Live Blogging

Live Blogging The Leak Of Alex Turner’s Submarine EP

By Will Oliver, March 9th 2011 — with 8 comments

Alex Turner’s Submarine EP has hit the net, and I couldn’t be happier to finally hear what he has come up with on his own. I’ve already pre-ordered it on Vinyl from Domino, and I hope that you have done the same. I’m about to take my first listen, and I invite you to join my thoughts/first impressions on my first listen.

Here we go:

1. Stuck On The Puzzle (Intro) – A truly delightful little opening. Turner’s voice sounds gentler and soothing as ever. It’s less than a minute long, but it sets the tone just right. 8:13 p.m.

2. Hiding Tonight – If you liked songs like “The Bakery” from Arctic Monkeys, song like this are going to make you swoon. This would be a perfect song to slow dance to with your significant other, under the stars. After all, Submarine is all about young romance. The last 30 seconds are classic Turner in the making. Lovely stuff. 8:17 p.m.

3. Glass In The Park – Turner’s got the star gazing vocals down to pact her. Girls must be falling harder and harder for the guy. The light acoustic guitar strumming creates a dreamy glazey sound that’s truly easy on the ears. More great lyrics from Turner. He’s still got it. 8:20 p.m.

4. It’s Hard To Get Around The Wind – Vivid storytelling from the mind of Turner. There are some really pretty vocal parts from Turner. I love the part right after he mentions keeping pepper in the pill. This is perfect example of what makes Turner so special. He arranges great lyrics creating a solid vignette in your mind. If there had to be a song for a journey to heaven, this wouldn’t be a bad pick. 8:25

5. Stuck On The Puzzle – Wow the combination of the drums and the keys really add something. This one starts of magically and finishes beautifully. This may be the standout of the EP. It sounds like James Ford helped him out a bit on this one. Hate to sound like a puzzle, but the lyrics are once again the true champion. Turner has developed so much over the years. No one can deny that after listening to this. 8:29 p.m.

6. Piledriver Waltz – What a melody. This one probably sounds the closest to something that would be tagged with Arctic Monkeys name. Very catchy with a simple but effective bassline. Turner sounds confident and it’s effective. This one gives “Stuck On The Puzzle” a good run for it’s money. What a way to finish the EP. 8:32 p.m.

Anyone who worried that Turner lost his lyrical touch on “Brick By Brick” really needs to listen to this EP. He hasn’t lost a step folks. It was nice to hear him dive into the acoustic singer-songwriting form here. We’ve always known he could do it, but this is our first full fledged taste. This is an incredibly strong EP that will not only please Arctic Monkeys as well as many others. Not many people have heard Turner in this light, and I think people will gain a lot of respect for him after a listen to the Submarine EP.

I couldn’t be happier with the EP. Turner keeps proving to me that he is one of the best songwriters of our generation. You better believe it too.

Live Blogging My First Listen To Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs

By Will Oliver, February 18th 2011 — with 2 comments

Alright so I finally have a chance to listen to Radiohead’s new album, The King Of Limbs. Live blogging has gone over well with (most) of you guys, so I figure Radiohead is a must. Remember this is not a review. I think a lot of people make the mistake. Rather, this is just a way for me to share my first initial impressions of the album. It’s literally like you’re reading my thoughts as I dive deep into the musical waters of Radiohead. Mind blowing, eh?

If you haven’t bought the album, head here to do so and you’ll get the mp3 download right away.

Alright, let’s get this started:

1. Bloom – Some lush piano gets us started, and then we are hit with scrambled mixed percussion. Thom enters the mix in his usual epic way. This is a dark cloudy song that sounds like an acid trip through a dark barren landscape filled with fog. A little bit of a dubstep influence? Some horns…Sweet. There’s a lot of little details fidgiting around in the background. If you’re not careful, you may miss it. Excellent opener. 12:08 p.m.

2. Morning Mr Magpie -  Woah, the juxtaposition of all the instruments creates quite a ethereal sound. You got to wonder how amazing this would be to hear live. Don’t think I’ll be able to shake those riffs out of my head all day. 12:14 p.m.

3. Little By Little – I feel like there’s a little bit of each album tucked away in this song. Really dark, sinister tone to this. Sort of what Radiohead does best.

“I’m such a tease and you’re such a filrt”

Oh yes 12:18 p.m.

4. Feral – Stars with a funky drum beat, very Radiohead. Almost 15 Step like. Woah, some trippy dubstep influenced vocals that sound like Burial. I can’t imagine how many people are going to get absolutely stoned and jut drown out to this. I’m really impressed with this song. They really went out to left field here, and I think they earned quite a result. Ghostly vocals and a deep throbbing bassline. This may be may favorite so far (got a long way to go though). 12:22 p.m.

5. Lotus Flower – Wow. There’s quite a vibe going here. Now it makes sense why they released this as the first music video. I could fumble around a lot of fancy adjectives but this song is just pure and full of beauty. Thom’s vocals hit a magical stride. There’s a perfect balance of everything here. All the right elements. Phil Selway is the unsung hero here. His drumming keeps quite a steady pace. You got to tip your cap.

This and Feral make a incredible combo. Both are front runners for my favorite at the moment. 12:28 p.m.

6. Codex – Starts out with just Thom and the piano. Pretty fitting placement for a ballad. Very nice track. I think I’ll appreciate this more upon further listens. 12:32 p.m.

7. Give Up The Ghost – Ghostly vocals from Thom kick things off, and then are very Neil Young-like feeling hit me. Alright, maybe just for a moment. Thom’s vocals at around 2:45-3:05 gave me chills. There’s a ton of emotion packed into this song, and it may hit you harder than you’d expect.

8. Separator – Last song on the album. Didn’t absorb it enoguh the first listen but it came fully realized on the 2nd. Does have a finishing feel to it.

That went by real fast. This is definitely their shortest album yet. There’s a lot of stuff to love about this album. There’s also a lot to revisit and try to fully digest. I’m home right now, and my good speakers are back at school, so I can’t blast it quite yet. I think Radiohead have done it again folks. You’re going to have to keep playing this to fully get it, just like all Radiohead albums.

Live Blogging The Leak Of Cut Copy’s Zonoscope

By Will Oliver, January 15th 2011 — with 13 comments

Woke up today and saw that Cut Copy’s new album Zonoscope had leaked. I absolutely love the dance rock that Cut Copy bring to the table, and am really looking forward to the new album. I figured what better album to live blog the leak of. With that said, I’m going to buy it on vinyl when it comes out, and I will try and make their next NYC show. You can pre-order it from itunes right here.

So let’s see how the first listen is:

1. Need You Now – This is a sexy start. Dan’s vocals sound very 80s. This sounds like a trip through a dreamy club while on e. Dreamy is the best way to describe this. This just glorious sounding dance rock. Some timely female vocals to add to it’s wonderful climax. What a way to kick off an album. I have a good feeling about the rest of Zonoscope, if this is any indication how the rest of the album is. Magical start. 2:06 p.m.

2. Take Me Over – I’ve been playing this non-stop ever since it came out. This song is everything I love about Cut Copy. Amazing bassline, lush vocals, big fat chorus. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think they changed the song a bit from it’s first release. I think the part before the chorus was altered a bit. Either way, this song holds up just as well, if not better, than it did when we first heard it. Absolute gold. 2:13 p.m.

3. Where I’m Going – Nice transition into this from “Take Me Over”. The band is always good at doing that. This sounds a bit different too, but the changes in the mix help. This one still finds ways to continue to grow on me. Don’t tell me you don’t feel the same? 2:21 p.m.

4. Pharaohs & Pyramids – Turn the bass up loud for this one. This is one of the most club ready songs that they’ve ever created. This needs to be blasted with the lights off and the strobe lights/fog machines turned on. The production is the shining star here. Ah take in the glorious breakdown around 3:40. 2:26 p.m.

5. Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution – I remember hearing this one live, and absolutely loving it. It sounds even better recorded, and that’s saying a lot, trust me. I think this has a chance of being the standout track for a lot of people, myself included. From the dirty, throbbing bassline, to the high soaring chorus, this one’s a winner. 2:30 p.m.

6. Strange Nostalgia For The Future – A slow instrumental track that allows us to breath a little. Stretch your legs, and get ready to dance some more. 2:32 p.m.

7. This Is All We’ve Got – Druggy vocals lead the way for this one. This is one of the more psychedelic rock tracks that we’ve heard from them. Trippy stuff. I think I’m gonna need to spend more time with this one and let it grow. It has plenty of bright spots but I need to absorb it all. Cool song, though. 2:37 p.m.

8. Alisa – I think we heard previews of this in the studio videos that they posted. First thought: Tight, tight, bassline. You come to expect them from Cut Copy, and they keep delivering them in style. Lots of interesting parts. Recognize that scream of “Alisa” through the guitar from the videos. 2:41 p.m.

9. Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat – Best way to describe this so far is very chill. The synths sound magical. Pretty nice. 2:47 p.m.

10. Corner Of The Sky – Funky bass, tribal sounding percussion, with some smooth vocals that sounds lost and haunted. Like this one quite a bit. The vocals are the hero of this track. I think this one could see a lot of cool remixes if done right. 2:51 p.m.

11. Sun God – Here we are at the last track, an intimidating 15 minutes long. Let’s see where this one takes us.. Well its long and there’s a lot of instrumental to take in. It does have legs though, and I think this was a bold move. Does it pay off? I don’t know if I can say yet. Only time will tell. 3:07 p.m.

Alright, so there you have it. After one listen I can safely say Cut Copy are back. Stop right now if your asking if it’s as good as In Ghost Colours, because there’s no point. This is a good album in it’s own right. They experiment with some now sounds here and it pays off. There are some songs that are better than others, and some that need to grow on me. It was a very solid first listen. I’m excited to listen some more so I can peel some more layers and see the album for what it really is.

If you’ve listened to it as well, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Live Blogging The Leak Of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

By Will Oliver, November 9th 2010 — with 11 comments

Alright so My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy finally leaked. It leaked in clean, but you get the idea. I have only live blogged indie acts, so I figured I would try my hand at live blogging my first rap album. I’m gonna snag this bad boy on vinyl once it comes out and if you haven’t done so already, be sure to pre-order the album.

1. Dark Fantasy – Alright so the album kicks off with “Dark Fantasy”, the same track that kicked off his Runaway film. This one is just ridiculously hot. The opening is grand and epic, and once the beat kicks in, oh man. Kanye is just radiating good vibes out of every single pore. This is the way you start a fucking album. I want to just drive around all day to this one. 1:16 p.m.

2. Gorgeous (Feat. Kid Cudi & Raekwon) – This is one of the songs that leaked that I tried my best to hold off on. It had a dark moody vibe on it that perfectly suites Cudi. The line about choking a South Park writer with a fish stick is absolutely classic. You knew he wouldn’t let that one go. This is a solid track. Enjoyed Raekwon’s verse. That guitar has a lot of bite and sort-of makes the song for me. 1:22 p.m.

3. Power (Feat. Dwele) – We all know this one by now, but it still sounds just as epic and fresh as it first did. Smart placement, keeps the momentum going strong. 1:26 p.m.

4. All of the Lights (Interlude) – Pretty cool interlude of “All Of The Lights”. Beautiful strings. Who knew ‘Ye had it in him..oh wait…everyone. 1:28 p.m.

5. All of the Lights – Totally kickass transition from the interlude to the full song. Rihanna is totally a perfect fit, can’t imagine anyone else but her singing it. Here come all the guest features (for real, this time) and it’s pretty powerful. You know the saying “Too many chefs in the kitchen”? Well, that doesn’t apply here. Kanye has them all cooking up excellence.

6. Monster (Feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver) – A G.O.O.D. Friday track that has pretty much become classic already. I’m hearing some changes from that version and think that they’re definitely working to the songs advantage. This one just hits so hard, I love it. Nicki Minaj’s verse will never, ever, get old. 1:40 p.m.

7. So Appalled (Feat. Jay-Z, Pusha T, Cyhi Da Prynce, Swizz Beatz & The RZA) – Truth be told, this was one of the few G.O.O.D. Friday songs I didn’t spin enough. Really dark and moody, not sure how I really feel about it being placed where it is on the tracklist. Sort of long and disrupted the flow for me. Time will tell, I guess. 1:46 p.m.

8. Devil In A New Dress (Feat. Rick Ross) – One of my personal favorite G.O.O.D. Fridays. This new refined version is just smooth and classy. Yes, I said it. Classy. A potential sleeper classic. 1:52 p.m.

9. Runaway (Feat. Pusha T) – Take a deep breath, we got our hands on the 9 minute “Runaway”. Even the intro piano is extended. Building anticipation….wait for it…Bam. Kanye has thrown in some new things only making this song that much more epic. This song grabbed me from his VMA performance, but somehow I have grown to love it more and more with every listen. This song is growing to be not only one of my favorites from this album, but one of my favorite Kanye songs in general.

Now for this extended bit…It starts with some jumbled autotune thrown together with the songs instrumental piece. This may just be Kanye’s most polarizing moment on the album, by far. Need to see how this one settles. 2:02 p.m.

10. Hell Of A Life – Absolutely insane instrumental and beat combo here. You just feel cool listening to this. Could be the new driving anthem of the year. Love how he implemented “Iron Man” into the song. Only Kanye….Kanye hit this one way out of the park. Very solid song, I may have to put this and “Dark Fantasy” on repeat for the rest of the day. 2:08 p.m.

11. Blame Game (Feat. John Legend) – Rogo told me he thought this was one of Kanye’s best songs, ever! So I’m hyped to see what it’s all about. Lovely ballad of sorts with John Legend, who compliments things nicely. This is one of the most thoughtful, honest, tracks for Kanye yet. I think this is another contender for most likely to grow into a fan favorite. 2:16 p.m.

12. Lost In The World (Feat. Bon Iver) – I’m probably the most excited to see how the album version of this shaped up. It was already a phenomenal song when the original leaked, and it’s gained a whole new life with the little fixing Kanye did hear and there. Who knew that in 2010 Bon Iver & Kanye would combine to create a song like this? If you told me that a few years ago I would have laughed at you. Who knew. 2:22 p.m.

13. Who Will Survive In America – It’s pretty much a spoken word outro for “Lost In The World”. Interesting way to end the album. 2:24

Final thoughts: So this is an album already. Kanye West has created something fresh and honest. This album sits well as a whole and I think it’s totally going to place well in a lot of end of the year lists. I’m really pleased with. I think it has a similar vision that 808’s did, but it’s more of a comeback to Kanye’s original sound. So I think we got the best of both world with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I can’t wait to play the shit out of this for the rest of the year.

Call me satisfied.

Live Blogging The Leak Of: Avey Tare’s Down There

By Will Oliver, October 10th 2010 — with 1 comment

Avey Tare is one of the members of our much beloved Animal Collective. He finally joins the club with his first official solo release with Down There. The album doesn’t officially drop until October 26th (via Paw Tracks), but it leaked this weekend and I’m about to give it my first listen. I decided to bring you all along with me once again with a live blog of my first listen.

Once again, if you download the leak try and support Avey in some way. Pre-Order the album or buy it when it comes out, buy Animal Collective gear, or even just spread the word about Avey’s music. Leak’s are emerging as a part of the music listening process and if we find a way to adapt to it, and even embrace it, then we may be able to make it work.

I am using a pair of headphones for my first listen. Like many AC releases, I have a hunch it will do well with a nice pair of headphones. I’m excited to see what Avey has instore for us. Let’s go Down There:

1. Laughing Hieroglyphic – Things kick off with a murky satanic feel due to underwater sounds and some creepy spoken word. I’m being hit with various layers of sound, including an accordion. Didn’t see that coming. Avey’s ever so familiar vocals come in and sound crisp and clear. Guiding us through what sounds like a murky wave of sound. It’s a long track – almost at seven minutes long, but you won’t be checking your watch. Things move along nicely. There’s a lot of emotion in his voice, and it goes pretty well with everything. I’m pretty impressed with what Avey has going on here. Very interested to see where else the album goes. 4:55 p.m.

2. 3 Umbrellas – Steady music that is upbeat and cheerful. A little bit of Animal Collective’s presence is certainly heard here. I’m all over Avey’s Beach Boys influenced vocals. Sounds really nice. Song flew by pretty fast. I really liked this one. 5:05 p.m.

3. Oliver Twist – A lot of people have been praising this one, so I’m excited to hear it. Starts off with some more murky vocals over a slow but steady beat. Slowly the beat is picking up along with the rest of the song. A lot of cool effects tucked away behind his voice. Absolutely adored the little “hmm hmm” part that appeared midway through. This one is an absolute winner, I’m digging this a lot. Everyone was right, this is most certainly a stand out. Lots of cool ideas spread throughout it’s 4:19 runtime. 5:11 p.m.

4. Glass Bottom Boat – The whole album has these quick spoken word dialogues that are weaving in out of a water inspired story. Not sure what to make of it yet. Glass Bottom Boat starts with one and then becomes a quick instrumental that gave off feelings of sadness. 5:14 p.m.

5. Ghost Of Books – This one sounds like a creepy experience within the water, as you drown faster and faster. An amazing looping beat that sounds every bit as trippy as Avey’s vocals. Once everything comes together like a puzzle piece, it just clicks. I can’t explain it, but I’m feeling totally blissed out and immersed. 5:18 p.m.

6. Cemeteries – “Cemeteries” is aptly titled. It’s a sad, lonely song that could be a fitting soundtrack for sad ghost’s journey. This is a really beautiful moment from Avey. Around the 2:16 moment it almost sounds like Panda Bear is calling out to Avey. It makes good use of samples and effects putting the listener in an abandoned cemetery, with nothing to hold onto but their thoughts. 5:22 p.m.

7. Heads Hammock – Avey’s vocals sound very AC at first, before he alters it more and more as the song ends. Not too blown away by this. 5:26 p.m.

8. Heather In The Hospital – The beginning gives me a “Bluish” feel. It doesn’t maintain this feel but it takes off nicely. Nice vocal harmonies through spread evenly over the background. Nice. 5:29 p.m.

9. Lucky 1 – Interesting choice to use the album closer as the first single. It makes sense once you wrap your head around the song and get lost it it’s greatness. This is like Avey’s triumphant step into the spotlight, proving his worth to the collective. 5:33 p.m.

Overall, a solid first listen. I think that this album certainly sees benefits from a listen on headphones. A lot of sparse details and effects that sound better packed tight over your ears. The album as a whole is pretty cohesive. The songs move smoothly to one another providing flawless transitions. There are a lot of nice moments but there really aren’t any heavy handed favorites which doesn’t surprise me. This is an album that your going to listen to as an album. The songs will probably benefit from the others, sounding better as a whole than individual pieces. Some songs did stand out more than others but it’s certainly a well balanced album.

The album is a perfect fall album. It’s dark and it sounds like a journey through gray waters. Avey wanted it to sound appropriate for the Halloween season, and he certainly succeeded.

Like all Animal Collective releases, we’re going to need multiple listens to truly appreciate what’s going on. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with Down There upon one listen. Avey Tare certainly proved his worth. I was able to detect what qualities he brings to Animal Collective.

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