As I give my creaking knuckles calisthenics, I’m reminded of how great 2013 was for music. There were a lot of great releases, and I think that a few of my selections might shock a few people this year, but it’s necessary to give credit where it’s due. Leave your comments in the C-Section below, and let me know how you feel.
Archive for the Reviews Category
When artists begin collaborating with each other online, there’s really no telling what’s going to happen. They might only collaborate on a few tracks through e-mail, or they could end up releasing volumes of vivacious music. Tyler Keyes & M.i collaborated copiously on the 2011 album Prep Time; this was done entirely through phone calls and e-mails. After visiting Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Festival, Keyes left the Twin Cities to form a more proximal working relationship with M.i – a bold and wise choice.
Last night I experienced something so unforgettable and so mind-blowing that I am just happy to share with the readers on Mindinversion.net. I love music so much, yet I find it incredibly hard to write to an audience while being succinct, to the point, factual-in great depth, and at the same time remain fair, interesting, and unbiased. Like, this is what I truly listen to. I am not just pushing this to promote someone I know. So when I come across an experience such as this I must share. I am going to avoid the small details, not do a bio, and stick to what I know in this piece-I am going to stick to the subjective perspective of the audience member involved: Me.
Let me preface by saying, I had little knowledge of Father John Misty before the show itself. In fact, I had only heard a few songs of his on The Current, and I had read a brief bio (forwarded through email by a friend), or intro, or something in a local magazine. The point is not that I knew of Father John Misty before going to the show, or that I was a mega-fan, or to write an A&E biography of the guy, the point is that if you have the opportunity to see Father John Misty, or you haven’t heard of his music, you should. He is the shit, and that is what’s happening.
Last night I attended a Father John Misty show at First Avenue, and I was stunned by the sound, the performance, the vulgarities, the honesty, the attraction, the allure, and the general idea of Father John Misty himself. He is a simple paradox, a dichotomy of a human being, a split personality of oneself, a diversity of contrast, not to be oxymoronic or redundant. He is the embodiment of a true performer, one of very very few existing on earth.
My significant other had purchased tickets a few months back and had expressed that I could join if I cared to. I accepted the offer, thankfully. As now I am writing about something amazing that happened in my life.
We biked to First Ave. from NE Minneapolis, in the rain. Arriving at around 9 PM, obviating the opening band, Solid Gold (for no apparent reason at all). We arrived wet and soaked to the bone. After entering we promptly ordered whiskeys and gazed over the massive sold-out crowd of the main room floor. Walking towards the stage we found a spot near the right side, just above the lower-level standing room area, and watched as the roadies set the stage for what was going to be a show. After 15 minutes of waiting the band entered the room to a roar, the floor lights went dim and a spotlight hit the man at center stage. The show was on, and this is what transpired, in broken prose and obscure paragraphs:
Electric rock blues country indie psychedelic sound with 100% heart within the live performance. Haunting, chilling, numbing, and genuinely real. Sorrow was on display. Realism was tangible. A dark gospel was in session.
Father John Misty, the true performer. Like Mercury and Morrison on stage; at times pure evil, at times sultan of seduction, at times almost bringing you to tears, or terror, and all at once, had you laughing moments later.
He performed the hits, some new material, and even for an encore (1 of the 3 songs) pleaser he did a rendition of The Beatles’, Happiness Is a Warm Gun.
His [Father John Misty] antics and ad-libs added to the amusement and brought humor and a human aspect to the set: pokes on Prince, America, and humanity rang true and effective. I felt like I knew him by the end. At the start I wasn’t sure if I was even a fan, at the conclusion I knew I had seen something amazing, and I needed to delve more into his musical catalog. Fantastic.
Authentic, yet almost vulnerable on stage, something that garnered an emotional cord with the crowd; I was moved at his artistry and the way the lighting made the theatre on stage come alive; I was not just at a concert, I was on a journey. Father John Misty at the helm.
At one point, during Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, one of the best songs of the evening, I thought someone (Father John Misty himself) was going to choke on a mic cord; however, not to worry all was crescendo, breakdown, and lights after that. There was an encore with 3 songs (as mentioned above) and that was it. I stood in awe. I was impressed.
End of What Transpired.
All that said, Father John Misty is a talented live performer. The set he created delivered to someone who was an ignorant fan, even the backdrop was well-done. His material has been on the radio for some time, I’ll be it more tame and polished than at the live show, but what the performance offered in dark and grit was a catalytic reflection of the manifestation of artist from album to live performance. If you have a chance to see Father John Misty, or you haven’t purchased the album, I suggest you get on that. Father John Misty has given us some very interesting and relatable art to listen to, however subtle and manipulated on the record, a great listen all around.
Father John Misty is a true performer, a real performer, someone who can put on a captivating show and not fret about reviews. He may have shocked an awed, but he is a true artist from what I have seen. Now, have a look for yourself.
Greatness in the most subtle form is “pure blissfulness”. Poolside, an electronic duo based out of Los Angeles, has done just that; made an album that equates to “pure blissfulness”. If you have never heard the delicate electronic music, from Filip Nikolic and Jeff Paradise, that has you wishing you were sipping a mojito poolside. Then take a gander over to that oversized lounger and order yourself a mojito. Their debut album, Pacific Standard Time, starts off real mellow and real instrumental. “Tulsa” lets you in, gets you comfy and gets you ready for the rest of what is to transpire over the course of the next 68 and a half minutes. Let me tell you, it won’t seem like that long once you drift away in this great and magical album.
The second track, “Next to You”, is an upbeat electronic jam with a chorus that is heavy on harmonic melody. Even when the harmonized lyrics are not being sung, you can still hear where they would fit in perfectly with the music. In “Why You Wanna” they come at you with less harmony and a little more direction. Continue reading
I would assume that you probably know who Odd Future is by now, and if you don’t know who they are, then I would assume you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years. Tyler, The Creator dropped his third album, Wolf, today, and you can say I’ve been looking forward to it. I listened to both Bastard and Goblin a ton, and Wolf will also be getting regular rotation from me. Tyler’s music seems to get better the more I listen to it. I’ll admit the first time I heard “Bastard” I didn’t really like it, but the more I listened to it the more I liked it.
Odd Future is known for having graphic material in their songs; Bastard and Goblin both had a lot of songs about murder and rape, and while Wolf definitely has it’s fair share of outrageous lyrics, Tyler has toned it down a little bit. He has definitely moved away from the ridiculous shock raps and the “fuck everybody” punk attitude. The themes that show up on Wolf include dealing with fame and success, girl problems, having an absent father, and his career thus far. His flows are all pretty nice on this album. When it comes to the beats, Tyler has stepped his production game up – a lot. The whole album is entirely produced by him, and the beats sound great. His production style is very unique and he’s definitely created his own sound.
The single off the album “Domo 23” has Tyler bragging over mischievous horns, while the following track “Answer” is much darker with Tyler longing for his late grandmother and absent father over a relaxed guitar track and bright organs. “IFHY” is one of my favorite songs on this album. Tyler talks about his conflicted love interest over a dark organ track which evolves into electric synthesizers while the darkness is continued in the bass and drums. “Rusty” is the standout track on this album. The beat almost sounds like something RZA would’ve done in the 90’s, and Tyler’s verse is on point. He basically gives all of his critics a big “fuck you” and finishes off his verse with “Fuck buying studio time, I’ma go purchase a shrink/ record the session and send all you motherfuckers a link”.
While Tyler’s production is better than it’s ever been, his rhyming hasn’t really gotten any better. He’s definitely not a bad rapper, and it’s good that he’s moved away from the rape and murder, but his rhymes aren’t any better than they were on Goblin. With that being said the album still has some of the best songs he’s ever written. There are several tracks really dive deep into his personal matters, and “Rusty” is one of his best lyrical performances to date.
Overall, Wolf is a beautiful sounding album. The production is beyond great, and rather than venting his anger like Bastard or Goblin, Tyler has opened the doors to show off the talent behind his music.
Top 10 Albums (no particular order)
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, m.a.a.d. City
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Kendrick Lamar has the Outkast factor. I can listen to his songs, intently focusing on the lyrics while getting lost in the scenes he vividly describes, or I can zone out, not pay attention to what he’s saying and dance to the beat while singing along with the incredibly infectious hooks. GKMC feels like 3 Stacks and Big Boi rolling through Compton with Caine and O-Dog from Menace II Society.
Standout Tracks: Money Trees, Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe, The Art of Peer Pressure, Swimming Pools (Drank), The Recipe Continue reading
Is it really that time of year again? I have no idea where 2012 went; it seems like it was just January a few short months ago. In this seemingly short year, there has been a slew of superb releases – especially in the Hip-Hop realm. Like I’ve always said, making a year-end list is no simple task, and it’s inevitable that someone (or a lot of people) will disagree with my choices; however, opinions are unique to each individual, and we are all entitled to our own. If you feel the need to voice your opinion, leave a comment in the C-Section.
If you’ve gone on the internet in the past two years, I’m sure you’ve at least heard the name Kendrick Lamar. Last week his much anticipated major debut was released and has been talked about over and over while receiving critical acclaim. good kid, m.A.A.d city is Kendrick’s sophomore album, and it’s a follow up to his independent release Section.80 which dropped in the summer of 2011. I was a huge fan of Section.80,and it wasn’t long after I started listening to it that I realized Kendrick’s lyrical ability – especially when it comes to storytelling. Section.80 was a concept album, and good kid, m.A.A.d city follows in the same foot steps; I was very happy he didn’t let go of that style of music with this album. Continue reading
I have to start this review by saying that this album came out of nowhere; I had heard of Macklemore back when he was a XXL Freshman, but other than that, my exposure was pretty limited. With the aforementioned being said, this is the perfect album for an introduction into the world of Macklemore. Let’s face it, we’ve all heard the story about overcoming addiction and life obstacles to become a champion; however, no one has done it quite like this. Backed by the prodigal production of Ryan Lewis, Macklemore has created one of the year’s most honest and resonant records.