Archive | October, 2016

Erich Mrak Romanticizes Heartbreak In Float

24 Oct

When listeners listen to Float, they will think that they have been transported to a dream land filled with melancholy and an aura of upbeatness as well within the composition of the song. With lyrics stating “with the money you saved, I’m not building you a boat”, one can infer that Erich Mrak is talking about a relationship turned sour. In terms of sound, it’s a cross between Broken Social Scene, Phantogram, and 90s surf rock. Most songs that reflect on relationships and their transformations from beginning to end sound depressing, but Erich Mrak has a way of composing this track in a way that makes listeners think of heartbreaks in a romanticized way. Between the combination of the unique upbeat production by Bento, and the simple lyrics that convey a strong point of heartbreak, sinking, and survival, Erich Mrak stands out with his unique sound and lyrics.

For more listening:

 

Magnetic Ghost Gives A Glimpse Into Rural Psychedelia

19 Oct

With the sounds of Minneapolis band Magnetic Ghost, a feeling of wandering instills the listener’s ears while listening to Grand Canyon, amongst their other songs from Loss Molecules. Lyrics making references to walls, the world, and places in life, one who enjoys shoegaze meets post punk will be delighted while listening to Magnetic Ghost. Listeners will find similarities between the sounds of Magnetic Ghost with Sonic Youth, Spooky Black, and Young Galaxy. The unfiltered and raw sound of their music makes Magnetic Ghost stand out in the music world that is now sometimes full with auto tuning, mixes, and tracks being overdone. Loss Molecules reminds one of memories, open spaces, and a glimpse in the world of rural psychedelia.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO at Radio City Music Hall

4 Oct

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It is quite rare that you see a concert where the number of songs on the set list is actually fewer than the number of the band’s top 40 hits, but Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra’s 18-song setlist came two short of the amount of charted hits from the band’s illustrious original 13-year career, where the band sold 50 million records and received 21 RIAA and 38 BPI awards. Those are just some of the tremendous statistics that I could conjure up about the tremendous career of one of the foremost progressive rock bands of the rock n’ roll era, but when I saw the reformed band of Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy, two of the four originals (Tandy joined in 1972, two years after the bands founding) the band was solely concentrated on providing a bang-up performance for a sold-out Radio City audience, and that is what they did.

ELO formed out of the 1960’s early prog rock band, The Move, which was led by multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood. Lynne, who would later go on to produce a slew of records and help create the Traveling Wilburys (as Otis Wilbury), initially played second fiddle to Wood (inside joke for those who know what ELO was referred to in the States), but after Wood left the band in 1972, Lynne, Tandy, and drummer Bev Bevan released a remarkable collection of records, including a three year period where the band released Face the Music (1975), A New World Record (1976), and Out of the Blue (1977), a three-year assemblage of ELO hits, many of which were played during the Sept. 18 performance at the home of The Rockettes.

ELO mastered the craft of combining an infectious upbeat rock/pop sound with classical music. Many bands, like ELO, added such orchestrations to their music, but ELO was able to release songs with such efficacious alacrity that their success almost drowned out other bands trying to keep up with this pop/classical sound; thus, ELO was not only a pioneer but also the best in the business. It, therefore, was no surprise the ELO sold out two shows at Radio City Music Hall, and garnered a truly diverse crowd of several generations who enjoyed their music.

With vivacious crowd in tow, Jeff Lynne played a 1.5-hour set fit with a tremendous backing band and psychedelic video pairings. The crowd sang along with almost every song, and Lynne did a great job sprinkling hits throughout the set list, and then eventually bringing it home with a 9-song (yes, half the set list) string of songs that covered the full spectrum of why ELO is such a tremendous band.

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Akin to nine straight hits in a baseball game, Lynne and his band played each song with an adept passion that obviously endeared the eager crowd and spawned the 6,000+ person arena to sing along with each noticeable song. It was too tempting not to join in, and I was there among the masses singing to each song. That is the joy of concerts like that from ELO, though, right? You go to sing along with the songs you love. Concerts, while communal, are still personal (somewhat singular) events where each goer responds to the music how he/she would like to respond. I always wanted to see ELO in concert as an ardent fan of their music, and I, my dad (my ever-present concert benefactor), and the rest of the crowd, was treated to a wonderful, energetic performance by a tight-knit group who knows the meaning of fun, catchy tunes. And, because why not, here is a live version of “Mr. Blue Sky” from 2001.

 

 

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