him singing "Arrow, come pick me out."
"Violent girl" captures the more aggressive (and more upbeat poppy) songs and the title comes from "Some (Rock) Song." The lyric is "I want a violent girl who's not afraid of anything." It's an interesting song, because there's another version of it present on A Shot of White Noise. One of the most striking differences is that the lyrics are changed from "Charlie beat you up week after week" in "Some (Rock) Song." Charlie was Elliott's step-father and, as one could gather from the lyric, he may have been quite abusive. The name comes up in a couple other of Elliott's songs, particularly "Flowers for Charlie."
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Univers, from Barcelona univvers.bandcamp.com
Pional, from Madrid soundcloud.com/pional
Oso Leone, from Mallorca
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
"I started dancing just to be around you..."
There's something about Angel Olsen's voice and recording style that are nostalgic for a lost era without sounding like a rip off. There's also something about that moment in the first track, "Unfucktheworld" when the hi-fi vocals kick in that you realize you were taken away somewhere where hi-fi didn't exist and now she's not just singing to you from a broken radio, but also right beside you and whispering into your ear. There are a few good upbeat, fuzzy guitar, kick drum songs, but what was really snagging were the haunting intimate melodies where it's just her and a guitar and me. She's mostly just singing about her lonely broken heart, but she's made it really damn charming. It's the perfect thing to listen to while walking around the little cobblestone backstreets of French city.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
An incredibly verbose album full of stories from deep backwoods Ohio. Mark Kozelek reaches deeper into it's folk roots than other albums, with less obvious hooks and melodies and somehow manages to make rednecks and frying up frog legs charming. The songs don't dance around anything, "Dogs" details all of Kozelek's early sexual encounters, but most of the tunes are stories about death and loss and family. And he loves his Mom and Dad.