Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

Related Post Roulette

28 Responses

  1. Glyph says:

    You know, I just looked up the lyrics to “Heavenly”, and my Belly/Muses comparison may not be that far off; there’s maybe something a little darker and more sinister than I initially realized in there. Always a neat trick to sneak that in via some sticky hooks, so you are singing along before you realize what you are singing about.Report

  2. Christopher Carr says:

    A lot of Nick Cave lately. It’s not as good for studying as, say the Skyrim soundtrack, or Tangerine Dream, but it keeps my mind limber.Report

  3. veronica d says:

    I can see the Belly comparison, but not the Muses. It’s just too poppy. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Venus DeMars, cuz obviously.Report

    • Glyph in reply to veronica d says:

      I never heard of DeMars before, that’s a really interesting case. From my brief reading just now, I don’t see how you can class her as a “hobbyist” when she has no other job. If they go after her like this, it seems like they are basically going after her for not working hard enough, from the state’s POV. Who are they to make her career decisions for her?

      And how crazy is it that they can basically say, “because you are not making money at this, you must be doing it for fun, and therefore you should pay more taxes?” Don’t we normally say, “if you are actually *making more money*, then you should be paying more taxes”? This is all backwards, forcing people to work for The Man, dammit!

      And Muses could be poppy when they wanted!

      • veronica d in reply to Glyph says:

        Venus ultimately won her case. But it sucked all the same.

        Truth is, she feels like, back when she was young and spinning up her career, that the world was maybe ready for “crypto queer” rock stars like Bowie and so on, but not for an outright transgender rocker. So anyway, she never got the big push.

        This was back when it all all record companies all the way down. So blah.

        Anyhow, she played in Boston recently, a tiny gig in the basement of a shitty drag club, and it was uncanny. So she gets up to play, going on last, and most of the crowd are these str8 hipster wannabe types, and they’re just ignoring her and chatting at the bar.

        Then she starts singing. I mean, not even playing her guitar. Just her voice. And it hits like a freight train. Everyone just stopped talking! It was like, bam! She had them.

        Given that I rather like her, I was pleased at the outcome.

        And yes the Muses could be poppy. Sometimes. Sure. Kristin Hersh can do whatever she feels like! She is, after all, a living God.Report

        • Glyph in reply to veronica d says:

          Even Bowie was an outlier – whether that’s because people sensed a lot of the queerness was just part of his act, or whether he was just so good musically that audiences overlooked the queer bits because the quality just could not be denied, I dunno. But for every Bowie there were a million Jobriaths, or even this one; openly-queer artists who died pretty-much penniless and unknown.

          And I agree that Adventures are far more straightforward than Muses usually were – maybe I could have written that sentence more clearly (I’ve been pressed for time due to work and these posts have suffered a bit for it), but I was referring specifically to the “sourness” of the two singers’ vocal harmonies.

          You can have vocal harmonies that sound sweet and blend seamlessly (like the Beach Boys or the Byrds); or you can have ones where one of the voices “clashes” just a little bit against the other, so the harmonies are a little “off” (which is why I brought up X, who also sound otherwise nothing like Adventures). The vocals are “tart” rather than “sweet”, if that makes sense.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d says:

      I can certainly see the Belly comparison. That hit me straight away.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        I really like the album. What’s funny is that most of the band (including the girl who is singing) are also in this band. It’s a very….different sound:

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Glyph says:

          I’m not sure if it’s a matter of more women doing it, or just the internet allowing better exposure, but I like seeing more women making heavier music.

          I mean, I grew up when the only well known women in rock and metal were Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Most other women fell into the Pop category, with the occasional foray into heavier sounds. Considering how many girls I grew up with who loved Hard Rock/Heavy Metal/etc, I was always a bit confused as to why do few actually performed on a national stage.

          Oddly enough, my first exposure to female punk was L7, thanks to a guy I was deployed with. I was very impressed with their work.Report

  4. dragonfrog says:

    Mr T just tuned the piano and is playing Pink Rabbits by The National.Report

  5. North says:

    I read the title and thought this was a post about Portland.Report

    • Glyph in reply to North says:

      They’re from Pittsburgh.

      But wherever two or three are gathered together to set psychological drama and self-loathing to catchy loud guitars, there too shall the nineties be.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    I bought an album! One that came out after 1994!

    They were playing this song on the radio:

    I really, really dug the harmonies and the 1950sish “ooooh”s and “hey-ay”s. You have probably heard “Electric Love” on the radio until you were sick of it (I know that I did) and when I bought the album, I didn’t know that they were the same guy.

    How’s the whole album? Well, it’s closer to Ten Thousand Emerald Pools than Electric Love. There’s a lot of throwbacks to do-wop on there and the entire album feels both upbeat and nostalgic. I doubt that I’ll be listening to it by the end of the summer (let alone the end of the year) but, as debut albums go, I’m interested in seeing how he evolves. I’ll probably pick up his next one.Report

  7. Brandon Berg says:

    Old news, but Yutaka Ozaki’s final, posthumous studio album is excellent, especially tracks 1, 5, and 10.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Out of curiosity, how/when did you get into this type of music, and do you understand the lyrics?Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Glyph says:

        You mean Japanese popular music from 20+ years ago? A long and winding road.

        Some background: I’ve never really liked generationally-appropriate American pop music (grunge, rap, and whatever you call that whiny music that was big in the 90s). I like some of the better songs from those styles (except rap, which I uniformly detest), but I fundamentally just don’t like the style. When I was a kid I only liked classical music, then in high school I got into musicals and old-people music (Roger Whittaker!). I started warming up to some classic rock and 80s music in my mid-20s, but prior to that I didn’t like much of anything you’d find on FM radio.

        Like all computer programmers below a certain age, I was really into video games as a kid. I really liked the music from some of the Japanese-made games, and somehow or other learned that they made CDs with real bands and orchestras. When I hit college and got a high-speed Internet connection, I found a bunch of web sites that had bits and pieces of said albums.

        A lot of the same people were into anime, so they had some anime theme songs, too, and I really liked a lot of those. I never really got into anime much, but I love me some theme songs and background music. Laugh if you want, but there’s magic in this that I just don’t hear in a garage band. A lot of these were written or performed by popular Japanese musicians, so that gave me some leads for other stuff to check out.

        Anyway, there was a brief window of time after this before JASRAC (Japanese RIAA) cracked down hard on WinMX and Napster. I made the most of this time by exploring the collections of people who had other songs I liked, which gave me a chance to learn more about mainstream Japanese music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, though YouTube’s sidebar is what really opened things up for me, years later.

        I can understand the lyrics if I make an effort to do so, though I generally don’t, unless I’m particularly curious. It’s mostly about the sound for me.Report

        • Kim in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          You’d like Love Solfege, I’ll wager. It’s… pop-classical? Something weird, strange, and uniquely japanese.

          I love Japan’s willingness to put anything in their music, from Wayang Kulit to bagpipes.

          Did you ever listen to the song where they had a whale as a soloist? The composer didn’t actually tell the orchestra who the soloist was going to be until the whale got there… (the question was “do you have a helipad for the soloist” to which the answer was: “yes”)Report

        • Glyph in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Interesting, thanks.

          I definitely prefer English-language music, which is weird, because some of what I like has incomprehensible or nonsensical lyrics anyway (early R.E.M., Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, etc.)

          I like some bands that sing in other languages (Icelandic, Swedish, French) but they are in the minority for me, and non-English is definitely something that will often keep me out (which, as I said, is strange – since “comprehensibility” doesn’t have to be a factor in my supposedly-English-language music).

          I’m actually curious about this Japanese pop album, based on this writeup: