Sacred & Profane – Art, Beauty & stuff that doesn't suck

"Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your poetry" -Oscar Wilde

Stuff that isn’t Christmassy or crappy October 7, 2009

I am particularly excited for my New Release Tuesday post today. “Why?” you ask. “Is it because of the new Backstreet Boys CD or the Creed re-release?” Well, I can honestly so that it is not. It is however the first week of October which means the official beginning of the Christmas season for record labels and movie distributors, thus kicking off the nauseating three month frenzy of crap being dumped into the marketplace. Sweet!

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CD’s

The-RaveonettesThe Raveonettes – In and Out of Control

Emily Haines

Emily Haines

For those unfamiliar, The Raveonettes are a brilliant band from Denmark by way of Brooklyn consisting of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo who I am in love with. Sharin shares a special place in my heart with Metric’s Emily Haines. I indeed have a weakness for waify non-American blonde indie rock chicks who play guitar. Anyway…on to the music.
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The Raveonettes’ last album Lust Lust Lust was my absolute favorite of 2008 and I’ve since been patiently anticipating its follow-up. Their music is like pre-Beatles pop songs recorded by the Velvet Underground and then covered by a Psychocandy era Jesus and Mary Chain who sent the tracks back to the future through a time warp to be mixed by a pre-felony/incarceration era Phil Spector. Helpful? After three attentive listens I’m prepared to say that In and Out of Control isn’t quite on par with Lust Lust Lust, but I didn’t expect it to be. The same seamless harmonies and efficient songwriting, just much less adventurous sonically.
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Here is their incredibly catchy new single “Last Dance”

GoslingDead Man’s Bones – Dead Man’s Bones

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling

Two things can be expected from actors who become bored with acting and decide they want to be rock stars: A) Their album will suck. B) No matter how bad it sucks some label will take a gamble and release it. For this reason I was terrified upon hearing Ryan Gosling, one of my very favorite actors and man crush objects, started a band with his neighborhood’s hipster children’s choir and they were releasing an album. Initially I feared that best case scenario it would be dismissed as an indulgent novelty and forgotten before doing any permanent damage. Well, sorry I doubted you Ryan.
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I am relieved to say that after listening, my respect for Gosling as an artist has only deepened. Dead Man’s Bones can’t easily be summed with comparisons so I’ll just recommend listening to it. The best I can do is say that it’s eclectic, charming in a creepy sort of way and best experienced with a fake life-sized doll.

hope sandovalHope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Through the Devil Softly

Best known as the former singer of mid 90’s shoegaze folk duo Mazzy Star whose song “Fade Into You” still finds its way onto soundtracks and TV shows. Hope could sing through a phone book and make it haunting and rich, (though I hope she never does because that would make for the worst album ever), and to me that’s why this album as a whole doesn’t grab me. Too much gets stripped down and cleared away to make room for her vocals and as a result sometimes the songs either run into one another or just don’t go anywhere. Through the Devil Softly was produced by former My Bloody Valentine guitarist Colm O’Coisoig who I wish would have brought some of his former band’s sonic adventure with him to this one. Click here for more good times (more…)

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Don’t Call it a Comeback…and Paper Route June 29, 2009

What up friends,

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I’ll not waste much time making an excuse for the unforgivable gap between posts because I assure it would be a ridiculous lie that no one would ever believe. So I’ll just show up unannounced on my own blog and hope my absence has gone unnoticed.

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Paper Route AbsenceSpeaking of the word “absence”, I have for many years held with deep conviction the belief that if an electronic rock album was ever released with the aforementioned word as the title, it would be incredible. Imagine my excitement a couple months ago upon finding out that all these years I have been correct.

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Paper Route, my very dear friends from college and Nashville, after a couple ep’s, released their first full length album on Universal Motown Records entitled…you guessed it… Absence. The album was released during my blogging hiatus so at this point isn’t fresh news, but the live stream of their performance tonight at Grantland Studio is. It starts 9pmEst tonight and is going to blow minds all over the planet.

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J.T., Andy, Chad & Gavin

J.T., Andy, Chad & Gavin

Chad, J.T., Gavin & Andy (in order of tallest to shortest) are as sexy, gifted and classy a group of guys as you’re likely to come across, and I’ve been extremely proud and excited to see that all their hard work and development is paying off.

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Check out their captivating Oscar-worthy promo of tonight’s festivities starring Andy Smith as “Guy riding a bike down the hall”.

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As I always knew it would, their album Absence is seriously one of the top 5 albums I’ve heard this year, and I assure you I say that not just as a friend but as a music fan and internationally-known blogger. (It’s true, someone from Canada visited once.) Please buy hundreds of copies, check them out on tour right now and tune in for their live stream tonight on their Myspace

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Here is the Video for their first single from Absence – “Carousel”

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Peace, David

Paper Route Online

 

The art of the cover song March 11, 2009

There is undeniable magic in the creation of a classic song, and masters of the craft, songwriters like Bob Dylan, Jeff Tweedy and Neil Young, receive their much deserved respect. The art of re-imagining another writer’s song requires a creativity that, while less appreciated, is uniquely magical.

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Cover songs sometimes aim to retool the originals sonically through production or harmonically by altering the chord structure or melody. This is the simplest and most accessible approach…Sometimes performers take a song popular among fans of one genre and introduce it to new fans of a different genre. Genre-hopping transfers of success happen all the time between Pop and Country (not that there’s really much of a difference anymore.) This is the most financially profitable approach.

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The most enduring and effective covers, though, seem to be born out of a performer identifying a subtle beauty or character that no one, not even the writer, was able to hear and breathing new life and meaning into it.

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These are the covers, contrasted with their seed, that I want to highlight in this ongoing category- versions that capture something so unique that listeners more closely connect and relate to them than the originals…

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The first song “Ocean Breathes Salty” was written by Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and originally appeared on their brilliant 2004 album Good News for People who Love Bad News. Indie Rock renaissance man Mark Kozalek, the sole member of Sun Kil Moon, released the risky Tiny Cities that consisted entirely of his interpretations of relatively obscure Modest Mouse songs.

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Removing the songs from the wild, agitated hands of Modest Mouse, Kozalek uncovered these extraordinary abstract and dare I say…tender songs that rarely trace back to their source. Kozalek, I think, could put music to a phonebook and make it beautiful and melancholy, but his imaginative work on Tiny Cities is quite an accomplishment nonetheless. Which version do you all like the most? Do tell…Enjoy!

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When you click on the links for the songs, you’ll be taken to another page. Click the link again!

 

 

Your body may be gone, I’m gonna carry you in.
In my head, in my heart, in my soul.
And maybe we’ll get lucky and we’ll both live again.
Well I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Don’t think so.
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Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I’ll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. You get away from me.
Collected my belongings and I left the jail.
Well thanks for the time, I needed to think a spell.
I had to think awhile. I had to think awhile.
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The ocean breathes salty, won’t you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
And maybe we’ll get lucky and we’ll both grow old.
Well I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I hope so.
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Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I’ll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. (You get away from me) You get away from me.
Collected my belongings and I left the jail.
Well thanks for the time, I needed to think a spell.
I had to think awhile. (I had to think awhile) I had to think awhile.
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Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I’ll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky. (You missed, you missed)
You missed when time and life shook hands and said goodbye. (You missed)
When the earth folded in on itself. (You missed)
And said “Good luck, for your sake I hope heaven and hell (You missed, you missed)
are really there, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.” (You missed, you missed)
You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste death? (You missed, you missed)
You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste death?
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The ocean breathes salty, won’t you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
The more we move ahead the more we’re stuck in rewind.
Well I don’t mind. I don’t mind. How the hell could I mind?
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Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I’ll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. (You get away from me) You get away from me.
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Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I’ll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky. (You missed, you missed)
You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste the afterlife?

 

Winning the Battle, Losing the War March 6, 2009

So WordPress is the worst ever because it doesn’t allow embedding. So all of the songs I post have to be crappy sounding videos from you tube. Ridiculous. 

download1Quiet is the New Loud, the debut album by Norwegian indie folk duo Kings of Convenience, started a small movement among the European underground. The duo consists of childhood friends Eirik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye who is also the frontman of The Whitest Boy Alive. Winning the Battle, Losing the War is a perfect example of the subtle beauty of their approach to songwriting and performance.

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“Winning A Battle, Losing The War”Even though I’ll never need her, 
even though she’s only giving me pain, 
I’ll be on my knees to feed her, 
spend a day to make her smile again Even though I’ll never need her, 
even though she’s only giving me pain 
As the world is soft around her, 
leaving me with nothing to disdain. 

Even though I’m not her minder, 
even though she doesn’t want me around, 
I am on my feet to find her, 
to make sure that she is safe and sound. 

Even though I’m not her minder, 
even though she doesn’t want me around, 
I am on my feet to find her, 
to make sure that she is safe from harm. 

The sun sets on the war, 
the day breaks and everything is new…

 

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As a bonus free of charge I’ve also posted The Whitest Boy Alive’s infectious indie pop track – Burning. Please let me know what you think…Enjoy!

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Obscure but not Pretentiously Obscure Song of the Day February 24, 2009

Filed under: Music,Obscure song of the day — davidjdecker @ 2:15 pm
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mymorningjacketevil1Hey peeps, history shall remember 2/24/09 as the day I introduced my “Obscure but not Pretentiously Obscure Song of the Day” to the world. Truly monumental this day is. I suppose its self explanatory but I’ll be posting a song from my collection that most won’t be familiar with but should be.

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The first song is “Librarian” by My Morning Jacket which is from their 2009 release Evil Urges. This is MMJ at their best. A simple song with beautiful production that allows Jim James’ voice to float on top.
Enjoy!

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Sign up for imeem if you ever want to listen to songs I post. Do it

Librarian

Walk across the courtyard, towards the library.
I can hear the insects buzz and the leaves ‘neath my feet…

Ramble up the stairwell, into the hall of books…
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used.

Duck into the men’s room… combing thru my hair…
When god gave us mirrors he had no idea…

Looking for a lesson in the periodicals…
There I spy you listening to the AM radio…

Karen of the carpenters- singing in the rain…
Another lovely victim of the mirror’s evil way.

It’s not like you’re not trying, with a pencil in your har
To defy the beauty the good lord put in there…

Simple little bookworm- buried underneath…
Is the sexiest librarian… take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.

So I watch you thru the bookcase- imaging a scene:
You and I at dinner, spending time, then to sleep.

And what then would I say to you- lying there in bed?
These words, with a kiss, I would plant in your head:

“what is it inside our heads that makes us do the opposite?
Makes us do the opposite of what’s right for us?
Cause everything’d be grrreat… and everything’d be good…
If everybody gave… like everybody could.”

Sweetest little bookworm. hidden underneath…
Is the sexiest librarian…
Take off those glasses and let your hair down for me.
Take off those glasses and let your hair down for me.

Simple little beauty- heaven in your breath.
The simplest of pleasures- the world at it’s best.

 

Most Amazing HIV/AIDS Benefit Compilation in the History of the Universe…Ever January 22, 2009

dark-was-the-nightSeriously, I fell over when I saw the line-up for this.

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Actually that’s in no way true, I was laying on the couch at the time, but perhaps I rolled around or something. Anyway, the legendary London based 4AD label will be releasing Dark Was the Night on behalf of The Red Hot Organization to benefit their international HIV/AIDS relief efforts.

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The 2-disc, 31 track album features exclusive new music from the most important, innovative bands and artists in the indie music scene. I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m sooo stoked!!! I’m so excited that I actually just said “stoked” for the first time in my life.
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The Red Hot Organization has partnered with pop culture’s most influential figures to raise finances and awareness through various collaborative media projects. Red Hot has donated over 7 million dollars since its founding in 1989.
Please check out the links and support this very worthy and inspiring project.
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P.S.- I heard somewhere that anyone who illegally downloads a charity album will spend eternity being poked with pitchforks by a whole gang of little mischievous devils
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P.S.#2 – just so no one gets offended and attempts to point out the Theological error in my initial P.S. statement, I’ll clarify that no one will go to hell for illegally downloading a charity album but it does mean that they suck.
Widget wouldn't load on my page, so check out the 3 songs on Bekah's by clicking the link!

Widget wouldn't load on my page, so check out the 3 songs on Bekah's by clicking the link!

 

New Release Tuesday January 20, 2009

What’s happenin’ everyone? Awesome…I’m going to start a new ongoing weekly category of the notable CD’s & DVD’s that are released every Tuesday.

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And if there are any that I overlook I’d love for people to post others…Thanks for reading! Peace

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CD’s – Greatest day ever! Several great new album releases and a new president all before lunch!!! (I had lunch at 1pm ET so I did eat it under the new and current administration…If you had lunch at say-11:45 am then that statement was not true for you. Sorry…It may also not be the “greatest day ever” if you don’t share my political affiliations in which case I am also sorry and would recommend finding someone and requesting a hug or perhaps a frozen treat such as a milkshake or a banana that has been left in the freezer. Hugs and frozen treats usually brighten my day.) Anywho…Here you go:

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blood-bank-epBon Iver – Blood Bank e.p.

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I am ridiculously excited about this one and am listening to it right now. For those unfamiliar, Bon Iver (pronounced – Bonnie Vare…French for “good winter”) is the brain child of Wisconsin’s Justin Vernon. He recorded his stunning 2008 debut For Emma, Forever Ago alone in a secluded cabin over the course of 3 months and in the midst of a breakup and serious illness. He released it independently in late 2007 and was re-released to a wider audience by indie label Jagjaguwar several months later.

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There has been some concern among fans that new recordings produced in a polished environment won’t produce the same raw magic and emotion of Emma. I had the same hesitation, but even though Blood Bank is fuller and more polished, it in no way detracts from the quality or power of the songs and performances. I will warn that there will be an initial knee jerk reaction to the Imogen Heap, Hide & Seek inspired vocoder and auto-tune drenched track Woods. Great start for 2009. Hope we see a full length later in the year.

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noble-beastAndrew Bird – Noble Beast

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This is Bird’s follow-up to his 2007 excellent Armchair Apocrypha album. He stated in an interview that “the record I want to make here and now – the one I wish I could find in my local record store, is a gentle, lulling, polyrhythmic, minimalist yet warm tapestry of acoustic instruments. No solos, just interlocking parts.” If he’s looking for that album I would recommend he go purchase his previous release that accomplished that objective quite well. I’m looking forward to hear how well he’s able to build on his past successes.

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Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Challenging, experimental set from Baltimore-based Indie rock super group.

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antonyaAntony & the Johnsons – The Crying Light

One of the most unique and intimate singers around today.

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getguilty1A.C. Newman – Get Guilty

Pop rock craftsman behind The New Pornographers

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Remixes of Thom Yorke’s- as good as it needs to be- solo record

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Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band – The Mountain

Reissue of 1999’s classic collaboration between two country music legends.

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DVD’s
Nothing too exciting that struck me for this week with the possible exception of The Express which is the story of Ernie Davis-the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner for those of you into inspirational sports movies. Several great DVD releases the next several weeks.