my maudlin career – camera obscura

well, if you’re anything like me, you’ll prob’ly buy this due to the lush cover art and remarkably fitting title. and like the cover art, this band’s sound includes a particularly specialised palette featuring contrasting and dreamy hallucinatory swirls amongst the finer lines.

camera obscura are into the swirling, string-laden melancholy melange formerly carried off by fellow scots belle and sebastian, and sorta like the arrangements of our own candy-striped brunettes, their bittersweet sense of humour drips with an irony occasionally maligned and malicious but always delicious.

now, i fuckin hate phil spector for what he did to that otherwise great band (that’s what he should really be locked up for), but for some reason this ear-candy is remarkably easy to swallow despite it’s obvious influences from mr “24 more tracks of strings”.

standouts for me include ‘away with murder’ with so many clever plays on words rolling together the little deaths of drugs, love and heartbreak and sparking them up with catchy choruses spiked with fiddles.. yes, FIDDLES. also the curiously warped title track and the generally reverbed-out waves of cavernous chamber music which accompany each see-sawing tune. camera obscura will give you flashbacks of times you’ve never seen and places you’ll never live.

if the pixies had a trade-mark “loud-quite-loud” then these guys do a trademark “exhale-blackout-gasp back to life and thank your lucky stars you’re not dead yet”. so if you like your hits clean and your comedowns sunbeam-saturated, by all means dip a toe into this nectar-bath of tunes so topsy turvy you’re never sure whether they’re lifting you up or just letting you down gently.

on ‘my maudlin career” camera obscura capture that shaky sensation that you may have nearly killed yourself again, whether it be dancing the morning to death or working your days away– yet you can’t help but feel a teensy bit glad you’re still here.

“how many times have you told me you wanna die?” 
– ‘away with murder’

MP3: Camera Obscura – my maudlin career (right click then “save as”)

:: nurse nos

‘lust lust lust’ by ‘the raveonettes’

hey kids- its surf fun with tenderness and feedback!

nothing captures desolation so well as singalong choruses and walls of guitar-skerang. this is music to nod off to– not that nodding off is a valid past-time, but there is something particularly isolated about the raveonette‘s latest that suits those last few minutes of blissed out consciousness, before we fade to black.

i’m not a dedicated fan, so i can’t compare it to their last however-many albums. i know they’re scandinavian, but i refuse to compare them to other contemporaries. ok, except maaaaaybe peter, bjorn and john, as they seem to have a similar love of meloncholy melodies– oh yeah, and talent. 

so for the un-initiated such as myself, the best way to think of the album is somewhere between jesus and mary chain’s earlier work and … the shangri las, maybe? particularly on ‘black satin’ (just like honey) and perhaps more knowingly on ‘you want the candy’.

so why listen when you’ve heard it all before? well, it’s hard to pin down…

i think lust lust lust has nailed what a lot of people missed about the point of rock’n’roll and goth: a twisted sense of humour that embraces the wrongs of life, love, sex, death and ourselves, and laughs a-ha-long with the joke that it all is.

it’s ironic that bands like the raveonettes are labelled as “derivative” and “tributary” yet they’re now making better music in the vein of their influences than all the re-formed “originals” doing the zombie tour circuit right now.

i would liken the production (for those of you that can remember) to roller-skating around at the end of the night to the last few tracks in an empty concrete skating-rink. as the PA craps out, your dodgy rented metal skates wear down to their tinny little axles and the sparks begin to really fly. then just as you get lulled into a comfortable side to side rhythm, that piercing feedback rises up and hits you in the face like cold 3am concrete.

so slap it on, any time you’re up or down and sigh sigh sigh. best played loud! 

MP3: the raveonettes – aly, walk with me 

:: nurse nos

All party peeps who comment on blog posts in May will receive a Starlifter.TV badge/button. It’s an S Club Party!!!

Artist: Vampire Weekend. Album: Vampire Weekend.

similar to the “how many band members are there really” belle & sebastian set-up, with just a hint of lime and a snort of amyl or two. clean but dirty, cheeky but not rude. they’re the arctic monkeys your mum is ok with.

but don’t consign them into the too twee-for-me bin just yet. even if they DO name-check paul simon, they’re frisky and foxy and a little bit twisted (just WHY does blake got a new face?)
so you may be thinking you’ve heard it all before, but then again, if you’re not listening to electronic music what did you expect?

vampire weekend are that second and third beer on the porch. sure, you’ve tasted before, but your cheeks are flushed, you’re caught in a sunbeam & before you know it dancing like your dad makes sense.

i dunno the history or the facts – probly english, prob’ly rawkus as feck live, but right now exactly the solid production and song-writing that leaves the likes of MGMT lip-synching onstage in their fluro crushed velvet booties.

so if you like your organs warm & wooshy, your jungle drums-a-pounding and string arrangements subversively-swirly give ’em a spin.

“downy in sweat-shirts, absolute horror” indeed…
Buy: Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

:: Nurse NOS

Wanna learn how to play the guitar from some of the best? Check out what my friends have to offer at Jamorama.

artist: no age. album: nouns.

welcome to the no age – while everyone gazed longingly after the steadily growing shadow of my bloody valentine; keenly following the saga of “what kevin shields did next (primal scream ‘XTRMNTR’ & ‘evil heat’, sofia coppola’s ‘lost in translation’ soundtrack) these little psilocybin-secreting ‘shrooms pushed up through the muck.

no age’s “nouns” is superb sub pop – back when it was solid. they cover the flying nun’s HDU, verlaines, the clean harmony ridden, sugar-coated, wall-of-sound era with skill. melodic guitars swathed in distortion, angry, bass drum belting punk. it’s enough to get you flicking through your 3Ds collection to see if it IS really the same chords. this is the sort of thing that sells vinyl people. your mp3s – heck even your m4a’s won’t do this justice. no super slick pro-tooled, produced-to-hell pureé here. it’s ruff as guts, one ear too close to the amp to hear anything for days, live carnage in your ear-canal.

so i’m not musical, i can only sign-post you by name: if you dig on any of the above; love of diagrams, thought creature, deer hunter, the dead c, or any other nasty mould encrusted ear-candy then check these suckers out.

it’s like that strangely familiar chunk of green stuff you found on the floor in front of the stove: it may kill you, it may make you stranger – you’ll just have to smoke it and see…

MP3: No Age – teen creeps

:: Nurse NOS