As many of you are probably aware, Peter Gabriel (Genesis) is putting out an album entitled Scratch My Back which consists of him covering various songs. The songs he has chosen to cover are by a handful of artists from our generation, including Radiohead, Regina Spektor, The Arcade Fire, The Magnetic Fields and….. BON IVER! Obviously, there is a reason behind why each song was picked, and according to this article, he chose songs that “are major reinterpretations of some famous stuff” today.
So, what do we think of this collaboration of classical rock/modern day rock? I think it is fantastic that artists such as Peter Gabriel, a legend, if you will, can appreciate the stuff new artists are putting out. Who said that its all been done and said? This simply confirms our belief that music we are getting today is, i repeat, IT IS, beautiful and worth our time and tears and dedication.
I have been able to form an opinion of Peter Gabriel; he is a true musician. He never stops listening, just as a true professor never stops learning, or a true mother never stops caring. Apparently, his daughter told him about Bon Iver; he is open to hear the progression of music from when he first started out to today. And this is the result;
Hailing from the great state of Oklahoma, Other Lives began their musical journey some time around 2004 and have been successfully pushing forward ever since. The band’s most recent album, the self titled Other Lives EP was released in March of 2009 on TBD Records. With the ability to master a variety of instruments being a main component of their band, their sound is composed of perfect little layers of piano, guitar, bass, organ, cello, drums violin and guitar that blend so beautifully into one melodic life boat, placed perfectly within reach for Jesse Tabish’s vocals to find solace and be carried safely through the currents of our mind. The eleven songs that make up Other Lives’ Self Titled EP are powerful enough to skip the judgment of the mind completely and nestle instantly within your soul. Lyrically, Other Lives avoids in-depth and wordy stanzas but instead opt for a straightforward and uncomplicated deliverance of emotions that have the ability to sting almost as quickly and easily as they eventually soothe. Failed relationships and unrequited love do not seem to be as big of a theme on this album, instead, we are placed on a path towards coping. It is as if Other Lives’ Self Titled EP is one of those albums that can take on its own personal meaning as it nestles its way into the lap of your emotions and eventually finds itself lost within them. So, coping with what exactly, I am not necessarily sure and believe it is up to the listener to eventually figure out. Whatever gap that lies wide open that calls for patching up, whatever haunting voice within the mind that needs quieting down, whatever apathetic albatross that demands to be replaced with something of substance – must open itself up wide enough to allow Tabish’s life boat room enough to slowly drop its anchor and find a home.
Like many albums that I eventually fall in love with, Other Lives has been sitting, silently and patiently, knowing that I would eventually give it a chance when the time was right. I can not imagine another time to have been better than the present. I highly recommend Other Lives, especially if you are looking for something to fill your heart, not necessarily your mind. This album does not call for thought, it seems as if it does the complete opposite and begs, quietly yet persuasively, to be felt. To embrace this album completely, I believe, requires time, patience and above all, a deep breath. Close your eyes, you owe it to yourself – or better yet, ‘shut out the sound, perfect silence is all around, away from the crowd, a chance to figure out what they’re about.’
Other Lives is Jesse Tabish, Josh Onstott, Jenny Hsu, Colby Owens and Jonathon Mooney.
And I had called a name but no one heard
Sounds just like the noise of people talking words
I’d love to say a prayer
For all those that flew and all who wish to
When the whites of your eyes come through
You’ll see something new
With your body and mine raised up
It’s good to see you back home
One aspect about music that always seems to amaze me is cover songs. It’s usually always either hit or miss with me, as far as cover songs are concerned. They either turn out excellent and have potential to surpass the originals or just plain disastrous. In the case of Serena Ryder and The Beauties, their cover of The Funeral by Band of Horses, hit me right in the face (in a good way, of course). While the fetching vocals of Ben Bridwell (lead singer of the Band of Horses) are impossible to replace, Serena Ryder and The Beauties land pretty close to perfection on the giant scale of cover song critique. Listening to this version of the song, almost causes me to forget that it exists in another form, it’s just that good. The lyrics may not belong to Ms. Ryder, but she has taken a song that was beautiful to begin with, and made it her own. I’m not sure if in the long run, this version will top the original completely, but what I do know is that right now it’s the only version I’ve been listening to. Serena Ryder, of course, hails from the great plains of Canada. Where have all of these Canadian musicians been all of my life?
You can download Serena Ryder’s version of ‘The Funeral’ here.
Ryder and the Beauties are set to release a music video for their rendition of The Funeral in the near future. Preview it here! Ryder is currently on tour with Howie Day in support of her album ‘Is It Ok.’
I’m coming up only to show you down for
I’m coming up only to show you wrong
To the outside, the dead leaves, they all blow
Before they died, had trees to hang their hope
01-24 Park City, UT – Sundance Festival
01-26 Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House
02-10 Glasgow, Scotland – King Tuts
02-11 Manchester, England – Islington Mill
02-12 Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club
02-13 Dublin, Ireland – Whelans
02-14 Belfast, Northern Ireland – Speakeasy
02-16 Cardiff, Wales – Arts Centre
02-17 London, England – Bush Hall
02-18 Lille, France – L’Aéronef Club
02-18 Saint-Malo, France – La Route du Rock
02-20 Paris, France – La Maroquinerie
02-21 Ghent, Belgium – Vooruit
02-22 Brussels, Belgium – Botanique
02-23 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
02-24 Groningen, Netherlands – Vera
02-25 Berlin, Germany – Roter Salon
02-26 Copenhagen, Denmark – Loppen
02-27 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser
02-28 Oslo, Norway – Parkteatret
03-02 Gothenburg, Sweden – Pusterviksbaren (Club Woody West)
03-03 Hamburg, Germany – Molotov
03-04 Leipzig, Germany – UT Connwitz
03-05 Munich, Germany – Feierwerk
03-06 Zurich, Switzerland – Abart
03-08 Newcastle, England – The Sage *
03-09 Edinburgh, Scotland – The Queens Hall *
03-11 Brighton, England – The Corn Exchange *
03-12 Coventry, England – Warwick Arts Centre *
03-13 London, England – Roundhouse *
03-14 London, England – Roundhouse *
03-17 Lisbon, Portugal – Lux Fragil
03-18 Guimareas, Portugal – Centro Cultural Vila Flor
03-26 Washington, DC – Black Cat #
03-27 Middletown, CT – Wesleyan University
03-28 Boston, MA – Paradise #
03-29 Montreal, Quebec – La Sala Rosa # 03-30 Toronto, Ontario – Opera House #
04-01 Pontiac, MI – Pike Room #
04-02 Chicago, IL – Metro #
04-03 Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater #
04-04 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center #
04-05 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room #
04-06 Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Saloon #
04-07 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater #
04-09 Boise, ID – Neurolux #
04-10 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge #
04-11 Vancouver, British Columbia – Rickshaw Theater #
04-12 Seattle, WA – Neumos #
04-14 San Francisco, CA – Bimbos #
04-15 San Luis Obispo, CA – Downtown Brewing Co. #
04-19 Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room *
04-21 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater %
04-22 Austin, TX – Emo’s %
04-23 Houston, TX – Walter’s %
04-24 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon %
04-25 Tallahassee, FL – Engine Room %
04-27 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree %
04-28 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge %
04-29 Atlanta, GA – The Earl %
04-30 Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle Tavern %
05-01 Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle % 05-06 New York, NY – Webster Hall
05-07 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
05-08 Baltimore, MD – 2640 Space
* with Grizzly Bear
# with Bachelorette
% with Washed Out
Make sure to check out a show in your town, we know we are!
While on the subject of Beach House, be sure to pick up a copy of Teen Dream, their third album, which will be out on January 26/10.
What do the singers of Bon Iver and The Antlers have in common?
That low, scratchy growl of a voice, of course!
One day, while the wolf and the sheep were hard at work discussing the best albums of 2009, the obvious choice for #1 was Brand New’s Daisy. Brand New is our ULTIMATE band. We could probably share some crazy stories about things we’ve done for this band, but maybe another day. It’s pretty much Brand New over everything else in life for us. At least, that is how it is on most days. Not on this day though, because the wolf said to the sheep, “I hate to break it to you, but my favourite album of the year was by The Antlers.” Jaws dropped and so did the (chat)room temperature. The sheep was enraged. The wolf was scared with its claws ready to defend as the sheep wanted to pounce.
Clearly, 2009 tested our musical tastes and dedication to our favourite band. Even thought my love for Brand New will float on and on, I find that I am less.. well, obsessive, about them due to the new sphere of music that I have opened myself up to. Upon hearing His Old Branches a 2009 EP released by what can be considered our breath of fresh air band – The Republic of Wolves (You’ve got to hear this band!), the sheep exclaim— I mean, bah-ed loudly, : “I AM SO OVER BRAND NEW RIGHT NOW”. The point is, there comes a time for every music lover when you begin to explore the world of music beyond your safety point (ie Brand New, which held me over for years). You begin to explore new music and sounds and the feelings these new artists invoke. 2009 marked this for me. I’m not sure if it is because I moved away to university and became more independent in life overall (a milestone, really) and therefore was more brave to try new things, or simply because the same old tunes weren’t cutting it for me. Either way, my life has been blessed with new sounds to enjoy, and I will be grateful for this beyond the day when my children pick up the same CDs I bought this year and fall in love with them the same way I did.
Among these CDs, there will be a copy of Hospice. This was an album that I had to get used to with every listen. Thankfully, each listen did not feel like a chore (such as trying to like the new Taking Back Sunday albums back in the day…..). I was trying something new, now forcing myself to like something I was already dedicated to. I was intrigued by the new art. The thing that interested me the most about Hospice is that it is a concept album and tells a story chronologically with each song. I was introduced to the song Two in a mixtape I received from a certain big-toothed individual who runs this blog. There were 17 songs on that mixtape and this was the only one I listened to for days (sorry wolf). I hate to say this, but it was beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! So much beauty in 6 minutes that it could make you cry. I had a hard time getting into the rest of the album because the bar was set so high due to my repetitive listens of Two (iTunes play count: 62)
As for me, I am beyond excited to see The Antlers this February as they make a stop in Toronto with The Editors (The Editors on Myspace). As for the Wolf, she has been lucky enough to see them already, and could only describe it as the most beautiful show she’d ever been to. Now, please note that, even though we use the world “beautiful” a LOT on this blog, does not mean that we use it lightly. We use it because it is the perfect word, and we mean it every time.
I can wrap up all this personal junk with saying that The Antlers have been a big deal for me because they are a new sound for me. They have been a band that allowed me to expand and test my boundaries of what i allow my ears to hear. In my life, that is a pretty big deal.
We care for one thing here - to share sounds and words and melodies and ideas that are so beautiful, they'll make you want to fall apart and sleep forever.
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