Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's good to be back, and other self-deluding catch phrases

We're back in Idaho, after a rather uneventful journey home which landed us in Sandpoint at around 1am local time. Getting up for work was pretty tough (and I rolled into the office a bit before lunch -- what a great way to pick up where I left off, eh?).

Ahboo was incredibly happy to see us, and we were happy to find that the groomers were able to de-skunkify him while we were gone. There are still a couple of chapters left in The Ahboo Files, and things are about to get a little more interesting.

My friend David gave us a CD of a bunch of great music I didn't have, and it reminded me that I haven't given any music picks in a while. XM's indie/college radio channel, XMU, continues to expose me to new stuff I wouldn't have heard otherwise. Here are a few albums that I have on constant repeat lately:

Mew - One of my new favorites. Their latest full album, "And the Glass Handed Kites" is a great candidate for playing "spot the influences". In the 14 tracks, you might notice throwbacks to the Pixies, Porcupine Tree, Lush, and even Machina-era Smashing Pumpkins. There's a very epic, spacious quality to their music, which works great with the shoegaze-y vocal delivery. It's a mystery how these guys have been around for eight years and I'm only now hearing about them -- probably has something to do with them being from Denmark and not really being into the whole "publicity thing". Amazing, amazing music.

Her Space Holiday - I picked up several albums, but I think "The Young Machines" is my favorite. I have no idea how to categorize this band. Mix a little bit of downtempo electronica with a dash of indie pop. The songwriting is the real strength here -- it ranges from over-the-top emo to the kind of quirky humor you might expect from bands like Blink 182 or the Bloodhound Gang (neither of which I can stand, mind you), but it's very intelligent and poetic. I don't know how it works, but it does.

DJ Gyngyvytus - Better(?) known as prolific Musician's Lounge regular Zoomzip from the SA Forums, the good DJ brings us "Skeet Spirit: A Crunk Tribute to Radiohead". It is everything it claims to be -- Radiohead as envisioned by the likes of Li'l Jon. And somehow it's incredible. You can download the whole album for free right over here.


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