A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Too many bands are dying

Filed Under: Random Thought, Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Friday August 5, 2011

Figuratively speaking of course.  But seriously, this is getting worrisome.  I’m still upset about the loss of Drink Up Buttercup (RIP May 2011), Wolf Parade (RIP 2010) and Port O’Brien (RIP 2010), and now I’m mourning another.   The Middle East announced via Facebook earlier this week that they were ceasing to be:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

writing to inform you that we’re ceasing. i’m not sure if we’ll make more music later on or not.

we don’t feel like playing anymore for a whole lot of reasons that i won’t list here and i’m afraid if we continued any longer it would just be a moneygrab. i’d rather go hungry. thank you to all those who came to shows.

we had fun.

t.s elliot wrote ‘you are the music while the music lasts’, but he also wrote that confusing little book about cats so don’t put too much stock in his quotes.

i’m very tired. until next time.

sincerely yours,

the middle east.

Yeah, that’s the same Middle East that recently released I Want That You Are Always Happy, my favorite album of the year to date.  While I do have to give them credit for going out on their own terms, I’m also selfishly pissed that I’m not going to see them perform live.  They were definitely on the top of my must-see list, and it really sucks to be adding them to the list of lost bands so soon.

To celebrate their work while mourning their loss, here’s The Middle East’s “Jesus Came To My Birthday Party:”

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

My favorite music of 2010

Filed Under: Music for a Mood
Written by Brendan
Tuesday December 28, 2010

Way back in the day (2004), my good friend Aaron (who you may know from his guest posts on this blog) shared with me a copy of his 2005 Favorite Music CD, introducing me to a whole new world of music.  It was that 80 minutes of musical joy that inspired me to start broadening my musical tastes, leading to a complete obsession with live music, an album purchasing habit that has become almost obscene, and eventually, this here blog.  In 2005, I decided to follow his lead and began compiling my own year-end CD to share with my friends, in the hopes that they’d also fall in love with some of the music, and share the experience with me.

It may be a little old fashioned to still make a CD (though I for one still use the CD player in my car), but 80 minutes does seem to be a good way for me to really pare down my favorite songs to the cream of the crop, as well as share it in a way that’s not too overwhelming for friends who may not be as obsessed as I am.  Below, I offer you a list of my favorite music of 2010.  The order doesn’t signify any sort of hierarchy — that would be way too difficult.  Instead, the songs are ordered as to present an enjoyable and cohesive listening experience.

If you like any of this music, please support the artists making it by buying their albums and going to their shows.  They continue to make my world a better place, and the only way they’ll keep doing so is if they are supported by their fans.

Angus & Julia Stone – And The Boys
From Down The Way ($5 right now on Amazon)

Midlake – Winter Dies
From The Courage Of Others ($5 right now on Amazon)

Dan Mangan – Robots
From Nice, Nice, Very Nice

Dr. Dog – Jackie Wants a Black Eye
From Shame Shame ($5 right now on Amazon)

Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
From ODD BLOOD ($5 right now on Amazon)

Wolf Parade – Pobody’s Nerfect
From Expo 86 ($5 right now on Amazon)

Wooden Shjips – Start to Dreaming
From Vol. 2

Drink Up Buttercup – Young Ladies
From Born And Thrown On A Hook

Frightened Rabbit – Nothing Like You
From The Winter of Mixed Drinks

Delays – In Brilliant Sunshine
From Star Tiger Star Ariel

Beach House – Lover of Mine
From Teen Dream ($5 right now on Amazon)

Decibully – Weakest Kind of Heart
From World Travels Fast

Gold Motel – Stealing The Moonlight
From Summer House

Good Old War – That’s Some Dream
From Good Old War ($5 right now on Amazon)

Efterklang – Alike
From Magic Chairs

Shout Out Louds – Walls
From Work

April Smith and the Great Picture Show – Terrible Things
From Songs For A Sinking Ship ($5 right now on Amazon)

Local Natives – Sun Hands
From Gorilla Manor ($5 right now on Amazon)

Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
From The Suburbs

Broken Social Scene – Meet Me In The Basement
From Forgiveness Rock Record

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Good music in Montreal this/next week

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Wednesday July 7, 2010

Wolf Parade plays two shows at Le National (my favorite Montreal venue) this week – Thursday and Friday night. If you’re going, expect to be pleased with the material off of their new album Expo 86. I forgot just how good these guys are between all the good-but-not-great releases from the other several bands that front man Spencer Krug also leads (Frog Eyes, Swan Lake, Sunset Rubdown amongst others).

Phantogram, who played the Monkey House over the winter, plays Saturday night at Casa del Popolo.  I think it was Phantogram who I saw described in a review as what The xx would sound like if they stopped talking about sex and started having it (sorry I don’t have a link to the original article).

Passion Pit, the Boston-based electronic outfit with a reputation of putting on amazingly fun shows, will be at Le National on Monday.

And rounding out the list is Au Revoir Simone next Friday at La Sala Rossa.  I’m disappointed to be missing this one, as a college acquaintance of mine, Erika Forster, is 1/3 of the band and I’d love to see her play.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

New music

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Friday July 2, 2010

It’s been a few weeks since I posted about new music purchases, so there are a few to write about. In the past several weeks, I’ve picked up Night & Day EP by Chief, Star Tiger Star Ariel by Delays, Thank Me Later [Explicit] by Drake, Perch Patchwork from Maps & Atlases, The Five Ghosts and The Seance EP from Stars, Expo 86 from Wolf Parade and Carrots from Young Mammals.

While there isn’t a bad album among them, the standouts are definitely the releases from Maps & Atlases and Wolf Parade, which I highly recommend to everyone.

Two releases I’ve been thinking about but haven’t committed to yet are Delta Spirit’s History From Below and Blitzen Trapper’s Destroyer of The Void. Have you heard either?

Maps & Atlases will be playing at Metronome in Burlington on Monday, August 9, and I will most definitely be there.

Chief - Night and Day Delays - Star Tiger Star Ariel Drake - Thank Me Later Maps & Atlases - Perch Patchwork Stars - Five Ghosts Wolf Parade - Expo 86 Young Mammals - Carrots

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.