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Weird, Wild Stuff

I hope I'm not jumping the gun here, considering it's only my second blog entry, but writing The Relayer is helping me tremendously.

The very title of the blog is stolen from a glorious and unfortunately obscure album (called Relayer, obviously) by the intangible masters of prog, Yes. I'm a member of several Yes appreciation societies on Facebook, and I seem to be the only affiliate who isn't a man in his fifties or sixties. Decidedly, the word 'strange' doesn't quite cover my musical tastes.

But I must stick to my mission statement, and bring you music news and analysis from my weirdo perspective. The Relayer is forcing me out of my safe and comfy iTunes bubble that's 1677 unclassifiable, beautiful and sadly irrelevant songs strong, and into the music of today.

I've come across two brand spankin' new items of musical interest that, surprisingly, have nothing to do with the 4 words, "I'mma let you finish."

1. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

I saw them first on The Late Show with David Letterman. Normally, the up-and-coming bands that he features are horrendously bad, but Sharpe and his Zeros were different. I knew just from looking at them. They were like a time-traveling hippie commune. The music simply confirmed my suspicions. Their song "Home," is, quite frankly, one of the most original things I've heard in a long, long while. There are trumpets, lyrics about everything from pumpkin pie to Jesus Christ, and fascinatingly strange percussion. Also, I've never seen a band (which had to have at least 30 musicians) have so much fun on stage. While I have yet to hear the rest of their debut album, Up From Below, I'm sure it's fantastic

2. Vampire Weekend's Latest Track: "Horchata"

Just the other day, a tweet on my Twitter feed commanded me to listen to Vampire Weekend's latest song, which you can download for free on the band's official website. Other Vampire Weekend songs that I've heard inspire the phrase, "Awww, cute." "Horchata" is no exception, but the song is wonderfully complex and intricate. The strings, xylophones, whimsical rhymes and infectious drums make for a half-Bollywood, half-alternative, all-marvelous piece of music. It takes a few listens to really get a sense of just how great the track is, so don't be hasty. The remainder of the new album, Contra, is set to be released on January 12, 2010. I say buy it, and enjoy it with a nice glass of horchata!

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Vampire Weekend have produced genuinely happy and enjoyable music. In a music industry that is undoubtedly plagued by objectifying and superficial songs, their originality and sanguine messages are positively refreshing.

I'll leave you with some words of wisdom from my boy S-Rach:
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninoff


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