by Jen Eide
Best song for a future Apple product commercial--Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, "Beat (Health, Life and Fire)."
Oh, you know how this works--camera shots of yuppie domesticity...happy consumer sitting in his home office...toddler runs by...close up of dog licking camera lens...more lifestyle shots...happy consumer, happy consumer...here comes the voice-over..."Introducing...the new Apple blah-blah-blah"...the music kicks into to the chorus...and here comes the product shot. "Ooh...ooh-ooh. Ooh-wee-ooh-ooh-ooh." Sweet. Forget Feist. Thao rules.
Comeback of the Year--Portishead, Third.
It's always a triumph when a band re-imagines their sound and are wildly successful. The Euclid staff reviews Third--Portishead's first album in a decade--here. It's worth a read and worth a listen. Ask to hear it next time you're in the store. You'll feel overwhelmed, astounded and a little off-kilter--this is no longer your mom's warm and fuzzy trip hop. Portishead retains their essential style while experimenting with abrasive sounds, tricky rhythms, and crazy kraut rock leanings. And it all works, surprisingly enough. Now if only My Bloody Valentine could pull off such a triumph.
Best song in a foreign language by non-native speakers--The Breeders, "German Studies."
From their new album Mountain Battles. In German with a rockin' oom-pah-pah beat on the high hat! You have no idea how much fun this song is until you hear it--check out the video. Catch the Breeders at Pop's this Saturday, May 10th.
For those who are curious, Song Facts has some interview quotes explaining Kim Deal's decision to record this song in German. Why would you marginalize one of the albums best tracks by singing it in foreign language? Perhaps ultimately it doesn't matter. I've recently discovered that I prefer the German language version of ABBA's "Waterloo," but that could be because one of the male singers is wearing a costume that reminds me of the comic book hero Thor.
Worst song in a foreign language by non-native speakers--The Breeders, "Regalame Este Noches."
Also from Mountain Battles. The problem with the Breeders, it seems, is their inability to edit themselves--Mountain Battles would have made a great six song EP--but this song in particular was a bad idea. "Regalame Este Noches" is sung way too emotively by Kelley Deal. While I've never heard the original Spanish version of "Regalame Esta Noche" by Los Tri-O, I'm quite sure it is performed in a traditional way which is gorgeous--not amateurish and sappy.
Best concert of 2008.
Jack--Holy Fuck at the Bluebird.
Jen--Bon Iver at the Billiken Club. Ok, also Xiu Xiu and Thao with the Get Down Stay Down at the Lemp Arts Center. Don't make me choose!
Steve--Mavis Staples at the Sheldon or Sharon Jones at the Duck Room.
Best Imagined Tour With Bands Featuring Anatomical References.
We were joking around about this the other day when we reviewed the new Elbow album, The Seldom Seen Kid. Steve suggested that Elbow, The Shins and Head of Femur go out on tour together. I always thought that these bands were unambitious in their naming attempts. Why, if Head of Femur had just traveled 7 cm around the superior end of the bone they could have had a much better name--Greater Trochanter. I could rock the hell out to a band named Greater Trochanter! Head of Femur...not so much.
Best Postcard from an ex-employee.
Kevin Buckley (of St. Louis' own Grace Basement) had a month long fiddle gig up at Dolly Parton's joint in Pigeon Forge, TN. Kevin, you must regale us with stories now that you're back from Dollywood. I hear the gift shop is fabulous!
Best Manufactured Holiday--Record Store Day.
If you weren't here to see all the great local musicians performing on our new stage and using our killer new PA gear you really missed out--but check back with us because we will be scheduling some amazing in-stores in the near future. Those who couldn't make it missed out on the great BBQ (and killer vegetarian black bean hummus--thanks HWY 61!). Customers also received free music giveaways, so you'll definitely have to check it out next year. A good time was had by all who turned out! Read about the festivities here.
Best Music Blog--Monitor Mix, by Carrie Brownstein.
If Euclid Records were a kingdom we surely would have bestowed knighthood on ex-Sleater-Kinney guitarist turned NPR music blogger by now. But since we aren't--and also since we so often link to her posts--I think that we shall declare her Lockwood & Summit's honorary guest blogger instead.
What makes Brownstein's writing so interesting is that while she does provide traditional music journalism fare such as reviews and interviews, she also provides some interesting insights into how we feel about music, about music as a branding tool, and--on occasion--strays outside the realm of music to discuss books, film, dogs and *ahem* her love of the reality tv show The Bachelor. Which just goes to show you that braniacs have guilty pleasures, too. That she reveals those guilty pleasures in a public forum just makes it that much more endearing.
Monday, May 5, 2008
by Jen Eide