Artist:Deerhunter Album: Microcastle File Under: Ambient Indie Rock Recommended if You Like: Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, Atlas Sound Featured Track: Agoraphobia
I’ve long been intrigued with the work of Bradford Cox and follow all of his projects – from his solo venture, Atlas Sound, to his five piece group, Deerhunter. I love his haunted, dreamy vocals and ambient, atmospheric sound. It’s right up my alley. And while I enjoyed Deerhunter’s last release, Cryptograms, I must say I’m liking their latest release, Microcastle, even more. It’s beautiful and I can’t stop listening to it. It’s hard for me to even pick out a single song to highlight as it’s truly one of those album experiences that should be listened to and enjoyed in it’s entirety. The music builds upon itself, ebbing and flowing from moments of quiet, hypnotic bliss into smashing, reverb drenched crescendos.
Much more song oriented than their last release, Microcastle is sure to convert more than a few skeptics. If you were once one, you should definitely give them another listen. This one’s a classic.
Catch Deerhunter at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall November 24 with Times New Viking.
I’m the first to admit I like a lot of weird music and enjoy the novelty of discovering an unchartered sound. But there’s a new crop of critically acclaimed experimental/punk bands emerging like Times New Viking, No Age and, the subject of this post, Ponytail that I don’t frankly get.
I took some friends to see Ponytail and High Places (mostly the latter) last week at Bottom of the Hill to check it out in person. And, I still don’t get it. Instrumentally, the band is tight. But lead singer Molly Siegel is just whacked on so many levels, which perhaps is part of the allure. After seeing her in person, I question whether she’s human. Or sane. Without question she operates on a different frequency. She moves like Thom Yorke in an epileptic trance and sounds like a cross between Bjork and Yoko Ono.
To say the experience was jarring is an understatement. My music buddies all hated it, yet somehow can’t stop talking about it. A photographer friend of mine, Rich Trager, took this shot of the wall in the mens bathroom. And it seemed fitting for this post because it begs the question: is it art or is it trash? Ultimately you decide, whether or not you agree with the critics. But Ponytail sure did stir something up in our group. Everyone felt that performance. And while no one may want to go back and visit that feeling again, it certainly won’t be forgotten. Not be me either. I’ll always be known as the one who drug my friends to that crazy show.