Nineteen.

Dec. 19th, 2011 02:37 pm
urgencytobleed: (sebastian <3 <3)
Bright Eyes - The People's Key


Let's face it: Conor Oberst, at this point, is probably past his prime. He'll never make another Lifted or I'm Wide Awake It's Morning or [insert your favorite Bright Eyes album here] again - but maybe that's okay. Though it lacks the passion and poignancy of early Bright Eyes, The People's Key is still a very good album, perhaps not a work of genius, but it does prove Oberst and company have still got a few tricks left up their sleeves. The People's Key takes sounds Oberst has already experimented with and twists them into new if not earth-shattering forms. Songs like "Shell Games" and "Haile Selassie" wouldn't have felt out of place on Cassadaga had it been more energetic. The unexpectedly choppy guitar that shows up intermittently throughout "Jejune Stars" is probably the closest Oberst will ever come to Desaparecidos again and the subdued, introspective "Ladder Song" has most in common with the singer-songwriter folk of I'm Wide Awake It's Morning. Though these are all good songs, they never quite match Oberst's best. The songs that do are the ones that fall a little further outside the box. The chilling and sparse electronic elements of "Approximate Sunlight" bring to mind Digital Ash in a Digital Urn but it quickly becomes apparent that the song reaches just beyond this influence to become something truly refreshing. Simple but evocative lyrically, containing imagery like "The Quinceanera dress she bought was unstitched with bullets," with an unsettlingly monotonous chorus, it is the emotional pinnacle of the entire album. Another highlight is "Triple Spiral," which, with its girl group-inspired backing vocals from Laura Burhenn, recalls Cassadaga's "Make a Plan to Love Me" if it were catchier and less treacly and actually, um, a good song. It's playful and upbeat in a way that most Bright Eyes songs aren't, though the lyrics remain characteristically dark. For the most part, The People's Key finds Oberst treading familiar territory and only rarely besting himself. However, it is still a worthy addition to his impressive oeuvre.

urgencytobleed: (Default)
I honestly don't mean to keep abandoning this place. It just happens. But in an effort to keep things more active, I'm going to try really hard to post one song every day from the albums I've liked the most this year, since I haven't had a chance to talk about any new releases yet. Hopefully, I will be able to keep this promise, as it seems a pretty simple one to fulfill, seems being the operative word there - I'm still the biggest procrastinator on the planet. Anyway, that will start tomorrow. For now, have a concert review that, yes, I shamelessly copied and pasted from my personal blog. Whatever. It fits more here.


There's kids playing guns in the street and one's pointing his tree branch at me and so I put my hands up, I say enough is enough, if you walk away, I'll walk away, and he shot me dead. )

Also, before I go, there's a new Carissa's Wierd song, guys! Their first in over seven years! I guess they're planning on releasing a 7" and doing a few reunion shows but I'm not sure if their plans yet extend beyond that. Hopefully, they do because this song is beautiful and sounds just as good as their best stuff. You can hear it over on Soundcloud.
urgencytobleed: (why do you edit? just give me credit)
A random assortment of unrelated odds and ends because I couldn't be bothered to think about making a Christmas post until Christmas was nearly over. So, yeah, happy holidays and enjoy!

I. SOME NON-TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY TUNAGE )
II. A NEW BRIGHT EYES SONG (WHICH IS BETTER THAN 85% OF OBERST'S LAST THREE ALBUMS) )
III. A DELICIOUSLY WEIRD VISUAL FEAST )
IV. A SONGWRITING MARVEL )
V. A HOLIDAY CLASSIC WITH A TWIST )
urgencytobleed: (Default)
November is National Novel Writing Month. I don’t know if many of you are writers but I personally couldn’t live without writing. My head is constantly filling up with all these random ideas and if I don’t get them down on paper as soon as possible, they begin to invade my real life. Well, if I really care about a certain character, they end up invading my real life regardless but writing it down at least keeps me relatively sane. Now, I’m not going to build myself up as this excellent writer because I don’t really know how my own writing stands up to the rest of the world’s but I have written a fair few things that I think I can be safe in saying I’m very proud of. (If anyone is honestly interested, I post my stuff here. Two warnings: I write mostly about love and depressed people and, usually, both of those things together; I am also not really a plot person. If that already sounds unappealing to you, please don’t read it and then tell me how much I suck, mmkay?)

Now, back to NaNoWriMo, this is my first year attempting it and I didn’t decide to do so until the last minute so it’s all rather hectic and exciting. So far, I’ve been doing well but I imagine when the things I’ve already decided will happen have been committed to computer screen (that sounds so much less eloquent than paper) I will start having a much rougher time of it. It doesn’t help that I am a notorious procrastinator and a frequent victim of severe writer’s block either. But I am determined to trudge through even if it means wanting to pull my hair out some days. If anyone reading this now is going through the same thing, here are some lovely songs related to reading and writing to help you through. Even if you’re not an author – or at least not an author insane enough to attempt this – I’m sure you’ll find plenty to love in these songs too.

Read more... )

And if the music isn’t enough and you aren’t spending the month trying to write your own novel, here are my reading recommendations for you! Now get to your local libraries, people, (or direct yourself to Amazon using these handy links) and read until you drop!


Yeah, I like to read. A lot. Unfortunately, it’s on the backburner this month as I can only focus on so much at once! Plus, I’m afraid I’ll inadvertently steal from whatever book I’m reading and I do that enough as it is with the books I’ve already read.
urgencytobleed: (i put a pearl in the ground)
So, I wanted to make a Halloween mix, an idea that I first tried out on here awhile ago (almost three years ago, what the hell?!?) but wanted to expand to a more CD-filling running time. At first, I was only using songs that had scary/Halloween-y words in the titles but then I ran out of those and focused on songs with a creepy/haunting vibe to them musically and, in the end, both of those groups ended up being pretty equally represented. So it's not exactly strictly Halloween-based anymore but it fits the spirit of the season well anyway. Enjoy the music!

All hail the queen. Still, I've never seen a witch this mean. )
urgencytobleed: (ben whishaw so so fine)
So... I haven't posted anything here in quite a long time. Sorry about that. But I was in the mood to make a mix the other day so I'll share that. It doesn't really have a theme at all. Basically, the only thing these songs have in common is that a. I've been obsessed with them at some point in the past two or three months and b. I don't believe I've ever posted any of them here before. Other than that, they aren't really connected. I'm too lazy to upload the whole thing in one ZIP file so you don't have to listen to them in order if you don't want to (though I think it actually works extremely well as a whole) and you can pick and choose if you don't want/need every song. Enjoy. :)

And, oh yeah, I know it's sort of a "rule" not to have two songs by the same artist on one mix but whatever... I couldn't decide between the two and they both worked really well so I kept them. They are far enough apart that it doesn't seem like overkill. And anyway, they're both insanely good.

urgencytobleed: (Default)
So, in honor of last night's Oscars ceremony - which I surprisingly thought were decently interesting this year - here are a handful of songs that work well for the occasion.

First, a few that go hand-in-hand with some of the winners (all very deserving, in my opinion):




And here are a few that have a general actor/movie theme to them:


Enjoy! :)
urgencytobleed: (jenny smile)
Guess what? I finally got another mix done! And in time for Valentine's Day, too! Now, I don't really care about the holiday one way or another, but the general theme of this is "sappy love songs" so it's appropriate to post it at this time. It covers a pretty broad range, since I could only get so far with the 100% in love songs so some are sarcastically romantic ("Fucking Boyfriend", "Marry Me"), some are depressingly romantic ("I Know I Know I Know", "My Invitation", "I Know"), some were chosen simply because their titles seemed to fit (any of them with "heart" or "valentine" in the title), and the rest of them are pure, unabashedly sugary, head-over-heels-in-love songs. So, whether you're going to bask in a lonely depression or spend some time with a special someone, I hope you enjoy this!


Download entire mix (69 MB)
urgencytobleed: (matthew gray gubler)
Now that we've got all that top ten craziness out of the way, there were obviously tons of other awesome releases this year. And then a few that might not be so awesome overall, but have that one amazing song. So, here are some of my favorite songs of the year (excluding any from the top ten, obviously; I think I've got them well covered). Also, album title = purchase link.



And because I'm weird like that and want to stretch this out to last the whole week, the rest of the songs tomorrow!
urgencytobleed: (Default)
It's still a month until Christmas but seeing as it is already completely white and miserably cold outside, this seems to be the perfect time to bust out the Christmas tunes anyway! Now, I don't know about you, but most Christmas music annoys me, so aside from a few traditional songs (though performed fantastically, of course) I've tried to mostly include ones that can be easily enjoyed all year 'round. Some are explicitly about Christmas while others are more vaguely winter-y or contain a fleeting mention of Christmas but are just so awesome that it's enough to count. Hopefully, this mix will bring you more enjoyment over the holidays than whatever crappy radio station playing those generic cheesy Christmas songs. As always, below the cut, you can find the tracklisting with links to each individual song or download the entire thing in a ZIP file.

Sew up the bad that you've done - tomorrow Christmas day comes. )
Download entire mix (72 MB)

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Shannon

April 2012

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