So back to the most reliably consistent (speaking of quantity, definitely not quality here, folks) topic of this blog: what I’ve been listening to.
Go get some Anousheh Kahlili [myspace page here]. Came across her randomly as I was looking for shows that I can go see at the Black Cat and 9:30 when I get home. Going to shows being high on the list of things I’ve missed over the past year and a half. Adding to that list though, I’ll miss her show, as it’s celebrating Nau-Roz, the Persian New Year (also celebrated here in Afghanistan).
So it was the name that struck me (Persian/muslim/asian not being too common on the BC roster), and I dug her up and the headliner of that show. Her stuff is all piano singer/songwriter. And though the lyrics are a bit much, almost pedantic and overly verbose with adjectives and adverbs, when she does hit an image, it hits well. And though her songs on her first album just leave me wishing she’ll sing more choruses and stick to some more traditional song structures, as it’s really about her voice and choice of words that shine. Her voice is wonderful, as she’s got range and dexterity, and most over, great phrasing. Though her lyrics are a bit overwhelming, if not simply a bit much, she’s a master at delivering and phrasing them. Though they’re still just a bit too expository and encumbering, for me at least. More imagery, at least stronger imagery and less exposition would seal the deal for me on her.
Her first album, “Let the Ground Know Who’s Standing on Him”, which came out in ’04 wavers a bit in consistency, but her voice carries the whole thing, again, it’s striking, robust and beautiful. It’s been on heavy morning rotation. Especially as she’s a masterful and delicate piano player, and I believe I read she’s been classically trained, which seems to be the case. Nonetheless, her piano playing matches her singing on many fronts. She has two new tracks from a forthcoming album, available here for free.
Side-note: I also just found out that she’s Deep Dish’s vocalist on their last album. Which was great, but I just never picked up, and never dug out the vocalist, assuming she was just a generic House/Electronica singer with a heavily pitch-shifted and processed voice (which she was on that stuff, I believe, maybe just slightly processed and reverbed). She was the lead on their main single “Say Hello” which actually turns out to be a “hook” (though she doesn’t really use it as one) on one of her earlier works, “Ten Lives”.
So go get her last album, and definitely her new/free stuff, as the new album seems to show progression (though one track has a distinctly Fiona feel to it). So she’ll be another Norah (Anousheh even has recently done a Millenium Stage Show, which may mean much given the 365 performances there per year, but it’s where I first heard Norah), especially if the song lyrics get a bit less cumbersome, or at least one song gets a chorus, except I don’t think she’ll ever put out ‘Sunday-brunch’/’do-a-crossword’ music. She’s got too much to say and when she gets better at imagery she’ll be a force. And go see her show at the Cat on March 20th.
And of course, there’s the new Modest Mouse. New tracks have been “leaked” and can be found on the obvious sites, such as HypeMachine. Then there is the new El-P. And Adult Swim put up a new Def Jux sampler for free, and watch the new El-P video, it’s brilliant. Then there is the new Ted Leo. And finally, there is my regret that I’m not going to be home on March 20th to get the new drops, and will end up buying them in iTunes, and then again when I get home.
Make sense of that.