Category: Listened Things

Grizzly Bear in Claymation

I recently started taking a stop-motion animation class, just because I’ve always been interested in it. We haven’t gotten to the point of actually animating anything yet, but I’ve been especially on the lookout for good examples of it, and I just came across this video for Grizzly Bear’s “Ready, Able” (from one of my favorite albums from last year). It’s a great song and a beautiful (though somewhat creepy) animation.

Dirty Projectors, and Coraline

Just got the new Dirty Projectors album Bitte Orca.

bitteorcaIt’s pretty wonderful. I have a feeling that it’s way cooler than I am, though, as if I should find something better to wear just to listen to it. That is to say, the R&B-like vocals are gorgeous and everything else is one step ahead of what you’re expecting. This was my introduction to the Dirty Projectors, and it has me interested to listen to their older work.

Also music-related, I saw Coraline (the musical) on Saturday! The production as a whole was delightful, and the music was extremely Stephin Merritt—plenty of fun rhyming, unusual instrumentation (oodles of toy pianos!), and just-right melodies. I left wishing that there had been one or two more “wow” moments, but if anything, the story was my least favorite part. (I know I should read the book before saying that though, so consider it unsaid.)

Coraline is only playing through July 5th, so if you are a Stephin Merritt or Magnetic Fields fan in NY get a ticket before it closes!

Hearts & Daggers

heartsdaggersHearts & Daggers is another 2008 album that I missed last year. Kathy Foster of The Thermals mentioned it in a recent interview, so I thought I would check it out.

Interesting! Petra Haden combines her mostly wordless a cappella with violin and Miss Murgatroid’s accordion to make a sound that is a mixture of lovely and creepy. Much of the album is a kind of pretty drone that sounds like it comes from the distant past, or a dark indie movie about the distant past. I’m liking it for short to medium-length periods at a time.

Some New Musics

The idea of going to SXSW was again tempting to me this year, but when I really thought about it, it would probably have been tons of waiting in lines (which I hate), loud noises (which I dislike), and standing in one place for hours at a time (which makes me woozy). So instead this year I sifted through A.V. Club and Pitchfork coverage, and came up with a few bands that I’m planning to be a fan of. These are they:

The Rural Alberta Advantage
I just bought their new (and first) album Hometowns. Everyone will like these Canadians.

Titus Andronicus
Nice punkly pop.

The Black & White Years
They are compared to Talking Heads a lot. They are also from Austin, which seems like a nice place to visit most of the year.

Parenthetical Girls
I just broke down and bought their 2008 album Entanglements. (I was planning to wait for a special occasion, but oh well.) It’s strange and silly and I love it. (You’ll probably hate it.)

Passion Pit

chunkofchangeJust heard Passion Pit on the All Songs Considered podcast about upcoming SXSW performances. It’s happy—a bit reminiscent of The Postal Service, except I think it will take much longer to tire of Passion Pit.

This is “Sleepyhead” from their album Chunk of Change. (Best not to look directly at the video for long though, because it’s super dizzying.)

I think I read that they’re coming out with another album in May. Can’t wait!

Jean on Jean

You might be familiar with Molly Schnick from her craft posts on the Purl Bee, the blog of New York’s Purl stores (favorites of mine and anyone else who has ever visited.) You might not have known that Molly is an accomplished musician as well!

jeanonjeanAfter playing with the indie electronic band Out Hud earlier this decade, Molly released her own album under the name Jean on Jean last year. Also titled Jean on Jean, the album is nostalgic, a bit girly, and has gorgeous instrumentation—it’s more or less the musical equivalent to her style of unassumingly beautiful crafts.

Here is a video she recently released for the first track, titled “Tonight.”