Songbook Report

The Hold Steady’s First Four Albums (and Their Last Two)

The Hold Steady have been playing music for just over 10 years now.  They started out in 2004 with Almost Killed Me and since then, they’ve released another five full-length albums, including this year’s Teeth Dreams. Popular consensus seems to be that their last two albums, Teeth Dreams and 2010’s Heaven is Whenever, were a significant…

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Songbook Report

Father John Misty’s “Bored in the U.S.A.”

Earlier this week, former Fleet Foxes drummer (and former Batavia, New York resident) Josh Tillman, continuing to work under his most recent nom de plume, Father John Misty, released the first single from his upcoming album, I Love You, Honeybear. The song is called “Bored in the U.S.A.” and Tillman first performed it on Letterman…

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Songbook Report

Foxygen’s …And Star Power

Back in the before times (in the long, long ago) I wrote an article about Foxygen’s second album, which was audaciously (and a bit pretentiously) titled We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic. The basic idea there was that Foxygen was channeling the Ghosts of 60’s-Music Past, through an extremely self-aware present-day…

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Songbook Report

Conor Oberst’s Upside Down Mountain

There’s a mountain in southern France called the Pic de Bugarach. It’s a bit of a geological anomaly because rock samples taken from its peak have actually proven to be older than samples taken from lower elevations, earning it the nickname “Upside Down Mountain.” Geologists have come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation for this,…

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Songbook Report

Spoon’s They Want My Soul

After reading a few advance reviews of Spoon’s new album, it’s become apparent that one of the main storylines writers have latched onto is how this is a relatively difficult album to write about. This seems to be for two reasons. First, because Spoon has so consistently been churning out excellent music over the past…

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Songbook Report

Vampire Weekend and Contra

Last year we ran an article about Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City. I basically just went song-by-song and tried to explain some of the more potentially obscure references and how I thought the songs fit into the larger thematic arc of the album. You can still read that piece, here, on the old buffaBLOG (from…

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