Sunday, January 25, 2009

Egregious error

In my best music of 2008 post, I somehow left out Bloc Party. My only possible excuse is that Bloc Party has been a group I've listened to pretty much continuously since their first album so that 2008 wasn't much different from 2007 or 2006 or 2005.

This is a lame excuse since my personal anthem, "The Prayer", inspired my previous blog. It's also a really poor excuse in that I listened to two new albums. In 2007 Bloc Party released A Weekend in the City, their second album, off of which The Prayer came. Then, in a surprising, out of nowhere move, they released their third album less than a year and a half later, Intimacy. After repeated listening to tracks on their website, I bought that album on its release.

Bloc Party is sort of unusual among the groups I like in that they are very electronic and processed and rarely do acoustic, even expressing a total dislike for the format. You'll notice in my post of my groups I enjoyed in 2008 that I picked several songs done acoustically. There's probably a level of snobbery in this. I want to enjoy musicians, people who are talented at creating music, and not some group of fashion models whose lack of ability is masked by the electronic doodads used to create recordings.

That's not always the case, though. Just because someone doesn't do something doesn't mean they can't. There's so much I like about Bloc Party's music, anyway, that even if they couldn't carry a tune without the aid of electrical assistance, I'd still like them.

Nonetheless, I am going to post a non-electronic version of one of their earlier songs, "Modern Love". The folks from La Blogotheque did this and I really like it. They ambush Bloc Party's lead singer, Kele Okereke, after an evening of drinking and get him to sing a song out in the street. Just looking at him you can see his discomfort. As he continues to sing, though, you also can see how he just gets into the song and is enjoying himself and probably even isn't aware of the crowd any longer.

While I'm talking about La Blogotheque, let me also include my favorite song that they "did", Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible". Arcade Fire, packed in an elevator doing a song, the percussion being done by banging on the inside of the lift and ripping pages from a magazine, and a freaking bass clarinet. Who uses a bass clarinet?!?

Returning to the main point of the post, here's one more, more exemplary song of Bloc Party's, "Talons":

Driving beat, Kele's awesome voice, nice layering of music - not too much, not too little. Far from being my favorite song of theirs but a good one all the same.

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