this week in rock: beirut + sonic youth shows this as something of a Balkan week for my music library. For only three artists did I listen to an album all the way through more than once. This makes sense: mixed playlists and shuffles comprised a lot of my work-out music this week, while I was sadly not productive enough to round up any substantial tallies via study music. But, appropriately enough for a Balkan week, it was Beirut that defied this trend.

And this despite the fact that I haven’t picked up his newest yet. I shuffled tracks from both Gulag Orkestar and The Flying Cub Cup while writing my narrative journalism piece on Monday. It reads as a short story, describing a day in which I searched Northfield’s coffee houses for the best cup in town. Truly, though, the piece aims to evoke a series of places and to sticth them together so that Northfield itself becomes corporeal by the end. And that’s why I turned to Beirut. Zach Condon’s songs always evoke place, feel lived-in and wandersome. Much is often made of the purported “appropriation” of European music in his work, but in my opinion the best reply to those charges is the music itself, beautiful and authentic. Global capital and the imperial American may one day have their comeuppance, but its hard to feel upset at even that system when the outcome is a teenager sitting in his Albuquerque bedroom and writing something as sublime as “Postcards from Italy“.

The tally:
1. Beirut – 24 plays
2. Deerhunter – 15 plays
2. Brand New – 15 plays
4. Animal Collective – 11 plays
4. New Order – 11 plays
6. Isis – 9 plays
6. Jeremy Enigk – 9 plays
6. Mogwai – 9 plays
9. TV On The Radio – 7 plays
9. Primal Scream – 7 plays
9. The Stooges – 7 plays
9. X – 7 plays
13. Sonic Youth – 6 plays
14. Coheed and Cambria – 5 plays
14. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – 5 plays

Song of the week: Sonic Youth – “Teen Age Riot” (5 plays)


~ by staticandme on February 26, 2009.

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