Jónsi →  May 4

Jónsi, lead singer of Sigur Rós, just released a new solo album which I can’t get enough of. Thoroughly melodic and immersive if you like guys who sing / screech (melodically!) in high-pitched voices. Listen and buy from his site.

I also just realised he did the theme song, “Sticks and Stones”, for the animated movie “How to Train Your Dragon”. Impressive choice by Dreamworks! Also, ha ha, very funny, getting an Icelandic singer for a movie about Vikings.

Lists for 2005: Music

December 18, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Yeah, everybody’s doing it.

Favourite albums, in not entirely much order:

  • Arcade Fire, Funeral*
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree
  • Stars, Set Yourself on Fire
  • Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
  • Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • Yeah it was all over the “best of” charts in 2004, but it was only released here in 2005.

Metacritic has a nice compilation of what real reviewers think are the best of 2005.

Oh yah, that music thing

May 28, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

I made a mental note to do that musical baton whatnot (from Better Living Through Buttermilk, who quoted Garth Ennis’ Hitman in his title, and who am I to refuse anyone who quotes Jean de Baton Baton?), and promptly forgot, and now here I am, the last person ever to do this meme, struggling to keep this sentence as long and as incomprehensible as I humanly can.

Fine. Here goes. I haven’t posted anything under “Listenings” for the longest time, anyway.

Total volume of music files on my computer:

5166 songs, 14:13:44.44 total time, 22.91GB

The last CD I bought was:

Album cover Thunder and Consolation, by New Model Army.

Song playing right now:

Album cover “Broom People” by The Mountain Goats, from The Sunset Tree.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:

  • “Neighborhood” by The Arcade Fire, from Funeral. Yes, I cheat and include four songs in one.
  • “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service, from Give Up.
  • “Walking Alone” by Green Day, from Nimrod.
  • “Camera One” by the Josh Joplin Group.
  • “Silent Sigh” by Badly Drawn Boy, from the About A Boy soundtrack.

Five people to whom I’m passing the baton:

Siao ah?

Song Lyrics Nonsense This Week

March 30, 2005  |  Tags: ,   |  

Someone took They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul (not Constantinople)” song and rewrote it using first-order logic (and some set theory).

Original song lyrics here. Excerpt:

Every gal in Constantinople Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople So if you’ve a date in Constantinople She’ll be waiting in Istanbul

First-order logic lyrics here (part of a LiveJournal community creating similar hilarity). Excerpt of the same lines:

∀ Gal ∈ Constantinople, Lives(Gal,Istanbul) & ¬Lives(Gal,Constantinople) Conclusion: Date(you,Constantinople) → Waiting(her,Istanbul)

CS103X, “introductory discrete math”, might have been the most painful class I took in school — observe, though, how thousands of dollars of education have been put to good use in helping me understand geek jokes.

Indie Album This Week

March 25, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

I usually get my recommendations off the metacritic music section and assume anyone who cares can find interesting new albums on their own (Pitchfork, Allmusic, etc.), but since nearly nobody will find these guys, I thought I should point them out.

I already knew Bryan Lee O’Malley does great art (as seen in Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero, one of my favourites). He also does some very infectious indie pop-punk with his band, Kupek. Best thing is, all their albums are available for free download from here.

Compilation Giraffe 2004

I downloaded the two albums above — Nameless Faceless Compilation and Awkward Songz — and thoroughly enjoyed them. Kinda Ataris, somewhat Plain White Ts. Worth a listen. After all, it’s freeee!!! (And legal.)

Found via Warren Ellis, discoverer of the strangest and best things online.

CDs This Week

February 6, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

HMV had some pretty good prices — “CLEAROUT”, they loudly proclaimed in stickers all over the store. Hence:

“Remote Part” (Idlewild)

The album with “You held the world in your arms”, my favourite song from a videogame soundtrack ever (Fifa 2003). Except maybe for the Super Mario theme. And the Monkey Island theme. It’s a bunch of similar-sounding stuff from the Scottish rock group, but I like the similar sounds regardless.

“Moon Safari” (Air)

The CD cover labels in small text “French Band” next to the band’s title. Just to put song titles like “Sexy Boy” in context, I suppose.

album listenings

October 11, 2004  |  Tags:   |  

The monthly playlist thing gets boring, doesn’t it? Here are some albums I’ve been listening to:

Screenshot from Clutter, a very cool program for OS X that lets you place album artwork on your desktop that links straight to iTunes. Highly recommended, but you’re stuck using Windows aren’t you? Nyaa nyaah.

Left column:
– Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Flaming Lips
– Transatlanticism, Death Cab for Cutie
– Final Straw, Snow Patrol
– Hopes and Fears, Keane
– Give Up, The Postal Service
– Good News for People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse

Right Column:
– Happenstance, Rachael Yamagata
– Franz Ferdinand
– American Idiot, Green Day
– Garden State soundtrack
– Oh Inverted World, The Shins
– Around the Sun, R.E.M.

Some comments:

I think I’ve ranted enough about how much I enjoy Give Up, though it’s awfully hard to find in Singapore ($35 at Tower Records, ack).

The new Green Day album, American Idiot is quite decent too, though it can’t match Nimrod for excellence (I’m not sure any punk rock can anymore, as I get older and crankier).

Snow Patrol’s Final Straw: very melodic, but nothing exceptional other than “Run” (best song of the summer, IMO).

As for the rest… they’re there to be clicked on, at least, which is more than I can say for the other 100-odd albums in my iTunes library. The new R.E.M. album I’ve yet to listen to, but how wrong can you go? Admittedly, Up was kinda crap but it did give us “Walk unafraid” and “At my most beautiful.”

There, I’ve exhausted everything I can say about what I’ve been listening to. This is what happens when you’re on off and everyone else is at work.

Email me recommendations, maybe. That’s my spam-collecting address though.

songs for september

September 30, 2004  |  Tags:   |  

Slowly slowly towards June ’05. And then what?

– 1985, Bowling for Soup
– Blue Eyes, Cary Brothers
– I Don’t Blame You, Cat Power
– We Looked Like Giants, Death Cab for Cutie
– Good Life, Francis Dunnery
– Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand
– Matinee, Franz Ferdinand
– The Crystal Lake, Grandaddy
– Summer Here Kids, Grandaddy
– American Idiot, Green Day
– Obstacle 1, Interpol
– Say Hello to the Angels, Interpol
– The New, Interpol
– Word Up, Korn
– Against All Odds, The Postal Service
– There’s Never Enough Time, The Postal Service
– Something Changed, Pulp
– Fair, Remy Zero

Mostly… stuff people mentioned. Probably Kelvin. Either that or from the Scrubs soundtrack, yay for the new season.

Songs for August

August 31, 2004  |  Tags:   |  

Almost forgot.

– A.M. 180, Grandaddy
– Everybody’s Changing, Keane
– Fair, Remy Zero
– Hewlett’s Daughter, Grandaddy
– High Cost of Living, Watchmen
– Hold On, Jet
– Hurt, Johnny Cash
– I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You, Colin Hay
– Know Your Onion!, The Shins
– Lady Picture Show, Stone Temple Pilots
– Let’s Get Loud, J-Lo
– Look What You’ve Done, Jet
– Nonphenomenal Lineage, Grandaddy
– Nothing Better, The Postal Service
– One of These Things First, Nick Drake
– Pressed in a Book, The Shins
– The Sound of Settling, Death Cab for Cutie

Songs for July

July 31, 2004  |  Tags:   |  

Part of* my iPod playlist at the end of every month.

(Yes, I edit these and backdate them, I really can’t remember to update this exactly at the end of every month. Do I look like I have nothing to do nowadays? Uh, don’t answer.)

– Away from the Sun, 3 Doors Down
– Caring is Creepy, The Shins
– Don’t Panic, Coldplay
– Ersatz, Fischerspooner
– Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime, Beck
– First Week, Graham Colton Band
– In the Waiting Line, Zero Seven
– Lebanese Blonde, Thievery Corporation
– Let Go, Frou Frou
– Light and Day, Polyphonic Spree
– Love will Come Through, Travis
– Memory, Sugarcult
– Mr Blue Sky, ELO
– New Slang, The Shins
– Only One, Yellowcard
– Orange Sky, Alexi Murdoch
– Ordinary, Train
– Run, Snow Patrol
– Such Great Heights, Iron Wine
– Such Great Heights, The Postal Service
– Vindicated, Dashboard Confessional
– Worn Me Down, Rachael Yamagata
– You’ve Got Maelstrom, Blockhead

* Blah blah yadda yadda.