Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Grandaddy "The Sophtware Slump" - Quite possibly one of the most luscious, sublime Falsettocore albums recorded to date. This concept album about a humanoid, aka cyborg, named Jed developing emotions feels very futuristic, yet very Modesto, California. A pretty significant feat when considering that lead singer, Jason Lyttle, is coincidentally from Modesto, California but is actually not from the future. Twinkling the Pavement with synthesizers and laser sound effects, "The Sophtware Slump" went on to make Grandaddy one of the finest Youngish bands in the indie rock circuit.
-- Highlights: "The Crystal Lake," "Chartsengrafs," and "So You'll Aim Towards the Sky."

The Flaming Lips "The Soft Bulletin" - While everyone went ballistic over "Yoshimi Vs The Pink Robots," it was really "The Soft Bulletin" that projected the Lips into the mainstream awareness. Moreover, it justified the band as a major label offering--up to now, people were all "wha?!?!" to Wayne Coyne's band releasing album after album on Warner Brothers Music. Now, they were all like, oh ok. Cool. Like, now we get it.
And while "Yoshimi" abandoned the Flaming Lips' early aesthetic for a more glitchy, digestible sound, The Soft Bulletin traverses beautifully between psychedelic experimentation and accessible, sweetened songwriting. Many cite this Falsettocore record as a misstep and the selling-out of a group that had remained true to its values for so many years. Wayne Coyne totally thinks those people are being silly goosees. Tee hee.
-- Highlights: "Waiting for Superman,"Race for the Prize," "The Spark That Bled."

Built To Spill "Perfect From Now on" - Doug Martsch's marching band is the closest any Falsettocore collective has come to Neil Young's jammy, raw flavor. "Perfect From Now On" was also BTS's first major label release on Warner Brothers Music (seems like someone in WBM likes men who sing a bit like eunuchs) but despite the label's involvement, their third album was a bold and vivid release, focusing on the construction of epics as opposed to short, radio-friendly compositions (the shortest song is five minutes long). Additionally, Martsch is almost as curmudgeonly as Neil Young is reported to be; the Boise, Idaho indie guitar hero will not do any interviews in person and much prefers to take his sweet-ass time in making his music. The follow-up to the lukewarm last recording, "Ancient Melodies of the Future," released four years ago, is still in limbo and Martsch himself doesn't know its status (and no upcoming release date has been announced for Built to Spill's big return). Bonus Falsettocore stat: Built to Spill will perform a 20+ minute version of "Cortez the Killer" live in concert, which kinda feels like over-Cortez-kill to me (yuck, yuck).
-- Highlights; "Untrustable/Part 2," "I Would Hurt A Fly."

Mercury Rev "Deserter's Songs" - Much like their trippy brethren the Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev abandoned their sloppy, noise-heavy past for an orchestra Woodstocked sound. Featuring a band member named Grasshopper, the Rev whipped out their ethereal bag of hippy tricks and therein established themselves as a premiere Falsettocore collective with a regularly revolving membership. "Deserter's Songs" garnered critical acclaim amongst the people who can tolerate whiney-in-a-good-way men and if it had not been for the band's fascination with unicorns and wizards (on their new record, "The Secret Migration") Mercury Rev would still be popular with listeners who are not still playing Dungeons & Dragons.
An urban myth circulating amongst music fans posits that Mercury Rev's lead singer Jonathan Donahue could be Wayne Coyne or that Wayne Coyne could be Jonathan Donahue. If either one of these possibilities turned out to be true, this could possibly cause the universe to explode, killing everyone in it.
--Highlights; "Opus 40," "Godess on the Hiway," "Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp."


Post a Comment

<< Home