-REVIEWS AT A GLANCE-
On the latest edition of REVIEWS AT A GLANCE, I weigh in on what I’ve been watching and listening to lately, including my takes on the movies Planet of Snail, Anna Karenina, Ted, John Dies At The End, and Your Sister’s Sister. I also tackle new albums by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Foals, Iceage, The Men, and Youth Lagoon.
-SYMBIOTIC RECOMMENDS: 10 ALBUMS, SEPTEMBER, 2012-
I’m back with another batch of auditory magic. You can stream a song from each album or download the entire thing as a mix. It’s free, easy, and more fun than Ritalin-induced epilepsy!
CHECK OUT ALBUM RECOMMENDATIONS HERE
-REVIEWS AT A GLANCE-
Check out my take on new albums by Liars, Guided By Voices, Purity Ring, Twin Shadow, and Royal Headache. I also share my thoughts on the flicks “Safety Not Guaranteed”, “John Carter”, “Goon”, “Jeff Who Lives At Home”, and “We Need To Talk About Kevin.”
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING AND LISTENING TO?
-SYMBIOTIC RECOMMENDS: 10 ALBUMS, NOVEMBER 2011-
November is nearly over, and I’m just now posting my 10 album recommendations. This time out I tried to dig even deeper into the musical universe in order to unearth some blissful gems of sonic glory. Check it out!
With so many good albums flooding my eardrums lately, it is next to impossible to write full reviews on all of them. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 10 recently released albums that I feel are worth checking out. Here it goes!
-MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK-
Since I Left You
Australian Duo Robbie Chater and Darre Seltmann’s 2001 debut album Since I Left You is comprised entirely from sampled recordings and remains one of the decade’s best dance/pop albums. Accumulating audio clips from 900 records and then splicing them together would seem like a recipe for overblown disaster, but The Avalanches seem to understand where to place these samples, resulting in pure musical bliss. The bouncy “Stay Another Season” (which samples Madonna’s song ‘Holiday’ as well as Peruvian exotica artist Yma Sumac) and “Frontier Psychiatrist”, a brilliant mix of audio clips from John Water’s 1981 cult film Polyester and vocal bits from Canadian comedy duo Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, are put together so seamlessly that one might get the impression that this is all original music. For every funk/disco anthem like “Live at Dominoes”, (which adeptly samples the late 60’s soul group The 5th Dimension), there is a more mellow track such as “Two Hearts in ¾ Time”, which somehow manages to mesh the 1972 musical Cabaret with John Cale’s “Ghost Story” from 1970′s solo album Vintage Violence. Since I Left You pulls off a tricky thing, it uses pre-existing sounds and textures and then creates something entirely new out of them.
Total Life Forever
8 out of 10
Oxford five-piece Foals take an artistic leap forward with their excellent new sophomore release Total Life Forever. After their twitchy debut Antidotes sent the critical world into buzz overload back in 2008 with their blend of math rock and Bloc Party-esque dance/punk, the band has wisely decided to branch out and expand their sound. On cuts like the wonderful “Blue Blood” and the title track “Total Life Forever”, they succeed in pushing forward while still remaining true to their roots. Total Life Forever effortlessly interweaves angular guitar lines, twitchy disco punk rhythms, thumping bass, and an infectious sense of pop melody into something that somehow sounds both retro and ultramodern.