BEAUTY ENGINEERED
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 
Girl, with light

Buckhingham Nicks - "Races Are Run". Tusk, Rumours and Buckingham Nicks were produced by different people. This fact is astonishing to me, almost incomprehensible. Because I swear that the magic of a song like this, its gentle heat, the timbre and harmony - these things seem more complicated & subtle than just the woodgrain of Stevie's voice, the way Lindsey's brings out new colours in it. The beauty of Fleetwood Mac's most beautiful songs, and this lost track included, is in the way the tape interprets the sounds; the way their sweetness is heard, remembered, recorded just so. Engineers are magicians, and apparently mimics. [Buckingham Nicks is out of print.]

Motorifik - "Secret Things". So as I understand it, certain rhythms were actually invented in the 20th century. See: the Bo Diddley beat. See: this one right here, a Phil Spector boom, boomboom. When I think about this, I explode with wonder. I get actual goosebumps. I've brought it up with friends, but no one has ever matched my enthusiasm. These simple things, so simple they seem self-evident - boom, boomboom / badda da da, da da - some of them were dreamed up in bedrooms, basements and porches within my grandparents' lifetimes. It's as if a new colour were discovered in 1958, and added to the spectrum. As if a Beat poet found a new integer, located between five and six. (There may have been precedents, Bo Diddley hidden in Brahms, but these are irrelevant: what's important is not who first used these rhythms, but when they - suddenly! so recently! - felt & sounded obvious.) If these new rhythms - thrilling, timeless, a priori awesome - were waiting in the ether for Bo Diddley and Phil Spector, then imagine what other rhythms might yet lie in wait. Treasures hidden between the measures. Undiscovered beats. [buy]

---

Elsewhere:

One of our favourite new Canadian bands, PS I Love You, recorded a series of videos around their hometown of Kingston, ON. They asked us to tell you about one of them. "Exclusive!" they said. It doesn't matter that it's exclusive - it matters that it's good. Exciting, stifled, secretly brash. And I love that they don't have video of a new vocals track: "no, we're just gonna shred and play drums by the water." It's the title tune from their debut album, Meet Me At The Muster Station, and we think it's kinda killer.

(photo source unknown - found uncredited on a tumblr)

Posted by Sean at November 8, 2010 12:16 AM
Comments

I'm pretty excited about this kind of thing too. And I've always wondered what makes something truly its own beat, versus a variation on something already known. Think of the beginning of "This Year's Girl"-- this is almost its own, new beat. But then, maybe not. Or it just didn't catch on. Or there weren't enough other songs latent in it.

I'm waiting also, although I think the fact that in some ways we are drowning in "new" rhythms (which aren't really new rhythmically, just technologically), via electronics, we may yet be waiting a while for the next truly a priori awesome one. But I'm all ears.

Posted by Jeremy at November 8, 2010 8:20 AM

That is such a pretty picture.

Posted by Sara at November 8, 2010 9:07 AM

For ages after getting Heartland, I listened to Lewis Takes Action over and over, obsessively trying to figure out where I'd heard this same beat. Couldn't pin it down, the same way you can't pin down air or light, but months later shuffle figured it out: the Jesus & Mary Chain, Just Like Honey. And then the beat was everywhere, proliferating in songs I'd been listening to for years and just not really noticing how they all share the same sort of showy longing and shimmery misery. And now there's this, too. And it's brilliant, perfect for autumn.

Oh man I'm so totally going to make a dedicated playlist now. Yes.

Posted by Ryan at November 8, 2010 12:24 PM

I believe this is your picture source : http://weliveyoung.blogspot.com/2010/10/stems-and-thorns.html
the photographer is Nirrimi Hakanson, a very unique character in up-and-coming photography...

Posted by elsia at November 22, 2010 5:16 PM
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