Our primary goal here at Rust Is Just Right is to spread the love of good music, generally through a careful and informed examination of precisely what makes certain music “good”. We like to think we’ve done a fairly good job of this, through detailed album and live reviews as well as features like “Feats of Strength”. But even with our best efforts, we haven’t been able to share all the great music we’ve heard so far this year. So, we’re going to put a twist on a standard practice of most other music publications: instead of posting a Best of the Year (So Far) list, we’re going to list albums that we love but for some reason or another haven’t given the proper attention.
Albums from bands that deserve more recognition, but this wasn’t the one that would put them over the top:
Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield
We Are Scientists – TV en Francais
Album from a band that we didn’t really appreciate before, but really liked their new stuff
Wye Oak – Shriek
Great album from a band where we know the drummer
Slow Bird – Chrysalis
Great Hip-Hop albums we love, but we really suck at writing about Hip-Hop
Atmosphere – Southsiders
The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Great Heavy Metal album we love, but we really suck at writing about Heavy Metal
Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun
Album that we meant to review as part of a larger feature, but haven’t yet
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Only Run
Album that is so great that we’re kicking ourselves for not writing about it sooner
Sun Kil Moon – Benji
Aeon has a great article exploring the psychological underpinnings of our appreciation of music, specifically discussing the key that repetition plays in our unconscious love. The article analyzes how the mere act of repetition has a specific psychological effect on our brains, and it can essentially even create the illusion of “music”, even though if we were removed from the process we would not give that objective determination. It then goes on to discuss the significance of “rituals” and how music mirrors this concept, and their impact on our brains. I find these scientific explorations fascinating, and I highly recommend reading it–I’m sure I unintentionally bungled some observations and that my imprecise language may have obscured some of the true results. That said, the article still needs to explain how it could be that Krautrock is not the dominant musical genre of our time.
Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age (and many, many other bands) recently did a video where he answered questions from fans, covering such topics as his band’s treatment at the Grammys and the recent dispute with other members of Kyuss over the use of the band’s name. It’s always fun to hear Josh pontificate, so it’s well worth a listen.
If you follow our Tumblr, you know we’re at the very least intrigued by Neil Young’s new digital music service “Pono”. We’re not entirely convinced about its necessity, and to that end we’re looking into posting a discussion with an engineer experienced in the field of acoustics to discuss the technological merits of the service. But we’ll save the technical mumbo-jumbo for another day–here, you could read an article from The Quietus with some bullshit about the “iPod culture”. Here’s a frightening quote:
“The spontaneous practice of iPod users then comes to very closely resemble the model developed by researchers working for the Muzak Corporation in the mid-twentieth century.”
A much more enjoyable discussion of music culture comes from the latest entry in the AV Club’s series on punk rock in the 90’s (“Fear of a Punk Decade”), which discusses the impact of different labels on the decade’s sounds. It looks at the rise of several independent labels, including some that had the impact of major labels (Epitaph and Dischord for example), and the mutual relationship between bands and their labels.
Switching gears, The Oregonian takes a look at the significance of a good van for the touring indie act. It’s difficult to realize the various struggles that bands have to go through especially with things we take for granted like our own vehicles.
And finally, Wye Oak has a discussion with SPIN about their new album Shriek. In this interview, they discuss lyrical themes, the move away from guitars for this album, and their (slightly) relaxed touring schedule. Wye Oak is a band that that is pretty powerful live, though their albums haven’t translated in the same way; we’ll see if that’s the case for Shriek.