Music Gifts and a Concert Update

Hello, happiest of holidays and a very happy New Year, my friends. I hope everyone has had a blessed season in whatever way it may be you celebrate and you’re adjusting well into the new spin of 2017.

I received a few music-centered Christmas gifts this year that I wanted to feature on this blog. The first (and my personal favourite) is a poster of the map of alternative rock history, arranged in the style of a transistor radio blueprint.

(I wasn’t able to get a good picture of mine because it’s framed and kept reflecting me and my camera, so here’s the online link from Wired).

The print will make a lovely addition to the house where I currently live at school. I love maps for decoration, and a blueprint documenting the influences of bands on another is even better. One of the things I’m most interested about in music history is the progression of different music movements (specifically the 80’s college rock and 90’s Britpop/alternative/indie trends), so I’ve already enjoyed quite a bit of time studying which bands branch from others.

I also received from my lovely aunt and uncle a 2017 Beatles calendar. This is the 7th year they’ve given me one, as the tradition started during my 8th grade obsession with the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo (that, I might add, still continues to this day).

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The lines of the weeks look like sheet music, which I find exceptionally adorable.

Additionally, my mom got me a piece of wall art for my house at school as well. It’s in the shape of a guitar pick, and the design looks like a shelf of vinyl records. I especially enjoy it because around the center is a copy of The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour,” the first record by them that I ever owned.

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Finally, I have a concert update: I’ve gotten tickets to a Lucy Dacus and Hamilton Leithauser show in February. As I’ve previously blogged, Lucy Dacus is Matador Records’ latest resident singer/songwriter and I am totally into her work. Her record “No Burden” definitely made my year-end list of the best releases, and since I missed my chance to see her at Lollapalooza, I eagerly await seeing her open for Hamilton Leithauser.

As far as Leithauser, I quite enjoy the singles he’s dropped with Rostem from Vampire Weekend (“A 1000 Times,” which I’ve mentioned on here before, and “In A Blackout”) which surprises me since I’m not much of a Vampire Weekend fan.

This show shall show if I end up enjoying the rest of their work, and since it’ll be in a more intimate concert venue, I look forward to the chance to fully appreciate both Rostem and Leithauser’s ability.

I also eagerly await blogging about the concert and how it goes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get as close as possible to the stage.

What were some of your favourite musical Christmas/holiday gifts you received this year?

As always, thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a very happy and blessed New Year. God bless.

-A.L.D.

Weekend Record Store Mini Haul

It’s currently Homecoming and Parents Weekend at the university I attend, so the campus has been full of alumni and family members. Since OWU is a reasonable distance from my hometown (2.5 hours), my dad came to visit yesterday and as usual, we went to the record store in town to pick up some new stuff.

I picked up a CD copy of “Everybody Wants” by The Struts because I’m still impressed by their performance at Lollapalooza this summer (I don’t really think it’s appropriate to say it was a concert; it was more of a small-scale theatrical show). I’d love to see them live again. It’s brash, in-your-face alt rock that reminds me ever so much of a modernized Queen. A friend of mine said The Struts reminds him of Jet, and I agree. It’s unapologetically loud and full of attitude. I recommend if you need some songs to scream along with on your way to work.

Dad got a CD copy of the new Pixies record, “Head Carrier.” He and his buddies are all huge Pixies fans, so he was pretty excited about it. As far as new Pixies work, I remember really enjoying “BAGBOY” when it came out around this time in 2013, and “Indie Cindy” was alright. Personally, I like the older stuff with Kim Deal, but I understand when it’s time for artists to move on and that in-band fighting can be detrimental. Honestly, I’m just amazed when artists like New Order and Pixies can keep cranking out music, especially after coming back from hiatus. I look forward to listening to/hearing his thoughts on the record when I go home for break next week.

Have you listened to either of these albums? What did you think?

As always, thanks for reading, and God bless. Have a great week.

-A.L.D.

Anticipated Releases: August and September 2016

Greetings friends and welcome to another post of Turntable Talk. Some bands I enjoy have albums with approaching release dates coming up, and I wanted to do a brief rundown of some records on my radar for this month and early September.

1.) “Sunlit Youth” by Local Natives; out 9 September.

I’ve always enjoyed a good Local Natives single when it came on on my satellite radio, but after this groups’s Lollapalooza show this year, I’m psyched for this record to drop. While I’ll admit I’m not crazy about the leading single “Fountain of Youth” (a bit too simple lyrically for my liking), the other single “Past Lives” has some excellent subtile harmony and percussion work. I’m anxious to see if the same funky guitars and energetic vocals I saw live carry over to the studio.

2.) “This Album Does Not Exist” by Dreamers; out 26 August.

I’ve known since Dreamer’s breakout single “Wolves (You Got Me)” last summer that I wanted this record. Another band that blew me away at Lolla, Dreamers manages to tap into that alt rock/garage rock sound that I enjoy so much in early Strokes and Cage the Elephant releases. While the very clean production on the singles I’ve heard thus far keep it from sounding as brash as a White Stripes record, I think this will be a nice bit of alt-rock fun with some good lyrics here and there about adolescent reflections on life.

3.) “MY WOMAN” by Angel Olsen; out 2 September.

I’ll be honest with you here; I know all of two songs by Angel Olsen: “Forgiven/Forgotten” and “Shut Up Kiss Me.” I’m making this purchase on a whim, based solely on the fact that I love the catchiness of “Shut Up Kiss Me” and the playful, flirty, sincere vibe I get from the lyrics. If you know anything about Angel Olsen’s other music, please, feel free to educate me in the comments.

4.) “How To Be A Human Being” by Glass Animals; out 26 August.

I don’t know what happened. I didn’t really get into Glass Animals’ stuff they were releasing in 2014, writing it off as not really my cup of tea. And then this summer they start releasing these percussion based, layered, wonderfully produced tracks like “Youth” and “Life Itself” and now I’m totally into it. Maybe I just didn’t give them a fair chance before, but these tracks are SO FUN to listen to and I hope the rest of the album is too. All of the danceable riffs make me think that this band would be incredible live. Glass Animals, you might just have yourself a brand new fan.

That’s all I have for now. What are your thoughts on these upcoming releases? What records are you excited for? Let me know in the comments below.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.