Hey y’all! It’s been a while hasn’t it? What have I been up to? Well I wish i could tell you it was something a little like this…
.. but sadly the truth involves much less debauchery, and a lot more hitting myself in the forehead with library books in the vain hope that some of the information might enter.
The soundtrack to this academic sadomasochism has more often than not been soundtracked by the wonderful Hauschka, a composer who explores the concept of ‘prepared’ piano and draws from composers of minimalist and avant-garde traditions. My experience of ‘prepared’ instruments is fairly limited to Sonic Youth’s lesser known releases on their SYR label (well worth checking out), but to the uninitiated ‘prepared’ instruments are those which have been altered using external objects (ping pong balls, pens, tacks etc) creating a wider tonal pallete that couldn’t be achieved by conventional means. The unfortunate downside to this experimentation is that in describing it all joy and emotion are surgically extracted out of the music, rather like over analysing a joke. So rather than continue to mar the brilliance of Haushka, here’s a video demonstrating it better than I ever could.
Singer songwriter (not of the self-indulgent James Blunt ilk I might add) Tim Fite has been another staple of recent weeks particularly this gem.
Now without wanting to make lazy comparisons, but I cant help but feel this song shares at least some of the dark humor of anti-folk types like Jeffrey Lewis (it might just be the animations..)- though perhaps with the benefit of higher production values and wider instrumentation.
In stark contrast to his perhaps slightly twee-pop songs as seen previously, Fite is a fan of hip-hop, this is most explicit in tunes such as camouflage, a kind of amalgamation of hip-hop with the country-twang inflected rapping of Tim Fite- hilarious, bizarre and ultimately brilliant. That said Fite’s love of hip hop is also expressed in perhaps more subtle ways, namely through his love of sampling.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed my not-quite weekly installment in what I have been listening to recently. If you liked Tim Fite I suggest you head over to his site as he has many of his albums up there available to download, FOR FREE. Now you can’t say fairer than that! (Ironically his album ‘Fair ain’t Fair’ is one of the few which you’ll have to pay for, unless you have spotify..or google)
See you soon(ish)