Tag Archives: music

2012 Highlights

In amazingly timely fashion, my movie/TV, fiction, and music highlights of 2012 are up:

http://tjkopena.com/wiki/?n=Reading.2012Highlights

In less amazingly timely fashion, my post on 2011 highlights that’s been laying around half-completed for a year is also polished and up:

http://tjkopena.com/wiki/?n=Reading.2011Highlights

MP3s: Jezabels

I first came across the Jezabels in Danny MacAskill’s Way Back Home video, which features their song A Little Piece.  It turns out that the whole album, Dark Storm, is amazing.  In some ways it sounds a bit similar to Florence + The Machine’s Lung album.  The Jezabels are definitely more folksy, at least on this album, but it has that same kind of high, swooping energy and hint of darkness to the sounds with an awful big dash of darkness in the actual lyrics.

It’s not a fair comparison as there are only five songs in this album, but there are very few albums from which I routinely listen to all the songs, and this is one of them.  Dark Storm and Mace Spray are almost definitely the best, but the others are excellent as well.

As far as I know the band hasn’t really hit the big time yet, so make sure to check this out now so when they do take off—something I think very possible—you can be all “Yeah, I heard of ’em, you know, before everybody had heard of them.”  Damn hipsters.

MP3s: Alicia Keys

A lot of people have undoubtedly heard Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind featuring Alicia Keys, and presumably a fair bit have heard her version on her The Element of Freedom album, but I wanted to point out the instrumental single of the Alicia Keys Piano Tribute Players’ Empire State of Mind.  It’s beautiful.  Not exactly quiet, the piano too sharp and tempo too up to be quite that, and neither is it precisely sad, but the main riff is almost lost, questing, wondering what to do with the day.  I’m not sure where you would play this except alone in your thoughts, or the end to a movie as the characters walk off changed into the city, but it’s well worth the price of admission.

MP3s: Killaflaw, TV on the Radio

Music of the week is Killaflaw’s Set Me On Fire.  Alex McAndrews (Clarkson) was playing this earlier in the ECCC MTB season and it’s a pretty sweet dance/rhythm song.  At 4:18 it’s short enough to play over the PA and is upbeat and moving but definitely not pop or techno.  Ideal warmup/get out the door music for me, and something I would listen to that works well in a race soundtrack.  The rest of the album is sadly solely a few (inferior) remixes and another song, but this single is a definite winner.

Also getting play this week on radio kopena is TV on the Radio’s DLZ. This has a slightly darker, destructive feel to it. It’s used excellently toward the end of the second season of Breaking Bad when Walt comes to a realization that he doesn’t want to let go of the business.  DLZ is probably toward the bottom end in terms of tempo on what I should play over the PA, but probably still workable.  This is a pretty cheap album and has some other good stuff on it, so worth checking out.