Thursday, November 15, 2007

THE DEBUT OF ALDEN

Hey, I'm Alden, a Canadian soon-to-be-highschool-graduate and consummate music lover. For months I've been practically living on music blogs, loving that people were so easily capable of sharing their favourite music and loving the chance to receive it. I'm constantly overflowing with music to share, and nobody to share it with. So, as a tribute to those I've visited and still do visit, and to satisfy my need to share, this is the official opening of my very first music blog!

As for my tastes, according to my eldest sister Kara I'm an indie b*tch. However, despite that I'd say I have a pretty varied tastes. I love pretty much anything where I can feel the character or the emotion behind it and get really into the song. My favourite subgenres are piano rock, indie rock, and indie pop. My 'type' is female indie rock- or pop-artists, but I also have loads of songs that fall under Electronic, Folk, Gothic and Gothic Rock, Grunge, Instrumental, Trip-Hop, and even some Disco/Dance type music. Really, the only things I'll downright refuse to listen to are rap and hip hop, as the entire style of those genres irks me. Other than that, though, it all depends on how I like it, not genre.

However, before I can get to the actual music sharing, I gotta disclaim that any music offered herein is for preview purposes and, if you want to support these artists, I urge you to purchase their CDs and give them the success they so deserve. Also, if you are a copyright owner and wish for me to take down any songs, feel free to email me. I don't want to hurt any of these artists; indeed, I wish them all the success that increased exposure can offer them, even if my readership ends up just being me and my varying family members.

Also, before you check me out, I just wanna give a shout out to the following blogs:

Zeon's Music Blog
We share similar tastes, Zeon and I. His blog has introduced me to many, many artists I now adore, and I doubt my little blog will ever surpass his. Heck, some of the songs I post here may hold Zeon as an origin, though we don't always agree on what's great or not.

The Music Slut
While these guys post the occasional mp3, I mostly rely on them for their great coverage of random music-related news. Concert notices, album info, and my favourite: Their 'The world of B-Sides and Rarities' posts, where more rare tracks can be uncovered.

Silly Pipe Dreams
Sonny, an up-and-coming TV writer himself, is a very funny guy who has no qualms seeking out and posting songs from his favourite shows' weekly episodes so those who want to know more can download them and check them out. However, though you may come for the songs, you might keep coming merely to see how he's doing, because he's a pretty cool guy. And, duh, music!

Kara's Sketchy Blog Thing
Less a music blog than a journal/outlet for my dear sister, this is nonetheless a hilarious look into the life of the Kara. She does, occasionally, post music as well. Her blog is more inclined to crazy art and stories, like her recent accidental boiling of a tomato and her adventures as a young adult in Toronto.

ClamBuzz
My musically-inclined cousin Marelly has a blog that I'm finding gets better and better. Random concert reviews in the Toronto-ish area and plenty of music to enjoy. She's also damn cool.

So, that having been dealt with, here's the real introduction, the one that matters:

1. The Fray - Vienna
Though not even close to my favourite song, Vienna has been my most-played song for weeks, maybe even months, according to iTunes. I do love it, and find it very easy to listen to, so perhaps it's merely because it is a mild, less intense love that never burns out. The song itself is piano rock, a song that I believe is about escaping one's troubles. I love this band's vocals, and there's something mysterious about quite a few of their lyrics, which I like. This is the band, by the way, that brought you the (apparently overplayed) "How to Save a Life", popularised by its use in Grey's Anatomy promotions.

2. Imogen Heap - Glittering Clouds
Ah, Imogen Heap. I absolutely love her voice, and this song, a rare track from a compliation CD based around the theme of the Plagues, is a good example of it. It's a dark and beautiful song, based on the Plague of Locusts. It gives the feeling of urgency, using sound effects like wind and buzzing sounds (representing the locusts) to give atmosphere to the song, and you can feel it creeping down your spine. The mysterious story has the protagonist prone to fits of blacking out and awaking to find she's committed some horrible crime. It would make the song interesting even if the recording itself weren't as arresting as it is.

3. Andrew Bird - A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
I can't even express how much I love this dark, brooding, mysterious song. The layers of instrumentation, and Bird's amazing whistling (yes, this man can make whistling a beautiful, haunting instrument), just make me want to close my eyes and listen. It's just a work of beauty. I can't say anything more than that.

4. Explosions in the Sky - Remember Me As a Time of Day
This song, almost-singlehandedly, turned me onto instrumental music. Before I ever watched Friday Night Lights, I uncovered this song over at Silly Pipe Dreams (see above), and it slowly grew on me. Just listen to it, and hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

5. Angie Aparo - Hush
Little-known singer, Angie Aparo is pretty rocking. This song is pretty cool, and I enjoy his sometimes-indecipherable lyrics. However, there's something about this song - maybe it's the vocals, maybe is the almost epic sound of it, but I just really enjoy it. Get a couple of Aparo's songs and you'll realise that it's worth it to seek out his CDs or mp3s to buy, as they are virtually impossible to find otherwise.

6. Rachael Yamagata - Worn Me Down
The lyrics of this song, about a woman whose boyfriend is clearly in love with another woman, is heartbreaking. When combined with Yamagata's deeper, smoky vocals, you get exactly how desperate she is to escape this nightmare. Knowing you've done everything you can and you still make no difference hurts, and this song shows it.

7. Sia - Breathe Me
This is an intensely beautiful song. The building piano combined with Sia's ghostly magnificent vocals makes a song that, paradoxically, makes it hard to breathe while listening to. Popularised by capping off the series finale to "Six Feet Under" and, since, been used for many commercials and shows by music supervisors who recognise the beauty in it.

8. Hello Saferide - Valentine's Day
Hello Saferide is articulate, warm, hilarious and, most of all, real. Her songs just feel like they are coming from a real person somewhere, with genuine flaws and idiosyncrasies. This song, while not highlighting those particular strengths, is a quiet tale of a woman who, downtrodden in a loveless marriage, finally decides to leave her husband on Valentine's Day.

9. Tegan and Sara - This is Everything
This song, from Canadian wonder twins Tegan and Sara Quin, captures the stirring feeling of love and being overwhelmed by it in a song. There's a moment where it kicks in, about halfway in the song, that you feel an intense determination that, yes, love is big and love is scary, but you refuse to back down. I can't claim to understand the rest of the lyrics ("I'm a frosted lemon carrot"? I should look them up sometime), but I definitely enjoy listening to it.

10. Travis - Re-Offender
Travis has long been a band I've liked, but not loved, except for a scant few songs. This one, off their mush-maligned '12 Memories' album, has to be my definite favourite. Drawn from lead singer Fran Healy's own experiences as a child of an abusive marriage, it's a story of a woman (or man, possibly) who is trapped in a similar marriage. The lyrics just ring so true, and it's so obvious that the protagonist is just falling apart despite the strength of the song.

ZIP FILE

Enjoy! And remember to support an artist that you appreciate by buying their albums.

6 comments:

Karalalala said...

oH. mAN. I havent even read this blog yet and Im commenting, Im so excited.

Karalalala said...

The technical term for you, my dear bro-mide, I wouldnt say would be "Indie Bitch", but "Whiney Girl Listener Toer"

The Alden said...

Ah, but half these songs aren't even female. ;) I'd say I balance it pretty evenly here.

Karalalala said...

Whatever. You need more pictures. Its too wordy. Throw in some cartoons or tits or something! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

Wendy77 said...

INDIE BITCH PRIDE!!! Tags and everything eh? It's like a REAL blog!!

Take off that comment human-verifier thing, its soooooo irritating. (Although the word I have to type is Wanuk. hah.)

Alicia said...

Sia's "Breathe Me" is one of my favorite songs of 2007. Dark,lush, and emotional all in one.