Monday, July 29, 2013

Jane Z's picks

1.       Reconstruction Site – the Weakerthans
2.       The Head and the Heart – the Head and the Heart
3.       Gossamer – Passion Pit
4.       The Double Cross – Sloan
5.       Feed the Animals – Girltalk
6.       Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – M83
7.       Bon Iver – Bon Iver
8.       Soundtrack to The Mission – Ennio Morricone
9.       Heart that’s Pounding – Sally Seltmann
10.    In Light – Givers
11.    And then nothing turned itself inside out – Yo La Tengo

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen is the winner!!!!

We re-tallied the votes, got input from the drop-out participants, and it turns out that Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space had won all along!

Congrats to everyone who voted for this album, and to those who had it on your lists to begin with, you should all be very proud!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beck and Tortoise covers Yanni

Since apparently the death match has dwindled to a conclusion, I couldn't help passing this along.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen...

...we have a tie...

...which is a little like floating around in space, unsure of what exactly is going on. Here are three different options:

1. Let it stand as a tie.
2. As per Jeff's suggestion, let this role into overtime and bring back Steve, Kevin, and Dwight to help break it.
3. Wait until one of us switches sides the way the characters from The Office do when debating whether Hilary Swank is hot.

I'm cool with whatever, but if you guys don't tell me what you want, I'll just pick an option like the ruthless dictator you all know I can be.

Any other suggestions? Also, let me know if you are up for the one album a piece coda...

This is fun.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The End?

As per Karl's request, here is the breakdown:

Those who voted for Spiritualized and The Stones


Those who voted for Waits and The Stones:


Those who voted for The Band and Waits:


Those who voted for the Band and Spiritualized:


So, The Band and Spiritualized move on. I'll be honest--I was pretty happy with the result, but I'm also aware that the chances of The Band taking Spiritualized down are pretty slim. It's interesting to me that the remaining albums are actually pretty highly seeded. Spiritualized is a #1 and The Band are a #4. I am going to futilely attempt to convince some of you that The Band is worth voting for soon. In the meantime, kudos to Sarah for having her #1 pick go so far (you can be sure I wouldn't be saying this if it had gone another round). She was one of the only ones not to have her #1 knocked out almost immediately. Speaking of which, if anyone is interested (and my guess is few will be), we could do a small death match coda where everyone gets to pick one album (maybe your #1 that got knocked out too soon or something you forgot to put on your list or something you think more people should hear) and those ten or eight or however many will compete for a bonus honorary slot. I bring this up because Eric has mentioned the Kinks a lot lately, and I feel a lot of deserve another shot with our faves. On the other hand, if most of you are sick of all this, and want to move on with your lives, I get it. Let me know either way.

Let the final voting begin.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Final four yo

Alright, we are down to it folks. Four remaining albums. We've got The Band vs. Sticky Fingers and Mule Variations vs. Ladies and Gents. The winners will then face off.

Here's what we're going to do. Everyone has thought about or listened to each of these records recently, so we're gonna do both match-ups at once. Give me a vote between The Band and The Stones, and give me a vote between Mr. Waits and Mr. Spaceman. I'm just gonna wait until everyone gets a vote in because I have faith y'all will do it sooner than later. I mean, it's not that hard, right?

Again, feel free to try and sway others before they vote if you like.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Final choice for this round

Looks like Mr. Waits won this round pretty handily. But he's going to have to face either Spiritualized or Bob Dylan in the final four. So, Ladies and Gentlemen vs. Blood on the Tracks...

I'm looking forward to this because a) I think it's going to be close b) they're both great albums c) I forget...

Let's have votes in by Wednesday. I think Sarah or Bruce should write a nice lengthy note on why Blood on the Tracks should win, and someone else (Jeff?) on why Ladies and Gents should take it.

Also, I haven't done points in a while, and that's so that that doesn't really sway any votes. I will do it later. I honestly have no idea how everyone is doing, but I imagine Dwight is making quite a comeback (Mule Variations was his call and he picked Ladies and Gents too).

Have fun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moving On...

It looks like Karl's girlie move of abstaining means Sticky Fingers wins (is it just me or does everyone else feel like he's been dry-humping his whole way through this tournament?). I voted for the Stones, but I feel like this whole last match-up was kind of a cluster-cuss. I guess this is the kind of drama we should expect in the final rounds...

Anyhoo, the next match-up is between Arcade Fire and Tom Waits--a match-up that is so boring, I'm thinking about starting drugs just to help me get through it.

When's a reasonable time to get these votes in? I think most of us are pretty darn familiar with both albums, so how about by Saturday? Remember, you don't have to listen to them both a million times, and sweat painfully over this. If you feel like you know both records, just think about it and vote. I swear some of you agonize over this more than you do a real election.

Okay, obviously I'm feeling punchy. I'll quit now.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sticky Fingers Vs. Time Out of Mind

I'll get this one started...I've already been thinking about it.

Sticky Fingers: 4.5

Time Out of Mind: 4.6

Dylan gets my vote.

Sticky Fingers is a darn good album (although I actually do prefer EOMS, despite all the recent Death Match poo-pooing of it. Whatever, people.) However, TOOM is my personal favorite Dylan album. I know it's not his most important or influential or wank, wank, wank, but it is world-weary and bluesy in the best possible ways. It came out at just the right time in my life. And, yes, I like the atmosphere that Lanois helped create here. I just love the song-writing... These are lyrics that resonate with me much more fully than a lot of Bob's older stuff. (The only quasi-clunker here is "Make You Feel My Love" IMHO). This album was on my Top 30 list for a reason, yo.

That was a close one...

Well, The Band just barely eeked out Nick Cave there. I think Jeff was the only own who missed the deadline.

Next match-up is Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind vs. Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers, or as I like to refer to it, the slightly inferior Stone album.

By the way, did any one else find it suspicious that when we were going to vote on Exile vs. Funeral, and it looked like everyone wanted Exile to go really far, all of a sudden Bruce volunteers for the job and then knocks it out? And does it seem doubly suspicious that his wife is the only one left with a Stones album in the competition, and he chose Funeral, which also happens to be one of his wife's picks? Nepotism, pure and simple, is what I say.

Anyway, I'll probably vote for the Stones, but I'm not 100% yet. You all have until Monday night to decide.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

For those within driving distance of Chicago

In continuing my posts not completely related to the music death match, but still related to music...
chicago released it's full schedule of free shows at millenium park. See attached. shows are at 6:30pm on Mondays usually, in a great outdoor setting.
This year includes Hum, She & Him, Great Lake Swimmers, The Books, Caribou among others.


The New York Times magazine continues it's new love affair with indie artists, now averaging a profile a month

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Exile on Main Street Versus Funeral

Thing the A: Since it took something like two weeks to get a matchup that I had to decide on myself, I don't feel too bad about taking a few days to get this in.

Thing the B:

While much of the time went to going camping this past weekend, much of it also went to me trying to get what the big deal is with Exile on Main Street. I don't think I'd ever listened to the entire album before. I remember putting it on and skipping through some tracks and putting it away at some point (probably grabbed it from either Eric or Andy's collection). So now I've listened to it at least five or six times and heard a crapload of Mick Jagger on various NPR shows talking about the rerelease with extra stuff and how crazy it was that they were in France and it was a big party and they were hanging out in the basement and recording and stuff and I think I get a little more of what the big deal is. It has a distinct sound that I don't think really existed before this album. I keep coming back to the piano. I like the piano sound quite a bit. In fact, I think I'd trade some of the trying-to-be-iconic guitar riffs for more piano. This is not really a negative or positive, but I keep thinking of the theme to the Office UK.

I think my problems with this album mostly boil down to one: It's a double album. Looking through my notes, my negative feelings are either:
1. Bored pretty early on (Loving Cup, Stop Breaking Down, All Down the Line)
2. Sounds like an accident (Sweet Black Angel, I Just Want to See His Face [should have lasted about 30 secconds])
3. Blues sounds poserish (Casino Boogie, Turd on the Run, Ventilator Blues)

There are some great grooves on here, but they seldom go anywhere. I could probably google it, but I'd rather let Father Eric tell me which songs have been sampled where. I like the choir, but they usually sound like an attempt to add some interest to an otherwise uninteresting song. Shine a Light is the only song I'm really into and want to listen to over and over.

It sounds like this album was probably a blast to play and record and I'm sure the party was memorable, but it's just not coming through the speakers into my ears.

I listened to Funeral several more times for this matchup and I have to say, I'm not as into it right now as I was last time I judged it (against The Velvet Underground and Nico), but it's still a really tight album with no crap songs on it that I want to listen to often and Exile on Main Street is something I'd pick up on vinyl for $2 for variety and because it's got a cool cover, but not really play that much.

Arcade Fire Funeral wins.

Monday, May 24, 2010

the beginning of the end

Well, I keep waiting for Bruce's decision so we can wrap this up, but I say, let's just do this thing. Here's how this is going to roll.

As mentioned previously, the first of the final match-ups is between Nick Cave (Murder Ballads) and The Band (The Band). You can make a new post or leave your vote in the comments. I'm giving you three days. After that (Thursday, midnight), I'm tallying the votes of those who got them in, and we're going on to the next one.

I'm also instating the rule that if you've already listened to one or both of these, you don't have to listen again (or if you are overly familiar with either). This should make three days seem more tenable.

Go to it folks. Don't let me down like Lost did last night.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mule Variables

There are too many tracks to do a play by play, so here are some thoughts I jotted as I listened:

It’s like corrupt bluegrass.

The first two tracks were good, but nothing really grabbed me.

Hold On is great. Should be sappy but he pulls it off.

No other singer I know who injects so much showmanship into his voice and music.

Really digging Cold Water. It sounds like something kids would sing in Sunday School.

I have complained about spoken word in a couple of reviews, but man do I like What’s He Building. Super creepy.

Obviously, Tom Waits is a lyrical gangsta, which makes this hard to compare to Winter Hymn. There is less improvisation musically, but that’s not to say that the album isn’t very rich in its own way.

Some songs drag the album down (I’m looking at you Black Market Baby & Eyeball Kid) but overall it’s a masterful, intriguing album.

As much as I’d love to move the Do May’s on, I gotta bow to the man.

Mule Variations stands.