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Crazy about Carrots February 5, 2007

Posted by reidmix in FatCat, Labels, Music, PawTracks, Reviews, Song Reviews, Upcoming Releases.
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Carrots - Panda BearCarrots, the newest Panda Bear release, is a 12″ split with Excepter’s KKKKK on the flip-side. My god, even the artwork is hypnotic: Field workers in Hopi (?) garb on stilts, a Bodega Bay swarm of birds in the back ground and Polynesian children watching the whole lot in the foreground. This single, along with the Bro’s 12″, is a taste of Panda Bear’s upcoming album Person Pitch. Of course, both 12″s are sold out, if you see them, scoop them up!

These songs are pure sonic bliss, I’ve read many comparisons to the Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds. I’m crazy about Carrots — named Good Girl / Carrots on Person Pitch. The 12:42 song comes in three parts. The first part starts in a bongo drone, reminiscent of other tribal creations by Animal Collective. I swear the lyrics sounds like “Don’t Go Coffee” but you know it’s probably something much intangible and/or intelligible. You can hear the “Good Girl” lyrics during the “chorus”. About 5 minutes in, after submitting to the swirling, R.E.M. inducing beat everything shifts.

This portion of the song is my favorite. The bouncing beats play over lyrics with definite nods to Pet Sound harmonies. The lyrics, much clearer, ask for the singer’s antagonist to stop nitpicking: “It’s not a tick / for you to pick at.” Later, a child’s rhyme hits home: “I want you to know / sticks and stones may break my bones / but words will never hurt me / all i need to know i do so early / it’s so lame that / you can take my feelings / and make yourself big.” I’m mostly guessing on the lyrics but I find them very compelling.

Towards 9 minutes, everything shifts again on a few bars of music but still with that Beach Boys vibe — a Polynesian luau vibe including sounds of birds and surf on the beach. Yet, the song is so textured, with bleeps and whines from unknown electronic sources and bangs and explosions in the distance reminding me that Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox, as we’re obligated to say) is a master of the psych-folk, freak-folk phenomena.

You can find these singles on iTunes: Bro’s and Carrots / KKKKK. Person Pitch comes out on March 20th. From what I hear of the copies kicking around online, this album is a definite winner if you are of the Animal Collective ilk. I’ve listened to Carrots at least 25 times since Friday, it’s like crack to me.

I Coulda Been a Contender 2006 February 5, 2007

Posted by reidmix in Album Reviews, Best of 2006, Carpark, Domino, FatCat, Free MP3, I Coulda Been a Contender, K Records, Kanine, Kill Rock Stars, Labels, Lists, Matador Records, Music, Reviews, Series, Tomlab.
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Here’s my last year-end list for 2006. I know, I know Febuary 4th! These are the albums I was considering for best albums of 2006 that did not make my Top 10. Each album made an impression on me whether it be hype, a song, or my affection for the artist. These albums are in no particular order — well, not really — I just didn’t feel like ranking them 🙂

Bedroom Walls - All Good Dreamers Pass This Way (Small)All Good Dreamer Pass This Way by Bedroom Walls
I heard these guys in Ameoba Records and liked what I heard. They are charming and twee and the only fault I can find is that I haven’t listened to this album enough.
In Anticipation of Your Suicide, Somewhere in Newhall

Beach House - S/TBeach House by Beach House
eMusic loved them, Pitchfork loved them, everyone loved them. I loved their subtle musicbox sound and summer faire feel but it hasn’t stuck yet. Another one that I need to come back to.
Apple Orchard, Saltwater

Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye (Small)So This is Goodbye by Junior Boys
So good that Pitchfork reviewed it twice. “In the Morning” is piece of synth magic that I discovered through a Mobius Band remix. Unfortunately, the magic ended there – check our their first album.
In the Morning

CSS - Cansei de ser Sexy (Small)Cansei de Ser Sexy by CSS
“Tired of Being Sexy” is the translation of the Bazillian, electroclash band and the self-titled album with the same sexy vibe as Peaches. Boomkat loved them and who could argue?
[Sorry, no downloads]

Anna Oxygen - This Is An Exercise (Small)This Is an Exercise by Anna Oxygen
As an alternative to CSS, try Anna Oxygen. This album is the epitomy of everything good in 80s New Wave music, but for 2006! These songs get better with each listen.
Fake Pajamas

I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass - Yo La Tengo (Small) I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass by Yo La Tengo
Amusing title aside, some excellent tracks, but seem to respond to the fear that they straying from Velvet Underground roots. Still, I prefer the spacepad jazz of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out.

Let’s Build a Fire - +/- Let’s Build a Fire by +/-
A very polished album from James Baluyut’s post-Versus band. I still long for the playful innocence, experimentation, and simplicity of Self-Titled Long-Playing Debut Album.
Steal the Blueprints, Leap Year

In the Maybe World - Lisa Germano (Small)In the Maybe World by Lisa Germano
One of my favorite artists, Lisa Germano’s epic about death is hard to unlock. I hold 1998’s Slide, so close to my heart that I doubt any other will compare: this latest comes close.
Too Much Space

Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake - James FigurineMistake Mistake Mistake Mistake by James Figurine
Jimmy Tamborello under the Figurine moniker comes up with amazing electronica that’s surely under-recognized and is clearly the talented side of Postal Service. 55566688833 and Apologies are the standouts. Lame video @ stereogum.

Paper Television - The BlowPaper Television by The Blow
Parenthetical Girl Zac Pennington says “Khaela makes music that sounds like she might want to sleep with you, but hasn’t completely made up her mind yet.” Yup. Addition of Y.A.C.H.T.’s Jona Bechtolt is essential.
Pile of Gold, Parentheses, Hock It [Y.A.C.H.T. Remix]

He Poos Clouds - Final Fantasy (Small)He Poos Clouds by Final Fantasy
This enigmatic album still hasn’t given up it’s secrets. The only song I’ve been able to unlock is This Lamb Sells Condos. First album was a joy, so I’ll keep listening to this one.
This Lamb Sells Condos

Music for Plants - Mixel Pixel (Small) Music for Plants by Mixel Pixel
The singles off this album are marvelous. With covers of Momus, honest lyrics, references to the best 80s atari video games. But I wished that the other songs filled out like prior release, Contact Kid.
Coming Up X’s, You’re the Kind of Girl

Sirs - Welcome (Small)Sirs by Welcome
Well, I just love this album. It’s like a soft Sonic Youth dream — forgive the oxymoron. I have to say sunny Bunky is my favorite track and shows that good things will come from this band. More at FatCat.
All Set, Bunky, Sirs