too much typing—since 2003


2004 - again wit' da ducks!

A couple of updates on my 2004 year-end list. First, I made two mixes, one drawing from my top-rated albums and EPs, the other compiling some "singles" (basically, stuff I discovered on mp3 in 2004 - whether or not it was recorded last year) at

I'd say it's likely that given a few more listens, both Love Songs for Patriots by American Music Club and From a Basement on a Hill by Elliott Smith might have made my top ten. I liked the PJ Harvey and Sonic Youth albums as well (thank god: Kim Gordon actually tries to sing instead of squalling like a sexually aroused asthmatic suffering constipation), although the Tom Waits and Camper Van Beethoven releases haven't fully hit me yet (and has anyone else noted that CVB blatantly steal Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" in the opening track?).

Two albums deserve mention as being among the oddest 2004 releases that weren't particularly trying to be odd or waving any sort of avant-garde flag. The first one, Destroyer's Your Blues, at first struck me as compelling evidence that Dan Bejar had lost it. I mean, almost no accompaniment but an absurdly lush but MIDI-based fauxchestra? Then (as typically happens with Destroyer albums for me) the song's peculiar charms insinuated themselves with me - and then, the album's synthetic sound somehow seemed exactly right, paradoxically feeling both lush and freeze-dried, like an ice sculpture of a flame.

The other album was probably the second-most-written-about release of 2004; since I already wrote about The Arcade Fire CD, obviously I'm talking about the Fiery Furnaces' Blueberry Boat. This one came my way through the auspices of a friend who didn't know what to make of it; I confess I'm not so sure either, except that there's enough going on there that I don't feel I can simply dismiss it. If nothing else, the Furnaces deserve credit for ambition (almost always a positive with me); whether they pulled off what they intended, or whether it actually works for me, I can't quite say yet. But they're certainly an interesting band: that word's usually a bit dismissive, the adjective of last resort...but taken literally, a band whose music can compel attention even as it puzzles is at least worth watching.


Anonymous said...

<<<(and has anyone else noted that CVB blatantly steal Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" in the opening track?)>>>

Yeah, but that's the sort of "richly associative" thing that makes those guys swell.

*Blueberry Boat* rox my sox.


2fs said...

Oh, not a criticism at all! It's just the Brubeck song's rhythm they steal, anyway - but that's the sort of "stealing" that's more homage than rip-off...and even if it's not, it's just a little wink. (So, uh, my "indie rock tribute to Dave Brubeck" mix is exactly two songs long now - this, and Pavement's "5-4=Unity"...)

Anonymous said...

There is a mis-placed apostrophe in this post.

2fs said...

Misplaced apostrophe? Heav'n forfend! But I beg to differ: the only somewhat questionable apostrophe issue here is whether it should say "Furnaces' Blueberry Boat" or "Furnaces's Blueberry Boat." My preference about the infamous "s'" issue is: if as pronounced, the apostrophe adds an extra syllable ("Jesus's"), add the "s"; if not, don't. No one sez "furr-niss-iz-iz" now do they... Or is this a symptom of my prowesslessnesslessness?

Anonymous said...

Picking nits: I knew what to make of Blueberry Boat: I found it overly long and repetitive, and I thought that the quirkiness and olde-timeyness of Gallowsbird's Bark's songwriting had metastasized into something a mite too precious for my taste. But! I'm glad you're finding it interesting enough for further exploration. And I love my pirate-motif waste-disposal device!

-- Editrix