Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Low-Content Mode

In case you hadn't noticed, things have been pretty sparse lately. I've halfway considered putting the blog on hiatus again, an option I've exercised a few times over the years, usually when I've gone on trips. I haven't been traveling, but my attentions have been elsewhere - my preliminary exams are next month, November 18th to be precise, so I just haven't been able to justify sitting down and writing comics or music posts. But even if I go on low-content mode for a while, I'll be back after my exams - after all, we have a Tenth Anniversary to celebrate in January. (Ten Years of . . . what? Procrastination? Being a Wiseass? Underachievement?)

So I'm not saying I absolutely won't post something or other if the mood strikes, but I'll be mostly sticking to Twitter, and of course, updating my awesome Tumblr (which is awesome because it requires minimal effort).

Until then, I think I'll post a few songs.

I've been really digging this one, to the tune of listening to it on repeat for a few days now. I was wary at first because the band certainly carries the stink of Industry Machine about them - but they have the goods, I think, if the quality of their debut Days Are Gone is any indication.

Meanwhile, this is pretty awesome too, again in spite of the group's supposed status as current hipster cause célèbre du jour. The problem with their album, The Bones of What You Believe, is that it plainly suffers from the fact that it is a debut album put together by a group of musicians still unsure as to what their strengths are. This song is fantastic, and there are a few others like this on the debut, but there are also a few clunkers and a few songs where the group's egalitarian instincts fail them pretty spectacularly - to wit, the fact that they let anyone but Lauren Mayberry sing. When you've got a band whose strongest asset is a charismatic woman with heavenly pipes, it's hard to regard songs sung by the other members of the group as anything but an excuse for a bathroom break. Admirable idea, but ask yourself, how awesome would it be if Butch Vig had sang three songs on every Garbage record? I predict the next album will have corrected that ratio.

Au Revoir Simone are a group that have been bubbling under the surface for a long time now. They've all the ingredients of a fierce breakout, but are often defined as much or more by their characteristic reserve and devotion to understated mood than their songwriting. Move in Spectrums is the closest they've come to really nailing the dismount. It's still patchy, but there are definitely moments where it seems as if the band is finally starting to cohere into something more than just the sum of its pretty parts.

Finally, I present to you with no further comment Ms. Margaret Chardiet, AKA Pharmakon:

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