Archive for the ‘Columns’ Category

Music Geek #17: Radiohead, Thom Yorke release strategy indicative of creative shift?

Radiohead, the album band — you know, the one that hit it big with a single, then turned around and crafted some of the greatest albums of the modern era? The range of responses to questions in the vein of, “Do you like… Radiohead?” comprise two distinct types of answer: “[Insert post-Pablo Honey-album-title here] was fucking great,” on one hand, and “I love Creep!” on the other. It happens.

But the album-oriented Radiohead may have gone by the wayside a bit, and it seems they’ve got Thom Yorke in tow. Here’s a quick timeline, if you’ve missed it somehow:

5 August 2009: Radiohead release “Harry Patch (In Memory Of)”
17 August 2009: Radiohead release “These Are My Twisted Words”
21 September 2009: Thom Yorke releases double A-side single, “Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses / The Hollow Earth” [Stereogum]


Music Geek #16: 10 years of Agaetis Byrjun

Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun

Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun

While I can’t say I’ve been listening to Sigur Ros for ten years (I’m only 23, after all,) the anniversary of Agaetis Byrjun still holds a notable impact in my development of musical tastes. When I first heard this album, I was an impressionable 15-years old and only beginning to realize the breadth and depth of music at my digital fingertips (ah, a pun!)

It introduced me to a world of post-rock and soaring, dynamic soundscapes — and though I wasn’t necessarily unfamiliar with the latter, the Icelandic outfit took it to a logical extreme I hadn’t yet witnessed. This, I thought, was music that made me feel emotional, excited, happy, sad; truthfully, the state of emotion didn’t much make a difference, but the magnitude. As a happy teen listening to Agaetis Byrjun, the album took on a bright, shimmery light; as an occasionally angst-ridden 16-year-old, the album came in a more sad, depressed form. As a teen who avoided some of the emotional highs and lows of his peers (though I wasn’t without fault, by any means) Sigur Ros gave me something to feel when I didn’t want to worry about feeling other things. (more…)

Music Geek #15: Music as Emotional Memory

In dealings with my friends and colleagues, I have noticed, as have many, many others, an undeniable commonality. Of course, this is not to say this does not apply to all people, but I’ll qualify my statement, as I haven’t really done further research on the matter.

It seems the large majority of people with which I have regular conversation are inclined to form connections to music as a method of reliving emotion. I suppose I sympathise with the notion: Music, I’d argue, is a much more powerful creation than simple words. It resonates (quite literally) through us in ways undeniable, whether they are cultural, personal, or innately human. I’m inclined to think it may be the latter, but this is another topic for another day. (more…)

Music Geek #14: Success as Failure

In reading an interview with once-internet-sensation Tay Zonday by Broken Cool, it becomes evident the outlook “the ‘Chocolate Rain’ guy” has about popular music is by no means one major labels — nor the artists on them — want you to hear. He embodies an almost embroiled bitterness toward mainstream media (or, perhaps, media altogether) and the Western notion of success.

“Success Level” is a fairytale invented to give journalists something to print by each deadline. It allows readers to vicariously live a celebrity soap opera about who makes it and who doesn’t. It turns the world into comic fiction that has nothing to do with music or life.


MusicGeek #13: What I’ve Missed

Matt the MusicGeekOver the past year, music, while not having fallen to the wayside, has taken a bit of a backseat in my life for reasons I don’t quite comprehend yet. It’s not as if I’d really listened to less music, but my yearning and urge to discover new, interesting music dropped considerably, which, as a result, also saw fewer updates to this site I update only vaguely anyhow.

Perhaps it’s hearing a few new albums that get me excited about new music being released that’s done the trick. In the last week, I’ve made more of an effort to hear new music than in the past six months, which, I must say, is a bit of a shame. Here’s a short list of a few albums that I’ve been listening to recently — perhaps reviews will come soon.

Charles Spearin — Happiness
Phoenix — Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
The Mountain Goats and John Vanderslice — Moon Colony Bloodbath
Grizzly Bear — Veckatimest
The Rural Alberta Advantage — Hometowns
Leaves — We Are Shadows

Maybe all I needed was something to be excited about again, but after an unnecessary hiatus, I’m ready to write again.

Music Geek #12: Subscribe with Google Reader, please

ScreenshotFive of you subscribe to with Google Reader. One of you is me.

So, let me revise that: Four of you subscribe to with Google Reader. Thank you. More of you regular readers should subscribe to this site with some sort of RSS feed reader if you don’t already.

Now, I know you probably want to visit the site to view our lovely ads (which, by the way, make me little to no money — I’m quite certainly not profiting financially from running this site,) but I urge you to subscribe anyway. The formatting might not be quite as nice, but if you read through the brief bit of post and are interested in reading more, it’s a short process to click and read the rest. (more…)

Music Geek #11: Post-rock: reproducing in the back seat since the ’90s

From From the chart attached — from, a wonderful little site of charts and graphics and things by Dorothy Gambrell, creator of my favorite web comic, Cat and Girl — it’s clear that instrumental music is not very popular right now. If that wasn’t painfully obvious, though, I’m not sure what was. Sadly, not much post-rock hits the #1 spot on the charts, much to my bemusement. I’d rather like the music I enjoy to be enjoyed by many, many people!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – “Dead Flag Blues (Intro)” | download (via official site)

I suppose I recognize that people are generally interested in music that’s catchy, especially lyrically and vocally. It’s rather hard to sing along with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, let alone Tortoise — this, I admit. And, if I’ve learned anything from people, it’s that they really, really like to sing along to things, for better or worse. (more…)

Music Geek #10: Broken Social Scene in Salt Lake City

Matthew Montgomery wears funny glasses in a Cedar City, Utah park. Let’s get one thing straight. I love Broken Social Scene with a passion I reserve mostly for things other than music — you know, food, water, the like — and a chance to see them perform a mere four(!) hours away, in Salt Lake City, Utah was something I didn’t care to pass up. After learning of the concert via an IRC friend (I call this Music Geek for a reason, after all) I set out to find a way, rain or shine, money or, well, broke.

Read after the jump for video of Broken Social Scene at Lollapalooza 2008.