music

Song Yet To Be Titled

Here's a song. This is a collaboration between my niece, Emily, Jeff and me. Most of the magic is those two. I make a little sketch and they turn it into amazing stuff. It's only 2 minutes and a bit, so check it out. Pizza.

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/no-matter.mp3]

For mobile devices, click here.

Sunday Morning Music

Was editing some photos and doing general Sunday morning stank while listening to Jaimé's latest mix - Spring 2011. Go download it at his site: Jimmy Has Blog. It's filled with indy pop goodness, like this gem with a dubious title (Teenage Whore, by Dinosaur Feathers), but with big giant harmonies.

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/12-teenage-whore.mp3]

Mobile? Click here for the song.

Dance, dance, dance...

Recorded this a few months ago, a cover of Lykke Li's Dance, Dance, Dance. Just found it again buried in some Garageband files. Figured since I don't have anything else to post... [creative slump]

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/dance-dance-dance.mp3]

Mobile? Click here.

REM and Radiohead





To me, these two bands, have been two of the best still making music. If you include bands not making music anymore, The Beatles. I even have a little trouble writing about them because their music effects me way down deep. My DNA dances when I listen to these two bands. I can tell you exactly when they both solidified themselves as my faves. It was summer, 1997, New Adventures in Hi-Fi had been out for a few months. The song "New Test Leper" had entrenched itself in my chest with its brilliant lyrics, humble vocals, and Peter Buck's light acoustic guitar jangled in my head as I laid flat on my back in the middle of my tatami-matted living room breathing deep after a bicycle ride through Osaka-Jo Koen in Osaka, Japan. This album told me REM was my band and I loved them all for it.

Prior I was probably still way into U2... but Bono was starting to get caught up in the rock star persona that he claimed was a creation and it had been 10 years since Joshua Tree (still one of the greatest albums ever made) and while Zooropa and Pop had a couple good songs each, they weren't the all killa, no filla albums that I judge bands by. If they can consistently put out music that is just groundbreaking and amazing... well you get it.

Then Radiohead comes out with OK, Computer. I felt like I didn't know what an album was until I heard this. Now instead of flat on my back, I was in the fetal position sucking my thumb...

Okay, so these two bands have been battling for my affection for the past... well, however many years that is (I can never do math in my head). They didn't even realize it. And as hard core an REM fan I am, I have to say that Radiohead was just slamming my head with great album after great, groundbreaking album during this time. REM had okay albums, with some stand out songs, but really, their most amazing music was on the other side of New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

So today, both bands have new albums out (Radiohead's King of Limbs) or about to be out (REM's Collapse into Now, which is streaming on NPR if you want to listen). And while REM continues its okay-album-some-good-songs thing it has going on, for the first time I feel Radiohead kind of fell into that category as well. Again, there are some great songs on King of Limbs, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can skip a few. "Feral" simply does nothing for me AND seems like a remake or sister song to "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" from Amnesiac. It worked in the context of that album, but "Feral" kind of pulls me out of King of Limbs...  But REM doesn't avoid cannibalizing themselves either. "Uberlin" just feels like a faster version of "Drive" from Automatic for the People.

It makes me think that these bands are either a) drying up creatively, and I don't want to believe that happens so forget that, or b) getting lazy/bored with making music? I definitely think artists have times where they are very prolific and times when their inspiration is more spread out. I think music artists feel pressure to but stuff out regularly, so they start to push out crap. That's why artist's first albums are awesome (usually), because they've had time to write and choose so that first one is just all good songs. Then they suffer from the sophomore slump because someone is pressuring them to put out more albums quickly. Some bands can handle this. I always thought Smashing Pumpkins put good albums (and some double albums) out quickly. Of course now... well I think Billy Corgan went crazy or something.

I felt Radiohead was above this though. I felt that they were putting albums out when they were ready to. I never minded waiting for them because their music was so awesome. So when this one kind of dropped out of the blue I was, of course, excited. But now there is a piece of me that wishes they waited until it was all good. I'm hoping the rumors that this is only half of the album are true and more will be released when the physical cds and records come out, but I'm also a little wary.

I am an uber-fan of both of these bands which means I will buy anything they put out at this point. There are only a few bands that hold that status with me. Flaming Lips (yay, Wayne Coyne), XTC (if they ever release anything again), The Shins, Beulah (come on, get back together), Imperial Teen (doubt there is much more from them if anything), Pavement (weren't they going to do another album with that reunion?), The Pixies (though I don't see it happening) and Paul Simon (though I think he's done too).

Hopefully there will be new bands to add to that list. Some I like so far are Girls, Frightened Rabbit, Freelance Whales, Avi Buffalo, Broken Bells (though that's kind of cheating), Local Natives, The Low Anthem, Tokyo Police Club, maybe some others, but we'll have to wait and see.

So, have my heros fallen? Maybe just a notch. I still love them and always will. And really, thinking about the amount of amazingness that these two groups of guys has put out over the years just makes me happy. So while I can't figure out a way to get one of the really good songs from the REM album up here, here's one from Radiohead that kicks my butt, Codex:

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/06-codex1.mp3]

Atmosphere

Do me a favor if you are able. Pull out your headphones, plug them in and take a 3 minute and 39 second break from the world you're in at the moment.

This is a song that I posted a few weeks ago and I wrote that I wanted to take it and run it through Jeff's head (I picture feeding a sterile piece of brown audio tape into one of Jeff's ears and it coming out the other end all cut into intricate shapes, colorful, birds flitting around it, draping it with ribbons and Skittles).

Well, here is the result and this is why I love this guy (well, this and because he's a nice person too). And if you really want to get the whole experience, go back to the previous post and listen to the first version of the song, then come back and listen to this. Really not necessary though.

He has taken this crust of planet song and not only given it its atmosphere replete with meteors skipping and sparking across its surface, but he has also given it its rumble underneath, its magma moving, its tectonics humming and buzzing. It really is awesome.

If you close your eyes as you listen, put yourself in a field, on your back, looking at a warm night sky while the person you're with slowly slips away from you, I think you're there. Or go wherever you want. Because this song will let you move around it now. You can walk on it and swim in it. He's given it its stuff.

Hope you dig it.

Mobile devices should click here.

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/i-dont-wanna-think2.mp3]

A Cappella Moto Truck

If that isn't a band name, I don't know what is.  Their hit song would be an epic tale of a day trip to Santa Cruz to pick up a motorcycle and listen to music, music that employed only voices as instruments...

Actually this post is more one of amazement and love for my little, black, Toyota pickup. What a beast this little sucker is. A hundred and seventy thousand miles on it, brakes worn, suspension kind of hosed and yesterday it was stuffed with three guys (2 that are like 6'3" or more and me) and a Suzuki SV650! The truck didn't even blink... or if it could blink, it didn't... Would stalling be blinking in the car world? Actually, why do we even say "didn't even blink." That doesn't seem like a form of protest or giving up to me. The truck didn't even hold up its tires and beep madly, "Fuck that, you ain't stuffing all that inside..." Okay, that's just starting to sound pornographic. What was my point?

Let me start from the beginning... Alex, Sean and I headed down to Santa Cruz yesterday to load his moto, that had been sitting for months, into my truck so he could bring it home and get it back to running. When Alex asked me, I have to admit, I didn't think my truck could do it. So we piled in and headed down 101, 85, 17 etc. over the hill to Santa Cruz. It was gray-ish, little blasts of blue sky, a ray of light, then gray again on the ride over.

Ian peein' piddley poo (his proper name) was going to be singing with his a cappella group, Cloud 9, on a street corner in downtown SC as well, so we decided to first stop and watch that. Even though I thought I had, I never have seen Ian perform live and in the flesh. I've only seen YouTube clips which were all very good, but something doesn't translate with YouTube (I say that about to post video I took of them on YouTube). They were great. Really entertaining and goofy and everything you want in your a cappella. And while the group was great, Ian really was awesome. He was working the crowd (really big crowd for a street corner as well), and committed to the whole show and performance. I feel like I'm writing a review: "The group had an excellent nose, nutty with a hint of the desperate sweat it takes to harvest such brilliance. A robust, harsh, yet beautiful color, like a winter sunset pulling your eyelids open, forcing you to watch (the weird, eye opening device from A Clockwork Orange), but you're in love with abuse."

Yeah, so go see Cloud 9 perform. It's awesome.

As a side trip, before the show started, Alex, Sean and I went down to Streetlight Records to browse around and kill some time. I have to say, I don't know what to do in record (cd) stores anymore. I remember being in that same store not too long ago with Dave Dworak and we were in our element, digging through the racks of music, looking for awesome deals on obscure, Japan-only-released singles, flipping through boxes and boxes, the clack of the anti-theft, plastic cd holders keeping time to a rare, staff favorite, blasting through the sound system... Now I just kind of wandered, couldn't really figure out where I would even start to dive in and start looking. I didn't know the band that was playing, didn't know what to do really. Now it's all clicking through websites and music blogs and iTunes to find music, videos from La Blogoteque - Take away shows. I'm not complaining. It's just so different from, well, somewhere between five and ten years ago.

After Cloud 9, we headed to Alex's fave brewery in Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Co. for a beer and a hot dog. We then headed over to a sell-everything-i'm-driving-cross-country-to-Boston sale / kegger / hang out that a friend of Alex's was having. This was a very typical Santa Cruz event to me, but one I just don't picture Alex involved with. When I thought about it, I didn't really "see" Alex in Santa Cruz at all. You know, Santa Cruz, hippy-dippy-doo, pot brownies, surfing, naked on the beach Santa Cruz. I think of none of those things when I think of Alex (I was about to type "no offense, Alex," but am pretty sure he would take none from that statement). It was a cool little gathering at a business called Five Feet From the Moon. They make concrete and iron-work type furniture and sculpture, etc. Very cool space. Even the dogs running around were cool. Too cool to be petted by me. I was literally dissed by a dog. Bitch. See what I did there? :)

After gathering keys and driving to Alex's friend's house, we proceeded to load his moto into my truck. This is where I thought it was gonna get ugly, lifting the bike in, tying it down, stuffing us all back into the cab... I just thought the truck would just bust down to its "knees" and surrender. Yeah, completely wrong. I think it took us all of fifteen minutes to load it and be ready to go. My truck was like, "yeah, man. whatever. that's all you're gonna load?" My truck was feeling the laid back, SC, vibe.

With moto secure we went back down to meet Ian and his gf for food and one for the road. Of course, we had another side trip to the driving cross country party to return keys... and another beer.

Food and drinks consumed, catching up with Ian caught up, we piled back in the truck and headed up Highway  One, back home. Once we got out of rainy-gray Santa Cruz, it was a beautiful drive up the California coast as it always is. My mantra if you live here: Don't take California for granted. So lucky to live here. the Pacific was smooth and greenish-blue, the sun was setting behind chunks of clouds... Amazing.

That's pretty much the tale, now here are a mix of iPhone and XTi photos and video.



 





 



 



 



 



 


Alex supervising Sean on strap re-adjustment.


 



 


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAuYo00f-4k&hd=1]


 


You can watch the video in HD, but for some reason, either YouTube or WordPress took out the ability to embed in HD. Anyone know why?


On another side note, I think this is my first post that includes all the categories contained in the subheading of my blog, writing, photos, music and motos. Exciting.

A New Song by David? You know you want it.

The way I see the video... probably blurred around the edges of the frame. A lonely guy sits looking out a window, rain running like tears down the glass... then a cat meows and farts at the same time.

This is a second draft and will hopefully be digested through the musical mind that is Jeff Nakahara before it is finished, but here it is now.I think it's called, The Wince, The Pull. But maybe it isn't.

If you're on a Flashless device click here.

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/i-dont-wanna-think.mp3]

 

Make You Feel My Love

Recorded this a while ago, but here's my niece, Emily, singing, "Make You Feel My Love." Going to see if I can get it set up so you guys on your mobile devices can also listen. Hope it works.

ps That's Jeff playing guitar.

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/make-you-feel-my-love.mp3]

Click here if you're on a mobile device that doesn't support flash.

Lady Fortune

Here's a song by a cool band, Lady Fortune, that reminds me of The Strokes crossed with The View. This song is It Ends and It Starts in a Dark Room Parts 1-2. The opening "rap" is dope, yo. They have a bunch of other songs over on iTunes. Go buy some.


 


[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/01-it-ends-and-it-starts-in-a-dark-room-parts-1-2.mp3]

Jimmy Gets Full Credit for this Post...

...because he'd be all nuts if I posted a song that he sent me a while ago and I didn't get into until later and then posted it on my blog. He'd be all, "I sent that song to you a long time ago." And I'd say, "Well, I just don't remember it from that time. Did you send it to me with a bunch of other songs that sound similar and I got lulled out of listening to the mix and I zoned out writing a blog post or editing photos or picking my nose or looking at porn in another window?" Of course, he would only know the answers to some of those questions but he would say, "No, I sent it by itself and you said it sounded like a 'Jimmy' song. So, fuck you for liking it now."

What can I say? I'm notorious for finding songs later, when either I revisit them in a shuffle of iPhone songs on a bike ride or in the back room at the store when Jimmy plays them. What can I say? I'm a second or third listen kind of guy sometimes. Dave Dworak says I hated Imperial Teen when he first played them for me... I probably did. This is no longer the case. But I do still contend that Bright Eyes was not good until "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning."

All this to say, I like the self titled, Avi Buffalo album that came out in April. Here's "What's In It For?"

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/02-whats-in-it-for_.mp3]

I also like the album artwork.