Saturday, 27th August, 2011
Twenty years ago today, Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten, was released.
Ten in particular (and to a similar extent a lot of its contemporary albums, including of course Nevermind, which will turn 20 just under a month from now) defined my transition into the teenage years in ways that aren’t really easy to capture in writing.
I grew up sheltered and nerdy, surrounded by scientists, on the East coast. The frenetic energy of “Even Flow” was something I was completely unprepared for when I first heard it. To this day I’m absolutely incapable of evaluating the record* — just hearing the opening to any of its songs switches off the critical part of my brain, and plays back all my memories of being twelve years old, beginning to be capable of understanding the world, and not knowing what to do with my energy.
Thursday, 1st April, 2010
(While I’ve got PAX and games on the brain…)
I’m way behind the times on this. Apparently, awesome 8-bit rockers Minibosses — whose performances were, I am assured, highlights of the already spectacular PAXen 2003 through 2008, and whose albums all tragically appear to be out of print — put up the entirety of their album Brass as free MP3 downloads on their above-linked website…about two years ago.
If the 8-bit NES was as big a part of your childhood as it was mine, the dulcet strains of their arrangements will have approximately this effect on you, with a healthy dose of \m/ thrown in for good measure.
Update: Minibosses’ Mega Man 2 medley, via YouTube, below the fold.
Friday, 27th February, 2009
Just a quick note. I mentioned earlier that there’s a free mp3 download of a song from Neko Case’s upcoming album at her label’s site. Turns out, you can also listen to the entire album streaming at NPR, until March 3rd (when it hits stores). It’s as good as I expected, and I highly recommend you buy this album.
Saturday, 14th February, 2009
Neko Case, one of the best singer-songwriters I know of and owner of the most amazing voice of probably any living musician, has a new album, Middle Cyclone, coming out soon. Case is a strong advocate for humane treatment of animals, and she and her label, Anti-, are offering an mp3 of a song on the subject, “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” from Middle Cyclone as a free download. For every blog that links to the download, Case and Anti- will donate $5 to the Best Friends Animal Society.
There’s also an extended profile of Case at the New York Times, which is a worthwhile read.
[Update: oops! Apparently the promotion (despite being mentioned in the Times piece, which was published on February 13th) actually ended on February 3rd. Should have read the Anti- blog post more carefully. At any rate, the mp3 is still available.]
And if you’re not familiar with Case’s music, please allow me to humbly suggest you rectify this matter post-haste.