Category: criminal

Veckatimest [leak] even better than I expected (if that’s possible)

A few weeks ago, after Grizzly Bear released the cover & tracklist for Veckatimest, Ed Droste relayed, in this Pitchfork interview, some of his perspectives on album sales and leaking of unreleased tracks:

“My philosophy is that, people buying records is dying. Generally speaking, at the level we’re at, most of the people who buy our albums do it because they want to support us. Or they’re a new fan and they haven’t heard us before. But let’s put it this way: If we were putting out music in the early 90s, I don’t think you’d be interviewing me. I don’t think we’d have the fanbase that we have if it were not for out songs being able to spread around the internet and gain attention. I think it’d be harder, if not impossible, for a band like us to have gotten where we’ve gotten. So I’m incredibly grateful for the internet age.

Of course, the amount of work and effort we’ve put into this album is staggering. And sometimes it’s a bit disheartening to think you can just download it really easily and dismiss it if you don’t like it. But that’s also the nature of the beast. You just have to deal with it. Of course I’d love to sell a ton of records and chart and stuff. But realistically speaking, it’s going to leak. I think a lot of people who I’ve spoken to if they really like it, they’ll buy the vinyl or they’ll go buy the CD to support us or on iTunes. Other people support the band by coming to a show. So, of course I’d love to sell a lot of records and chart and stuff but realistically speaking, it’s going to leak.”

Well, it has. And even though I’m aboot to pre-order it on vinyl (unless someone wants to order it for my birthday!), I still have been yearning to hear it, and this, not fully mastered, buzzy fuzzy version will satisfy my urges until I get it. Oh yeah, did I mention it comes out a few days after my birthday?

It’s good people. I mean really good. At this point, I’ve only had about two cycles through the whole thing, but this is the kind of album I want to listen to when I want a cohesive soundrack of  stylistically similar songs  but with a formidable progression within the album, a growth of layers and grit, a well-orchestrated array of vocal layerings and seemingly field-recorded samples (as Droste has shown a penchance for in the past, mostly on Horn of Plenty (2004, 2005[remixes]) and also on Yellow House (2006)). Recorded and primarily written over about a year, this album is a perfect example of, in my opinion, ‘the new pop’. Highlights include the swingy-jazzy first track, “Southern Point,” reminiscent of Donovan-era swanky-sexy rock that makes the ladies swoon with a nice crisp build-up to the chorus, “In the end, you’ll never find me now..” with layered nylon-string-sounding guitars and a rocking percussion track, and though it’s hard to hear at this point, maybe some flute in there somewhere, with a finish of a dueling build-up-cascade back to the Spanish sounding guitar. “Two Weeks” was awesome live on Letterman, which is really how I fell in love with Grizzly Bear, and the album version is way more awesome than I expected. Structurally similar to the live version, just tighter, crisper harmonies, more deliberate key tracks (maybe a nice organ that wasn’t audible in the live version?).  “While You Wait for the Others” epitomizes and carries on the entire album’s effective vintage feel, “I Live With You” has some awesome husky lead vocals, angelic female harmonies, and an escalating, crunchy, dirty-hard breakdown, “Hold Still” recaptures the simplicity and softness of Yellow House, and “Ready, Able” gets a little weird and epic in the way of echo and reverb, to a very pleasing effect. But really, the whole album is a gem, altogether.

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Bristol Palin, Teen Pregnancy, Hypocrasy, and what does it all have to do with politics?

The first question that comes to mind whenever an aspect of private life is brought forth into the public view (Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy, Britney Spears’ life in general, the teen-queen rehab dramas, isn’t Cheney’s daughter a lesbian?) is “Why is this the public’s business?”

It is a question that has no answer, for as long as there remains an appetite for crucifying public icons for entertainment value, we will continue to be forced to put up with Paris Hilton’s [et al] latest news on the Reuters ticker on CNN, under the REAL news.

What brings me to this state of relative outrage, is that Sarah Palin’s 17-year old daughter’s pregnancy has become more of a focus in this campaign than Sarah Palin’s plans to support our potential future president and their collective vision for our entirely fucked up post-Bush US. Even the fact that I have not written a single politically affiliated blog (I think..) and here I am waxing poetic about some knocked-up teenager since I find it impossible to focus on the election with such bull riding the airwaves.

“While it’s impossible to know what it’s like to be 17, pregnant, the daughter of a presumptive vice-presidential candidate and the talk of the nation — Bristol has not spoken publicly about the matter yet — the issue is especially sensitive given Sarah Palin’s and many Republicans’ endorsement of abstinence-only education and opposition to abortion.”

Ironically, in a world where premarital sex does not exist, and contraception is a veritable sin, how is a baby considered “a blessing!”?

If we really want to Devil’s Advocate [can that phrase be a verb?] in a statement issued Monday, Sarah Palin said she and her husband, Todd, are “proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.” Palin is proud of her daughter’s decision, meaning that it was a choice for Bristol to either keep or abort her child, ergo, Palin is proud that her daughter had a choice, and made the ‘right’ choice. Isn’t the ability to make said decision supportive of choice in general?

Leave the poor kid alone, I say, and focus, rather, on her mother’s complete inability to be VP or if McCain were to be elected and then die (or be assassinated), President due to her extreme lack of experience and general wishy-washiness.

4th of july and learning

The 4th and 5th of July consisted of two parties, both very intimate and small, but fabulous and explosive.

here are some shots from the Grace Kelly Suite on the 5th:
love in sparklers
roman candles
me and zig zag on timer

last night and today

Last night was my first night in my new apartment. I am living by myself for the first time in my whole life. At the moment, I don’t quite know what to think or how to respond to having most of my stuff still fairly inaccessible and only having the essentials here.. Although I do enjoy the simplicity, this place is going to seem a lot smaller soon.
It’s about 550 square feet, studio style, with an open kitchen and a sleeping nook. (pictures forthcoming)
this whole move has been quite awkward at times, but potentially self-strengthening.
I have been listening to :

trans-am: sex change & liberation– specifically “first words”
radiohead: mostly live b-sides
elliot smith: roman candle and xo
bob dylan: hwy 61
she & him: volume 1

that is all for now i suppose