Friday, January 27, 2006

Review -- Let it Die by Feist

Let it Die is the new album by Feist. This Canadian has created quite an interesting album. With mellow accompaniment, Feist has a very 70's R&B type vibe. Her voice is very capable and her writing can swing from playful to deadly serious. On One Evening she sings, "When we started/Both brokenhearted/Not believing/It could begin and end in one evening." Keyboards, some brass instruments and acoustic guitar slide around each other in often unexpected ways. It is rare a record can be this mellow, but still be as interesting musically. This is very good and should appeal to fans of Belle and Sebastian or Beth Orton.

3.0 out of 4.0 on the Vin Swanson Scale.

Listening to them is like playing with matchbox cars on a coffee table while music from 1979 plays in the background even though its only 1975.

What I'm Reading -- Popco

Popco by Scarlett Thomas is the best novel I have read in a while. You do have to ignore the intense pretentiousness and preachiness that permeates the end of the book. Alice Butler, however, is a great character who carries this work. Alice works at Popco, an enormous and somewhat shady toymaker. Alice is chosen to work on a top-secret assignment to create a trendy marketable product to teen girls. Things get confusing, however, when she starts receiving notes in codes that only her late grandfather and treasure-seeking dad would know she could read. The sensibilities of Thomas are what got me instantly hooked on this book. Alice is a lonely, intelligent mid-20s girl who is amazingly cynical, but very thoughtful. Following her navigate through her new assignment with several bizarre co-workers, her one true friend and a new romantic interest is great stuff. There are a lot of long monologue-type ruminations on code breaking and society in general.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

New Discovery -- Summer at Shatter Creek

Here is a new discovery for me, the band Summer at Shatter Creek. I do not have their disc yet, but you can download two tunes from "Your Ever Changing Moods" and "Worlds Away" are great singer-songwriter type tunes. They are basically a rootsier version of Death Cab for Cutie and bit like Ryan Adams from his Cold Roses album.

Listening to them is like staring at the ceiling and zoning out, but your thinking about things you haven't remembered in a while so it is nice.