Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm Ready I Am

All right, so I was having a hard time trying to pick a band to be my (potentially) last blog for the semester.  I decided on The Format, because well they're just one of those bands. Sadly founders Nate Ruess and Sam Means called it quits earlier this year, and they only have two full albums; however, they are still amazing anyways.

The Format is a mix of indy, punk, folk, cynicism. They even chose their name to make fun of the "format" of a hit song. The first album, Interventions + Lullabies was released in 2003. The first track is "The First Single" and it opens with a great dumb beat. But honestly the thing I really love about The Format is the lyrics and Ruess' distinct voice.
The chorus of "The First Single" is

You know me, oh you think you do you just don't seem to see
I've been waiting all this time to be, something I can't define
So let's cause a scene, clap our hands and stomp our feet or something,
yeah something I've just got to get myself over me.

They have great up beat songs with down to earth lyrics that are great to drive to and are good when you're in one of those moods. There's a sense of irony in it all that I suppose you just have to laugh at, and with The Format, you just have to sing to.

"I"m Ready I Am" is another one of my favorite songs. It starts out slow with just vocals then picks up after the first three lines
I'm nicotine,
I'm coming clean
i fooled the crowd when i made it sound like i was more then ready
strike up the band, deprive my sleep
cause there's no love like apathy
the bell that tolls rings loud enough that it should have woke us up.

"On Your Porch" is a sort of sad slow love song. This is followed by an end of the relationship song, "as for me its nothing new just another two years." Honestly, I could just post all the lyrics, because they really are fantastic.

The Format's second album is Dog Problems from 2006. The title came from the issue that one of the band members (I cant remember who) would always buy a dog with their current girlfriend whenever a relationship would start to go sour. The song "Dog Problems" deals with those relationship issues, and it has a really cool music video I'll post at the end. I suppose you can call The Format catchy music with heart, and like I said cynicism/irony. "Inches and Falling" says it's about loving love but they lyrics further support it's not all that great

Take these tattered boxes
that used to hold your clothes
Break them down
Build them back up with your bones
All you did was construct a mess
You're good to me when only flesh
You're a memory with nothing to show.

Overall I think the band is great and I do wish they'll get back together at some point. I believe Ruess started up a band called Fun, but I haven't really had much time to check them out.

I hope that my blogs haven't been too awful at describing music I love and maybe you've been able to find some music to listen to or avoid. Either way, enjoy music.

Well enjoy a fans video, you can read the lyrics. It's hard to find good quality music online sometimes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crawling Towards the Sun

One of my favorite bands for the last few years has to be The Hush Sound. Combining a jazzy, bluesy, sort of sound with both male and female vocals gives the band a pretty diverse sound. Greta Salpeter, the only woman in the band, is also extremely talented on the piano, which adds even more depth to the music. They have put out three albums since 2005 and they get better each time. My favorite two albums have to be Like Vines (2006) and Goodbye Blues (2008). Their first CD, So Sudden (2005) does have a lot of good tracks like "Weeping Willow," "Crawling Towards the Sun," and "The Artist" too so I would suggest that one as well. 

A friend of mine had the video for "Wine Red" up online, and I was instantly hooked. The verses have a heavy beat with both the piano and drums. However, the chorus is very lyrical. It's the fall of love, "the death of beauty"; it's a really beautiful song. The album has a good variety of both upbeat and slow tempo tracks as well as a variation of both Greta as the lead and Bob as a lead for the songs.  "Lions Roar" is about a search for a girl but it also includes a description of a circus scene. What's interesting is that the beat of the song is also very carnival like and there's a sense of urgency, which matches the lyrics very well. "Like Vines" also as a fantastic beat, there really is great talent on both the piano and drums.

Goodbye Blues is really an amazing CD. I believe it shows that we can continues to expect better and better music with each album released. There is the music box, sort of whimsical opening "Intro" which opens into the very expressive "Honey." The next song is the blues-like "Medicine Man" with a good drum beat that will make you want to "dance across the country." I also think the songs sung by Bob have also gotten better from the last two CDs as well. There's a vast amount of energy in this album that I can't help but to be caught up in. There are a few songs like "Hurricane" that gives a bit of a breather but over all it's a good album to keep in your car.

The Hush Sound is a great band because of their diversity and musical skills. They can sing about things like love and death but do it in an expressive and more artistic way than other songs about a broken heart. I suppose for me too I'm a sucker for music with a good piano player too.


I found this link. You can actually listen to the full album of Goodbye Blues, hurray for that.