A cute Japanese girl, Dirty Projectors, and a whole lot more..

Lily Whitfield is today’s guest blogger. We’re very honoured to have Lily on our blog because, for the first time, we have someone writing who is currently in a band. Alright, so Joey has his on-going project, but that doesn’t really count. In fact, Lily’s adeptness at playing music has even kept her in bands when more experienced players have graciously moved on. Lily’s also a girl, which is quite exciting, we don’t know many of them… Anyhow, here is her post which is all about a whole load of bands I’ve never heard of. I think she’s hit the nail on the head with this one…

So this is music that I am listening to at the moment and that I love.

I like St Vincent a lot- like the voice, the style (similar to the chilled out rock of Emily Haines but makes me want to kill myself less). Vincent’s ‘Paris Is Burning’ is great, starting off on the album with a kind of horn song, brass-bandy-style, and going into rock.  ‘Your Red Lips’ reminds me of the fun tunes of The Hollies painted black and sexy. However, to show off her amazing guitar skills, here’s a live recording of ‘Paris Is Burning’:

Deerhoof is a band for people that get bored easily, changing from melody to riff to crazy drum noise. But I love it, maybe because the Japanese singer’s voice is really cute (demonstrated well in the song ‘Flower’), or maybe it’s that it balances tough rock (or what I consider tough) with skill and audible melody. ‘Panda Panda Panda’ is another of my favourites. These are both from my favourite album: ‘Apple O’’.

I love The Dirty Projectors, and have never yet found anyone who doesn’t like them. They are absolute Geniis’. Just listen to ‘Temecular Sunrise’ [see below] from their magical album ‘Bitte Orca’ and you will hear awesome guitar playing crossed with a great song, harmonies galore and a satisfying heavy drum beat, that sometimes drops into a different beat for a bit of a change. Why not. The lead singer pretty much dominates, but he’s accompanied by a girlie who takes a couple of her own numbers: ‘Stillness Is The Move’ (very funny watching girls try and copy the girlie riff in this song. It goes very very high) and for the softies: ‘Two Doves’. Honestly, it’s a good band. It’s not even that they can all play the instruments and sing- which they can- but the ideas they come up with per song. They must have listened to Deerhoof for inspriration. This band is definatley a summer band- mainly up-beat songs with funky guitar riffs. I love them a lot.

Harmonies, however, come no sweeter than in the beautiful styling’s of boy quartet ‘Grizzly Bear’. Yes, they are very famous, and all that, but there’s a reason for it. 4 part harmonies, yet in a cool, relaxed soft way- nothing barbershop about these guys. I’ve tried, but I don’t know how to sum up the band into a genre (‘Alternative’ is apparently saved for bands such as ‘Bullet For My Valentine’ and My Chemical Romance’. There’s nothing alternative about Shit.) so I’ll just say folk/rock. Hell, just check ‘em out:

For those that just like ‘man-and-guitar’ there’s my favourite: Devendra Banhart. A sweet, almost boyish voice and guitar with some really nice songs. The album ‘Rejoicing In The Hands’ includes good one’s such as ‘Will Is My Friend’ (which is beautiful and I think everyone should listen to) which is very similar to the ‘innocent’ style of Kimya Dawson. But a man.

For the Jazzer’s, my new friend is Thelonious Monk’s album ‘San Francisco Holiday’. Relaxing, skilful, great and… atmospheric. I don’t listen to much Jazz, but when I do, this is usually the first album I listen to because it isn’t hardcore at all (not mentioning names….Led Bib) but is just an example of what I think Jazz is. Anyway. Check it out. For a taster, here is the very famous track ‘Blue Monk’.

Moving from Jazz to Classical, Spanish guitarist Toquinho has me with his album ‘Paulinho Nogueira’ as it is the most amazing guitar playing I have listened to without hating the guitar. I listen to this album a lot, mainly because of the first song ‘Triste’, but I have to admit, on this album at least, there’s not a great deal of difference between tracks. Still doesn’t stop the album from being great though. This is the only song I could find from the album on YouTube:

Those who like ska, latin, salsa, then Ojos De Brujo all the way. I love this band. It’s a big, flamenco influenced band consisting of (obviously) an epic rhythm section, horns, a lead girlie singer and the band joins in with the chorus. The song ‘Bailaores’ on the live version of the album Techari is so good. Their equally brilliant song is Color.

Finally, I end the blog on Arcade Fire. I didn’t really get them a couple years back when Zoe was really into them, but lately (having, luckily received 3 albums for free) I love them- ‘Neighboorhood’ goes without saying as being a really fantastic album, but their EP is also really good, slightly more relaxed and with a girl on joint vocals a bit.But let’s face it, this is the ultimate track.

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