Headphones

Anxiety’s robbed me of the ability to listen to music through headphones in my own home.

If I’m out in the world, under the right circumstances (car or bus rides, mostly, but occasionally walks or runs), I can do it, but at home, I always feel like I’m giving up a tactical advantage by not being able to hear ambient noise in my surrounding area.

As a (mostly) retired musician and a lifelong lover of music, this makes me incredibly sad.

Raisin Poisoning

The best thing I ever saw on World of Warcraft’s Trade chat was a user complaining about how the bowl of raisin bran they had just eaten had too many raisins in it, and how they now had raisin poisoning.

It was a good, long time ago, but I still think about this rather often. Just one of those things that stuck with me.

Lycia’s “Ionia” Remastered

This is a new remaster of the first Lycia album, “Ionia”, that Martin Bowes from Attrition did for them. I would have to go back and compare it to my CD before I could be really sure of any sonic differences, but what I can tell you so far is this:

1. It sounds very good to my ears.

2. It sounds especially good to my ears for being an album recorded on a home analog 4 track recorder in 1991.

3. It’s a really great record that I haven’t listened to all the way through in entirely too long. If you’re familiar, but it’s been a while for you, take it for a spin again. If you’ve never heard it before, but you like dark sounding music, give it a listen. In either case, if you enjoy it, kick Lycia some dough, so they can keep at what they do (they’re still making music), and so Mike and Tara can keep their youngster in action figures.

Celebration’s “Wounded Healer” is out today

As some of you know, Celebration are one of my favorite bands. They’ve got a new one out today, which I am listening to right now, and which you should listen to, as well.

(If you can’t see the Spotify embed above, or don’t use Spotify for whatever reason, it’s on all the major streaming services and LPs and CDs are also available today from their label, Bella Union, if that’s your thing. It’s probably (hopefully) in all good record stores, as well, if you can’t wait for shipping, but want the hard copy.)

It’s definitely them. I’m very happy.

They’ve also got shows coming up this month in Brooklyn and their hometown of Baltimore, along with Out Of The Woods Festival in Wiesen, Austria and a London date in July. I highly recommend seeing them, and I really hope they come to my neck of the woods soon, since I won’t be able to do New York this time out.

Full disclosure, because I’m sure this sounds like an ad: I’m not being paid by the band, I have never been on the payroll, and I’ve only really met them in passing a time or two, just caught a show in 2006 and fell in love.

Music From A Road Trip

I took a relatively long drive this week, and loaded my device up with relatively new records to listen to beforehand. Here’s what I listened to, and how I felt about it:

 

Endless Boogie
Vibe Killer

I listened to this first, and periodically through my listening of it, I would laugh and say “Endless fuckin’ Boogie, baby!”. That probably tells you all how I felt about the record, but if not, it means that I enjoyed it.

Jane Weaver
Modern Kosmology

I’d heard something of Jane’s that I liked on Spotify Discover Weekly, and this record has been reviewing pretty well, so I gave it a shot. I didn’t quite connect with it, though it’s along the lines of other things I enjoy (think a more psychedelic music-oriented Goldfrapp, sorta). I don’t always latch onto records on the first listen, so perhaps it’ll gel with me later.

Aimee Mann
Mental Illness

I like Aimee, but this felt, I dunno, a little too on the nose for me or something. It may sound odd, but sometimes when I put on a record and it’s exactly what I expect it to be, I tune out, and I think that’s what happened here. Couldn’t get through it, moved on. May feel differently about it later, might just not have been the right record for the right time.

 

Slowdive
Slowdive

My 4th time through this. It is safe to say that I like Slowdive better this time around.

The Black Angels
Death Song

I’d heard them once, a few years ago, liked them, but never gotten back to them until now. I quite like this. The first track on the album, “Currency”, was my favorite, but the whole record was good. Loud, dark, a little weird. Here’s “Currency”.

Nelly Furtado
The Ride

This was my second time through this, and it held my interest both times, though I may have enjoyed it a little better the first time. The record’s inventively arranged and produced, I will say that about it. Lots of “Wow, I was not expecting that to happen”, which doesn’t happen a ton for me in relatively mainstream pop, so points to Nelly and her collaborators for managing to surprise me. I do run hot and cold on Nelly Furtado in general, but when I like something of hers (“Say It Right” from “Loose” was one of those songs), it sticks with me. On this record, the one that’s jumped out at me so far is “Live”…

…and then I reached my destination.