Good Music

8.07.2009

So anybody who would be reading my blog probably knows that I love music.  Ever since I was 8 or 9, I've loved listening to all types of music and have spent countless hours browsing record/tape/cd stores and now online music services.  My reason for doing this, of course, is to find those absolute gems of musical perfection that pop up every once in a while on obscure and little known albums.  Some of my favorite albums and songs are those that most people have never heard of.  I swear it's not one of those "I love it because it's obscure and I have an insecurity issue that requires me to talk about and obsess over strange and obscure things" like a lot of the weirdos, punks and depressed kids in high school.  I really, really love some out-there stuff (like the Mighty Lemon Drops - World Without End), but likewise I really enjoy some very mainstream, overplayed stuff as well (Like the 2nd Kelly Clarkson album).  I'm just fascinated and grateful that I am wired in such a way that certain music speaks to my soul and brings me joy (I'll even admit that I've actually cried just from listening to music).  I don't find nearly as many of the unknown gems these days since I don't spend much time hanging out at the mall anymore and my awesome college dream job at Budget Tapes and Records is now several chapters back in my life story, but I still find myself wandering every once in a while through the Amazon.com MP3 download store, partaking of the free tracks and listening to the 30-second clips of the personalized recommendations they shove in my face.  It's a music lover's paradise!

Anyway, that was an extremely long introduction to a blog entry that I meant to write months ago, but just came back to my mind this week as I was flying to Chicago for a business trip.  I was checking my phone for some good tunes to block out all of those airplane sounds that can make you really annoyed and slightly claustrophobic if you start paying attention to them.  I put on an album that I bought a couple of months ago after downloading a freebie track on Amazon.  The album is "Keep Color" from The Republic Tigers.  This is just a great album (that word is suddenly sounding weird to me...do the kids still use the word album today even though it's just a collection of binary files...hmmm...al-bum...albummm...weird).

My best description of the music, which will likely not help any of you at all, is that they sound like a mix of Deathcab for Cutie with better harmonies and Blue October without so much anger and resentment.  I won't say that the album is all great, but there are a handful of songs that are just awesome and can be replayed over and over.  The freebie that I started with was "Buildings and Mountains" and if you listen to that one, I think you'll understand why I wanted to hear more.  It almost sounds like a cool 70's folk song, but has some interesting electronic sounds and layered vocals to make it modern.  Just a near-perfect alternative radio song.  You can hear this song and a couple of other good ones (though not my faves) on their MySpace page.  The band is still small enough that they don't seem to have an official homepage (at least not one that comes up on the first page of a Google search, and, let's be honest, if it's not on the first page of a Google search, it might as well not exist).  Or you can listen to the 30-second clips on Amazon.  My other favorites are "Give Arm to its Socket" with a funky tempo change that I love, the kind of spacy "Contortionists" and the totally-different-from-the-rest-of-the-album-but-still-great "Golden Sand" (very Peter Murphy-esque Nat).

Anyway, there you go.  Blog entry number 3.  I think this whole "Music I'm Currently Listening To" theme might end up being one of my oft-used cop-outs when I can't think of something earth-shattering, groundbreaking or thought-provoking.

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