Friday, January 29, 2010

OOOhhh!!! The new JJ is gorgeous.

Update: JJ No. 3. Only one listen and I can barely tell you how much I love this album. I am tempted to write some unreadable flowery block of prose entirely stream of conscious like where my fingers tap along in time and the rhythm affects the content and turns me into an aspiring writer. They possess a sound more than they create great songs. Her voice is generically lovely. Here, on first song, it's breathier, soulful-ier, more tender. Tremendous. They could deliver smashing political arpeggios and have them taken as gospel by me even should they be "bolshevik" rants the same as Obama's caricature as socialist Zinn-meister. JD Salinger died today. I enjoyed Catcher in the Rye but the fact that I read it as a ten in high school, alienated and alone seems just too apt today. I should have been reading something far more daring and original, Maldoror or even James Joyce. I am not a James Joyce guy, obviously, I am a Brian O'Nolan guy, a Flann O'brien guy a Myles na gCopaleen guy. Because Flann O'brien novels are readable, taut, brilliant and marvelous things and James Joyce's are sometimes a chore. Interesting reading on Salinger's military history and relating it ot the modern belief that most people who suffered PTSD in Vietnam served in rearward units. First song was minimal, minimally gorgeous and very short. The songs are slightly longer this time around. They have still yet to write an epic lngth feature track that dazzles the gear junkies. The fall away, her voice, it feels richer and nearer. Very nearly a capella at the moment and it is perfect. A love song. It feels desperate and alone and marvelous. It fels everything all at once. Maggots in Australia yearning for freedom from freezers the land over need to hear songs such as this and form their own mysteriously prolific dance pop groups. People who delight at free college education in return for a life sentence in the bureaucracy will not enjoy this. They are Grizzly Bear fans and they are dreary sorts with blurry geometric patterns on their ties and socks and a complete misunderstanding of The Third Policeman. I am thinking I need to read Proust, and soon. Proust was featured prominently in a Gilmour Girls episode, first year, the golden years. Next song. Harmonica, plucks on tiny instruments, echoes and the swell of the surf. So so beautiful. More minimal attacments between vocals and music, until the drama of the chorus spreads its wings all over the floor carrying homes to the ceiling of the sky. This is so delicate but it would sound marvelous in a home equipped with a sound system, one hoe equipped with a very expensive system owned by an audiophile who worries over things like 'low end' I don't much worry about how something sounds. I turn soul enlightened when listening to this not because of any of the knob twiddling but the intersection of a dozen moments in space just now when the 'football sample' plays and in the background a gentle wash and twinkles and that errant guitar. Beautiful. Howard Zinn died yesterday as well. I never had a militant collectivist stage in my own academic career. I was a hard sciences guy. My teachers came from places like Iraq and Romania and Allen Park. I suppose they were all members of the union. I was a member of the union as a graduate assistant in Ann Arbor. It was one of the first graduate assistant unions, I seem to recall, I am not certain how many others there are now probably loads, filled with aspiring Doris Lessings. Ann Arbor was once a lovely place, a near utopia, if you were socialist. Not so much anymore, oh, they are still elitist and left leaning but there is less of a welcoming feel, their activism has gone corporate. Next song, acoustic guitars, they have ditched the attempts at outward folk music, there is an acoustic guitar here but the atmosphere is softened and unfocused and blissful. The entire record is blissful, soon, when my worst fear comes true, and I wake up in a coffin buried beneath several meters of earth and I am not in my trick coffin that I keep in my room just for that specific moment, well...I am hoping that the song that is running through my head at that precarious time is one of these songs. You may well be aware that I am all about the Lucky Soul album. Expect me to write about it soon but this album just kills that one. It's amazing. Really. Perhaps people will miss the jaunty numbers like From Africa to Malaga. This i what passes for jaunty on this album and it is somewhat lethargic and again squeezably soft. The new new age is here. I could imagine a remaking of Xanadu with JJ providing the soundtrack. Effortlessly. Picture in your mind glitter and shiny lip gloss and flowing sheer skirts and headbands and it is magnified as a blissful experience by exposure to this album. How many more people are there like me? Those who used to once believe in people like Matthew Kaplan or Mike Slumberland but now feel disillusioned by their spiritual descendants in Cloudberry cuckoo land and the entrepreneurial sort at Matinee. Thank god this isn't on Matinee records. I'd have to buy a Matinee records release. Well actually I won't be buying this, even though it is Canadian and I was a former Canadian, and I am pretty sure CanCon requires that all Canadians purchase only Canadian records. But really I have a very strong Anti-Matinee records streak in me, nothing personal, just that all of the records are terrible. Well except for Keris Howard records and that one Fairways records and really I don't mind the Lucksmiths either but the Lucksmiths could hardly be considered a Matinee band. I was driving the Lucksmiths across Kansas back when Matinee boy was still some sort of civil engineer and releasing Simpatico records. Next song, music consists of pushing the air about with pedals and keys and gentle nudges of the right persuasion. They are Swedish and they are on Secretly Canadian. Did Jens Lekman have something to do with that? Perhaps it is Jens Lekman and friend? Unlikely. He could never write something this non-narcissistic. Jens should be on Matinee, by rights. I am very negative. My apologies. He's on the periphery of the professional european indiepop set. The sorts who have very expensive antique guitars that they don't know how to play properly. The kinds who wear loafers to gigs, beneath their tailored suit coats and button downs. I am all for bands that don't dress shabby and look as unkempt as Animal Collective do but not as a professional choice. Dress sharp because you want people to think you're smart, not because it coordinates well with your brief case. Read this Northern Portrait. Next song. You Know. Another almost folk song, almost folk guitar, but the twinkles dazzle brightly, a basic beat, hand claps. On the vinyl version of the album there is another song, I am not worried, I'll find somewhere to 'borrow' it, but it is titled I Know. It could be a bark Psychosis cover! Imagine JJ covering I Know. Who was the female voice for I Know? I actually have that cd, back then you had to engage in planet defiling consumeristic hagiography and pay import prices for obscurities like Independency so I could look it up but my laziness has remained consistent all through my adult life. The last song. Perhaps the young woman from Bark Psychosis is now the singer for JJ? JJ singer seems more likely to be in her late 20s. There is a world weariness in her voice, just a delicate penumbra of fatigue, it melds well with the general romantic unanxious attitude. This record is an Italian sunset, well not the soot darkened end of days in Calabria but a gentler more idyllic sort that you'd probably dream of involuntarily.