January 4, 2009

The Emergence from the Forest: So this is the New Year

Well dedicated followers its been awhile. The end of 2008 turned out to be a bad time for Grey Ox posts, but fear not. Like a great phoenix Grey Ox will triumph again. I have entered the woods and will emerge with a beard? with flannel? with a great new album recording? Well . . . maybe two of those and maybe a great new blog dedication. I have great new music to talk about and hopefully switch things up for 2009. So don't lose hope. Come February expect great new posts. Hopefully this won't be another failed resolution. In the words of Ben Gibbard, "So this is the new year
and I have no resolutions for self assigned penance for problems with easy solutions."

August 31, 2008

Wolf Parade

Artist: Wolf Parade
Album: Apologies To The Queen Mary
Label: Sub Pop
Year: 2005

First off I apologize for the delay in posts. I was in transition to college and without internet for awhile. Anyway, I'm back and hope my thousands of avid readers will return . . . yeah.
I had heard quite a bit about wolf parade mainly because they recently had a new album in 2008. I may post about that album in the near future but Apologies caught my ear faster. Wolf Parade hail from Montreal also home to Arcade Fire and both groups have collaborated and Wolf Parade records some in Arcade Fire's church (yes Arcade Fire has a church). Wolf Parade has a very catch sound by using simple loud drumming and very twangy even electrical sounding guitar riffs and also has some electronic elements on some tracks. It makes for simply fun music. One downside to the simplicity is that its not a cd that you will hate at first and then grow to love. Its more what you hear is what you get. If your looking for a good cd to just rock out to and enjoy for what it is then this is for you.

Here is the video for the track I'll believe in Anything. Its a good sample of what to expect from Wolf Parade. Enjoy.

August 17, 2008

Sigur Rós

Artist: Sigur Rós
Album: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Label: EMI
Year: 2008

I had never had too much experience with Sigur Rós in the past. If you are not familiar with Sigur Rós they hail from Iceland and sing most of their songs in Icelandic which makes for the lyrics to blend right into the melody and add to the ambiance. I've always heard good things but was never able to really get into their music. However, when a friend asked if I wanted to go to their concert I was all for it and had an amazing time. After a tornado delay I heard a great concert with one of the fullest and most complete shows I've seen. With the lights fitting in perfect with the music along with a strings and a brass section. Collectively it made for each song to reach its full potential of sound and visual gratification. So I came home and listened to their new CD, which in English means With a Buzz in our Ears We Play Endlessly. This title really fits the album. Sigur Rós has allowed themselves to grow as a band and let their music change but also keeping their true identity and sound. I feel Sigur Rós has found the right balance of this and it made for a great album. This record has a lot more elements of pop and has a sense of catchiness (hence the buzz in the ears). Sigur Rós accomplish this by using more "normal" sounds simply meaning you can hear a guitar or piano and know what instrument is making that sound. Combine the catchiness with the beautiful almost other worldly sound that can be expected by Sigur Rós. In other words come for the catchiness and stay for the beautiful melodious sound.

I posted a video of my favorite song track 4 called
Við Spilum Endalaust. Its from a live concert so the sound isn't the best but gives you an idea of the great concert I saw.

August 15, 2008

Radiohead: The No Camera Video

Yes you read the title correctly. A video made with no cameras. Radiohead always being a very progressive band trying different things like releasing their latest album In Rainbows independently off their website. They also recently have been having different contests to allow fans create their own content like remixes and videos. Which I think is amazing because as we have seen in this Web 2.0 world the mass public is the best at creating creative and unique content. Radiohead's recent video for their song House of Cards was made without using any cameras, lights, or any thing else that would be used in a normal video shoot. All that was used for this video was lasers. Three different laser technologies which essentially map the image to a kind of 3-D grid. Lasers or no laser it's an amazing video.

August 10, 2008

The Dodos

Artist: The Dodos
Album: Visiter
Label: Frenchkiss Records
Year: 2008

I never thought a duo group of drums and guitar could create such a successful dynamic. The Dodos hailing from San Francisco once again prove that I know nothing. With only two members The Dodos are still able to bring a unique and different sound on each track. Although The Dodos bring a beautiful sense of simplicity, it is their ability to add a sense of urgency and fast pace that brings out the best elements of this record. The drums even create an almost sense of beats that is usually found in rap and electronic. Combine these elements along with classic acoustic guitar and it makes for an interesting sound. It is through the Dodos versatility that makes a record that flows well but also allows each song to have its own identity and individually. Combining elements of folk, rock, and beats the Dodos use indie rock as a safety net which gives them stability as they blend their influences into something new and interesting. A great record with each song bringing subtle differences and surprises along the way.

Check out this video of the song called Fools and here the sweet drumming by the drummer Logan. Another great song contrasting to Fools and a personal favorite of mine is a short song called Undeclared. Hope You enjoy

Check back this week for a random post or two and next weekend for another album review.

August 3, 2008

Fleet Foxes

Artist: Fleet Foxes
Album: Fleet Foxes
Label: Sub Pop

I had heard lots of good things about Fleet Foxes and I previewed them a bit on iTunes, but I couldn't get into them at first. Still, after so many great reviews and not to mention the trusty label of Sub Pop (along with the likes of Band of Horses, Iron & Wine, Postal Service, The Shins . . . etc.) I decided to give this Seattle band another chance. The next attempt I fell love with this record. My hesitancy was the simplicity combined with the folk sound seemed like a boring record but with each listen i realize the complexity and beauty in each song. The simple intrumentation makes for a great support for the gorgeous harmonies and can even be haunting at times. It is as if Crosby Stills and Nash mated with Band of Horses at a Arts Festival/Renaissance Fair . . . wierd I know. I recommend putting on your favorite flannel shirt, growing the beard out, become a woodsman, and listen to Fleet Foxes.

Here is the music video of track two called White Winter Hymnal to inspire the beards and flannel . . . and who doesn't love claymation

First Post

Welcome to the first post on the Grey Ox music blog. Many of you may be wondering exactly what this is. Well, me to. I hope to post weekly with a new album or artist who has been frequenting my iTunes and we'll see how it evolves. I also hope to post videos, recommendations from readers, and other random posts.

As I reread this I realize how cheesy it sounds so I figured I would end it with something cheesy.
I hope you enjoy the blog and lets go an adventure together to the world of music!