Amoeblog


out today 5/13...the black angels...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 15, 2008 11:09am | Post a Comment
I have been really obsessed with My Morning Jacket lately. We still have a couple weeks to wait for the new album, but I get more and more excited as the weeks go on. I picked up most of their albums last year after I got obsessed with them, and it was all because of that little Bob Dylan movie called I'm Not There. It just came out on DVD last week and I really recommend that you check it out if you have not done so yet. Most people who have seen it either love it or hate it -- there is not much in between. I really loved it, which says a a lot since I am not really a big fan of Bob Dylan. I respect the man and am glad that he exists and I understand his effect on millions of people, he is just not really my kind of musician. But I am a big fan of the biopic. Maybe I am just too lazy to read that many books, but I love learning about musicians lives and seeing their stories up on the big screen, even if it is just narrowly based on some sort of reality. But the movie did really get me into My Morning Jacket, which is great. I always worry that I have already discovered and gotten into all the bands that I am going to like. I know that there will always be young new bands that I like, but it is just a different feeling to find some band that has already been around for 5 or 10 years. I don't really feel like I should of liked them earlier. I don't feel embarrassed or get mad at myself that I didn't like them right away. There are simply too many bands out there to like them all at once. I listen to a lot of music but still do not have the time to devote to everything that I might like. Some bands fall through the cracks, but it almost makes it more exciting to go back and explore their old albums. It is sort of like intentionally missing a whole season of a TV show just so you can look forward to watching the entire thing when it comes out on DVD. The anticipation somehow makes it better.

The Black Angels
are another one of those bands. Their second album comes out this week. It is called Directions to See a Ghost. I didn't really intentionally wait until now to listen to them. It just sort of happened that way. I can't really remember if I ever listened to their first album Passover which came out in 2006. It may have been playing at work when I was in the room but I don't remember paying attention or ever intentionally listening to them, so I was not really expecting to like this new album when I put it on a couple of weeks ago. I just had it in my head that they were a band that I was not going to like. I really was surprised and was immediately a brand new fan of The Black Angles. They had quickly converted me by the second song on the album. It is always a little humorous to me when you first get into a band, because I really knew nothing about them. I knew they were somewhat popular but didn't really know anyone personally who was a fan. I knew they were on the label Light in the Attic, but that was about it. I had never seen pictures of the band and I had no idea they were from Texas-- and by the time I was done listening to this new album, I was convinced the lead singer was a woman. It really was not a very typically feminine voice but I still pictured a woman singing all the songs. I thought her voice was really unique and sort of dark and deep. I didn't really ever question myself and think that it might be a man. Of course, I was wrong. I had to go watch some videos and actually see Alex Mass singing to be fully convinced that he was indeed a man. It sort of makes more sense now.

The band took their name from a Velvet Underground song, much like how Death Cab for Cutie took their name from a Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band song. Velvet Underground might just be a little bit more well know than the Doo-Dah band, but it is a similar situation. The Black Angels are obviously fans of the Velvet Underground and share a sort of dark intense sound with them. The songs on this new album are similar to the first album. They have a very psychedelic dark sound to them-- the sort of band that you know will be good live. But they also really remind me of Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane. Maybe this is why I thought the singer was a woman. I could really imagine the Black Angels playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco back in the 60s. I was not there but this is sort of what I imagine it sounding like-- a sort of intense psychedelic jam fest. The sort of show where you fell in love with everybody there and totally found yourself in some sort of trance. It is the feeling I get at Spiritualized shows. Lets just hope The Black Angels do not turn into The Black Starship. My memories of Jefferson Airplane are really tied into Starship since this is what I grew up with in the 80s. I really learned about Starship way before I ever knew anything about Jefferson Airplane. Luckily I discovered the Black Angels before their Starship period. I am glad I found them and finally gave them some space in my life. I like this new album a lot. And I am really looking forward to picking up a copy of their first album and discovering them all over again.

Here is a video for "Sniper at the Gates of Heaven" which is a song from their last album...



also out today...






Hard Sweet & Sticky by the Bellrays











Rockferry by Duffy











Narrow Stairs by Death Cab for Cutie











Thing of the Past by Vetiver


Relevant Tags

Starship (6), Jefferson Airplane (3), The Black Angels (3), My Morning Jacket (3)