Monday, March 08, 2004

I've been waiting for an occasion to link one of my favorite sites on the web. Today seems like the perfect time. Tracey's shutterbug photoblog is just amazing. I've been using her photos as my desktop background for a year now; always something new and fresh and colorful. Scroll through her archives and have a blast! The recent donuts were great and the Chinese New Year Parade and, probably a while back now, the beach stuff she was doing. I try to go every few days so I have a few pictures to scroll through. Keep up the good work, Tracey. Good luck with the store!

Also, Pitchfork reviewed TV on the Radio's debut album today. It's a good read, but I think the album deserves more praise than they gave it. True, it fails in terms of "expectations," but what are expectations anyway? Who are we, the public and the critics, the "audience", to say what a musician should do with their music? I loved the Young Liars EP a lot and built up all kinds of expectations about what the album would be like. So, obviously, I was putoff by the dirtier, grungier (as in the substance now the style), sound of Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. (A wonderful title, by the way.) But, after insistence by Caitlin over at sh1ft, I gave the album a fresh second listen. And then a third, and then a fourth, and then...I stopped counting. I'm loving it, now. It's a fresh, nuanced, viewpoint they have and it takes some listens to acclimate. It's also a brilliantly produced record and is gorgeous on headphones. I can also understand why the band chose their first album to be a little bit more accessible than the barrage of distortion that characterized the EP. So, the emotion is not overt, but it's there. Trust me. This album is breathtaking, in the true sense of the word, the "I just ran a race and my emotions are all over the floor"-way. The strength of the vocalists, the Jonny Greenwood-like guitarist, the hypnotic beats; it's almost too much, even at nine tracks! Still, I find it difficult to even close the album before it's done. I disagree completely with the Pitchfork writer and think the last three tracks are near perfect. You expect an eruption on "Don't Love You" but it doesn't come till the angry political rant of "Bomb Yourself" and it ends with the exhausted-on-the-world's-bullshit-vibe of "Wear You Out."

Another important thing to remember is this band is from Brooklyn. They're New Yorkers and, well, that should mean something. You should give them more slack to be who they want to be. You have to stand out in New York otherwise you get lost. If that means crafting a whole new kind of sound, the kind of sound that could only come out of New York City, that melting pot of everything, especially music, then that's what TV on the Radio have done. This is a very New York album in that it not only bends the line between genres but grabs the line by the throat, strangles it, and chucks it in the East River.

The album should be out in stores tomorrow and I plan on buying it, early. I just hope there's printed lyrics.

PS. AMG comes a lot closer to what the album deserves. The writer was as passionate about the music as the band were when recording it.

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