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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Adventures in Audio: Of Montreal and Bon Iver

There was a time, ladies and gentlemen, when I updated this blog at least 5 times a week (2008 as I recall). One of the things that I never really did during that period was actually write a lot of stuff as informal blog entries, opting instead for a more professional slant. Now that I don't update near as much as I used to, I feel much more comfortable just writing about the music that I happen to be listening to. No agenda or focus, just writing. Whether or not you'll enjoy what I have to say has yet to be seen, but at this point I'm beyond trying to impress with my writing.

Or my logo-design, as fate would have it.

So this past week, the 1st week in June of 2009, most of my music-listening time has been divided between two artists: Of Montreal and Bon Iver. Let's start with the first, and most obvious.

It's no secret that Of Montreal is my favorite band on the planet. Aside from me saying that on numerous occasions, there's also that exhaustive Top 40 Of Montreal Songs list that I typed up last year and nobody really cared about. One album that was absent from that list entirely was the 2002 Tour-Only CD, If He is Protecting Our Nation, Then Who Will Protect Big Oil, Our Children? Now I've had the CD in my collection for several years now, but for the most part I always just brushed it off without ever really giving it a fair shake. Something compelled me to put it on this week, and I've been listening almost non-stop ever since. Seriously, over 90 plays this week according to my page.

The CD has a few week tracks, sure, but songs like "An Ill-Treated Hiccup" and The Zombie's cover, "Friends of Mine" are absolutely winners, and probably should've been included in my Top 40 list. The really tricky thing about this album is that there are two versions of it, the 2002 self-released version (which I have) and the 2003 Track and Field version. The biggest difference between the two is the omission of "Neru no Daisuki" on the newer version. This song is absolutely fantastic and is actually a Japanese version of the song "An Ode to the Nocturnal Muse" from their album, Aldhils Arboretum. I feel bad for saying it, but I totally dig the Japanese version. It's more uptempo, and Kevin sings it with much more enthusiasm. It's also available on the Japanese version of Coquelicot, I believe. Either way, you'll have a tough time obtaining it. Unless, of course, a really cool blogger happens to upload a copy for your streaming pleasure. But where are you gonna find someone that cool?

On the exact opposite side of the musical spectrum we have Bon Iver, a name I have heard several times over the last year and a half and am only now getting around to listening to. The album, For Emma, Forever Ago is near-flawless in its bleak, wintery-ness, and the song "Creature Fear" is just beautiful (as are "Flume" and "Blindsided"). I'm kind of upset that it took me so long to get around to it, and kind of upset that no one even cared to leave a comment saying "Hey Cale, you should check out that new Bon Iver. It's the bomb diggity!"

So if there are two albums that I would definitely tell you to check out today, they are:



Gary said...

I got FEFA just a couple of weeks ago too.

How are you finding it? I'm totally loving it - and it helps that it's winter here in NZ, and it's definitely a winter album.
I just can't imagine enjoying it as much in summer...

Fav tracks? Skinny Love, For Emma, re: Stacks.

Cale said...

I'm in love with it, man. My favorite is easily "Creature Fear" but "Flume," "Skinny Love," and "For Emma" are close behind. It was 102 degrees here today, and I still listened to it and loved it. Winter album or not (it totally is), it's just flat out awesome!