Monday, November 28, 2005

This city too hot...

November 28th? We'll I'll be... It's in the 60's outdise. This picture was taken a few Novembers ago from my old roof in Williamsburg. Thats more like it. I was in Montreal this weekend...amazing place. Good bagles, friendly folk, clean streets...its like New York without people that make New York suck. Guess its not much like New York then. I did manage to do about 20 hours of driving this weekend and listened to shitloads of new music. Todays majikal selection comes from The Earlies... oh nice.

The Earlies - One of us is dead

A collection of the Earlies' EPs, These Were the Earlies captures the half-Texan, half-English band's spacy yet oddly sentimental sound. Their music has been compared to such genre-defining artists as the Polyphonic Spree, the Flaming Lips, and Mercury Rev, and while there are definite similarities, the Earlies find their own distinctive niche. At times they manage to be even trippier than their influences and peers, concentrating more on atmospheres and elaborate soundscapes than on full-fledged pop songs. Tracks like "Lows" and "Slow Man's Dream" are lush but low-key, and end up being sophisticated, whimsical background music (in the best sense of the term). When the band does touch down and deliver more immediate songs, they're often surprisingly vulnerable, and with far less of the bombast of the aforementioned bands. "Wayward Song" unrepentantly wears its heart on its sleeve, with Brandon Carr whispering "In this life, we love who we can, then they're gone" over gentle pianos, flutes, and bassoon. "Song for #3" is just as sweet, mixing a twinkly melody that sounds like it was lifted from '70s pop with radio static. A jammy, groove-based vibe predominates on tracks like "Morning Wonder," which blends a Krautrock rhythm with a loping spaghetti Western guitar riff, while "The Devil's Country"'s stomping beat, triumphant brass, and free jazz saxophone solos show that even the Earlies' version of rock is more than a little bent. Surprisingly cohesive for an EP collection -- and even more so when you discover that it took years of trans-Atlantic recording to make -- These Were the Earlies is also a strong debut album.


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