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Tuesday, February 22, 2005 

Thoughts on Silent Alarm and others

I've heard it a few times now, and if it grows on me even a little, I imagine I'll buy it at some point. Contra Nick and his pal Karim I didn't love it immediately, and still don't love it fiercely, although I imagine a sudden conversion is still possible. It's got a hard core of a half dozen songs I already love, so I think I'll probably come around. (For the curious: "Like Eating Glass", "Banquet", "This Modern Love", "Pioneers", "So Here We Are" and "Luno")

In some ways it's like the LCD Soundsystem record, though, which I also like (cheers to Todd Hutlock for the copy); I like it, but not as much as others and feel a bit left out as a result. Nick and Karim discuss how awesome it is to (and I quote) "hear something new and go HOLY SHIT THIS IS GREAT", and I haven't really done that recently, or at least not in the same way; the most recent was the Futureheads, and while I think that record is genuinely great, there was no thrill of discovery. Then again, the last time I really felt that thrill I was sixteen and dicovering this vast underworld of music that's out there, so maybe it isn't possible anymore. Hmm.

Actually, I lie, and in a really stupid, obvious way, too; my man Jens was absolutely an example of this. I picked his record from the Ontarion's filing cabinet of promo because he looked nicely goofy on the cover of it, fer chrissakes. Here I figured I'd be renouncing the above dire prediction in weeks or whatever, and instead I find out I'm wrong immediately.

Still, as good as All The Plans Resting is, there's been little so far this year to excite me (last two weeks = case in point: fine records by Jeff Parker and (up today) Laurent Garnier, but nothing that's really got the blood boiling). Of course it's only February, so maybe I should be more excited? Or maybe my mind is just working differently.

It does feel the last few weeks like all these electronic records I bought ages ago are finally making sense, the way I always kind of liked ...I Care Because You Do and then didn't listen to it for months and listened to it again and BAM I love it. Like maybe those records take time to percolate through my brain the way rock records like Bloc Party's usually don't. Susumu Yokota's Grinning Cat, which I already kind of liked, has been glued to my stereo all week. And not just because I can read philosophy to it. I think I probably overuse the word "gorgeous" with records, but it's my go-to word for those sounds I find beautiful on just a purely sonic level. "Lapis Lazuli" and maybe "King Dragonfly" will make their way into mixes soon.

Maybe one day I'll finally "get" jazz?

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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