Amoeblog

piano magic is magic!

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 1, 2007 02:05pm | Post a Comment

I love Piano Magic. I know that I may throw that word "love" around a lot. But I would take back all the times I have used it, if I could use it just this one time. This band has been around for a bit over 10 years, but I only just discovered them maybe about 4 or 5 years ago. One of my friends, June, was obsessed with them. Since I like all the same music as him (Cocteau Twins/Lisa Germano/Red House Painters/This Mortal Coil/His Name Is Alive/etc.) I figured I would also love this band like he had. So my first introduction was "The Troubled Sleep of Piano Magic" back in 2003. I quickly discovered they were one of the bands that were made for people like me. I was excited for their next excellent album "Disaffected" in 2005. It is always exciting to discover a new band that has already been around for a while. It is like they somehow kept themselves hidden and their fans kept them a secret. Once you find about them, you want to keep them to yourself for a little bit. Until you just can't take it anymore and you to share them with everyone. When I always think I have already heard everything, it is nice to know there are still some great bands out there for me to discover. It's exciting.

They have just released their new album "Part Monster" on Important Records. They have  been on about 7 different labels and have had many different members. They are currently Glen Johnson, Jerome Tcherneyan, Alasdair Steer, Franck Alba and Cedric Pin. They are of course from England. They sort of fit into that ambient rock category. Dreamy and ethereal but still a rock band. Sad and emotional and all tragic. The vocalist sometimes reminds me of a mix of Jesus & Mary Chain and The Tindersticks. Sort of like what Slowdive sounded like as they were transitioning into Mojave 3. They also remind me a bit of bands like Field Mice but just with a little Black Heart Procession. That is enough band comparisons. They are just awesome and do sort of have their unique little sound.

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top 12 british albums of the early 90's...that need reissues!

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 27, 2007 07:30pm | Post a Comment
In my continuing series of lists, here is my next list. I was thinking again about how much I love the reissues. Those great 2 CD remastered deluxe versions. I get very excited when my favorite albums get the deluxe treatment. There has been a lot of deluxing over the last couple years of some of my favorites from the 70's and 80's.

But not much from that very important time in music which was the early 90's. I might be a bit biased about this period since this is also the period in which I graduated high school and started college. A period when my obsession with music and bands really developed. There have already been some great Slowdive and Pulp reissues, so those will not be on the list. The first two Ride albums "Going Blank Again" and "Nowhere" have also been reissued. But all these reissues are just imports, so I'm still hopeful they will be cheaper domestic versions out soon. There is a possibility that Morrissey will be going back to Warner! He is currently without a label again. Which is great news, since that is where his catalogue as well as the Smith's resides. It can't be too long until we see some great Rhino style Smiths and Morrissey reissues!

I originally was going to go through my CDs and just grab the ones that stood out from the 90s. When I was done, I looked at all the albums and realized all the bands were from England and all the albums were put out in the early 90's. I also realized these were the dirtiest and most used CD's in my collection. They have been through a lot and have been played many times and traveled all up and down the coast of California. It started out as 10 but quickly changed to 12. I could have easily went on and made a list of 25 but I had to stop somewhere. So here it is....My list of the top 12 british albums of the early 90's that I would like to see reissued...


Lush "Spooky" (1992) 4AD/Reprise

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coming out today...6/26...sinead...rasputina...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 25, 2007 06:34pm | Post a Comment
Out today is the newest album from Sinead O'Connor. She has been busy the last decade or so putting out albums in every possible genre. After her first two amazing albums "The Lion & the Cobra" and "I do Not Want What I Haven't Got," she released an album of standards, "Am I Not Your Girl." The next album "Universal Mother" would be the last of the signature style she had created with the first two. After this was an amazing gospel style album "The Gospel Oak EP" which she had an amazing tour behind. After the mediocre "Faith & Courage" came an album of traditional Irish Songs "Sean-Nos Nau." Her next studio album was a reggae album "Throw Down your Arms." Not being anything close to a fan of reggae, I actually really liked this album. So now we have her newest album "Theology." The album consists of two discs. An acoustic "Dublin Sessions" disc, and a full band disc "London Sessions." The album does not really fall into any category. But it is for sure a Sinead O'Connor album.

There is nobody really like Sinead. Her amazing voice and style have always been one to make people love or hate her.
I have always been on the love side since I first heard "Mandika." I put it on the first make your own cassette compilation that I bought at the mall in the late 80s.  She has never hidden her political views and has often got into trouble because of it . I would love to see a documentary of her much like the one of the Dixie Chicks. Most artists seem to keep their beliefs to themselves in order to sell more records. Sinead is the second biggest selling artist in Ireland. Next to Enya of course.

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flight of the conchords...possibly the best new show ever...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 23, 2007 01:01pm | Post a Comment
I don't know if any of you have seen my new favorite show yet,  but you need to check it out if you haven't. The Flight of the Conchords just premiered on HBO this last Sunday at 10:30 pm. These guys have been around for a couple years performing as Flight of the Conchords. HBO recently picked them up for a new 12 part series. The show is basically about them trying to get a record deal and success in New York as a folk pop duo. Jemain Clement and Bret McKenzie are semi famous in their native New Zealand. They have a couple albums out already and have performed at South by Southwest and Bonnaroo. They are basically making fun of singers such as John Mayer and James Blunt. But do it brilliantly. They even just signed a deal with Sub Pop and will be putting out a single in a couple months.

The show reminds me of the brilliance of another one of my recent favorites, The Sarah Silverman Show. It is a situational musical comedy. They two boys are roommates in a small flat in New York city. The other characters are a horrible manager and an obsessed nerdy fan neighbor girl. It has a bit of the uncomfortable humor of shows like the Office. It's just brilliant. I have only watched the first episode but I am already obsessed. The first episode is about Jemaine's search for a girlfriend and the shooting of their first video. Each episode has a couple musical numbers. But don't be scared. It really works.

You might recognize Jemaine from the Outback Steakhouse commercials. But he is really much more than just another Paul Hogan. He is also starring in a new movie called "Eagle vs Shark" which is out in August. Check out the preview on the website for the movie. It is destined to get compared to Napolean Dynamite. But I have been really needing another Napolean Dynamite in my life for a while.

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what is coming out today...6/19...maps...art brut...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 18, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
Today is the big exciting day of the new White Stripes album "Icky Thump." I am going to let my fellow blogger Miss Ess review that one. I like what I have heard so far. But that girl is like their number one fan. Not in a creepy Kathy Bates Misery kind of way. But almost. I will spend some time today talking about two smaller albums coming out. First up is the new album by Maps called "We Can Create."

Maps is basically James Chapman. He is from Northampton, England. He has been releasing singles for a while now, slowly gathering his fans. This is one of those albums that I was immediately drawn to and liked right away. But I also knew that it would become one of those albums that my love would continue to grow for. Now listening to it for the 4th or 5th time I am quickly falling in love. It is kind of amazing that he used no computer or fancy programs to make this album. I can already hear people complaining that the album is too electronic and computer generated sounding. But like I said, no computers. He did it mostly himself with tape loops.

The album feels very warm and fuzzy. He is obviously influenced by some of the shoe gaze of the 90's like My Bloody Valentine and Lush. But also by the early electronic groups of the same period. And on some of the songs I even hear a bit of Beach Boys. Which is weird for me to even notice, since I happen to hate the Beach Boys. But I do hear it. However, it does not ruin the album for me. You can also hear a bit of Sigur Ros or Album Leaf or maybe some Postal Service. The album is consistently good. There is not just a couple good songs. It consistently works. James is bound to find his fans in the U.S. just as he has abroad. He has sort of a nice soothing pop voice. Kind of like Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service. It mixes nice with the electronics. It is less cold and distant than you would expect with this sort of electronic instrumentation. He will quickly make his way into your heart. I think.

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