Day 268-- to musical friends, both new and long-lost

The last time I had listened to Weezer's self-titled debut album was when I was still in college. Not too long ago, but not exactly recent. The album has an incredible amount of emotional baggage tethered to it, so as much as I've enjoyed it over the years, I've drifted away from it.

It was like dusting off a photo album; some of the photos were enjoyable when they were taken, but looking at them years later is painful in some ways. The bad haircut you had, pimples, friends that've drifted away. But the photograph is still wonderful. You can see how things have changed, and hopefully value the trials and joys that've come since.

So though the guitar tone on the album may now sound too much like AC/DC for my taste, and though I now realize how sketchy Rivers Cuomo's voice is, I still sing along to every track. I know all of the vocal cracks, all of the guitar solos, all of the unhinged harmonies. And "Only In Dreams" is still a beautiful, beautiful song.

And on this same day, I got a copy of the newest album by the National, called Boxer. I really know nothing about the band, but gave it a spin on a friend's recommendation. It's great--as trite as it might sound, it's mellow and intense simultaneously. The vocalist has a lazy baritone that drifts over the rest of the music--lush, crackling guitars and light piano accents more often than not--before settling down.

I don't even know what to compare them to. That's good, right? Names that jump to my head: Leonard Cohen, the Church, Joy Division, Nick Drake, U2 and the sorely under-appreciated Spain. It's a warm album, layering like a blanket that's soft to the touch. The softer songs crackle with a vibrancy, the fast 'loud' songs more hushed and subdued.

Hopefully I hear an another album closer as good as "Gospel," too; wow. (here are their songs "Fake Empires" and "Mistaken for Strangers")

Maybe when I dust Boxer off in 2010, I'll notice the spots and flubs. But by then, we'll be close enough friends that it shouldn't matter at all.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 5/31/2007 10:57:00 PM,


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