Alternative


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Beck’s regular style of music and lyricism was replaced for a more simpler one with this album.  The lyrics are sadder, the music is more melancholy, and that’s what I like about it.  Sea Change is definitely my favorite Beck album (of the ones I’ve listened to so far) and it’s a nice album to have in your collection, and a great listen.  Also, I apologize for not posting this past week or so.  Blame computer trouble and my recent addiction to AMC’s “Breaking Bad”.

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Singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton is going to be opening for They Might Be Giants for a few shows this tour. I’m lucky enough to get to see him here in Birmingham. Coulton is known for his “geek-rock” qualities, but in all reality the man is a very talented musician who has a great voice. For the most part, this project (his attempt to write a new song every week for a year or something like that) features more folk-y singer-songwriting mixed in with some alternative rock TMBG-esque songs. Also, an amazing cover of “I Will”, the song that was on the show “Code Monkeys”, and one of his most popular and loved, “Re: Your Brains”. In all honestly I would recommend this to anyone who just enjoys music, it’s that good.

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If you have seen the documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” good job! It’s a great documentary that everyone should see. Secondly, you should recall the women Kathy McCarty who was prominent member of the Austin, TX music scene during the Eighties, and Daniel Johnston’s first girlfriend. If you recall her then you should also recall her talking about a tribute album she did to take away the lo-fi noiseyness that are Daniel Johnston albums and to make them more accessible. Well, this is that tribute album! These songs span from just about every early Johnston album/tape (I think), and are indeed more accessible and well recorded. They span from orchestrated strings to garage-rock to MIDI keyboard goodness. This is a must for anyone who has heard Johnston, and for those who haven’t….go listen to him please.

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An awesome solo album from Danny Seim, the drummer for Menomena.  Worth a listen.  Also, let it be known that sometime soon, I plan on doing a Video Game week here at HtBSR.  A whole week full of our favorite video game soundtracks.  So be on the lookout.

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There was a point in my life where I would basically listen to nothing but They Might Be Giants. They were the first band that really got me into music and the cultures that surround it. Now, I still listen to them a bit but nowhere near as much as I used to. However, they are going to be playing here in Birmingham on March 4th, and when I heard that I knew I had to re-download some of my favorite albums by them. The Else came out 3 years ago and it is a venture into a more darker portion of their work. For awhile I thought they were softening up with the kid’s stuff but this album is pretty dark. Of course the darkness is hidden behind the up-beat, poppy melodies that are too catchy to be true. Also, The Dust Brothers (Fight Club OST, Beck’s Guero) produced this album, and it definitely shows with the general lay-out of the songs. In short, this album is a darker TMBG behind poppy melodies and great instrumentation that tackles many different genres. You will like it.

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For those not in the know, Mike Doughty was once the leader of alternative funk super group Soul Coughing. Doughty busted out absurd rhymes behind a thumping bass while samples belted out. Soul Coughing broke up and Doughty disappeared for a few years most likely due to drug use. A few years later he returned clean onto the scene, and came out with a singer-songwriter acoustic album and has basically done that and adult-alternative rock since. His solo career, unlike Soul Coughing, is up and down with the critics; some absolutely love him while others think he’s washed up. However, this album will change everyone’s minds. Doughty takes everything good about Soul Coughing and his acoustic singer-songwriter years and morphs it into an amazing album. That’s right I’m talking about the rapping, sarcastic and absurd lyrics, and funk that came from Soul Coughing, and the catchiness, melody, and soul that came from his singer-songwriter years. This album mixes all of those into thirteen just plain awesome songs. I promise you when you listen to this you will like at least one song.

P.S. when he overlays his vocals I actually cry tears of joy. True story.

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About twice every year I get into a stage where I listen to a few albums till I can’t listen to them anymore. Loveless is one of those albums, however I always come back to it. There’s something new every time, and it just seems to get better and better. Perhaps it’s the classic shoegaze aspect of it, or the wall of melodic noise and drone. Or the overlaying distorted guitars that go together so well. Maybe it’s the breathy female lead vocalist that sings lyrics that  can not be understood yet fit so well. Anyways, I know most people have this album, but for the few that don’t this is a must listen. Download ASAP.

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