24 April 2007

ATSS Goes Dark

Due to impending dissertation proposal, ATSS will be dark for a while. I'll be back when I can!

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10 April 2007

Myspace Find: Plushgun's EP

Plushgun, who I've mentioned earlier, has an EP up for listening (though not downloading or buying) on Myspace. I'm inclined to be disappointed; the energetic beat of Just Impolite camouflaged the tremendous sentimentality of the vocals, and new tracks "The Dark in You" and "An Aria" aren't nearly as balanced. I'm going to be the ravenous fan and demand more before I make up my mind; you may notice that it's the same mp3 and the same image between the two entries. That's all there is! For the degree of polish in the music, there's oddly few materials available. I'd really like to see Plushgun get some kind of production deal and have enough of a presence that I can finally make up my mind about them!

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09 April 2007

Earworm: Jens Lekman - Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song

Last winter there was about a seventy percent chance that Jens Lekman would be an earworm at some point in the day; but on going back to him now, I find him uneasily precious most of the time. Melodious and soothing and well-constructed, generally, but very precious. This morning, though, I woke up with the twee twinkling opening of Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song echoing in my head. It's from an EP called Rocky Dennis, which apparently led to some confusion about whether the artist was named Rocky Dennis or Jens Lekman, which was resolved by this song. Now all I have to do is find out why Jens has a thing about the main character in Mask.

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04 April 2007

VS: Rilo Kiley and Neko Case

I remember reading somewhere--Phoenix? Dig?--that there are some who have created a rivalry of redheaded-alt-country-singers between Neko Case and Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley); which seems kinda foolish, since everybody can have both. Neko Case was my first exposure, and I was addicted almost immediately: the loping grace in Star Witness was unarguable. The whole of Fox Confessor Brings the Flood was similarly stellar, and since the Rabbit Fur Coat tracks that I'd heard failed to grab me, I figured Neko'd won. But then Last.fm starting playing me Rilo Kiley songs, they're now back on more of an even par; A Man/Me/Then Jim is particularly compelling.

Neko has more strength in her sound, but Jenny tends to be more willowy; Neko's lyrics are more likely to be reflective and Jenny's bitter; Neko's more consistent, but Jenny sings with Postal Service! How does anyone choose?

Luckily, no one has to.

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02 April 2007

Mike Doughty & Zox @ Tufts

It was an odd gig--students only, in a back room of a cafeteria--still I'm very glad I went; last time Mike Doughty came through he was opening for Dave Matthews in great big arenas, so the small venue was a treat. I still can't pin down why I like Mike Doughty's music so very much; I keep coming up with uninformative answers like "because it's good." It was nice to hear Soul Coughing gems like St Louise Is Listening in the stripped-down current format and alongside newer tracks from Haughty Melodic like Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well.

The bassist/multi-instrumentalist of the evening, Scrap Livingston, was a treat as well. Dude was an interesting addition: classically geeky in aspect with the collared shirt and wire-rimmed glasses (which traveled further down his nose as each song went on), but rocking some seriously fluid fingerwork and the chillest stage presence I've ever seen. It was a good, good set.

I'd never heard of Zox before the show, and had to look them up afterwards: an unusual quartet featuring an electric-violinist, who played most of the time in a pose that looked strikingly like Quasimodo. They were loud, energetic, and engaging--a nice bonus after the much-anticipated main event.

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