Music Monday 5.2.11 Charles Bradley

I discovered Charles Bradley after Paste named him one of their favorite artists from SXSW, then I saw this video, and I was hooked. I don’t know how you can hear that song and not be intrigued to listen to more. There’s a very clear and obvious James Brown influence in the way he looks and a bit of a James Brown meets Otis Redding influence in the way he sounds, and that’s perfectly fine with me. Pretty exciting that something like this is happening now. It looks like his shows would be an absolute joy to be at. Check out his moves in this awesome cover of one of my favorite songs of all time, Neil Young’s Heart Of Gold.

I’m trying to talk a little less about what I’m listening to, because really it’s only reason to make something, and more about what it took to make the poster and the struggles I had and the things I’ve learned. For this poster I knew I wanted to have the silhouette of his head take up the majority of the space, and I knew I wanted it to have a rough, painted-looking edge around some parts, but I also intended to have another silhouette of him dancing cutting in from one of the edges. Well, this idea was just NOT working. I tried it in just about every size, from every side, in every angle, and nothing looked right. I was so stuck on this idea and it was really preventing me from getting it right. It wasn’t until I finally let it go and tried something else that I was able to get it right and solve the problem. It didn’t turn out completely the way I imagined it, but it turned out the right way. Never be too attached to an idea just because you thought it would work. If it’s not working, throw it away and try something else, more often than not, you’ll find the right thing to do.

Music Monday 8.23.10 Sufjan Stevens

This week I got one of the greatest surprises one can get: news that Sufjan Stevens is recording a new album. But instead of “recording” it was “recorded” and “snuck one up on us”. He released an EP on Friday called All Delighted People which definitely delighted all people. Maybe those in the serious know had heard about this, but to me it came as a complete surprise, which is of course something he would do, all of the sudden just drop something on everyone that no one knew about. It’s 8 songs and around 60 minutes, which is a completely legitimate new release. Something we’ve been waiting for for quite some time, and let me say, this delivers. Sufjan has elevated to new grounds and is truly on maestro status. He is by far one of the most insane songwriters of our time, and will be held close to the heart by many for years and years and years to come.

I saw the video for the song Drugs by Ratatat and thought it was absolutely genius, (and I liked the song too) so I got this album. If you’ve EVER looked for any kind of stock photography, please watch this video, I promise you will get a kick out of it. I’ve never listened to these guys before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it’s very fun to me.

Belle And Sebastian have been doing me quite right recently. I hadn’t listened to them in so long and I forgot how good they are. I mean, seriously, some of their songs are unbelievable. They have a new album coming out this fall and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty excited for it for whatever reason.

I also listened to Peter Bjorn & John this week for the first time in a few years, and Writer’s Block is still a good album. I really over listened to it when it came out, and need some serious time away from it, but some things you just cannot deny, and this album is one of them.

Music Monday 8.16.10 Sonic Youth

I think bought Daydream Nation 5 or 6 years ago on a bit of a whim. I’d not listened to Sonic Youth before that, and knew very little of what to expect. And while I thought it was an okay sounding record, it was really dissonant for my taste at the time and I was never really able to get into it. However, through the next few years, I would occasionally revisit the record hoping enough time had passed and perhaps something would have clicked and I would finally get it. This unfortunately never really happened for me. Not until this weekend that is. For whatever reason, I put on Daydream Nation and got reallly into it. I’m pretty excited that actually happened. Like I said, I’d been waiting years for this day. I also downloaded Goo and Dirty, both of which I enjoyed. I can definitely say I am a fan now, and whatever triggered me to purchase that record 6 years ago, I’m glad that happened.

I also listened to a bit of Weezer, which definitely happened after I heard about their new record. Hurley. That should be interesting. But Maladroit does me right every. single. time.

Listened to Ty Segall after seeing my boy Mike Walsh hyping him a bit, and he’s killing it. Caeser is such a great song. Check him out.

Beach Fossils are decent.

Post Post are amazing. One of the best young bands I’ve seen. Philly locals, 3/4 girl band, impossibly catchy. Just doing everything right to every degree. Catch this band as soon as you can.

Otis Redding kept me sane one night as I was sorting with some old stuff and cleaning some bookshelves. Impossibly smooth.

Belle And Sebastian’s Push Bar Man To Open Old Wounds is my favorite thing they’ve done. It’s a collection of their EPs and singles, which in this case, are some of their best songs. I hadn’t listened to this in a few years, and it was great to listen to again.

Flying Lotus is decent.