I think 4 months has been quite enough. While Ellis had already starting throwing his thoughts into the digital vacuum with some really good tunes, I’m just now bursting with songs and albums that I can’t wait to share with anyone who would listen. And there’s really no better way to start my first Colorful Monsters article of the year than with a heavy, noisy, absolutely-catastrophic, loud electronic beast of a song, “This World Is Sick,” by IC3PEAK.
So today, we’re not just coming out of left field as we’re talking about a completely different sport, altogether. I think it’s racquetball, but your mileage may vary. Yes, my tastes in music go beyond indie rock/pop and you’re correct in realizing the song I’m recommending isn’t English. K-Pop, for me, started as an interesting genre that was “too foreign” or “too flashy” for me to enjoy. The music is obnoxious, everyone is in a group of beautiful men and women, and there’s a shallowness to all of it.
It always really sucks to hear about someone passing away long before it made any sense. This past Friday, Avicii died at the age of 28. While I may not have known him at all, his passing stuck with me as both a complete shock and a retrospect over his work. I feel like I’ve never really appreciated what he’s done. So for today, I’m going to temporarily break my rules and look back on the Avicii work that I’m familiar with and how important it was then and now.
It is unbelievably easy to be a fan of CHVRCHES (pronounced cha-ver-chiz) partly because they’ve spent the past decade making the same song over and over again. Was this a very rude statement? Yes, but it was said out of pure love. I think CHVRCHES has a very specific style of synth-pop that they’ve perfected to such an extent that they’ve made a career out of it. Once again, this isn’t a criticism. I am personally amazed at their consistency and how each song is so subtly different that you can’t fully replace one with the other. And to their credit, rather than stagnating, I think they’ve been getting better.
…Now, you may be asking yourselves why wasn’t there a post on Friday. Well, this is Friday’s post. Why is it on a Monday?
Let’s talk about U.S. Girls!
U.S. Girls made nine albums. NINE ALBUMS! I’ve just heard about Meg Remy, the head of the project, a couple of months ago, how long was she around? The answer is 2008. It took ten years to even listen to a single thing she has done. I just started high school in 2008! She doesn’t even live in the U.S. anymore, but if you’ve been using the band name for that long, you might as well keep it. In all seriousness, there are quite a few people who have made many albums before they reached any sort of attention outside of their respective niches, and I will possibly talk about one of them in the near future. In any case, I do hope she gets more attention as her latest album, In a Poem Unlimited, is fantastic. It’s a combination of a lot of different sounds ranging from noise-pop, art rock, art pop, art art, I don’t know. It’s a fascinating style that she uses…it’s a shame that the song that I fell in love with is not actually all that drastically unusual.
Jack White? Why do I keep coming back to you? We had our fling and it was good. With your solo debut, you took me to the world of bluesy folk rock and it was my jam. I listened to Blunderbuss for months on end. Then I tried listening to your White Stripes backlog and..didn’t work for me. Then Lazaretto came out and I thought it was average. It felt like an attempt at reliving Blunderbuss but without the same passion and, at the same time, Jack White was trying to step back into White Stripes territory. It just felt unsatisfying for me so I felt convinced that as much as I consider White to be a talented musician, there was no way that I would be entranced by him again. But here I am with-
OVER AND OVER
Goodness me, this song has a guitar riff that will live in your ears for years. Over and Over and Over is Jack White at his best. He’s got his guitar, a range of backing vocalist who seem absolutely thrilled to be here, and the occasional asides to play distorted sounds that I couldn’t possibly identify. Yes, it’s nowhere near the folk rock that I fell in love with, but it doesn’t matter to me. Jack White didn’t need to make music from a genre I liked. He just needed to make music that was made up of the passion and skill that he’s known for.
Twentytwo in Blue is comfort food for my soul, an album so difficult for me to dislike and so easy for me to listen to that I can keep playing the album non-stop and never feel tired of it. For my listening pleasure, that’s great. For a blog about specific songs, it’s not so great. It’s hard to talk about one song from Sunflower Bean’s sophomore album without talking about the rest. So, without further delay, let’s talk about the album as a whole before I recommend any specific song.
Their album is a clear love letter to rock music of the past but how far in the past really depends on the song. Most of the time, Sunflower Bean resembles Fleetwood Mac but occasionally jumps to garage rock and more modern sounds. I don’t use the connection to Fleetwood Mac lightly. “I Was a Fool” feels designed to have Stevie Nicks interrupt the lyrics and talk about how thunder only happens when it’s raining. Fortunately, I actually quite like Fleetwood Mac.
Prospects of preparing new content for this site has been hit or miss. Mostly miss, because it’s been 3 months and nothing has been posted. Fear not! We do have many plans in mind, but most of them will take a while.
That being said, I’ve missed talking about music. I have listened to so much these past few months and the only pleasure I had of talking about it was with my fellow Colorful Monsters cohorts. I think it’s unfair to keep all our thoughts to ourselves so I’m bringing back written posts to Colorful Monsters. These won’t be reviews – I’m actually not a huge fan of critiquing music, especially if it’s from bands that are working to build themselves up. Instead, I want to talk about music that I like and love, with posts scheduled for Mondays and Fridays until I run out of music to talk about. This will be highly unlikely as the only limit to my song recommendations is that they have to be songs I’ve listened to this year, with original release dates being less important.
David is at his desk actually doing some work. It feels good. It feels right. He enjoys the sense that he is completing something that is necessary for some unknown person that he has no affiliation with. This, he thought, must be how it feels to fulfill the American Dream. His boss, Bill, comes to his desk.
“Come with me, we’re meeting someone.”
“But I have a meeting in ten minutes.”
“Oh, then you can’t come.”
“He can come,” says Isbalda, coming from an adjacent cubicle and having no connection to the meeting.
“Okay, then you can come,” says Bill. And so, David, Bill, and Isbalda walk down the aisles of business people.
“Do you know who he is?” asks Isbalda to David.
“He’s Jeff. He’s worked at the company for more than two years.”
“More than two years, and he is leaving and it is his birthday so we got cake.” David turns around to see Arnold, a coworker he doesn’t know, holding a boxed cake.
“What’s your name?” asks Isbalda.
“Okay.” They reach the escalators and David forgets how escalators work so he places his feet side by side between the steps. He takes half of the trip down trying to rearrange his feet. They reach the second floor and go down another escalator, which he is fine with given his previous experience. They walk over to the kitchen and see Jeff sitting at a table surrounded by Dop, the supervisor, and Sylvester, who is like Arnold, but with less cake.
“I’m glad we could all make it,” says Jeff.
“Do you know everyone here?” asks Dop.
“This is Isbalda, Bill, Arnold, Sylvester, and David.”
“I’ve worked with some of you.”
“But you don’t know everyone.”
“We brought cake,” says Isbalda. Everyone is smiling.
“Oh, good,” says Jeff. Arnold opens the box. It is red velvet cake. “What kind of cake is this?”
“Red velvet,” says Arnold.
“We need forks,” says Dop.
“Where are they?” asks Arnold.
“Next to the coffee.” Arnold goes towards the coffee, missing where the forks are.
“It’s over ther…” Bill adds.
“No, he found it,” says Dop. Dop starts cutting the cake. “Which part do you want?”
“The one with the rose,” says Jeff. Dop cuts a slice with a rose, puts it on the plate and passes it down to David. “Well, you know there’s lot of people…not a lot of cake.”
“Okay,” says Isbalda.
“It’s an Office Space reference. Has anyone seen Office Space?” Arnold comes back with the forks and sits next to David, who is noticing that he is running late for the meeting.
“Hey Arnold,” says David. “Are you in the same meeting with me?”
“I’m not going to it. They don’t need us.” Jeff checks his phone.
“Would you look at that. Guess what my daughter just texted me? 4.0.”
“What does she want to be?” asks Isbalda.
“Physical Education teacher. She doesn’t like when I call her a gym teacher. It’s not a gym teacher. It’s a Physical Education teacher.” A cake reaches Arnold and David. There a less plates than people and cake.
“We need more plates,” says Bill.
“I’ll get some,” says Sylvester as he leaves for plates.
“There are no plates, there,” says Dop.
“We can share,” says Arnold to Bill.
“No, have it.”
“We can share.”
“No, have it.” Dop starts placing the cake on napkins and passing them around. Everyone now has cake. Arnold eats the whole thing. David gets some cake on his pants.
“Will you miss this place?” asks Isbalda.
“Probably in a couple of weeks,” responds Jeff.
“You’ll look back and remember,” says Dop.
“Okay, I think we’re done,” says Jeff. “Thank you for coming.”
“Who takes the cake?” asks Sylvester.
“Arnold,” says Bill.
“No,” says Arnold. Everyone leaves, except for Bill, Arnold, and Dop, who brought laptops.
Hi people from all over the world! Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are storytellers, media critics, bass heads, metal heads, and passionate about things we say and write. We’re also up and coming artists in our own field. It’s been a few years in the making and we’ve finally decided to build a website (be it an amateur one) to host our written, cinematographic, and vocal creations. Let us know what you think as we embark on this journey. Thanks for taking a sec and welcome to colorful monsters!