a collection of thoughts by reno nismara

“It’s an orgasmic world” -Reno Nismara-

Posts Tagged ‘The Flaming Lips

The Albums of 2009

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Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for another year end best albums of the year list. For me, 2009 is a better year for music than 2008. Why? Because there are more great records this year than in the previous year. Last year when I made this kind of list, I made the top 5 and 5  honorable mentions. And actually, it was pretty easy to pick those albums. But for the year 2009, it was very difficult to compile and pick which ones are the best. Want proves? Just listen to the great albums that was released in the year 2009 from the likes of Wilco, Manic Street Preachers, Bat for Lashes, Julian Casablancas, Phoenix, Fever Ray, Mastodon, Them Crooked Vultures, Wild Beasts, Florence + the Machine, The Swell Season, and even The Horrors.

But here are the ones that made it to the list…

1. Grizzly Bear / Veckatimest

I always thought that 2009 is the year for Animal Collective. Until this album came out. This is chamber pop at its spaciest. Melodious riffs, beautiful vocal harmonies, spacey layered guitars, catchy tunes, and many more aspects that makes this album the best of 2009. It’s at the same time complex and listenable without the need of further listening. In short, Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest is what The Beach Boys would have sounded like if only Brian Wilson’s father had sex with a sexy female Martian. 2009’s best album. Definitely.

2. Animal Collective / Merriweather Post Pavilion

Let’s just put it this way for this album: For me, Animal Collective should dedicate Merriweather Post Pavilion to the people who don’t believe that originality still exists in the present day. Sure, this album need further listening, but after further listening? This album will thrive inside your brain. And stays there until… I don’t know, because it hasn’t leave from my brain since the first time it thrived into my brain. The rawness, beauty, and of course originalities of this album really amazed me, even for the hundredth listening. How could such album exists? Pure brilliance.

3. Dirty Projectors / Bitte Orca

The combination between modern and traditional, difficult techniques and musical talents, and guitar melodies and vocal harmonies has never been so beautiful and touching before. Kinda like the musical arrangements of Frank Zappa with Rafiki, Timon, Pumba, Mufasa, Simba, and the whole Lion King characters as the singers. On acid.

4. The xx / xx

Who would have thought that a band who call themselves as stupid as The xx, titled their album xx, and used a white capital X letter with black background for their album cover could made a debut album so defining that from first hearing you can already determine the band’s signature sound? All they did was create a twisted yet romantic lyrics, combine two melodies (one Interpol-esque and one Interpol-esque), create simple basslines, make head hopping beats, and sing it wonderfully light. Oh, did I mention that they did all of those with no real drum kit? They did it with a marvelous play of drum machine instead. This album is a classic case of “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

5. The Flaming Lips / Embryonic

After their stunning audiovisual experience with Christmas on Mars, these manic Martians are back to make us a little playlist to accompany our long Uranus trip to celebrate Hanukkah on that planet. The pace might be slow for your taste, but it is stunning nevertheless.

Honorable mentions:

– Yeah Yeah Yeahs / It’s Blitz!

– Girls / Album

– Sonic Youth / The Eternal

– Japandroids / Post – Nothing

– The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

If you don’t agree with what I have picked, then you should tell me what are your best albums of 2009. But if you agree, then we should meet up and start a band together.

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Written by Reno Nismara

December 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

The Most Magical Noise in the Whole World

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Music. I always think that music is a well thought out noises, and those noises are full of magical things. For me, the 5 most magical noise or in other words the 5 best songs of all time are…

1. Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground.

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Who said that out of tune is always bad? Just hear this song out first and they will change their mind way before Lou Reed started feeling tired and weary. The blended noise of an out of tune vocal, an out of tune guitar, an out of tune violin, a bassline that could give anyone the feeling of a stab in the heart, the simple drumming, and of course the lyrics by Lou Reed. Personal favorite lyrics in this song? That chilling refrain, of course. “I am tired, I am weary/I could sleep for thousand years/A thousand dream that would awake me/Different colours made of tears”. That part is giving me the chills. No shit.

2. When You Sleep by My Bloody Valentine.

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Remember the melody? Yes, that one. That melody alone is enough to make this song included in my best songs of all time list. Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons of why I put this song on the second best of my list, but explaining the melody is quite enough.

3. Race for the Prize by The Flaming Lips

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Ever felt like you just being born into the earth with an important mission completed with a big-epic-grandeur entrance? No? Hear this song and you will feel so. For me, this is a song with the most epic intro ever produced. This is another sample of how genius Wayne Coyne and Steve Drozd really are.

4. Not to Touch the Earth by The Doors.

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A song filled with mysticity and a beautifully dark poem by the eccentric Jim Morrison. The music felt like running away from a cold dark place named earth. Then to make it perfect, the music is accompanied by Jim Morrison’s depression at living in this corrupted world. Beautiful. This is gothic at its finest.

5. None. Yeah, none. This space is emptied, because there are still many songs that will be release in the future. And this empty space is for them. Who knows if there will be some great new music, better than The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter, The Beatles’ Within You Without You, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Oh Comely, Nirvana’s Love Buzz, Sonic Youth’s Disconnection Notice, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Red Right Hand, Jeff Buckley’s Dream Brother, Spiritualized’s I Think I’m in Love, Nick Drake’s Things Behind the Sun, Pink Floyd’s Lucifer Sam, or even Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.

Agree? Disagree? Either way, tell me what’s on your list of the most magical noise in the whole world.

Written by Reno Nismara

November 12, 2008 at 9:39 am