Now, we get another one (via Paste), and it’s safe to say that it is something different. The Title track of the compilation is a cover of an old Johnny Marks Christmas song, it is a nostalgic 8mm home movie style film with footage of Sufjan’s nephew Gavin running on a beach, playing with a kite. It’s a lovely video. The lyrics are in stark contrast to the pictures.
Last night I saw I Was A King(IWAK) for the fourth time. It is a fantastic band and they just keeps getting better. They still sound a bit like a Teenage Fanclub and Byrds mix, and that’s a good thing.
The New album is a fine mix of powerpop, guitar walls and great song writing. The guitars are “byrdsy” jangly and this time they flirt even more with the American side of indie-americana-pop. So you see, they’re kinda hard to describe. But they sound terrific!
IWAK has gotten together with two fantastic popmusic masters this time, Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub vocalist, yes him!) and Robyn Hitchcock (Power-pop godfather, The Soft Boys member and solo artist extraordinaire), what a dream-team!
When i first read about it I really couldn’t believe it, it’s a match made in heaven.
IWAK once wrote a fine song called “Norman Bleik” (on the second album, 2009), about one of their inspirations, just as Norman Blake once wrote a song about one of his own heroes Neil Young, called “Neil Jung”. Fun fact.
The result of this collaboration is IWAK’s best album, a fully realised record with great songs. It sounds so big and it is full of air, but it’s not pretentious at all. They sound more mature and more pop. The Playing is better than ever and the songwriting is spectacular, I realy love this album (You guessed that, eh?) and it is a quintessential pop album. A love letter to music, no less.
Best on the album: Frozen Disease, Superhero and Leave
Best live in Haugesund: Food Wheels and A Million Signs (with The One I love snippet as intro!)
I Was A King gave us a lesson in harmony induced pop music in Haugesund last night. I’ve never heard them better. Normally they’re not very talkative with the audience, but this night was a bit different. Anne Lise Frøkedal had several fammily members in the audience and the atmosphere was very friendly. Of course there were no sing-alongs, but it was a fun and relaxed interaction.
“Mr. Frosty Man” by Sufjan Stevens from the upcoming “Silver & Gold” box set
Animation by Lee Hardcastle.
Those of us that preordered Sufjan Stevens’ new christmas box set got the following mail today:
“Halloween is just around the corner. How better to celebrate the ghoulish occasion than with a new Sufjan Stevens Christmas clay-mation video for “Mr. Frosty Man,” a fast and furious tableau featuring a renegade snowman’s battle against flesh eating zombies.
It’s a veritable Christmas bloodbath (made especially not for children) by the infamous clay-mation master Lee Hardcastle, displaying all the gore of a classic horror flick: zombies interrupt an otherwise normal family Christmas dinner but are thwarted by a rebel snowman wielding a chainsaw, a shotgun, and chip off his shoulder. Children (and spoilers) beware: Mommy gets mauled under the mistletoe and Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick gets a hard-knock lesson in weight loss, but, rest assured, Mr. Frosty Man doesn’t go down without a fight. He’s a real American Christmas hero!”
I am a big fan of Sufjan’s Christmas songs and the proud owner of the first five EP’s collecting his festive output.
Songs For Christmas is a box set of five EPs released over six years between 2001-2006 (the missing year is 2004 when Stevens was busy making Illinois). These collections of stripped-down carols, covers and originals where originally recorded as gifts for family and friends.
Now he is releasing the follow up(s)!
Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10 compiles five EPs recorded between 2006 and 2010.
Christmas Unicorn from the new collection, a 12-minute song that includes snippets from the classic “Love will tear us appart”, really great stuff!:
“Silver & Gold is more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan’s playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of “all things Christmas” in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan’s unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It’s safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.”
It came out a few days ago so iy isn’t brand new, but it is so good I just had to present it here. Mixing good pop and nostalgia for the Jim Henson generation.
The Official Music Video for “Do It Anyway,” the first track from Ben Folds Five’s much anticipated album THE SOUND OF THE LIFE OF THE MIND…featuring the Fraggles from Jim Henson’s “Fraggle Rock”! Also starring Rob Corddry, Anna Kendrick & Chris Hardwick.
Just a fun video to start the weekend, and so cathcy, you’ll hum along in no time, this is perfect pop.
Directed by Phil Hodges, Ben Folds Five – Do it anyway: