Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jukebox: Grand Lake

Jukebox is a feature where we ask our favorite artists, bloggers and DJs their opinions on four songs that are currently generating buzz. Then we ask them for songs that we should be buzzing about. This week, we put quarters in the record machine with Caleb Nichols, an Amoeba Records employee and frontman of Grand Lake...

Real People (Zach Condon of Beirut) - "My Night With The Prostitute From Marseille"
I feel like people give Zach Condon shit whenever he abandons 'real' instruments for an electronic approach, but I think it sounds quite nice. At Amoeba, people who are buying the new 2EP set are constantly telling me "I've heard the first disc is great, but the electronic one probably sucks!". C'mon people - dig on variety! Beirut's greatest strength isn't the songwriting or the interesting instrumentation, but rather the arrangements, and in this case I'm pretty satisfied!

Balmorhea - "Harm and Boom"
I've never heard of/heard this band... There are a couple of things going on here - The track is instrumental, and there are three distinct 'parts' to it - with a variety of instruments coming in and out of play. I'm going to go out on a limb here and just say that although this track is rather pretty much of the time, its not really doing it for me. I dig the moodiness of it, but I definitely don't dig on the big sound of it - a little washed out for my taste currently.

Voxtrot - "Trapanation Party"
I'm excited about listening to this one - I've heard so much about Voxtrot, but actually never listened to them. I'm digging the drum track very much. But that's about it. This is sounding rather washed out - and its falling flat for me. I am a fan of good songwriting, and I'm not hearing that here. A lot of bad riffs, a lot of keys and pianos, layers and layers and layers. And the lyrics:
Everyone I know is losing their minds
Yeah but everyone I know has a real good time
I can't stand by that. Also the song closes with "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people" - I think I prefer the Beatles interpretation of that line.

Young Galaxy - "Long Live the Modern World"
Woah. Too much. Dance beats. "Long Live The Modern World"? I'm not sure if I'm into these lyrics - I guess I'm having a hard time connecting to the sentiment of the song... and again - I'm not hearing any evidence of good songwriting.
I don't know anything about this band, but I'd rather (much to my own chagrin) listen to MGMT. Did I just say that?

Caleb's Picks...
•Ryan Parks - Susan In A Hundred Words (MySpace)
•The Dashing Suns - Your Line (MySpace)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Everything With You" (MySpace)
Starfucker - "German Love" (MySpace)

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