I am such a sucker.
There’s this punk as fuck record store in the neighborhood, right, which I totally check out like every few weeks. The kids that run the store have been around for years, still totally flying the flags and trying to make it work in an area that must have a pretty high rent, so I try and buy something from them every time I go in.
Come to find out that Ebullition released a retrospective comp by Policy of Three, who were this emo band that got a lot of props in the pages of HeartattaCk back in the day. I bought one of their 7”s way back when and listened to it maybe three times before I decided it was total dreck- that sorta low-rent scr/e(a)mo that has ‘dynamic’ time changes and stop/starts that you can see from miles away. The kind of band that you might dig if you saw ‘em live; the kind of band that the locals from a small, insular scene in like the Midwest or whatever heralded in the pages of their Xerox fanzine. A local band that did some touring. You know.
So what do I do? I buy the fucking record AGAIN. And listen to it like three times AGAIN. My god.
Portishead- Roseland NYC Live
Portishead is the quintessential indie kid make-out record. Jesus, we were all in college or working jobs and none of us had discovered Barry White. The smoldering, sultry beats did the trick, admit it.
I tend to be pretty skeptical of live records (I know, it’s shocking), but this one finds twofold redemption: it acts as a de facto greatest hits package for a band that only has two studio records, further streamlining their catalogue for maximum output, if you catch my drift. Two, the live show is beefed up by the presence of a 22-piece string section, which serves to enhance the band’s performance rather than just documenting it like so many other live albums do. Damn, just thinking about it is giving me a boner.
I’ve gotta go.
Postal Service- Give Up
I’ve said it before: Ben Gibbard, he of Death Cab For Cutie, is a fantastic songwriter. The Postal Service features Mr. Gibbard and his electronica buddy Jimmy Tamborello performing these fucking infuriating songs.
I’ve heard two Postal Service covers- Iron and Wine covering ‘Such Great Heights’ on the soundtrack for Garden State(and, just yesterday, on a commercial for candy) and the Shins covering ‘We Will Become Silhouettes’ on a sampler in the new issue of The Believer- and both of ‘em are better than the originals. The songs on the Postal Service record are very good to excellent, but man, do they ever get bogged down by the whole electronica aspect. Too many signifiers, unnecessary bleeps and bloops that distract me from listening to the melodies and lyrics and draw attention, over and again, to the fact that the record is electronic in nature. ‘This Place Is A Prison’ gets the balance right, sounds like a proper song rather than a songwriter performing over something different as an experiment or a lark.