Seattle by way of North Carolina by way of Dallas singer-composer-doug martsch-look-alike David Karsten Daniels is out with a new record I just stumbled across this morning. Back in the day, my somewhat shitty high school band shared a guitarist with David's much more popular jazz outfit also from the same high school. It's a pleasure to see what he's made of himself. It's a winding, infectious record that seems to be getting some great press all around. As is his style, the record is full of unexpected surprises, never in a jarring way, but just not something you'd hear almost anywhere else.
From Drowned in Sound:
From its first note, David Karsten Daniels' latest full-length oozes poise and beauty. Such general terms seem hackneyed but, with Fear Of Flying, the right adjectives are immensely difficult to pluck and place. Indeed, that maxim can be applied to the man's entire career. Apparently he is a studied composer, a learned musician and everything that the spontaneous and emotional pop writer shouldn't like that much. Where's the spontaneity? Why doesn't he throw his guitar at rivals' faces? What's he doing trying to 'folk up' on this record? Interesting questions. But, as those in the know can attest, pop composers (one of the most loaded terms in music today) with the right balance of theory and horrific experience can become the most scintillating performers we have today – Daniels undoubtedly embodies this.
David Karsten Daniels - Falling Down (video)
By the way, if you didn't notice, I've started using Zemanta. I highly recommend giving it a shot. It'll integrate with Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad, whatever, and even comes in this nifty firefox plug-in. It does some cool stuff like makes it easier to link and tag, add photos and find related articles. Very cool stuff.
From all the Tim Russert eulogizing that's happened over the past few days, my favorite anecdote was told by Mike Barnicle today. Russert went to work for Pat Moynihan's senate campaign back in 1976. A product of Ohio colleges surrounded by a sea ivy league hot shots, Russert must have felt understandably intimidated. Sensing this, Moynihan told him, "Tim, what they know, you can learn. What you know, they can never learn."
A beautifully familiar sounding quote, and one with lessons for the rest of us. After all the research, after all the time spent observing, after all the focus groups and conjecture, many of the biggest ad blunders come from misunderstanding this simple truth. There are things we just don't know and can't understand about other people. We are different for so many reasons, very few of which can be defined within any segmented target definitions. We are far too irrational to fit into nice little marketing buckets.
A few tips for people trying to sell me shit:
1. What I do tomorrow won't be defined by what I did yesterday.
2. What I say out loud is only sometimes what I'm actually thinking.
3. My 27 year-old white neighbor in about the same income bracket as me doesn't like, nor buy the same stuff. That guy's a douchebag.
4. I don't always do what I plan to do.
5. I don't really give a shit if what you have does everything that an iPhone does for less money. I want an iPhone.
6. Sometimes I eat breakfast at dinner for no apparent reason.
7. I would be offended if you talked like some of my friends do.
8. I might get bored by you if you don't.
9. I might forgive you for lying to me if you do it in a clever way. But I'll thrash you endlessly if you don't.
Well, you get the point, I think. We're not created to fit snuggly and easily into a pre-defined bucket. And the second we stop trying to make it so will be the second we can have a more meaningful conversation. Brands don't choose me, I choose them.
It's summer, which means we all should be on the hunt for a good ol', poppy as shit summer theme song. The Lodger would like to throw their hat into the mix, picking up where the strokes left off, minus the pretentiousness and glitz, but with all of the jumpiness and driving beats.
From the moment that I put the CD into my player it’s been the sound track to my evening, it brings to mind the musical stylings of The Smiths, with infusions of REM and memories of late nineties Bluetones. It moves away from being just an album filled with songs and becomes much more, a musically emotional journey that carries you from upbeat happiness through to a slow sense of sombreness.
The Lodger - The Conversaton (mp3)
The Lodger - The Good Old Days (video)
Image by Daniel Voyager from TSL via Flickr
And the iPhone cycle of advertising continues down the same masturbatory path.
Step 1: Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god, Mankind will never be the same. This won't only be a cool phone that let's you do some cool stuff, but it will change your life forever! It'll probably save lives, too! If you thought you were cool before, you weren't! Because you didn't have an iPhone!
Step 3G: Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god, you thought the original iPhone turned men into gods and gods into something even cooler, something that never existed before and you can't even talk about. The only thing almost as cool as the iPhone 3G was the iPhone, and that thing is an obsolete piece of shit you sucker! You won't even believe how amazing we are. In fact, praise us. If you don't get down on your loser knees and kiss my sweet, flush headphone jack then you can't even have one, loser!
Jeez, I'm ready to just get on with the good advertising. Let's all keep in mind that the coolest guy in the room probably isn't the one shouting about how cool he is. But I have faith, they'll be back to the good stuff by July.
Another addition to the Sub Pop artist roster, we've got Seattle's Fleet Foxes. For fans of Band of Horses, Matt Pond PA, or Rogue Wave, this is probably for you. Guitar-driven, folksy and harmonic, the Fleet Foxes debut full length is another charming gem from one of my favorite labels and one of my favorite music towns.
For all the album's winding paths and unexpected vistas, Fleet Foxes' harmonies remain the primary draw, and they've written and arranged these songs to showcase their shared vocals. "Heard Them Stirring" has no lyrics, but it's hard to call it an instrumental. Against a shuffling shaker-and-tambourine rhythm, "Ragged Wood" switches between Robin Pecknold's lead vocals and the band's harmonies after each verse, effectively translating classic rock via folk elements. There's as much Fleetwood Mac as the Band in the song's rousing finale. On the other hand, Fleet Foxes do restraint just as well: "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" features only a lone acoustic guitar and Pecknold's forceful vocals, which switch to a spooky falsetto on the outro.