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The National performance was an art piece in collaboration with Ragnar Kjartansson called “A Lot of Sorrow”. Opinions on art aside, it seems like there was a clear purpose for their set as opposed to “god-knows-what-reason.” Whether their participation coinciding with a new album cycle is suspect or not is up for debate, I suppose.
Concerning Boards of Canada, it seemed like a lot of their fans had fun putting the clues together, which only builds excitement for a highly anticipated album. I didn’t follow any of it closely, but neither the artists nor fans came off as clowns to me.
Even without giving the National the benefit of the doubt, these marketing efforts don’t have board appeal and are targeted to their core audiences. Individuals like the editor’s choice commenter above or the code-breaking BoC fans were already going to buy the albums.
This album’s intimacy combined with how unknown it is amongst my friends makes each listen feel like a private performance just for me. The songs are striking; each track moves and breathes in the almost hypnotic interplay between the drums, guitar, and vocals, left free to drift by Steve Albini’s hands-off production. So good. Hopefully your write-up will turn a few new folks on to this brief, yet deliberate, collaboration.
I prefer the “One Foot in Front of the Other” version from Saddle Creek 50 to “Landlocked Blues.” To be fair to the latter, none of the post-Lifted material really resonated with me (a symptom of getting old, perhaps?), but I do recognize the artistry.
I can’t complain about the older tracks that were selected, but some of my favorites that are missing are “A Song to Pass the Time,” “June on the West Coast,” “Puella Quam Amo Est Pulchra,” “You Will…,” “I Watched You Taking Off,” “From a Balance Beam,” and… I’m going to stop here and go listen to some Bright Eyes.
Lists aside, I think (hope) we can all agree that Oberst is a true talent—one of the best songwriters of the last 15 years, without a doubt.
I had the exact same experience with tUnE-yArDs; I felt so foolish when I finally listened to her music.
Didn’t mean to be a grammar nazi. I just have bad OCD about stuff like that. Sorry, everyone.
Umm… Modest Mouse did play “Cowboy Dan.”
And Tegan’s voice, specifically, was anything but special. She can’t seem to stay in key on her own songs anymore and totally drowns out Sara when singing back-up. Her live performances were never like this in years past. Not sure what’s changed.
In regard to the mouseover on the thumbs: shouldn’t a [forward] slash be used instead of a backslash?
I’d switch 1 & 2, but otherwise this list is spot on.
To clarify: in addition to adddo’s stated issue, “command-click” doesn’t open homepage links in new tabs for whatever reason.
I’m in agreement! I’m very much an open-a-million-tabs-and-get-to-them-when-i-get-to-them type of browser and I always get flummoxed here (and probably read fewer posts).
This is horrible news to wake up to :(.
Having followed the sporadic updates on his treatment and the fundraising efforts to assist in paying for his medical care, I can’t help but wonder if he’d have won the battle with his disease with the assistance of free health care.
“You are not helpless / Try to beat it / And live through space’s loneliness.”
I agree with the others who suggested Building Nothing Out of Something should be included—It would land at the #3 spot.
Interstate 8 (and Everywhere…, were it included) should be above Good News and We Were Dead.
We Were Dead should be just above Good News for the sole reason that the latter contains the most actively offensive (to my senses) song that Modest Mouse has released: “Dance Hall.” I like listening to albums all the way through and that song, along with “The Devil’s Work Day,” and to a lesser degree “Satin in a Coffin” and “Black Cadillacs,” really hinder my enjoyment. There are some good songs (“Bukowski,” “Float On,” “Blame It On the Tetons,” “Ocean Breathes Salty,” etc.), but I think the best is the b-side “I’ve Got It All (Most).” But yeah, “Dance Hall”… WTF.
Regardless, you got the top spots right, barring the obvious omission.
I had the same thought—it totally looks like a toupee. Almost reminded me of Ed Begley Jr. on Arrested Development.
You’re spot on. I was working at a university radio station back in those days and outside of the two experimental shows, the only KFW/Hrvatski track that got any play was his Kid 606 remix from Swarm & Dither. Even then, it was only played on the handful of IDM shows we had at the time.
Nevertheless, that whole paragraph is off. The “emo sensibilities and glitchy electronica” line and other language leads me to believe the author was probably just finishing high school/starting college in 2003, meaning this article was written via a rearview mirror and not first-hand experience. Nor does the author seem to have any idea how the music industry actually operates. Or he’s just a really poor writer. Whatever it is, this piece is elitist while being completely out of touch with its subject matter.
Wait… Keith Fullerton Whitman is “indie-approved?” Did you make this judgment based solely on the fact that he has a beard?
If by 80 you mean in our thirties, then yes :).
If we’re talking remixes and b-sides, the Soft Pink Truth (Drew Daniel) mix of “It’s In Our Hands” is my favorite remix of my favorite b-side.
In my mind, Vespertine has become inseparable from its supporting tour. I’ve always been a fan of Björk and Matmos individually, but their joint performances were totally symbiotic, adding depth and new character to her back catalog in a way that was magical to me. If you didn’t get a chance to catch them on that tour, I highly recommend the “Live at Royal Opera House” DVD (where Björk performs sans swan dress—the comment that she wore it at every tour stop isn’t accurate).
I would want to rank Vespertine higher, but that’s only because it figures more personally in my life. This is a pretty uncontroversial list (compared to most on this site); I am mostly in agreement with the rationale for each pick.
It’s not random—that’s Lil’ Wayne and Birdman, stuntin’.
Once upon a time, Tim punched me while strolling through the crowd and stared menacingly at me until I punched him back. He smiled and moved on. At another show, he shoved his fingers into my buddy’s mouth during the “touch my tongue…” line in “The Sweat Descends.”
My absolute favorite LSF was when they curated ATP at the end of 2011. They played two shows in one day and for the final performance Tim dressed in multiple body suits and was bleeding before the first song ended. It got crazier from there. Being ATP, I ran into him a couple times over the weekend and he was as cheerful as could be—someone completely different than his maniacal onstage persona.
This is a great interview—good work and thank you!
Kevin Drumm’s “Reflief” was solid.
Nice to see Perfume Genius on at least one list this year.
Am I the only one who voted for Damian Abraham?