Shuffle Genius

Animating is a time consuming and graft-based activity and requires one to sit in front of a computer monitor for hours on end keyframing, modelling, lighting and texturing. Normally I fall off my chair and this enables me to regain conciousness. To break the sometime utter hopelessness of this activity, I listen to a lot of music. Sometimes it helps me really focus and sometimes it doesn’t; and when I have to lipsync something then it goes off completely. I always struggle finding new music and even though I have thousands of tracks on my iTunes I still get bored of what I am listening to.

To that end I thought it might be useful to share some of the music that I am listening to, and liking, at the moment so that some of you out there will not have the same difficulty sourcing music as I do. My humanitarian generosity knows no bounds. I thought that I didn’t really have a ‘type’ of music I listen to (I guess everyone says that they’re eclectic – makes them sound interesting and windswept…) but I think I do: I don’t listen to shit music.

There are only a few genres that I don’t listen to at all. Country and Western (like, who would?), Techno (drugs were invented to make it possible to listen to this type of music, that says a lot), Reggae (it all sounds like the same group to me) and death/speed metal (I need to think happy thoughts sometimes…). Everything else is all good: folk, electronic, classical, rock, pop – anything. This is what I am liking at the moment:

  1. Metric – Fantasies Metric are a popular beat-combo (note to self: never use the phrase ‘popular beat-combo’ in public…) from Toronto. This is their fourth (and best) album and it is awesome. They sound quite hard, and tinny on first listen and the lead singer’s (Emily Haines) voice is on the edge of breaking half the time, but she has an incredible range and the acoustic versions show off her voice perfectly. Literally faultless album.
  2. Delphic – Acolyte Delphic are a popular beat-combo (arse) from Stockport, British Isles / UK / England / Great Britain (why one country has so many names is beyond me…). They have, of late, become part of the mainstream but I still love their sound. Part New Order, part Cream anthems. They sound fresh in a way that is not too derivative. Amazing album artwork by Non-Format.
  3. The Temper Trap – Conditions The Temper Trap are a popular beat-combo (tits) from Melbourne and I innitially hated the album when I first heard it – hated the voice, the sound, everything. But this is a real slow burner and the lead singer’s (Dougie Mandagi) voice has a high sound reminiscent of Eddie Vedder or Bob Hite. I have grown to love this album and find the craftsmanship of it to be truly amazing.
  4. Junior – Röyksopp I have never really been a big fan of the popular beat-combo (cock) Röyksopp for no other reason than that they have funny little marks above the o of their name so must be a bunch of wierdos making music from empty pesto jars and maracas made from baby monkey heads. But, to my great surprise, their new album is a joy. Laid back pseudo-disco tunes with really crisp production and some mad sounds put in for no other reason than they sound good.
  5. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum – Kasabian Kasabian are a popular beat-combo (this joke is wearing thin now, but I am going to milk it until it bleeds…) from Leicestershire (of all places) and this is their third studio album and I rather like it. I discovered Kasabian quite late and heard their first album (which is brilliant) and thought I’d check out their latest. They have this BIG sound that is half disco beats / half stadium rock band and they are slightly non-classifiable. WRPLA is a great album, with some really tub-thumping tunes and some right weird ones. Great album title that urges you to Google like crazy.
  6. Kitsune Compilation Volume # This collection of popular beat-combos (…yawn) is a great way of discovering new music and they have broken many a new band. There is some crap on here (like any compilation) but there is rather a lot of good stuff as well. Hate the album artwork, though. Looks like an exhibition of drawings by child molesters.
  7. Rules – The Whitest Boy Alive This popular beat-combo (er…) has roots in Röyksopp and Kings of Convenience so have some heritage. The naive sound is a little tough at first but this album is a grower. Apparently the first album is awesome…but I haven’t heard it.

That’s it. Enjoy. Tell me what you’re listening too as well!

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2 thoughts on “Shuffle Genius

  1. On a recent trip to NY I thought I would try out an audio book. Both kids asleep on the plane, I thought – this is my chance – so I put on The Autograph Man. After an hour of listening to a book that really didn’t make an ounce of sense, wondering whether it was just me not being able to keep up with the reader, I realise that my iPod is on shuffle…

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