Sunday, 6 March 2011
Yesterday I went to see one of my all-time, desert island top ten, favourite bands The Decemberists play the Barrowlands in Glasgow. Having seen them a healthy handful of times (the first being in 2004 at a rather strange church hall/social club in Bristol) I knew what to expect and, of course, was not disappointed. Few bands know how to do all-consuming, heart-swelling joy like the Decemberists. This wee illustration (for Eastwing) is based on me remembering discovering them as a eager teenager desperately lapping up new music in her bedroom.
Anyway doing this got me to thinking about my music consumption (this might be a long post) From about aged 14 to 21 I was a rabid seeker of new music. I read magazines and blogs and visited record stores weekly, thoroughly raiding the racks for obscure treats. When I moved to Edinburgh from Plymouth (where decent live music was hard, nay impossible, to come by) I feverishly attended gigs both here and in Glasgow to ensure I made the most of my proximity to good live venues. Briefly I even co-ran a club night, dj-ed and organised gigs. I was obsessed (and, as any devoted indie fan usually is, I was probably a total music snob).
In the last few years this has waned somewhat. I buy fewer albums and never really read music blogs anymore. The days of visiting Pitchfork on a twice-daily basis are long gone. In a way that's a relief. My poor computer is grateful of the hard-drive space and having my ipod on shuffle is less of a risky business now that I know that everything on there is from a carefully curated selection of favourites rather than my entire music collection. For the past couple years I've stuck to releases from tried and tested favourites (Grizzly Bear, the Mountain Goats, Radiohead, Why, the National, St Vincent for example) and made way for only a comparative few new finds (DM Stith, Ramona Falls, James Blake, The Unthanks, The Dodos and a few more). I suppose this is part of growing up; no longer needing to sum myself up with a music library, neglecting my mix cd making and generally feeling like its ok not to be on top of whats new/cool/going to be Pitchfork's album of the year. I'm ok with that really, I can't afford to buy records like I used to! But a part of me doesn't want to give up too soon. I still am still floored by good songwriting and I will never fail to swoon at good use of a brass section on record. I guess what this boils down to is what do you fine folk recommend? What albums have had you in raptures recently? What's gotten your toes tapping and your head bobbing? Only the best please. I need quality goods to lift me from my rut! GO GO GO!