Posts Tagged ‘radiohead’
Animal Collective’s newest album, Centipede Hz, comes out today and is streaming here. So open up the page, hit “Play All”, sit back, lie down, tune in, tune out — whatever. I don’t think Animal Collective wants you to experience the album through shitty laptop speakers but sometimes it can’t be helped. I’d hate to watch a Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” movie on an iPhone, and in fact anything less than a huge brilliant screen would be doing it injustice, but you gotta do the best with what you got. As I write this, Centipede Hz is playing out an incredible pair of speakers, extra loud; it sounds really good like this. I’m not really paying attention to the videos that they have going along to the music but it’s all about the music anyway.
Nice speakers and a properly tuned system is really the ultimate listening experience. Seeing as almost all commercially made albums are mixed and mastered on these types of setups, it would make sense to try to emulate that setup as much as possible, right? But there’s a lot of electro music today I’d call headphone music. The music of the Brainfeeder lineup and of the post dubstep guys like Mount Kimbie and James Blake is what I’d call ear-candy and the nuanced listening that headphones provide allows for a very pleasurable experience.
Perhaps with the huge increase of DIY musicians, many of whom mix almost exclusively on headphones, and with so many of us listeners now experiencing music largely through headphones, maybe that’s the what’s right? Nah. But I did think it was funny when I read Flying Lotus’ tweet about headphones and listening experience: “even though i don’t like beats by dre headphones I’m gonna listen to my album in them, since lots of kids are gonna hear it that way”. It’s cool to think that guys like FlyLo are being conscious of the way that we are listening to music.
Pearl Jam apparently has an album called Binaural. Having read that the album was largely recorded binaurally, I’ll go so far as to assume that the title is somewhat of an instruction on how the music should be consumed. Binaural recording is a technique that provides the listener with directional and spatial cues provided the listener is listening through headphones; it creates the illusion of being in the same room as the musicians. Here’s a great example.
So once you figure out if you like headphones or speakers better, then you figure out your format. Vinyl’s hit a huge resurgence lately but I believe it’s largely either a romanticization of an obsolete format or a product of vinyl’s status as a collector item. Vinyl poses limitations on song length, sequencing, and even mixing to an extent, as songs with a lot of bass may wear out easily or skip. Aside from that it doesn’t pose a noticeable advantage to sound quality; this is a point of contention to many diehard vinyl fans but from a technological standpoint, the sampling rate and bit depth of CD-quality music, and even the mechanical properties of a speaker are sufficient such that there should be no difference between the sound from a CD and the sound from a vinyl once it hits your eardrums. So let’s leave it up to the bands to decide what medium they would prefer.
Radiohead has stated many times that they hate the CD format so when I started listening to the vinyl of their latest album, the King of Limbs, I was surprised to notice that I had to flip the record in between one of the album’s best segues between songs. So what’s the point? The vinyl disrupts the flow of the album, CD’s suck, so perhaps the lossless wav download that came with the purchase of the album was the intended medium? Somehow I doubt that but it’s fine with me either way; I’m gonna listen however I want to listen so who needs instructions.
Lastly, welcome back to Aphera Music. Music is always on my mind and I’d like to start sharing with you guys (whoever you are) again.
I’m on spring break which means it’s wayyyy too late for this but here we go…
My 10 Favorite Songs of 2011 (in no order)
Jacques Greene – “Another Girl”
This song is perfect.
Joy Orbison – “Video Games” Lana del Rey RMX
Wow Lana del Rey… Not that her music or personality wows me in any way but how does she exist? I do love this remix of her song “Video Games” by Joy Orbison. Really great.
The Stepkids – “La La”
Nothing to say about this song. Just listen for the awesomeness of the catchiest wordless chorus ever.
Radiohead – “Separator”
This song is a serious top contender for the most beautiful song Radiohead has ever written. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the prettiest songs I’ve ever heard.
SBTRKT – “Pharoahs”
One of the best pop electronica/dance songs ever.
SBTRKT – “Hold On”
There’s an emotion captured in this song which really resonates with me. That and Sampha’s vocals hit it real good… I mean realllll goood.
Julio Bashmore – “Well Wishers”
Is there nothing groovier than this?
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – “Tigers”
Perfect summer pop
James Blake – “Unluck”
A delicate blend of a post dubstep sound palette mixed with brilliant songwriting.
This is a live version, primarily because I couldn’t find the album version anywhere on youtube but this is pretty good anyway.
Radiohead – “Bloom”
My brother called this “future music” and I’d probably have to agree. So fresh it’s not even here yet.
Wilco – “Art of Almost”
Thundercat – “For Love I Come”
Shabazz Palaces – “Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt)”
My last final is in less than 12 hours so here’s my study break. Boy can you get down to this. mmmmmmm
On that note, my next post will likely be from home sweet home so see y’all soon.
I’m working on a whole batch of new music right now that I hope to have finished by the new year but until then I’m excited to share the first track that I’ve finished from the bunch. It’s called “Running from Daylight” and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
I’ve put the track on the player, or you can right-click here and do a “save as” or whatever if you really want the file. Also, You’ll notice the track is credited to Yurij. This is the name I’m recording under now. Boom.
Next topic: Radiohead recently played two shows in NYC and now they’ve recently released tour dates for a bunch of shows for the southern US but fortunately it appears there are more dates coming. But what I wanted to share was a recording from one of their recent NYC shows which features Radiohead opening their song, “Everything in its Right Place”, with Thom Yorke singing a truly beautiful rendition of REM’s “The One I Love”. I’ve included it on the player. As you may have heard, REM recently broke up and it’s a shame because they were a very powerful and benevolent force in Rock and Roll. But hey, it’s not like they’re dead or anything lol. Michael Stipe is still out there and being ridiculously awesome. Watch below: his appearance on the “Reporrrrrrrr”.
Let me also take the opportunity to express my sympathy for all the victims of the Sandusky situation, which sadly not only includes the victims he personally touched but it also extends to all residents of the area surrounding Penn State and all the individuals who have ever associated themselves with the university. I know we’ll have the ability to rebound because us Penn Staters are really tough.
Lastly, I’ve really been listening to too much Neil Young lately so also I’m including one of my favorite Neil Young tracks to the player: “The Loner”. This track was what led me to fall in love with his music and I recently covered it at an open mic (at which I wore my REM shirt) which was fun because I rarely do stuff like that.
George aka Yurij aka Yurchyk
The two most musically active members of Radiohead have paired up with one of my favorite rappers to bring you the track “Retarded Fren”. Jonny Greenwood’s involvement seems to be the appropriation of his orchestral work, “Popcorn Superhet Receiver”, which appears to be sampled and elaborated upon by Thom Yorke and rapped over by Doom aka MF Doom aka (with madlib) Madvillain. The track is simple enough and kinda interesting. It seems to be some sort of promotion for some label’s tenth birthday. I dunno the track is good enough to stand alone so I haven’t looked much further into its raison d’etre.
listen to it here
I’ve also included on the playlist my favorite Doom track, “Great Day”, from his classic collaboration with Madlib, Madvillainy, so click the player icon on the right to check it and everything else that we’ve posted out.
I am trying to decide whether or not I’m offended that Radiohead didn’t flush out the brief The King of Limbs with their subsequent single releases, “The Butcher”, “Supercollider”, and now “Staircase”. On one hand, plenty of my favorite Radiohead songs reside outside of full-length albums. My favorite Radiohead song, if someone were to point a gun to my head and I had to pick one, is “Polyethylene” on Airbag/How am I Driving EP. But on the other hand, “The Butcher” and company releases make me feel as though The King of Limbs may have been sloppily incomplete. I feel as though The King of Limbs actually provides an excellent scaffold on which to hang the next three songs. If they were all strung together, would The King of Limbs have been a more satisfying product? Why did Radiohead leave them out?
I certainly feel that with the most recent release of “Staircase”, Radiohead is beginning to create a story of rhythms. A sort of “new sound” that I don’t think we all caught onto given the brevity of The King of Limbs. After its 40 minutes, I think we all read just a few pages out of their entire book. But now, I like playing “Staircase” back to back with “Butcher” and creating an almost Animal Collective-like musical trance. Some “thing” is emerging.
Who knows? Radiohead may be making it about the experience… handing out sequels to the trilogy rather than dumping everything on us at once. Or maybe, Thom is simply playing around; take a look at the video below, he certainly looks like he’s having fun.
psedit: the answer to the question brought up in the previous post, was that this video was broadcast in the Hachiko square on the large advertising monitors that surround the square. Crowds watched Thom dance above their heads.
As all of you hopefully know, Radiohead’s new album, the King of Limbs, comes out on Saturday. However, 8 hours ago they tweeted a new status, in Japanese. According to google translate it comes out as “Hachiko Square Shibuya, 59 minutes at 18 Friday”
Now this is curious. Because of translational complications and the general ambiguity associated with Radiohead this tweet could mean a number of things? Are they playing a secret show at the Shibuya square at 18:00 Japanese time? Is the album 59 minutes long? Will they perform at the square for 59 minutes? Will they perhaps use the giant screens of the square to broadcast a tracklisting or some other strange promotional material? Will they do a live webcast from Japan at 18:00?
It’s all too confusing to know for sure now, but stay on your toes anyway. 18:00 Japanese time on Friday translates to 3:00 am EST on Friday for all you east-coasters. Good luck! Also, make sure to check back next week for our review of the King of Limbs! Will this finally be their bad album?!?!?
Here is Animal Collective’s video for their Merriweather Post Pavilion track “Bluish”. It came out in September and it’s pretty righteous. Click the image below to watch. Or click here.
After the narrative and (pretty much) visual mess that was ODDSAC, it’s nice to see something visually appealing that seems appropriate in relation to its abilities to capture the subtleties of that AC sound. Now that’s a purely personal opinion as I’ve spoken to a growing number of people who say ODDSAC was perfect and so maybe I’m the one who’s way off. Whatever. I mean ODDSAC wasn’t a complete failure but it was pretty “film school project” quality –amateurish? Sure, but that’s not expected from AC at this point in their career (is this the end of it LOL?). A handful of moments of sonic brilliance and the occasional interesting visual unfortunately doesn’t “save” the work as a whole. Better luck next time?
Next: Flying Lotus.
Last week I showed you guys some tracks from his new EP, Pattern+Grid World. Yesterday, a video for the FlyLo track “Kill Your Co-Workers” was released. The visuals homages to the video games of yesteryear are everywhere and the video itself is fucked up as hell. It’s awesome!
Lastly, Larissa mentioned to me in conversation yesterday how difficult it’s gonna be for us to come up with our top ten albums list at the end of the year. I concurred; in fact, it’s been on my mind almost every day. So much good music has already been released, and not released yet. Kanye’s new album is gonna kick so much ass. I mean, look at the cover!!!!
As previously mentioned, it’s called My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and it’s gonna be good. Also, Radiohead might release something this year which would also blow my mind. Well that’s something to think about.
You’ve got to love a band that can release all of their music for free and still peak at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart on retail release of the physical form. You’ve got to love them unless you’re a struggling artist who saw that move as a real slap in the face.
That was Lily Allen’s opinion of Radiohead’s release of In Rainbows. She saw it as a promotion of music pirating and had a whole blog post dedicated to its condemnation. Eh, it’s more like she’s just jealous but I do get how it can seem wrong when someone can pull off that business plan.
But Allen had it all wrong. Radiohead was not promoting music pirating, but bypassing it. And they did it by giving us what we want for free.
And that’s what Lefsetz of LefsetzLetter is saying, “In other words, the solution to the file-trading problem is not legislative, it requires business innovation. Which I don’t expect to come from Ms. Allen, I’ve never heard she was a good programmer.”
And now everybody is doing it. They’re giving us music for free. Grooveshark, Lala, and every artist releases a free single as a preview before their album -The National giving away “Bloodbuzz Ohio” before High Violet, Yeasayer giving away “O.N.E.” before Odd Blood - just to name a few.
But illegal activity will continue. Yeah, such is life. The newest craze, Dropbox, uses cloud computing to enable users to store and share files. It’s cool because folders are shared through email,and you kind of become a member of that shared folder. There is a feed that shows all recent activity so you can tell who is uploading new material. The space for free use is limited but deleted files can be restored. It’s illegal to upload copyrighted stuff, but it’s going to happen anyway.