Archive for November, 2008

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Lord knows, I’ve tried

November 24, 2008

Jason Martin’s Starflyer 59 project has been the little band that could for 15 years now.  From early days as “the American My Bloody Valentine” through to recent low-key pop albums, they’ve attracted a pretty solid fan base and can generally be assured of positive write-ups with each new album.

For me, they peaked with 2003’s Old – which is unfortunate because their subsequent albums have been a little bit paint-by-numbers.  In particular, 2006’s My Island was lacklustre, if lifted by a couple of brilliant tunes.  Their latest, Dial M, has the distinctive 2000s Starflyer sound.  It’s all mid-tempos, simple drumbeats, laconic vocals and new-wave inspired guitars.   His lyrics are lightly self-mocking (“the kids want a faster beat” he sings).  It’s not a complete return to the Golden Age, but it’s got definite charm.

Sure, Jason Martin could record his after-dinner digestion sounds and I’d probably listen to it, but this one gives me hopes for a Starflyer resurgence.

Starflyer 59 – “M23”

Starflyer 59 – “Altercation”

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Counting down the numbers

November 9, 2008

It’s that time of year apparently, and I’m caught completely off balance.  Yes, it’s LIST-MAKING TIME.  Oh, indie rocks nerds – you do this earlier each year, it seems.

Popmatters are calling for top 10s and top 5s.  I did this last year and I only got asked to write up one album – Iron & Wine’s The Shepherd’s Dog, which came in at #57.

Who knows what will happen this year.  I’ve got a feeling that my picks won’t be anyone else’s favourites.  A lot of the big critical noise albums of this year have done very little for me, and a lot of artists I love have done disappointing albums in 2008.

Stay tuned. because it will all turn up here on this blog in time.