Archives for posts with tag: Horseback
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Wisdom for Debris, Eluvium

Ghost Trees is a blog with (apparently) 2 posts per year. Prolificacy has always been the specialty here.

I’ll cut the crap. Last year on my blog I wrote about lists. I still do not like them.

I was asked to contribute to Decoder Magazine’s end-of-year features again this year (Last year I wrote an ode to Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse and Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia. You can find the feature here: “More Yellow Birds and Lunch Box Blues“), which I did. And when my feature is posted, it will be clear that I again skirted the actual topic of commenting on a list for 2014. So here I go and post a list on my blog anyway. I don’t know. There is a sixteen-year-old in me still following through on some kind of silly tradition that I started.

Rank Artist Album Label
1 Swans To Be Kind Young God Records
2 Grouper Ruins Kranky
3 Eluvium Wisdom For Debris (self)
4 The War on Drugs Lost in the Dream Secretly Canadian
5 Have a Nice Life The Unnatural World Enemies List Home Recordings
6 Fennesz Bécs Touch
7 Dads I’ll Be The Tornado 6131 Records
8 Owls Two Polyvinyl
9 Maxwell August Croy and Sean McCann I Students of Decay
10 Horseback Piedmont Apocrypha Three Lobed Recordings
11 Fire! Orchestra Enter! Rune Grammofon
12 Adult Jazz Gist Is Spare Thought
13 Thee Silver Mount Zion Hang On To Each Other Constellation Records
14 Orcas Yearling Morr Music
15 Inventions Inventions Temporary Residence
16 Rivulets I Remember Everything Jellyfant Records
17 Christopher Willits Opening Ghostly International
18 Wolves of the Throne Room Celestite Artemesia Records
19 Alex Cobb Marigold and Cable Shelter Press
20 Sun Kil Moon Benji Caldo Verde

That Swans record is a monster. For other people who have read my blog before, you might see some familiar faces like Owls, Horsback, Fire! Orchestra, Rivulets, Grouper, etc.

The year was an interesting one in listening to music for me. I got hooked on a lot more older stuff, and did a good deal of traveling with the day job and on vacation. This meant fewer times with a computer or plugged in, limiting my music carrying capacity to a few old apple products and somewhere in the range of twelve GB. Great new musical seductions – that War on Drugs one surprised me!

I’ll look forward to doing more writing for Decoder Magazine in 2015. And the other news for me is that I’m leaving Berlin to move back to San Francisco, so my music access points will change again, and I’m sure my list(?) next year will be quite different.

Adam

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Dear faithful devoted blog readers,

The passage of time between blog posts is just a matter of reality at this point. I do not intend to make blogging a more central part of my life. Lately the purpose of keeping a blog has become more apparent to me – to fill in the gaps with what I do not have a chance to say on Decoder or what might not be appropriate in other avenues.

Two

2014 has been a great year for finding new music releases. I have blogged before about Owls’ self-title record (Jade Tree, 2001), and so the reformation announcement was pretty exciting to me. Good news is that the new record really hits my buttons. It’s a strange thing, though – I would call it more “middle of the road” indie rock and certainly not as immediately striking (and probably also will not be as influential, ultimately) as its predecessor. But the hooks are bigger and mathy arrangements are less impenetrable. I have this secret hope that “I’m Surprised” becomes popular enough that I could slip it on in a Friday evening setting and not completely freak out the general public. I’ve spent a lot of time with TWO so far, and I am so pleased that it’s met my (very high) expectations, in its own little way.

Piedmont Apocrypha

Another really special record that I’ve been appreciating this year has been Horseback’s Piedmont Apocrypha, which was released on Three Lobed Recordings in March. Horseback is led by Jenks Miller, an astoundingly talented and versatile guitarist who finds himself recording and collaborating across styles, from noise to folk to black metal and back. Apocrypha sounds a little bit more mellow than some of its older siblings under the Horseback name, but that doesn’t mean it’s less compelling. Particularly gorgeous is the 10-minute-plus ambient second track. Apocrypha is a mix of dynamics, beauty, and exploration that I can only highly recommend to fans of vision quests in the woods, or other Miller projects. I attempted to write a review of the record in greater detail, but I realized I don’t actually understand the tradition of psychedelic music from which it has descended, and quite honestly, the review written alongside the Three Lobed release is just perfect.

Cian NugentI’m still going to shows. Above is a particularly artsy (and accidental) photo I took of Cian Nugent, who played with his band, The Cosmos (No Quarter Records), here in Berlin a few weeks back. It was an aurally rich, complex, and consonant folk-rock blowout orchestra. The droning organ and violin bowing, coupled with the driving rhythm section, created the dense bed of warm sound, over which the Irish guitarist could work in dreamy licks and dustbowl landscape painting. There is really not enough praise for Mr. Nugent and his troupe of open-hearted explorers.

Who knows when I’ll post again on the blog, but maybe someone at some point will find something new in this post. Umbrellas into the future,

Adam