Sal Klita Blogger | Muzik impressions

Sal Klita Blogger

Tuesday, June 15

Arcade Fire brand new songs...'Ready to Start' and 'We Used to Wait'...

At this very moment, there isn’t anyone hotter thanArcade Fire, and for good reason. “The Suburbs” and “Month of May” 7″ kicked off a blistering month that included the announcement of an album worth paying for, tour dates, and a few secret shows. Continuing their takeover of the blogosphere, the Canadian rockers have now unveiled the first official US single from The Suburbs, the striking “Ready to Start”. 107.7 The End was the first to debut the track and you can now stream it for yourself below. Also, BBC Radio’s Zane Lowe just debuted a separate Suburbs track, “We Used to Wait”, on his show. We’ll attach a stream for that one too as soon as it becomes available. Stream included below. According to Lowe, this is the first official UK single.

Ready to Start

We Used to Wait


Thursday, June 10

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti...I never liked him much before today, but this is a Real Masterpiece!!!


"...Something unusual has happened to Ariel Pink since he first started sharing those tapes with the wider world, though. Think of it like the cliché about The Velvet Underground & Nico, but on a smaller, more craft-y scale: His records didn't reach a lot of people, but many of those who heard them were inspired to start home recording projects of their own. So as different kinds of lo-fi music bubbled up from the indie underground in the last couple of years-- from more placid chillwave to roughed-up garage rock to abstract instrumental music-- and many of these bands were talking about his influence, all of a sudden Ariel Pink started looking way ahead of the game. And now, he's been given a chance to do something few artists working on his scale ever do: record an album more or less professionally for a large independent label and enjoy all the increased attention such a leap provides. He did not waste the opportunity.

Oddly, the difference in fidelity isn't what sets this record apart from earlier Ariel Pink releases. While much of the tape hiss that marked those records is gone, along with the degraded audio quality that came off those old, decaying cassettes, this is still a pretty modest-sounding LP, recorded simply and cleanly but not, from the sound of it, expensively. Haunted Graffiti, which began as an abstract concept, has also turned into a full band featuring experienced members who've spent years playing in established independent acts, and each took care to get their various parts right. The vocal harmonies overlap just so, the guitar fills are in the right places, the drumming is tight and precise, and bassist Tim Koh in particular colors the songs with striking rhythmic and countermelodic depth. It turns out that these details make a big difference, even while the album adheres to the hazy overriding aesthetic of Pink's earlier records. The fact that this is, in a sense, Ariel Pink's first group of songs created to be released together and presented as a whole-- as an album, rather than as a collection of songs recorded years ago-- sets the table for a new focus.

We know from interviews that Ariel Pink grew up absorbing throwaway pop from the 70s and 80s, finding a way to make it all fit into his cracked worldview. Something overlooked about those songs, though, is that the people writing them were pros who knew something about intros, codas, and middle-eights, how a certain kind of chord change can cause the turnaround to the chorus to hit a little harder. Ariel Pink's best songs are surprising, and there's a real sense of musical delight on Before Today; the sections sound logical but never predictable, and there are wild bridges and short bits that emerge seemingly randomly but wind up taking the song somewhere unexpected. So "L'estat (Acc. to the Widow's Maid)" goes from a rollicking organ-led opening section to a catchy call-and-response chorus hook the Monkees might have liked to a short double-time instrumental section to a jubilant coda, and all the while the stitches never show. Songs like "Little Wig" have so many interesting interlocking parts that they can almost feel proggy, despite their relative brevity and tight pop structures.

It's a rare feat for artists to maintain a truly unique sound while taking their music in a direction that appeals to a wider audience. For those who've been following along for a few years, this is a groundbreaking record that condenses and amplifies Ariel Pink's most accessible tendencies. But the brilliant thing about Before Today is that no prior knowledge of his catalog is required. Newcomers can dig into this record and absorb all of these weird and wonderful songs now, and save the backstory for another day." Mark Richardson, June 7, 2010