Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tegan & Sara: One Month Away From Sainthood

Today I step outside myself to write this. You should do the same to read this. Why? Cause it's good practice for what you'll have to do to listen to the new tracks from Tegan & Sara. Pre-conceived notions and old impressions will do you no good and will probably leave you utterly confused.
Every record the band releases is an evolution of the previous record. So far Sainthood seems to be no different. Tegan & Sara recently premiered 6 of the songs at Rifflandia from the record, due out October 27.
Based solely on these 6 songs I'd actually have to say the evolution skipped a couple steps this time around-with GREAT results. I don't know yet if much is to be said for experimentation but one noticeable difference is lyrical content. Sara mentioned early on that she would not be writing about her loves and relationships but rather of those around her, including her mother's with her and Tegan's-at one point-distant father. Also 2 out of 3 of the new tracks Tegan performed from the record were about a harsh neighborhood in which she used to reside in Vancouver-lyrically, a very different direction for her.
Singles...hmm..which of these 6 songs could be played on the radio to the masses and motivate them to buy Sainthood??? I have NO idea. I really suck at this game. I mean we're talking about Hook Masters here...hell most of the new songs performed could do well. I tend to like my pop/rock more rock than pop so if I heard "Hell" or "The Ocean" on the radio I'd be an instant fan of this band. For those who love the pop "Alligator" or "On Directing" might seem like natural selections.
I have to admit though, the gem to me was "The Cure"! This track is SO big, so heavy. And the fact that it has such intense lyrics and ISN'T about love or longing like most Tegan tracks makes it that much more powerful. It reminded me of old rock songs from the 70's or 80's that I love and seem to hear in every movie. The ones too meaningful to let go or let fade over time. The classics. I think if TnS were a different kind of a rock band instead of a pop/rock (indie pop) band making "The Cure" a single would be a no brainer. Again...I suck at that, I don't really care I just want Sainthood!
Well I'm not going to hold you guys up for long. I just wanted to offer some early thoughts and opinions. After the release I'll be sure to return with more sarcasm, bigger words and EVEN MORE opinions.

People have been using my friend Jaime's footage without crediting her, I've never thought to do it cause I know everyone that reads this is aware of her and her footage. But from now on in case there's any confusion I will be crediting her. This video (if it's still here) is Jaime Wojodowski's (Wojo4hitz) IF it is gone, check out her channel and subscribe

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mute Math: Armistice

Hmm...where to start? O! Ok so don't want to start there. Hold on. Ok here we go, "Clipping"...nope, kinda want to do a "save the best for last" thing there....
Remember when Maroon 5's first record came out? No? Pessimist, try! It was so different from what was going on at the time. I loved it, it was something like rock/rnb fusion. It was one of those rare (at the time) records you could enjoy regardless of what genre you usually listen to. I call those "one-stop shop records", cause everything you need is right there. These usually contain soulful vocals, hard guitars, smooth drums and insightful lyrics. Now, too much of one of these elements would tip the scale making the album heavy on one genre; so if you were shopping you would not find...I mean if you were stopping at the shop...wait...I lost my analogy, damn. Well Armistice, Mute Math's latest release, is reminiscent of that feeling. Not necessarily of the Maroon 5 record-more like if Maroon 5 lightened up on the bass a bit and Ray Lamontagne was the lead singer instead of Adam Levine.
A while ago I did a post about Christian Rock, I fought my urge to mention Mute Math cause even though they have been referred to as a Christian Rock band since their debut, that never fit to me. The lyrics on Armistice are pretty dark ("Burden"), anything but inspirational ("Backfire"). There's even a little something something about drugs ("Valium"), and a little something something else about sex ("Electrify")- all very good things. The members might be Christians but that's not what's being reflected in the music, by that I mean religion period is not reflected in the music at all.
The Maroon 5 comparison is meant solely as a base comparison to the style of the vocals and the rhythm section. To get really into that "what it sounds like" thing I would have to go back to the 80's and dig up the "New Wave". I wasn't born yet so that's really hard for me. I'll call my mom and get back to you. But I can tell you Armistice DEFINITELY reminds me of music my mom would blast (from the past) during parties and gatherings...or while she was cooking or cleaning...generally just breathing.
My favorite track on the record is "Clipping". I have so many thoughts about this one song! There's something about the chorus and how it's so repetitive that it takes up most of the song that makes me emotional. When songs are arranged this way it's as if the song IS crying, it's continuous chorus is playing out the rhythm of a cry. And I'm not a crier, never have been. I haven't cried since I was 9. But certain songs project SO much intense emotion that sometimes I feel like I'm crying through them. "Clipping" is definitely one of those songs. It doesn't help that the song has the most depressing lyrics of all time. I'm pretty much convinced the song is about what was happening with the band as they were writing this record. Things got so bad they almost broke up. They hired Producer, Dennis Herring, and canned all the songs they had written (and were fighting over) for what would become Armistice and wrote 20 new ones.
Ok well, it's 10am which is a couple hours past my bed time!