20 Apr 2010

Warm music for cold nights

I must first admit, I don't post enough. I want to post more, but, you know. So here it is, my next instalment. I've run this theory by a couple who all agree, because I honesty would like to know if I am really that sad a music nerd that my listening habits coincide with mother nature's cycles? What got me thinking about this was strangely enough when I turned on the latest Liars album, Sisterworld.

Liars being a band that I have, admittedly struggled to get into. I got into them a couple of years ago, and I loved them at the time. Noise rock was my choice of melody, it seemed apt. Then, low and behold, this year rolled along and it struck me like a lighting bolt (after much listening to Kyp Malone's first band, Iran), I need more noise, I need a little less happy, a little more angsty, maybe even downright angry. This, all the while, taking place while mother nature decides to drop her skirt over the sun for a couple of months. So winter sends my listening habits into the awkward spaces within the uncharted territory that is chaos and dark places.

There are people in this world that aim to make noise beautiful, and because I love the genre so much I won't even mention the not-so-good ones, many of them succeed.  Turning sheer dissonance and mayhem into a tangible, oft catchy, melody or rhythm. These people folks, are the ones bending the rules. It shouldn't be pretty, but somehow, it is.

Sonic Youth are a prime example of being able to produce sheer dissonance and two minutes later erupting in a freight train, crammed full of consonance. The album (which I am sure some of you know, yes, you dude) delivers a noisy right jab but the kicker is when it hits a second time, this time it's the left uppercut, and it's brutal. Well, that's not strictly true in the case of Daydream Nation. It's mellow, it's gentle, it's an unbelievable indie album, use it, don't use it.

But this isn't a post about bands you've never heard of, this is a post of how the winter makes me listen a little deeper. In the summer the music is generally reasonably upbeat and not as 'tricky' to get into. Simple melodies. Nothing like driving along on a hot summer's day (although, if you know me,you'll know, I am not the biggest fan of the heat) blasting some Queens of the Stone Age, Talking Heads or The Gaslight Anthem in my little metal box, that works, sometimes...

In the winter, it gets darker, the music slows down; partly because the faster the music, the faster I drive, and in the winter people here in Cape Town, drive REALLY badly in the wet, so one takes measures. Suddenly I crave a little bottled up pocket full of pure insanity or despair. I know you might hear it and only hear noise or sadness or gloom or 'depressing', and that's cool to, but I just find it odd that for some reason my appetite resorts to gnawing on an old silver fork, right between the molars, that racket it sends shooting down you spine, in which ever form presents itself.

I think it very strange, but it's the way I was built I guess. So if I could be so bold as to ask that you try to listen to only one of these album I am about to list, please, I shall owe you one. You might like it, you might not, but give it a bash. Okay, I feel like a bigger music nut than I ever imagined, so I shall sign off, to cold nights and  red wine.

The list I promised...

Tom Waits - Closing Time
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Liars - Sisterworld
The Mars Volta - Deloused in the Crematorium / Amputechture
Rain Machine - Rachine Machine (I know, I know, but it's that good!)
Heavens - Heavens
Jeff Buckley - Grace
TV on the Radio - Dear Science
Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Brand New - Deja Entendu

There you go....I hope you enjoyed this post, because I am freezing my ass off.



  1. I like these but one of my ultimate winter albums will have to be The Eraser by Thom Yorke.

  2. raised by swans - no ghostless place