Record of the Year


ChairmanMeow

Talk about late to the party. Only I’ve been invited to this party so many times. If I had a mailbox instead of a litterbox, it would be overflowing with invitations, confetti, party hats, orange soda, and those furry mice stuffed with catnip, all with the words “Hey! Come to Destroyer’s party! You’ll love it, we’ll have fun, it’ll be a gay old time!” At least I think it would…I’ve never actually been to a party.

(cue tiny violin)

But I finally made it to this party…the aural super-bash known as Destroyer’s Rubies…after several chances to join. I know it only came out in February, but give me a break–February is so short. It’s only 196 days long (cat days, people).

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But I should have been listening a long time ago because a) the guy, Dan Bejar, is a fucking maniac, and I love maniacs, and b) he’s part of the New Pornographers (Susie – where is our Pornos post, hmmm?). He’s the one that sounds like he just snorted a Pixy Stix made of sugar, MDMA, and peyote.

I’ve tried to pin down who or what his voice sounds like but I haven’t yet been able to–other than someone who just snorted a Pixy Stix tube full of sugar, MDMA, and peyote, of course. If you have any ideas, post a comment.

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Click. Buy. In that order.

The ten-track LP just flows from beginning to end, moreso than other releases this year. There are stand-out tracks, like the catchier-than-fleas “Painter in Your Pocket,” but it’s the genius of others, like the sounds-like-a-modern-day-Elton-John-on-amyl-nitrate-and-helium sound of “Your Blood” and the nice-day-for-a-stroll-in-the-park–buck-naked feel of “Watercolours Into the Ocean” that glue the record extra-tight from front to back. No filler here–simply outstanding.

Destroyer – Your Blood
Destroyer – Watercolours Into the Ocean
Destroyer – Painter in Your Pocket

There’s also a very pleasant live set on Radio 3 all the way from the magical land of Canadia.

ChairmanMeow

It was exactly a week ago today that I got the new album from Vetiver, “To Find Me Gone.” I am doing the exact same thing I was doing the first time I heard the album…that is, taking bong hits of catnip while watching baseball, while listening to Vetiver on my headphones.

Last week, I was completely blown away by the record, actually believing that this could by my favorite of the year so far. Well, seven days later, I think the same.

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Fronted by Andy Cabic, the San Francisco band makes th e loudest soft music heard. Yeah, that really doesn’t make a lot of sense, but neither did those cyclops when I was tripping on mushrooms the other day. The point is, the cyclops DID exist, and Vetiver is the loudest softest band ever heard.

The band generally does guitar-based psych-folk, but will also venture slightly in other areas, and do so extremely well. The list of possible influences and sound-a-likes includes The Junior Boys, J.J. Cale, Spiritualized, and any bearded guitar singer/writer. But you would never say “You know, Vetiver sounds like The Junior Boys” or “Whoa! Vetiver reminds me of Spiritualized.” You would say, “Hmmm, Vetiver just totally had a J.J. Cale moment there,” or “I hear a little tiny bit of Elliot Smith in ‘I Know No Pardon.'”

That’s kind of what makes this album so good. It’s so familiar yet so different. People can knock people for sounding similar to others, but fuck that, I don’t care who you sound like as long as you sound good. If we’re always trying to sound like something never heard before, then before long music will be left with only bands that use chainsaws, smash watermelons, and buckets.

The band is currently touring the East Coast, with no announced West Coast tour dates…yet. In the meantime, buy the album and close your eyes.

Vetiver – Won’t Be Me
Vetiver – Double

Hey, I didn’t mention Devendra Banhart once! Awwww crap…