have you ever listened to something and spent the next couple of days trying to figure out which instruments exactly were being used and how they were played? as a non-musician, i sometimes do (was mercury rev using a theremin or a singing saw on deserters songs? i still don’t know). with pomplamoose’s videosongs, though, music production is demystified and presented as it is – just check out the video for “hail mary”, for example, where the introduction of each segment or instrument is methodically represented in the video. the people behind pomplamoose are jack conte and nataly dawn, a very lovely duo with a very whimsical collection of songs that’s both fun and lighthearted. it’s an approach that effortlessly bridges the gap between musician and listener, and a testament to how good music need not be alienating or pretentious. and if you’re curious what pomplamoose means, do check out the video for “my favorite things” (it’s not an extinct animal, i promise).
mp3: pomplamoose – my favorite things
do support pomplamoose by purchasing their music on their website. have i mentioned it’s great fun? thanks adrian for the recommendation.
i was listening to lil wayne’s “dontgetit” a few days ago when i was struck by the nina simone sample that featured so distinctly. while it was used as a deliberate foil for his commentary on racial prejudice, simone’s original touches on a more universal theme of human fallenness. it’s not so much a cry but a plead for acceptance (i’m just a soul whose intentions are good/ oh lord please don’t let me be misunderstood), and one that’s drawn out repeatedly in agony and anguish, but never in exasperation. the song never seems to make any headway through its entire duration, with simone’s questions remaining rhetorical and never resolved. and yet, although her efforts appear to be in vain, one is won over by the sheer persistence of her requests and the vulnerabilty of her soul laid bare.
mp3: nina simone – don’t let me be misunderstood
mp3: lil wayne – dontgetit
do pop by to how marvellous for a very neat and comprehensive look at the available versions of “don’t let me be misunderstood”.
many have likened toronto experimental folk trio the silt to the works of will oldham (especially the singing), and jason molina (song structure). indeed, in their debut cat’s peak, released just last week on fire records, many of those comparisons ring true. however, the silt trades some of oldham’s mournful beauty and molina’s consistency for some experiments of their own. what strikes me most immediately in this album is the opening track “come back to the willow”, which starts off with a soulful groove sung along to with a buckleyesque falsetto that doesn’t quite keep to the pitch, yet never strays too far off either, aided kindly by very assuring harmonies. look out, though, for the surprises in between. they don’t ever sound like they belong, but they do keep the song in its precarious balance between pleasantry and dissonance, and treading that uncomfortable yet rewarding line between the beautiful and the ugly.
mp3: the silt – come back to the willow
cat’s peak is available now on fire records. do get your copy!
hi everyone! am now in the philppines on holiday (the weather’s great!), so there won’t be updates til next thursday. do look out for a year end wrap up of some sort. if you’d like, do let me know what’s been spinning on your stereos (or ipods or whatever) this year. see you soon, and as always, thanks for reading.