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Review Archive

Shadow and Light – Catherine Goldwyn and Phil Lewis

Longtime visitors of this blog know that alongside book commentary, I occasionally dabble in music reviews. Those reviews were heavily context-dependent; I would hear something that was really compelling, something that drove my writing forward, that settled in my brain, giving the hamster in the wheel up there enough fuel to run his little heart out. Such is the case with Shadow and Light, an excellent jazz record by the duo Catherine Goldwyn and Phil Lewis. (Full disclosure, Catherine is a dear friend, and mother to some of my closest friends on this here planet. Don’t let that relationship fool you, however. This is really a wonderful record, and would be so even if I didn’t know Catherine and Phil.) Finding music to write to can be challenging. It has to fit the tone and mood of the scene just right while remaining in the background, allowing the creative part

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Sigur Rós – Kveikur

I am not ashamed to admit that I am similar in many ways to my father, a man I respect and admire greatly. A quality of his I share is a general excitement for things (be it music, food, or a trail) and the ability to say of those things that they are the best or my favorite with such regularity as to dull the value of those lofty praises. Maybe I ought to use the words with less frequency or, perhaps, plumb the depths of a digital thesaurus for alternatives, but that will have to wait because all I can think about is the new Sigur Rós album. I shall begin by saying that Sigur Rós is by far one of my all-time favorite bands, and that Kveikur–their newest album–is one of the best I’ve heard in as long as I can remember, rivaling Random Access Memories and The

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Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Disclaimer: there will be many statements in this review that seem over-the-top. Rest assured that I mean everything I say and that, though there is a possibility that I will enter the realm of obscurity from time to time, this is the real deal.  Okay; let’s review. French duo Daft Punk is best known for their funk-inspired dance tunes, specifically “Around the World,” “One More Time,” and “Harder Better Faster Stronger.” They’re also known for only making appearances as their Android identities and playing shows that are incredibly stimulating, both aurally and visually. When the announcement that a new album was on its way, fans were afroth with glee, expecting an album filled to bursting with sexy dance hits that would become the staple of the decade. The tracklist leaked (showing mostly collaborations) and people began raising eyebrows, some with doubt and others with excitement, but the general expectation began to change.

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Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension / Descension

Concept-Rock outfit Coheed and Cambria is one of my many obsessions. I’ve been listening to them and following the sci-fi opus that is the subject of their music since 2005, when a friend in college introduced me to their second album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. The title tune from the album (from which the album derives its name) completely blew me away. I wasn’t aware that there was a group taking metal, prog-rock, unique (and exquisite) vocals, and combining them in an epic and (to me) incredibly enjoyable way. You can listen to In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 here. In the years that have passed since I first heard of Coheed and Cambria, they’ve released four albums. About each I’ve grown progressively more excited, and the dual release of double-album The Afterman was no exception. I preordered the deluxe collector’s edition, complete with all the bells, whistles, and doohickeys;

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Back to our scheduled programming…

Well here we are; I made good on my promise to take a very long time in getting anything posted.  In the (unlikely) event that you visited during the extended absence, you may have noticed that there is a difference in the motif and title of this blog.  It is now quite minimal, and provides a space for one of my favorite words: warbling. I have some plans for posts, mainly on books I’ve been reading and albums I’ve heard recently.  If you didn’t know, I had a music review project that I neglected: One by One Archive. I intend to continue that project here, expanding it to a general discussion of whatever media I’ve recently consumed and found interesting. For instance: Sigur Rós – Inni Inni is the soon-to-be-released live record from Iceland’s Sigur Rós.  I’ve pre-ordered the blu-ray/cd combo box and am eagerly anticipating its arrival, but a

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