akashiver: (avatar)
I tend to like mellow music on when I drive. This has been one of my favourites this summer:

akashiver: (wicked little grrls)

Oh, Black Keys. Everything you play demands to be blasted out my car window.
akashiver: (Default)

Once again Arcade Fire proves they fit songs to the album rather than vice versa.
akashiver: (blog)
So the HG soundtrack is pretty good, if a bit bipolar. Roughly 50% of the singers heard "Hunger Games soundtrack" as, in Taylor Swift's words, ''Appalachian music 300 years from now.'' 45% heard  "DYSTOPIA! I GET TO WRITE AN ANTHEM FOR A DYSTOPIA!"  And a minority - say 5% - heard "This is your chance to write Hunger Games filk!" And then there's Taylor Swift, who also heard "write a generic pop song to play over the end credits!" But I'll forgive her, because her futuristic Appalachian music is pretty decent, and also, she was probably told to write a generic pop song for the end credits.

The upshot: this is a good soundtrack album. Even on shuffle, the songs flow into each other with surprising coherence. And it's a rich mine for writers looking for "I'M IN A DYSTOPIA! WITH A BANJO!" music to play in the background as they write. 

I'm also amused and rather touched to hear how many artists just really, really wanted to write HG filk. Rock on, nerdy dystopian banjo players. Rock on.
akashiver: (Default)
I plan to do an ICFA update at some point.

Until then: if you have not yet seen the latest Britain's Got Talent clip and feel like getting your heartstrings tugged, check out this opera duo. The staging of this one irritates me a bit. But you know, at the end of the day these are nice kids with good voices, and BGT's "appearance does not equal talent" message is one we could stand to hear more often.

I'd feel better still about it if a) the BGT audience seemed to learn that message and b) the American talent shows would get behind it in the same way. But, you know. One internet clip at a time.
akashiver: (Default)
I admire those who are busy Unfucking Their Lives right now. Alas, I am still in the process of Fucking Over My Life: stacks of grading, stacks of packing, stacks of Things to Do.

I'm off to ICFA later this week, where I hope to deliver a paper on Mieville, moderate some panels and hang out with some lovely people by the pool. Also, Hunger Games!

My soundtrack to the busy is the beautiful score of THE MISSION. And if you've never watched THE MISSION or listened to its soundtrack - OH MY GOD UNDER WHAT ROCK DO YOU DWELL?????!!!!

Alas, youtube doesn't have footage from the movie, but this clip features its waterfalls, minus the doomed Jesuit drifting to his death.

You're welcome.
akashiver: (wicked little grrls)
I'm definitely in the camp of those appalled by Lana Del Rey's SNL performance. It's not the indie-pop switch, the name change, or her so-called stilted delivery. It's the sight of a 1% - er flubbing an opportunity that the musicians of the 99% would kill for.

To be the headline musician on SNL? BEFORE YOUR "DEBUT" ALBUM HAS BEEN RELEASED?!!! Dudette, if Daddy's $ buys you an opportunity like that, grab it with both hands. Lip synch, take voice lessons, do whatever you need to do - but turn in a good performance. And try to at least look like you care.

I'm not sure what happened behind the scenes here. Del Rey has a mediocre voice, but with studio engineering, it sounds pretty good. Conparing SNL to her previous "live" performances, it looks to me like one of 2 things happened: a) either Del Rey & crew really thought her voice was ready for primetime, or b) SNL told Del Rey & crew that she couldn't lip synch a few days before she went on air, giving her no time to figure out how to turn in a respectable live performance.

I suspect it's b. One of the things that makes her performance so bizarre is that it looks like she's focusing on her gestures more than her singing, even when she's flubbing notes. And at the same time she doesn't look confident: in her heart, she knows she's not ready for this. She looks like someone obeying instructions: "Just stand out there and flip your hair around, sweetums. Nobody watches SNL for the music."

But you know what? I like her music. Even if it's co-written and evidence of money rather than raw talent... it's still pretty catchy. I like the Lolita references and the self-conscious portrait of unhealthy relationships. It's more interesting than the luvy-duvy pop out there.
akashiver: (Default)

I think this would be a fun one to dance to.
akashiver: (wicked little grrls)
I may not think much of the Twilight books, but the movie soundtracks have been pretty damn good so far.

My favorite overall was probably the "New Moon" soundtrack. Not only did this album serve as a wonderful collection of who-thought-this-would-work-together indie music (Band of Skulls followed by Thom Yorke? Really?) but it also seems like a great *soundtrack.* Let's face it, if you were a passive mopey chick seemingly ditched by your an immortal stalker boyfriend, *you too* would have Anya Marina's "Satellite Heart" on repeat.

Eclipse was also pretty successful, but less for collecting good stuff that was already out there and more for forcing artists like Florence + the Machine and Sia to come up with some really fabulous songs.

The Breaking Dawn soundtrack is less successful. For starters, it seems like an album aiming at the charts rather than a soundtrack: I may not have read the book, but I'll go out on a limb and say there ain't no rappin' in Twilight.

Second, this movie didn't have Howard Shore as a composer. The Carter Burwell piece is pretty good, but it makes me miss Shore's piano melodies.

Third... there are actually some good songs on here. I don't know that there are any amazing standouts, but if I had to pick one as my favorite so far, it'd be Bella Brigade's "I Didn't Mean It." And no, I have no idea how it fits in with the film. There are some other worth checking out: I mean, it's not like Iron & Wine is ever bad, and I admit "A Thousand Years" is kinda pretty... but the other soundtracks were more coherent as both soundtracks and music albums.
akashiver: (Default)
If you're in need of "driving in the rain" music, I present you with Bon Iver's wistful "Michicant."

akashiver: (Default)
It's taken me a while, but I'm now a Fleet Foxes convert. 

This is the song that did it for me: "Lorelai." To me it sounds like a whimsical Parisian lost-love-song delivered in translation by Simon and Garfunkle's secret lovechild. 


Aug. 24th, 2011 11:57 pm
akashiver: (Default)
My Public Service Announcement of the evening:

If you haven't listened to The National's "Runaway" yet, you should. It's a beautiful song. Also, if you're a Johnny Cash fan, it sounds to me like his kind of song. As in, I can almost hear the ghost-echo of him singing it.

No good official videos for it yet, alas, but this one is a decent-quality fan vid.

akashiver: (evil)
A good geek breakup song. Also, I'm sure this is already in [livejournal.com profile] ninja_turbo's writing playlist. If not, it ought to be.


Feb. 26th, 2011 10:41 am
akashiver: (Default)

I've been listening to The National lately. This song's stuck in my head. It's a perfect montage song, and but I can't figure out what the montage would be about.

Suggestions? (I'm thinking it's a postapocalyptic driving song.) 

akashiver: (Default)
I've been listening to the new Arcade Fire and the new Explosions in the Sky album on a random mix, & I'm really digging them. Neon Bible isn't as good as Funeral, but that "Intervention" song is damn catchy


akashiver: (Default)

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