Friday, May 28, 2010

The return of Arcade Fire...first glimpse of new material

Rejoice! Canada's greatest export, Arcade Fire, are set to return on August 2nd with their third LP, The Suburbs.

After their debut Funeral (2004) catapulted the band into the 'best-in-the-world' domain, 2008s follow up Neon Bible was met with a greater level of division, with it's grandiose style proving too overblown for some.
Following one of the defining records of a generation was always going to be a struggle, and though it may not have quite reached Funeral's level, Neon Bible was still a truly excellent record holding enough genius to cement Arcade Fire's position near the pinnacle of modern music.

The next step was always going to be an interesting one for the band and amid talk of a potential double album and a collaboration with director Spike Jonze, these two tracks have emerged to offer the first taste of the new LP. The title track is unmistakably Arcade Fire, as it hops along nicely for a relaxed jaunt down suburban life and though not exactly ground breaking, it harbours enough creativity and nuance to suggest that it will demand far greater attention upon repeated listens. At the complete other end of the spectrum, Month of May is something of a departure from the usual Arcade Fire fare with the band going all 'rock' on us, as snarling riffs and thunderous drums mesh to deliver a punk-rock anthem of sorts.

The Suburbs is out on August 2nd and it will be interesting to see how these two tracks fit into the context of the album as a whole.

Arcade Fire play this year's Oxegen festival, their only confirmed Irish appearance of 2010, yet with rumours of a show at the O2 ever-present, such an occurrence is increasingly likely towards the end of the year.

  Arcade Fire - The Suburbs by meanwhileinaustin

Month of May

  Arcade Fire - Month of May by meanwhileinaustin

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

30 Days of Music: (#2 Your Least Favourite Song) [Sham Rock - Tell Me Ma]

Sweet mother of God, this brings back some horrible memories. It's 3am and you're stuck in Coppers (Copper Face Jacks Niteclub), unable to move amid a sea of tangled limbs and surrounded by a range of hammered creatures, all swaying in unison and knocking over everyone's drinks as they cling to each others GAA jerseys and lurch at the next generation of nurses who in turn are holding each others hair back in the corners. 

You remind yourself that it will all be over soon, that life does indeed exist elsewhere, you can almost taste the freedom of Harcourt Street (as well as the slop from the BurgerMax next door) and then, just as you begin to see the light at the end of the most arduous of tunnels, this monstrosity comes on and like some pre-historic mating call the whole place erupts and you're swept away, possibly never to be seen again.

Embodying every annoying Irish cliché in a single song/video is quite a feat but not an admirable one and I'd be quite happy if I never heard this song ever again...NEXT!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

30 Days of Music: (#1 Your Favourite Song) - David Kitt - Step Outside...

Whoever designed this list clearly never thought to start it off on an easy note anyways, as I'm sure most would struggle to come up with a definite answer for this one. 

Scanning through the list however, there was one song which could have been used for up to a dozen different days and to me, this is as good an indication as necessary of it's rightful position. 

David Kitt is a singer songwriter from Dublin whose career has spanned the entire decade; from the more acoustic, humble romanticism of his early work, through to his most recent dance infused output in the form of The Nightsaver via the rockier, love lorn anthems of Not Fade Away. Along the way Kitt has come under criticism for never replicating the dizzying heights set by 2001's The Big Romance, and though I'd dispute this (The Nightsaver in particular was one of the best albums of 2009) there is no denying the wonder of his earlier output and Step Outside In The Morning Light is a perfect example of this.

Present on both Small Moments and The Big Romance, Step a blissful ode to that intangible feeling of optimism which washes over us on occasions as we dream of better times ahead, with nothing to tend to other than one's current setting. Kittser (as he's more commonly known) delivers a soothing and ultimately uplifting tale of love and hope which is earnest without being overbearing and romantic without ever bordering on soppy or trite. If ever a song embodied Summer and happiness, this to me, is it. This is the musical representation of that feeling as the sun pours over us after months of dreary 7am starts and the first glance in new lovers eyes amid the smell of freshly cut grass. 

One of Kittser's greatest strength's is his ability to write effective lyrics which can be personally applied by the masses and the line, "and the thought of the summer clears my head" surely represented the national mood as wind, rain and snow pelted us for months on end earlier this year. 

A true classic from one of Ireland's greatest singer song-writers and one of the decades best albums.

Come Along in secrecy
          You said I could

But I wont 
Filling up with promises 
Our bodies lie 
But we're immune 

And the thought of summer 
Clears my head 
And the thought of summer 
Clears my head, my head 

You stand alone 
So delicate 
I said "thats fine 
It seems right" 

Filling up 
The day again 
Our bodies tied 
To the fading moon 

And the thought of summer 
Clears my head 
And the thought of summer 
Clears my head, my head 

On your belly 
In the sun 
Looking up 
To the sky 
And the sky 
Clears my head 

So step outside in the morning light 
And feel the breeze 
And hold her tight 
So step outside in the morning light 
And feel the breeze 
And hold her tight 

Time to get the ball rolling once more...30 Days of Music

Right, it's been a while. Final college exams and casual blogging clearly don't mix and in the end the prospect of shoddy exam results grasped my attention over this endeavour. 

I'm going to get back into the swing of things via this 30 Days of Music idea which I stumbled on this a while back, where essentially the idea is to post a particular song for a particular day according to the stated criteria. Sure everyone likes an ol' list and this will fill the gap as I set about digesting the new releases from Gorillaz, The National and Villagers amongst others. Decisions, decisions...

day 01 – your favorite song
day 02 – your least favorite song
day 03 – a song that makes you happy
day 04 – a song that makes you sad
day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 – a song that reminds of you of somewhere
day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 – a song that you know all the words to
day 09 – a song that you can dance to
day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 – a song from your favorite band
day 12 – a song from a band you hate
day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 – a song that describes you
day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 – a song from your favorite album
day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 – a song that makes you laugh
day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 – a song that you wish you could play
day 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 – a song from your childhood
day 30 – your favorite song at this time last year