So, one exam down. I am a mere 4 exams away from freedom.
I guess having 4 is better than having 5, but the more I look at the number four I realize there is nothing fantastic about it.

I have another exam tonight and need to go start studying for that ASAP, but couldn’t help to read (for the tenth time) Blink-182‘s front man making musical prophecies and statements that far exceed his own talent. Now, don’t get me wrong, Blink-182 was an enjoyable band to listen to and were entertaining to say the least…But have any of you been reading the things that (now guitarless and piercingless) Tom DeLonge has been saying about his (yet another) new project Angels and Airwaves?

“The best music made in decades.”

“It sounds like it has the conceptual depth of Pink Floyd, the anthemic architecture of U2- but with Tom from Blink writing all the melodies. All the songs are very cinematic, anthemic and epic-sounding. The music sounds angelic. Every song gives you the chills and you feel like you want to cry but you’re conquering the world at the same time. It sounds like stadium rock done by a band that’s meant to be the absolute biggest band in the world.”

“The songs are all six minutes long, and [the music] feels like you’re going to cry but you put your fist in the air and you can conquer the world… It’s built on a punk-rock foundation, but it definitely doesn’t sound like Blink.”

“Imagine if you were in a jet plane, soaring through the clouds. That’s what it sounds like.”

That, my friends, is some damn fine self proclamation. Now, typically I would just shrug this sort of thing off and not say anything but I’ve read quote after quote from DeLonge and have to get your opinions. So, with that being said I (and you) just had to see how music derived from a main creative force in Blink-182 could be so incredible.

Maybe this is all a publicity stunt? Maybe the Blink feud is going to be fought with rivaling record sales? I’m not sure, but see if you think that this is the best music you’ve heard in decades.

[MP3] Angels and AirwavesThe Adventure
[MP3] Angels and AirwavesThe War

Sure, I easily think that music sounds a little better than Blink. But do I think it sounds all that different? Not so much. Changing the length of your tracks, from 3 minutes to 6 minutes, doesn’t necessarily add to the greatness of a song. However, the music is better and the sound is stronger, but it’s hard to claim it as “the best music in decades.” The record is coming out in late May and tickets to various Airwaves shows are selling like hotcakes.

At the end of the day, people are still going to hear DeLonge’s voice and think, “Hey, it’s Blink!” I think DeLonge’s strive to be different is appreciated, but all in all it’s those definitive late 90s punk-pop vocals that register with so many listeners and will haunt him to his various projects that don’t share the Blink surname.

Hoping for a Pitchfork review is always somewhat of a two-edged sword. We all know the extent of Pitchfork’s influence on independent music (they get almost 100 times the amount of hits per day that we get), with such prominent and successful examples as CYHSY and Wolf Parade displaying exactly how much a “Best New Music” nod will get you in this game. A quick check of bed-buddy Insound’s top sellers pushes this idea even further. While many believe that all press is good press, we also know how polarized and impressionable like-minded indie folk can be…which is why I wonder: how damaging is a bad Pitchfork review? (this is where I consider writing an opinion piece, but recant until later so I don’t miss what will soon become the real “point” of this post)

EnvelopesDemon is one such album, unjustly shafted under the wings of Rob Mitchum, whose less-than-stellar 6.2 rating is more a testament to Mr. Mitchum’s increasing loss of depth and vision than the album’s actual worth. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an attack so much as it’s a realization of my own…maybe writing review after review after review really can be damaging to one’s originality.

All the while, as reader after reader dismissed the album as just another “RIYL-ism” (no, seriously Rob, that was funny), this time apparently pining off of Architecture in Helsinki, many of us stood in protest, defiant for the cause: Demon is actually good (you mean Pitchfork was wrong?). Maybe it’s time we let the music speak for itself:

[MP3] EnvelopesIs It The Law?
[MP3] EnvelopesSister In Love
[MP3] EnvelopesIsabel And Leonard

So now I guess we wait. Did Pitchfork kill another great release? Until we know for sure, check out a couple better reviews:

allmusic gave is a 4/5
Drowned In Sound gave it a 9/10
PopMatters gave it an 8/10

Now before you say “Isn’t that so like them to pose like that in a photo,” listen up: It is. And they did. So what? Phoenix (yes, that French band) have a new album, entitled It’s Never Been Like That, hitting stores May 23rd on Virgin Records (yes, that weird half-label/half-airline). I had only known Phoenix because of their song on the Lost In Translation soundtrack, a damn fine song I might add, one so fine and “eighties” that I figured Phoenix to be some one-hit wonder from the Reagan years…but I’m glad I’m wrong.

Upon first listen, It’s Never Been Like That is a very well crafted pop record. I’m a little surprised that it’s actually good, but it is, seriously. If you’re a fan of Goldspot and Air, you should listen to these tracks:

[MP3] PhoenixLong Distance Call
[MP3] PhoenixRally

And here’s the track from Lost In Translation:

[MP3] PhoenixToo Young

Nathaniel’s gonna update you all with the Guillemots contest winner very shortly, and then I’m gonna have another awesome contest! Woo-hoo, free stuff!

I feel like I need some sort of divine intervention right now. Something to, perhaps, prevent finals from starting tomorrow. I don’t want to take finals at all, but I want to get out of school. Sorta like how you don’t want to drive 15 hours to Florida for vacaction, but you want to go to the beach. I suppose the end justifies the means.

Anyways, that being said. My eyes have been reading books, notes, and index cards while my ears have been on hiatus. Sorry! But here are some nifty “indie” songs by a group called Indie Rockappella.

[MP3] Indie RockappellaCome On! Feel The Illinoise!
[MP3] Indie RockappellaAnnie Waits
[MP3] Ben FoldsAnnie Waits
[MP3] Sufjan StevensCome On! Feel The Illinoise!

Enjoy. I’ll hopefully still be alive to post after my physics final tomorrow.

Asobi Seksu

Hell yes. Asobi Seksu has a new CD, Citrus, coming out May 30th. You’ve got the artwork, so here’s the tracklist (with a couple hidden gems):

Everything Is On
New Years
[MP3] Thursday
Pink Cloud Tracing Paper
Red Sea
Nefi And Girly
[MP3] Lions And Tigers
Exotic Animal Paradise
Mizu Asobi

Listen and tell me this doesn’t blow her debut out of the water. If you can, check her out on tour:

May 6 – Over The Top Festival / Toronto
June 1 – Joe’s Pub/NYC (Release Party!)
June 16 – The Kyhber / Philadelphia, PA
June 23 – Cafe Nine/ New Haven, CT
June 24 – Great Scott/ Allston, MA