The art of sound

Thom Yorke - The Eraser

I'll get the initial stuff out of the way and say that Im one of those Radiohead geeks that sees anything remotely related to the band and goes ga ga over it. I wasnt much of an electronic music fan until Jonny Greenwood tossed his solo album my way. I didnt care for live releases until I got my hands on my first Radiohead bootleg. And when it comes to my all time best albums list, The Bends and OK Computer are represented well.

I say all that to say that The Eraser is boring. Yes, I said it, its boring. We have all heard the mixed up electronic sounds Thom employs throughout the album, and think fondly of Amnesiac, but its all filler from there. And for some of you the mere mention of Amnesiac has you clicking away already. The high pitched sometimes whiny vocals never really grated on me until songs like Atoms for Peace seeped through my headphones. So, why is this such a departure from the Radiohead I love? And, to be clear, maybe it isnt, but what is missing for me?

Well, for one thing Jonny Greenwoods presence is a large gap to fill. While Im sure he was incorporated to the live sex album in a small way I can feel the void left by Mr. Greenwood and his musical genius. If youve ever seen Radiohead live you can appreciate that statement. Jonny does as much on stage for RH as anyone does for a band.

And dont hear me wrong, The Eraser is by no means bad. I just finished listening to it again and found that I quite enjoy parts of some songs, but rarely a whole one. Thats what I mean by boring. While ive heard some people say that tunes like "Black Swan" and "Harrowdown Hill" are as good as anything from the Radiohead canon, I dont buy it.

I found myself skipping the second half of almost every track in order to get to what Id hoped would be a tune worth repeating. Still, if you are like the guy I mentioned at the beginning of this opinon, you will likely follow the masses and throw a 5 star rating at The Eraser too.

Me, Im holding out for more of the genius that Yorke and Company have and can provide as a full band. So as Thom insists that this is not a solo album, Ill insist that he not drag the rest of the crew down.

Dark Side of the Cop

Care for a little sugary sweet pop music? Think Ben Gibbard wearing his Postal Service hat. Now, imagine if the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack got a makeover. Seriously, Dark Side of the Cops self titled debut was intended to be an alternative to the 80s cop comedy. The live jasmin project was envisioned in the same vein as the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz correlation.

And to be quite honest, when you hear that before listening, it makes alot more sense. Have a listen to Dark Side of the Cop and this tune, "Shaky Little Rules".

Christmas Mixers

Songs for ChristmasI had a good time putting together a Christmas Mix last year, but with the huge amounts of Christmas music already flying around the web, I decided against a mix this year and thought Id just link you up to some of the best Christmas tunes on the web that Ive found on Even so, Ive got lots to share today. First and foremost, go over to WOXY and check out the Holiday Mixer. Its a dedicated stream of all Christmas music that is running 24/7 through Christmas day, its much better than any mix I could provide.

Over the past couple years, the Christmas music game has sped up quite a bit in the indie world, mostly thanks to Sufjan Stevens. He has more Christmas music recorded than lots of the bands profiled on this site have altogether. Here are links to three zip files containing loads of Sufjan Christmas material, all before his current Christmas release, Songs for Christmas.

Bombino - Forecastle

Even though there were some big bands at Forecastle, I think Bombino probably topped the list for hot sex cams groups I wanted to see. I've been loving their album Nomad for a huge chunk of this year and who knows when I'd get the chance to see this African group again?

Even though it was getting a bit hot and muggy when they took the stage, Bombino did not disappoint. The sound of their hypnotic guitar riffs were both relaxing and invigorating. I think if they ever toured with Animal Collective, Yeasayer or any other jammy/druggy/rhythm-centric group then they'd be a huge hit. I know Forecastle's mid-day crowd really loved these guys. Here's hoping it's not too long before we get them back in the states again!

Stephen Fretwell

Here at Each Note Secure we love to give stuff away. The Stephen Fretwell camp is offering up a nice little prize pack which you, the lovely reader are eligible to win. Here are the details.

First of all, a little about Stephen.

Though he's only 23, singer/songwriter Stephen Fretwell writes songs with an acidic world-weariness that should make him seem older, but somehow these songs are fresh enough to retain a youthful spark that puts many older artists to shame. Fretwell has released his first album, 'Magpie,' recorded in Abbey Road Studios in London during what Fretwell describes as the one of the most amazing times in his life. Rather than being overawed by the studio's illustrious history, Stephen seems to have been spurred to create his finest work yet.

There are flavors of Dylan, The Beatles, Cohen, even jazz and swing in Stephen's songs, but a melodic sensibility that seems to come from somewhere supernatural and the total individuality of his voice make Stephen's work transcend his influences and stand apart. All his hard work is now paying off, as 'Magpie' has received both critical and commercial acclaim from top-tier publications like Q Magazine and NME. Fans of artists like James Blunt or Damien Rice-or music in general- should definitely check out the new album by this soulful, talented young man from Manchester.

Cant hear it on the radio

The majority of the artists mentioned here on ENS are difficult to find on any radio station. Actually, I rarely have FM radio playing at all in the past 5 years, ever since my dear WOXY went to internet only, my car has been mostly radio free. I do enjoy some good college radio stations though that are still out there. Had my attention turned towards one today out of Lexington, KY. A city I used to live in. WRFL has been streaming on my ibook all morning now, good stuff. One of the featured items right now from WRFL is a fully downloadable album from some local artists of interest. Of note is The Ideal Free Distribution. IFD are set to do some opening duties for The Apples in Stereo soon and are happy to give you a listen to a couple of thier songs.