This is a live blog of Galen’s listening to Andrew Bird’s Noble Beast album.
Side A first record in the record player…
Fuzz guitar is simple, understated, and lovely. Not distortion, this is straight up fuzz. I’d love to figure that tone out. The little one is dancing occasionally.
Is this record skipping or is seriously experimental. MORE WHISTLING.
Short break here to red Max Drives Away… again.
This second track while having a certain Simon and Garfunkel quality to it’s overall sound really showcases Andrew Bird’s “wainwrightesque” voice. All apologies if Rufus is in fact Birdesque. I’m notoriously bad with timelines.
I’m not a huge fan of repeated claps as a prominent sound in the rhythm section.
Was that a fiddle slide or a theramin for a moment there?
The little one is pulling apart her play-mat and then putting it back together. She’s really into this game lately, but now the bulldog has tried to claim her space. Two destructive forces working together is frightening.
I really wish this track was a bit less produced, though the samba feel of it does make me want to get a cocktail and sit out under the stars. There’s that fuzz guitar again… Who’s playing? Oh, hello Google! Could be Andrew or Jeremy Ylvislaker. More research commencing after this new energy in the current song lets me go. I feel a little like dancing to it, which is something, because I don’t really like to dance all that much. The whole album feels like a Wes Anderson film. Hmmm… I need to get a Wes Anderson viewing party together. There will be costumes, decorations, etc.
This album feels very dated for having been released in 2009. It doesn’t feel like it’s 5 years old it feels like it’s 35 years old. Time to flip the album.
A brief interlude here. I frequently get into semi-heated arguments about vinyl in which I say, “I can’t hear the difference between vinyl and a lossless digital copy.” I stand by this argument. Generally speaking the difference I hear can be explained as the difference between speakers on different systems more than anything else. However, there is a great experience in the enjoyment of a vinyl record that there is not in the digital playlist. I have to actively engage with what I’m listening to. The side of the record is finished and I must get out of my seat, walk to the player, turn the record over (tactile sensations abound) move the needle and then see if I want to get back to what I was doing while listening. In contrast, the digital soundtrack has turned my entire life into a mall where the music I am most likely to enjoy is playing in a way that I am most likely to ignore. Ok, flip the damn album.
I really dig the immediate dive into an orchestral feel here. Now… yeah, I just read Max Drives Away, again. I like the violin on this track. I’m not sure which one it is, but it has a vaguely American Civil War Era feel. Gina just brought me a sheaf of handwritten font sheets. Gorgeous. We will frame them, for sure.
While I’m vaguely distracted, let me discuss the love of packaging. I’m a songwriter who puts primary importance on lyrics. I love all the space the record cover gives to show off an artist’s lyrics. For a while there when CDs were just getting their start, they frequently had thick booklets of lyrics. Now CDs seem to come only in tiny cardboard sleeves. Though the font of those books was already too small, it was at least something. Now as someone who has friends with talents in the visual arts, I’m all to aware that I have NONE. So the digital route is certainly easier for me, because coming up with any sort of album art is a nightmare of insecurity.
For the love of God, and your life, stop the god damned clapping. I know I’ve mentioned it already, but this album is way overproduced for my tastes. Okay, I think this song is called Nomenclature. I don’t think I’m making it through this album tonight. Bored. Just nothing there grabbing me. Nothing hateful, just, not snagging. Very well thought out tracks with great recording, way too much going on, and every track is starting to blend into the others.