The Musical Box (Vol. 6)


Despite being neck-deep in end of semester work, I thought I’d take a minute to serve up my monthly slew of recommended listening.

Neutral Milk Hotel

I discovered Neutral Milk Hotel after reading an article entitled “Jeff Mangum, the Salinger of Indie Rock” by Taylor Clark (shared by Nav on Google Reader, I love that feature.) The story goes that after recording “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”, which some consider to be one of the greatest alternative albums of the 90’s, Mangum sought to escape his celebrity status and practically dropped off the face of the Earth. It’s a terrific read and a fantastic album, I highly recommend both.

Ida Maria

A new online mixtape service called Muxtape made the rounds this month (I dutifully threw one together myself.) Despite its numerous restrictions, I like it quite a bit more than the other social music services I’ve tried. I discovered Norwegian indie rock band Ida Maria while listening to Matthew Ingram’s mix. They’re catchy and intense, I suspect they’ll go far.

The Seatbelts

I’ve been enjoying the sci-fi anime Cowboy Bebop lately, in large part because it reminds me so much of Firefly. One of the strongest parts of the show is its soundtrack, which is performed almost entirely by Japanese jazz/blues band The Seatbelts. The show and the band are both well worth your time, check them out.

Back to work with me, this Technical Writing essay isn’t going to write itself.

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7 Responses to “The Musical Box (Vol. 6)”

  1. Matthew Gallant Says:
    April 7th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    YouTube seems to be experiencing technical difficulties at the moment, so the videos may load very slowly (or not at all.) I apologize, I wish I had a more reliable way to host these songs but it’s just not feasible with my bandwidth allowance.

    The three songs (in order) are:
    In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
    Oh My God – Ida Maria
    Tank! – The Seatbelts

  2. Duncan Fyfe Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    I like that NMH album but the title track has to be one of my favorite songs of all time. Good choice.

  3. Matthew Gallant Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 4:36 am

    It’s an incredibly touching song, especially given that it was allegedly largely inspired by the story of Anne Frank.

    Thanks for your comment Duncan, I really enjoyed “The Pitch” on your blog :P

  4. Ptolemy Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I was cataloguing my DVD collection the other day and I came across my Cowboy Bebop DVDs.
    Bum bum bum bum bum – Tank! was playing through my head in an instant, I need to get ahold of the Seatbelts somehow. Can you point me in the right direction?

    Also, there was a very touching song from the series that always gave me chills. I never knew what it was called or whom it was by, until just recently and by accident just yesterday.
    Blue by Mai Yamane

  5. Matthew Gallant Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    The Seatbelts’ imported albums can all be purchased at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Bebop-Tank-Yoko-Kanno/dp/B0006D3GPM) for a hefty fee, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a way to legally download them at the moment.

    That song Blue is beautiful, thanks for sharing.

  6. Ian D. Says:
    April 23rd, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    The Seatbelts are fantastic, and they have such a huge musical vocabulary. They can do stuff like Tank!, or they can make a beautiful blues ballad using only a harmonica. Thanks for posting that live version of Tank! by the way. Fantastic!

  7. Matthew Gallant Says:
    April 26th, 2008 at 3:04 am

    They look like they put on quite the live show! I’ll definitely try to catch them if they come to Canada.

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