Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rebirth of Good Music?

Rebirth of Good Music?
Try as I may, I haven't been able to really enjoy most contemporary 
music since the 70's.  Yeah, it may just be a factor of getting older,
or being busy about other things, but I'm not so sure.

I grew up in a home with seven siblings and music was alway in the air.  
My wife and I both love music in the background, so our home with our
four children always had music playing. In the beginning, it was our 
choice with tunes from the 50's and 60's, with a heavy bit of jazz, and a
sprinkling of classical. But, eventually (since they outnumbered us) the
airwaves became theirs.

I became disinterested in the lasted releases, and couldn't tell one new
group or singer from another. Punk, made me sick, Hip-hop made me 
avoid the radio. I became a music recluse, hoarding my precious
"oldies" and listening with headphones. I didn't even bother to turn the 
radio on to anything but a news station.

But Jim Fusilli's story in the Wall Street Journal has rekindled hope.
Maybe, just maybe.....real music is coming back. Check out the web
site so you can listen to some of the selections.....ahhhh!

The Sum of the Vocal Parts

Soaring, shimmering harmonies stage a rock and pop comeback
September 6, 2008; Page W9

Long a staple of rock and pop, but sorely missed in recent years, soaring, shimmering vocal harmonies are staging a strong comeback this year. Among the terrific releases so far: "Clouded Staircase" (Bar-None) by Starling Electric; "Fleet Foxes" (Sub Pop), a quintet's self-titled debut; and "For Emma, Forever Ago" by Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar).
[Brian Wilson]
James Minchin III
Brian Wilson
Caleb Dillon of Starling Electric and Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes said they were inspired by the work of Brian Wilson, whose new album, "That Lucky Old Sun" (Capitol), was released this past Tuesday. When I called Mr. Dillon in Ann Arbor, Mich., he told me that 10 years ago, when he was 17, he first heard a bootleg version of Mr. Wilson's "Smile" album, which he studied for its complex vocal harmonies and shadings. (Recorded in 1966 and 1967 by the Beach Boys, which featured Mr. Wilson and his brothers Carl and Dennis, that "Smile" was never officially released, but Brian Wilson recorded a new version that was issued in 2004.) With a four-track tape recorder, the teenager made his own version of Mr. Wilson's composition "Child Is Father of the Man," building vocal harmonies by singing the four parts himself.
On "Clouded Staircase," some songs have 10 vocal parts, most sung by Mr. Dillon, that form a tight, textured and often captivating whole. Rich but uncluttered orchestral pop with reoccurring themes and a few tracks that are crafted of separate but complementary parts, the CD shows the influence of "Smile," especially on the Dillon composition "Camp-Fire" as voices dart and built over organ, chimes, bass and banjo. But the album's "Death to Bad Dreams/Black Parade" invokes the Beatles' harmonies, and "She Goes Through Phases" recalls Pink Floyd's............ 
[Starling Electric]
Starling Electric
Listen to song clips:
[Audio clips]
Bon Iver's album "For Emma, Forever Ago"
Brian Wilson's album "That Old Lucky Sun"
Fleet Foxes' self-titled album
Starling Electric's album "Clouded Staircase"
[Bon Iver]
Sarah Cass
Bon Iver
[Fleet Foxes]
David Belisle
Fleet Foxes



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