June 29, 2009

Theology and Algebra

That is actually the name of a Blenderhead song, but not what this post is about. I just thought it made a cool title, and is half-way relevant.

Due the release of Jeremy Enigk's 3rd solo album, 'OK Bear' and the news of the Sunny Day Real Estate reunion, I have been listening to lots of his music. Today that is the Fire Theft. Of the eight albums that Jeremy sings lead on, it is my least favorite. That is not to say it is bad, it just doesn't grab me the way the rest of his solo stuff and SDRE does. There are some outstanding songs on it, mainly "It's Over" and "Heaven."

This post is about the song "Heaven." Heaven, both the song and the place, are two things I have never really understood, but I have had lots of thoughts about recently. And my thoughts about the place Heaven and the song "Heaven" parallel one another.

Heaven is described by most people as a physical place- where we have big mansions on gold streets, we hang out with angels, and oh yeah God is up there with us to. It has taken me 32 years to completely grasp this, but heaven is not a physical place. Do I believe it exists? Definitely. But heaven is being with God, period. Will I live in a fancy place? Maybe. But the point of heaven, and the point of salvation through Jesus, is that I get to BE WITH God eternally. That is awesome. I get to worship him, spend time with him, and all the rest will be nice but not really that important.

That brings me back to this song by the Fire Theft, with lyrics by Jeremy Enigk. I'll don't know what Jeremy was thinking when he wrote this song, but for the first time in six years, today it means something to me. You can't find heaven the place; you'll reach heaven when you fall in love with Jesus.

"heaven
are you really waiting outside the door

never though i'd hear the words before the road

sever
it's the simple things that are so hard to grasp
can't find myself in all the days that passed
but i can feel it when it shines
nevermind i'm falling in love with you
can't find the road that runs though
falling love with you

heaven
are you really waiting outside the door
never thought i'd hear the words before the road

sever
it's the simple things that are so hard to grasp
can't find myself in all these days that pass
but i can find feel it when it shines
nevermind the way they shy
turning around along the trail
my whole world is falling in love with you
can't find the road that runs through
falling in love with you
can't find the road that gets through"

June 27, 2009

Best of 2009, halfway there

Doing a redesign of blog, excuse the mess.

Best albums of 2009, at the midpoint:

1. Appleseed Cast- Sagarmatha**
The band continues on, staying active, playing shows and releasing music now for over a decade. 2006's Peregrine was my least favorite of their albums, although many fans seem to really like it. This album blew me away. More post-rock than any of their previous work, and a definite change of pace from the last two releases. Started out as an instrumental EP until they kept recording and turned it into an LP. Almost every song ended up with vocals, but the album at times goes on for 10 minutes without any singing.
Buy on vinyl, because you get a bonus track and beautiful, extensive artwork and packaging (see my post a few months ago for pictures). For some reason it has completely different artwork than the cheesy CD/digital cover of a xylophone. They should have used the vinyl artwork for every format. Available on emusic.

2. Paper Route- Absence
Nashville band that I have been following for a few years. They had released three digital EPs before this, their first LP. Rock/electronica with an 80's twist.
Unfortunately not available on vinyl. I bought on CD because I pre-ordered it, but iTunes had the cheapest price for awhile of 5.99 plus an exclusive bonus track. Not on emusic.

3. Manchester Orchestra- Mean Everything to Nothing**
Altanta-band steps with up with their sophomore release, rocking harder. Fronted by prolific songwriter Andy Hull (check out solo project Right Away, Great Captain!), album has very challenging lyrics. Download the single for free.
Buy it on vinyl and it comes with the CD. Not on emusic.

4. Jeremy Enigk- OK Bear*
Third solo album from Enigk, and drastically different than the first two. Simple, raw production with much more guitar. Songs are shorter and less epic. Jeremy's unique, terrific voice is the focus. Album was recorded in Spain with Spanish musicians who were apparently big fans of SDRE.
I got it on emusic, but it is available on vinyl through a Spanish record label: BCore. To import it though from their website though it would cost me nearly $50. Maybe eventually I'll see if some store over here can get it for me for a reasonable price (less than $20).





5. Metric- Fantasies
*
Band has been around for awhile, but this is my first exposure to them. Terrific, catchy, female-fronted dance-rock.
I got it on emusic, but it is available on vinyl in a huge, fancy deluxe package: Metric store.

Worth mentioning:
Gomez- A New Tide
Neko Case- Middle Cyclone*
A.C. Newman- Get Guilty*
MeWithoutYou- It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream It's Alright*

Highly anticipated for the rest of the year:
1. Sunny Day Real Estate reunion. Still unknown whether or not it will result in a new album, but the tour is enough for me. I am seeing them October 3 in Atlanta. And Diary and LP2 are being re-released on CD and vinyl with new liner notes and bonus tracks through Sub-Pop.
2. Thrice- Beggars (new album in October). My favorite band of the 2000s releasing their 5th full-length. Alchemy Index vinyl is unreal, I need to do a post on it alone.
3. Land der Lebendigen- Tess Wiley's new German-language band. The album is out, but not on this side of the Atlantic yet. Awaiting word from Tess on how to get it. Myspace songs are up.
4. Fair- new album is finished and will be released by the end of the year.
5. Sixpence None the Richer will enter the studio in September to record a new album.
6. Stavesacre- New EP and DVD with Jeff Bellew back in the band. Pre-order it here, releases in July. Stavesacre and The Crucified are both playing Cornerstone next week.
7. Mindy Smith- Stupid Love. New album releases August 11.
8. David Bazan- Curse Your Branches. Solo album on Barsuk September 1.

June 23, 2009

June 8, 2009

Clarity

Wow, just looked at my blog and realized I hadn't updated since March- Oops! Most recent vinyl purchase is "Clarity" by Jimmy Eat World. It is one of my all-time favs, and was at the top of my vinyl want list, but I didn't think I would ever be able to afford the outrageous prices for the 1999 release on eBay. Well, thanks to the 10 year anniversary re-release I own it and have been spinning it!

Been listening to lots of heavy stuff recently- rediscovered my love for Demon Hunter, been listening to their first three albums (still haven't bought the newest one, but will soon). I also discovered Isis on emusic recently, they sound like a cross between Tool and Mogwai but with a minimal amount of gutteral metal vocals.

Just discovered Tess Wiley has a new band and a new album! The name of the band is Land der Lebendigen, and as you might have guessed, all the lyrics are in German. Song samples sound cool though, folkly but diverse instrumentation. I listen to plenty of instrumental music, so why not listen to music sung in German- might motivate me to continue to learn the language (started, sort-of, six years ago).

Lastly, I drove down to the beach this week and have been listening to non-stop Starflyer 59 in the car. Turns out I really like the album "My Island," more than I realized, and I don't really like the new album "Dial M", except for two songs.