Reggie and the Full Effect - Last Stop: Crappy Town
Now playing:Artist: Reggie and the Full Effect
Album: Last Stop: Crappy Town (buy)
Track: Smith & 9th (listen)
This album is darker and more serious than previous Reggie albums. The hard songs seem angrier. But it also has a few of the super-catchy, upbeat Reggie tracks, and a couple really pretty ones too, including this one.
The Notwist - The Devil, You + Me
Now playing:Artist: The Notwist
Album: The Devil, You + Me (buy)
Track: Where In This World (listen)
This isn’t really an album of singles, and it’s not as catchy as their previous album, Neon Golden. But it has grown on me, and songs like this one and "Good Lies" build nicely from start to finish, adding new layers and sounds as they progress.
The Almost - Southern Weather
Now playing:Artist: The Almost
Album: Southern Weather (buy)
Track: Say This Sooner (listen)
If you can stand to visit MySpace, you can also stream the whole Southern Weather album from there.
Mayday Parade - A Lesson in Romantics
Now playing:Artist: Mayday Parade
Album: A Lesson in Romantics (buy)
Track: Jamie All Over (listen)
These guys are great. They’re like a cross between Seville and Cartel. The whole album is super catchy.
The New Amsterdams - Killed or Cured
Now playing:Artist: The New Amsterdams
Album: Killed or Cured (buy)
Track: Strangled By The Thought (listen)
The amount of great material produced by these guys, from The Get Up Kids to The New Amsterdams to Reggie and the Full Effect, is just amazing.
The Snake The Cross The Crown - Like A Moth Before A Flame
Now playing:Artist: The Snake The Cross The Crown
Album: Like A Moth Before A Flame (buy)
Track: Hot Anger, Soon Cold (listen)
This is only a 6-song EP, which is a shame because it’s amazing. And from what I’ve heard of their newer stuff, it doesn’t sound anything like this.
Calexico with Iron and Wine - In the Reins
Now playing:Artist: Calexico with Iron and Wine
Album: In the Reins (buy)
Track: Sixteen, Maybe Less (listen)
Armor For Sleep - Smile For Them
Now playing:Artist: Armor For Sleep
Album: Smile For Them (buy)
Track: Hold The Door (listen)
So this isn’t "now playing" quite as often right now as it was about a year ago, but I’m backlogged on posting. It was a tough call between "Hold The Door" and "Somebody Else’s Arms" but the former won out.
Helmet - Size Matters
Bush - Letting the Cables Sleep (Nightmares On Wax Remix)
Now playing:Artist: Bush / Nightmares On Wax
Album: Letting the Cables Sleep (Nightmares On Wax Remix) (buy)
Track: Letting the Cables Sleep (Nightmares On Wax Remix) (listen)
I haven’t followed Bush since their album Razorblade Suitcase (1996) and haven’t listened to the radio in about 10 years, so I’ve never heard the original version of this song. But sometime last year, this NOW remix started playing in the Groove Salad stream on SomaFM, and I loved it. Apparently it was only ever released as a single, and possibly only in the UK, though it’s also apparently been included on this comp.
Alien Ant Farm - truANT
Now playing:Artist: Alien Ant Farm
Album: truANT (buy album)
One of the things I love about Alien Ant Farm is that they explore different song structures and tempos with results that are usually interesting and catchy. They’re not extremely off-the-wall experimental, but they aren’t quite straight-up rock either. In this track, there’s the verse, then there’s a bridge which is sort of more like a chorus, then there’s the real bridge, and finally the real chorus.
Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Now playing:Artist: Iron and Wine
Album: Our Endless Numbered Days (buy album)
Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vols. I + II: Fire & Water
Now playing:Artist: Thrice
Album: The Alchemy Index Vols. I + II: Fire & Water (buy)
Track: Open Water (listen)The open water chills me to my bones, but it’s the only place that I feel alive.
I’m fascinated by rivers and the sea so it’s no surprise that I’m a sucker for songs about them. The Alchemy Index has Thrice going in a slightly different direction yet again, and they produced the album themselves. The "Fire" disc is hard rock, not unlike some earlier Thrice but more rough and raw. "Water" is where the real experimentation happens, being mostly acoustic and electronic as opposed to hard rock. And as with their previous albums, the result is fantastic.
Emery - I'm Only A Man
Now playing:Artist: Emery
Album: I’m Only A Man (buy)
Track: Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus (listen)
This music and vocals in this song’s chorus are very catchy, upbeat, and just fun, but at the same time the lyrics are extremely serious, even grave. And interestingly, the point of this song isn’t what you think it is; only the final bit of lyrics reveals its true meaning:
I’m never satisfied, so let them all fall side by side.
Side by side, one more will fall tonight.
One more to promised lies.
The morning brings the dreadful light,
so you can see that you have fallen.
Emery is among my favorite bands, and lyrics like this are one of the main reasons. They’re often criticizing the actions or behaviors that they’re singing about, but if you don’t know Emery’s music well or you don’t pay close attention to all the lyrics, then you might not even know it.
Emery’s first album, The Weak’s End, had a ton of screaming, but also lots of nice melodic parts. The second album, The Question, had less screaming and was perhaps more poppy. And this their third album is sort of more dark and earthy in a way, but also more diverse, as with the electronic part in this track. But what all three albums have in common is that they’re great: catchy music with deep, interesting, and sometimes mysterious lyrics.
My American Heart - Hiding Inside the Horrible Weather
Now playing:Artist: My American Heart
Album: Hiding Inside the Horrible Weather (buy)
Track: Moving On (listen)
Cartel - self-titled
Now playing:Artist: Cartel
Album: Cartel (buy)
Track: This Is Who We Are (listen)
My main impression of this album, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of it, is that it pales in comparison to Cartel’s previous album, Chroma. And that’s a shame because it’s not that this is a bad album -- it’s quite good in fact -- but rather it’s just that Chroma is pretty much impossible to top. Still, the new album is worth owning, and it’s growing on me over time.
Yellowcard - Lights and Sounds
Mae - Singularity
Telefon Tel Aviv - Remixes Compiled
Artist: Telefon Tel Aviv
Album: Remixes Compiled
"I’ll make it easy: either you want him, or you want me."
Smoke or Fire - This Sinking Ship
Artist: Smoke or Fire
Album: This Sinking Ship
"We need the strength of our family’s arms, not a false sense of solidarity."
Circa Survive - On Letting Go
Artist: Circa Survive
Album: On Letting Go
For as long as nodivisions has existed, I’ve been using it as a means to promote the bands that I like. It started as a giant monolithic listing, then switched to a dedicated blog, then more recently to a concise "Now Playing" listing in the sidebar.
All of those methods have proven to be unideal in the long run for various reasons, and it now strikes me that the simplest and most obvious thing to do is just make posts on the main blog about what I’m currently listening to.
One of the most important (to me) things about my website is its ability to facilitate communication and foster discussion, so that’s one big advantage that the blog has over the concise "Now Playing" sidebar as a place to post music: the sidebar listing doesn’t allow feedback or discussion.
And because updating a website regularly can be tedious -- even if you really want to and intend to do it -- it helps to make it as easy as possible to make your updates, which is another advantage that the blog has over an old-fashioned monolithic page or a static HTML sidebar element.
A year or two ago, I would have worried that posting music items on the blog would cause them to get lost amongst all the other non-music postings. But the presence of categories / tags means that that doesn’t have to happen: simply visiting nodivisions.com/tag/NowPlaying will list them all nicely.
So this is the first of those postings, and it’s long overdue: I’ve had this album for about six months now. I plan (hope) to take care of some of my music-posting backlog over the coming weeks.