Chill Sheeet


This is one of the best playlists/mixes I have ever made, or at least one of my favorites.  It consists, for the most part, of old 50s-60s doo wop, rock and roll ballads and Atlas Sound covers of such songs. All of the songs are very chill and have a dream-like quality to them, perfect for the wee hours of the morning, when the sun is risin’.

1) Atlas Sound– “Blue Moon” (The Marcels) (2009)

2) Atlas Sound– “Ativan” (2008)

3) Bobby Vinton– “Mr. Lonely” (1962)

4) The Righteous Brothers– “Unchained Melody” (1965)

5) Lotus Plaza– “Rain Down” (2009)

6) Atlas Sound– “I’ll Be Your Mirror” (Velvet Underground) (2008)

7) Pixies– “Wave of Mutilation” (UK Surf) (1989)

8) Roy Orbison– “In Dreams” (1963)

9) The Everly Brothers– “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958)

10) The Platters– “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (1958)

11) Best Coast– “Sun Was High (So Was I)” (2009)

12) Best Coast– “So Gone” (2009)

13) Beach Boys– “In My Room” (1963)

14) The Duprees- “You Belong to Me” (1964)

15) Atlas Sound– “You Belong to Me” (The Duprees) (2007)

16) Bright Eyes– “Silver Bells” (2002)

17) Atlas Sound– Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers) (2007)

CD Review: The People’s Key [2011]


Band:
Bright Eyes
Release: 2/2011
Label: Saddle Creek

1. “Firewall” – B
2. “Shell Games” – B+
3. “Jejune Stars” – B-
4. “Approximated Sunlight” – C+
5. “Haile Selassie” – B+
6. “A Machine Spiritual” – B
7. “Triple Spiral” – A
8. “A Beginner’s Mind” – B+
9. “Ladder Song” – B+
10. “One For You, One For Me” – A-

Comments: Connor Oberst is a pretty intriguing dude. Not sure exactly what’s behind this record lyrically, but it’s something deep. That alone is pretty riveting. The songs, though, range from pretty all right to pretty nice. For me, the folk tunes aren’t as awesome as songs like “Triple Spiral,” which is a post-punk rock ‘n roller along the lines of “Take it Easy”/the sound of I’m Wide Awake (to get broad on you guys). Oberst and crew did for sure do a job at nailing a specific theme for this. It’s better as a complete work than a ‘the songs are the best’ kind of thing.

Grade: B (86)

Who Did It Better? “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Well, hello there. I hope all of you are having an amazing Christmas! So, let’s dig into today’s segment of Who Did It Better, shall we? There are so many different versions of this Christmas classic, but here are some notable ones.

Old Blue Eyes sings his heart out.

I really dig the backing vocals.

And here Conor tops Sinatra with this Bright Eyes version.

This song exemplfiies what is great about BE: extremely passionate, somber vocals, practically whispering the words.

And here’s the grandaddy of them all:

Judy Garland- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

This is my favorite Christmas song; it is not a jingle nor a carol and has more emotion than just about any other holiday song one cares to name. Specifically, I adore this version because of Judy Garland’s exceptional vocals, it just makes the music feel all the more sentimental, in a very good way.

But, what do you guys think?

Bright Eyes – “Four Winds”

On Friday December 17 tickets go on sale for Bright Eyes on March 10 at the House of Blues, I bring this up for two reasons, one, I am a big Bright Eyes fan, but also for the past couple of years there have been rumors about Bright Eyes breaking up so Conor Oberst can concentrate on other projects. Will this be the final go around, maybe-maybe not, in any case I am hedging my bets and going, better to play it safe then miss out.

Who Did It Better? Christmas Style –> “Silent Night”

Two choices. Pick one. There are dozens, definitely hundreds, and for God’s sake (literally) maybe even a few thousand published cover versions of this song. I narrowed it down, though. You can mention another version you like, but these are the only two you are going to get from me. I just heard the Andrew W.K. version a few minutes ago. I thought it be a worthy challenger to Bright Eyes.

Bright Eyes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejn9eA2RTfM
Andrew WK: http://www.avclub.com/video_embed/?id=48698

Classic Album Review: Lifted…

Artist: Bright Eyes
Full Title: Lifted Or The Story Is In the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Year: 2002
Label: Saddle Creek
Comments: Ok, so this review will be a la Glen. For the past two years I have adored Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning; it’s in my top ten favorite albums of all times. Now, I’ve heard some songs from various BE records, but I have not heard another album in its entirety, until now. And I must say after experiencing another BE LP, I am not as moved, sonically or spiritually. I tried my darnedest to get into this record, but it just wasn’t happening. I gave it 4/5 listens and it just never sent me flying off my rocker like IWAIM did. I’m suffering from classicalbumism, where you hear one album by an artist and you want everything else to sound like that gem. Well, don’t misconstrue me here, ‘Lifted’ is a sound recording and certainly worthy of at least a few listens. In fact, many of the styles later employed on IWAIM are displayed here, perhaps in a less accesible manner. The opening track, “The Big Picture,” however, drags on for far too long and would benefit from some trimming. On a positive note, I think Conor Oberst’s trademark, minor caterwoul and humorous declaritive language serves as a highly memorable way to close the LP in “Let’s Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and Be Loved).” Haha, great title! So, I have decided to leave this ungraded for now; time will tell how I feel about it. Who knows, in a few months, years, possibly, it may appear on my list of favorite albums. It has happened before.

Chris

The Whole World Woke Up… Or Did They?

In the simply thrilling Bright Eyes number, ” At the Bottom of Everything,” singer/songwriter, Conor Oberst merrilly declares that the “the whole world’s waking up.” I’d love to agree with ya Conor, man, but the cynical side of me must toss you off the cloud your floating on bud. Don’t get me wrong, musically/artistically, this piece and the entire album will go down in the annals of exceptional entertainment. On an entirely different level, I completely disagree with the aformentioned assumption. Clearly, Oberst is referring to Americans waking up to the sad state of their country under George W. Bush and his hawkish policies. I agree, that within the past few years, we’ve seen an extremely rare political play. Finally, people were pointing fingers at the “bad guy,” as they rightfully should have. There was an entire mood of Anti-Bush! Even my grandparents, fairly moderate-conservative people viewed their comander in chief as a bumbling fool. With this new repudiation of Bush it became extremely palpable for a young, charming, eloquent, black man to rise to the top of an old, now foolish, white man’s empire. But, that’s an entirely different story. As much as I hated everything Bush represnted, I know he’s merely a puppet in a grand scheme of century after century of carnage. If you look closely, the wave of Anti-Bush actually painted the man as a sympathetic character. They say the War in Iraq was a mistake… no my friends it was and is a blatant CRIME against humanity: Ma$$ Murder, as any serious political commentator would inform you. Imagine, if the history books noted Ted Bundy’s and John Wayne Gacy’s crimes as mistakes. That would be an obscenity and neither Bush nor any other public figure should be treated any diffrently. The average American, who may have detested Bush, I seriously doubt will mention these basic flaws in their criticisms. Sure, now citizens and politicians alike are “against” the War in Iraq, but are they truly opposed to all American foreign policy, sadly most aren’t. So, did the world really wake up? Nahh, their (american) dreams turned into nightmares and they hopped out of bed to do some sleep walking. It is the job of the radical (the minority) to snap the conformed (the majority) into reality… by any means necessary.

Chris