Sunday, May 18, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

***The shownotes for Podcast #45, the podcast for this weekend, are in the blog post before this one. I may do a special podcast later today, but it all depends on how tired I feel in a little bit.***

Mates of State, "My Only Offer"

While some of their earlier songs (examples: "Fraud In The 80's" and "Thing Long") were considered by some (not me) to be a little too sing-songy and rigid, (I remember one reviewer wrote that their joint, matching vocals were "like children singing") their newest single offers more naturally blended harmonies and softer vocals from Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel. The song is more complex and more subtle, though no more or less enjoyable than their previous works. It's a little different from what they've done in the past, but it's still Mates of State--they continue to infuse their music with an openness, a buoyancy and an unabashed enthusiasm that's catching. Those are qualities I try to channel when I'm not feeling so optimistic, but the difference is that those qualities seem to be natural to them--no channeling or reaching required.


Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel of Mates of State. Is Kori Gardner related to Sting's wife Trudie Styler? I'm just asking. Ooh--also Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance!

Bauhaus, "Too Much 21st Century"

Bow to the Bauhuas. Get down on your knees. They are still the DRGs (Dark Rock Gods) they were during my musical infancy--I suspect they always will be. Before Tones on Tail, before Love and Rockets (..ahh..."No New Tale To Tell"), before Peter Murphy's exquisite solo albums, and now, it seems, after. There is still Bauhaus. Excuse me while I pass out--too much Dark Rock Godness for the senses to handle.

From "Go Away White"
(Cooking Vinyl)
Buy at Napster More On This Album


Bauhaus, 2006. Photo by Anton Corbijn.

Dosh, "If You Want To You Have To"

Dosh has created a composition of eclectic sounds, beginning with several beautifully arranged and stunningly uncluttered piano lines, and merging with a host of other instruments to form a cohesive but disparate whole. Keyboards sneak in just to pop out again within a few seconds. Electric guitar thrashes through with a forceful will, reminding me of the odd mixture His Name is Alive often integrated into their songs: strange, haunting melody trading off with "wall of sound" type guitars. The song is a collage--controlled but chaotic. Non-sensical, yet perfectly self-aligned. If it all didn't sound so good together, you might think this was two (or more) different songs.

From "Wolves and Wishes"
Buy at Rhapsody Stream from Rhapsody More On This Album


Dosh believes that "up the nose" is his best angle for photographs

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