Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Skeleton Tree)

I don't know what other people call the genre – But I call it, "Existential Modern Crooner"

Mark Lanegan. Grinderman. Greg Dulli. Tom Waits. Leonard Cohen. Hell, even Amy Winehouse and David Lowery dip into it.

And. Nick Cave.

"Skeleton Tree" came out yesterday.

I screwed up, and despite having it my calendar, missed the one-night theatrical showing of the partner film for the album, One More Time with Feeling, screened in theaters.

"Skeleton Tree" is moving, cutting, and complicated. It's a short album – only eight songs – That feels meaty and long.

Until it's over.

Then it feels I-need-more-short – So, I play it again. And it feels meaty and long again, and doesn't get old as I cycle, rinse, repeat.

Sure, I have a bias.

Not the I-["♥"]-Existential-Modern-Crooners bias.

Not the I-like-Nick-Cave-and-I-like-Nick-Cave-and-the-Bad-Seeds bias.

It's the "I'm a dad. And I can't even imagine."

"Skeleton Tree" has a lot more in common with Cloud Cult's "They Live on the Sun" and "The Meaning of 8".

And if you let it, it will wreck you.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Nerf Herder (Rockingham)

Rockingham – The new album from referential pop culture band Nerf Herder – is probably the best thing I've heard all year.

I listen to a lot of music (don't think I don't just because I'm not moved to post it here), and I was good-shocked at how this thing grabbed me.

The band, fronted by Parry Gripp, with current members (I think) Steve Sherlock, Ben Pringle, Linus of Hollywood, brings their distinctively fun, clever talent (that has a bit of a not-mean-spirited bite) to play on topics as diverse as the hipster hype of the city of Portland ("Portland"), to the crazy hard absurdity that are pop culture conventions ("At the Con"), to the cleverly insightful (and hilarious) diatribe against our societal buy-in to stock photo models in "Stock Photo Girl".

I don't even want to mention the other nine tracks, because part of the fun with this album is discovering the song titles and song contents, and chuckling throughout.

Honestly, a big part of Parry and Co.'s mastery in their work is in their clever, nuanced treatment of societal stuff – They wrap those in pop-culture topic and meme breading, creating what could be dismissed as a light-hearted, silly throw-away wrapper of a song, that has parfait-like layers of poetry and/or punny-ness.

(I don't know where that dessert metaphor came from.)

Whatever – Buy Parry's new album.

(And enjoy this.)