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Thursday, February 12, 2004

Listening to:

The Rapture: Echoes. Sounds like mid-80's Cure - maybe Japanese Whispers era, especially the vocals, which sound like they could almost be Robert Smith. Dark, spare and aggressive but still full of pop hooks and probably danceable (don't dance, feel unqualified to judge by that criteria). A strangely upbeat, happy tune near the end, "Love Is All", seems out of place, with its jangly, Big Star-esque guitars. But I can live with it.

The Postal Service: Give Up. Recalls mid 80's synth pop (New Order, OMD, etc). Listening to it sometimes makes me feel like someone who can't let go of 1986, but then I remember that I really f'in hated the mid-80's; 82-88 (ie. grades 6-12) was easily the worst time of my life. Anyway, it's not a strict 80's rip-off record, there are modern elements in there. Enough babbling, here's what it's really like: it has a modern-retro feel that would be perfect iPod or VW bug commercial.

Polyphonic Spree: The Beginning Stages of... . ahem, speaking of iPod commercials... This group of 20+ members makes stuff that sounds a lot like Mercury Rev did back in the early 90's: symphonic, psychedelic, meandering; and a little like Neutral Milk Hotel did in the mid 90's: like a travelling folk carnival. Unspools into a tape-manipulation wank at the end.

Nick Drake: Pink Moon. And speaking of VW commercials... that great VW commercial, where the 20-somethings would rather drive around in their car listening to Pink Moon with the top down, rather than go to the bustling house party, probably sold more Nick Drake records (yes, me too) than all the critical accolades he received in the 30 years since he died. Some of his CDs even have a little label "As seen on the VW commercial!" But it's really a great album - dark, haunting and bleak as anything, yet beautiful.

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