Anyone who has ever read Pitchfork knows that haters are no fun (except when they are), but the truth is that even a sunshine-blinded optimists like myself struggles with hateration. It’s this struggle that has taken me so damn long to post about the charming, silly, upbeat, and pretty darn good debut album by fun. (yes, lowercase and yes, with the period). fun. front-man Nate Ruess was one half of The Format, a mid-00’s power duo with 2 fantastic LPs and a legion of fans who were bummed to hear that they broke up in early 2008. When I heard the first few tracks from Nate’s new project, fun., I just couldn’t get into it. I mean, first of all that’s just a stupid name. Just go ahead and name yourself Good Music and let me forget about making my own opinions (Oh wait, Kanye already did that…). But after months returning to the album in search of a spark I finally found two songs I liked enough to write about.
Then the really funny thing happened. As I listen to the album right now, writing this, I am enjoying it more than I ever have. It’s like the instant I got over myself and my nostalgia for The Format I was able to really get into the music and enjoy it for what it is. It’s not The Format but that’s OK, it’s great even. Because somehow I feel like Aim And Ignite might even end up on my best albums of 2009 list and that is really weird, considering. So if you are feeling these two jams, or were ever into The Format, I recommend you get over yourself too and give your time (and yes, money) to these 10 tracks. I refuse to fall into the easy pun here so let me just say that fun. really is… entertaining, amusing, diverting, pleasurable, pleasing, agreeable, and interesting.
https://www.theburningear.com/media/2009/10/fun-pretty-girls.jpg600600Brandonhttps://www.theburningear.com/media/2015/03/TBE-Header-Logo-2015-stack1.pngBrandon2009-10-24 18:07:502009-10-24 18:07:50FUN. know ALL too well that THE PRETTY GIRLS are often less-so without BARLIGHTS
Some of you might remember Sean Bones from his April appearance on TBE with “Easy Street.” Well his debut LP, RINGS, dropped in July and I have been chilling with it ever since. I guess it is most easily categorized as reggae music but the minimal spliff references and lack of Jah Rastafari shout-outs threw me off. For me, RINGS is simply the perfect album for when you want to chill but you don’t want to be put to sleep. Each track has enough bounce to keep your attention, but not so much as to demand it. I am a big sucker for instantly addictive songs, so it took a while for RINGS to wrap around me. Now, each time I listen I find a new favorite track. I am fully sold on its awesomeness and am able to simply bask in it’s reggae/two-tone simplicity. I feel like my stereotypical views towards Reggae have probably kept me from a lot of gems out there. Anyone want to enlighten a dude?
https://www.theburningear.com/media/2009/10/Sean_Bones_Rings.jpg415415Brandonhttps://www.theburningear.com/media/2015/03/TBE-Header-Logo-2015-stack1.pngBrandon2009-10-23 17:48:022009-10-25 19:25:03SEAN BONES and I just got back from the DANCEHALL
After becoming mildly obsessed with Stick N’ Stones, the first single off of Jamie T’s sophomore album, I was a little scared to be let down by the rest of Kings and Queens. Luckily for the whole damned world Jamie T did not disappoint, delivering such a fantastically varied and solid album that I still grin while listening to it. It doesn’t hurt that Jamie is one of the sharpest lyricists out there, slicing words over beats as a perfect double whammy. I don’t really know what else to say except that you should get this album. If you dig the punked-up Stick N’ Stones, the bouncy “Chaka Demus” (above) or the arm-over-shoulder bro-jam “The Man’s Machine” then you will love Kings & Queens right off the bat. If those songs haven’t spoken to you then you need to buy it anyway and just listen to it until you come to your senses.
https://www.theburningear.com/media/2009/10/kingsqueens-jamiet.jpg480480Brandonhttps://www.theburningear.com/media/2015/03/TBE-Header-Logo-2015-stack1.pngBrandon2009-10-22 19:33:002009-10-22 19:33:30JAMIE T presents CHAKA DEMUS. It's just the name of THE MAN'S latest single, a MACHINE of a jam.
I have been digging on this track by The Silent Years for a while now but the title and creepo album art always gave me pause. Well I finally got over that shit and checked out their MySpaceÂ Their other tunes don’t have as many exciting “da da da da da da”s but they are pretty darn good, with a bit of that magical Freelance Whales twinkle in them. “Taking Drugs At The Amusement Park” came on shuffle today while I was in the shower and it instantly boosted my mood 2 notches. Belting out that “Heeeeeeeyyyyyy!” at 2:42 will do that to ya. It’s that perfect kind of upbeat song that regular TBE readers will know I’m all about. They have a couple LPs under their belts but their most recent, the 6-track Let Go EP, is out now.
https://www.theburningear.com/media/2009/10/silent-years.jpg600600Brandonhttps://www.theburningear.com/media/2015/03/TBE-Header-Logo-2015-stack1.pngBrandon2009-10-22 18:55:532009-10-25 12:09:06THE SILENT YEARS may or may not be TAKING DRUGS but their music is as fun as being AT THE AMUSEMENT PARK
I figure that after that Remix Roundup you guys could use a moment to catch your breath. Karl Blau’s “Dark Sedan” is perfect for that. It’s bouncy rhythm and sparse trumpets pack just enough pep to keep me interested, while Karl’s voice lulls any dancing urge right out of me. It’s a great song for driving alone on a foggy morning. Karl Blau has been making music from his home base in Washington state for a bit now but this is the first track I have heard. The album art scares the shit out of me and seems totally incongruous to the music but oh well. I definitely wouldn’t get into any color sedan with that hooded Zebra freak.
https://www.theburningear.com/media/2009/10/karl-blau-zebra.jpg600600Brandonhttps://www.theburningear.com/media/2015/03/TBE-Header-Logo-2015-stack1.pngBrandon2009-10-21 22:47:582009-10-21 22:47:58KARL BLAU makes music for a drive in the DARK of morning. A SEDAN will do.
As the Remix Roundups enter double digits I decided to drop the incremental titles and go for a more archive-friendly date format. You will thank me someday. About this collection of hot remixes? You can thank me now.
â™« The Very Best – Julia (Javelin Re-do) / This is one of the best remixes I’ve heard in a while. Javelin takes one of the weaker tracks off of TVB’s fantastic album and completly rips it up, turning “Julia” in to a full throttle fist-pumper. [more The Very Best]
My Cousin I Bid You Farewell aren’t making things easy for me. Their name is one thing, and that blown-out gloom-face over there is the closest thing I could find to album art. It’s misleading to, because that looks like it belongs on the MySpace of some Korn-covering goth-tween whose skin pigment is nearly as white. MCIBYF are anything but, leaning towards a deeper-voiced Arcade Fire or music that Max, from Where The Wild Things Are, would make when he grows up.
https://www.theburningear.com/media/2009/10/300300Brandonhttps://www.theburningear.com/media/2015/03/TBE-Header-Logo-2015-stack1.pngBrandon2009-10-19 21:34:312009-10-19 21:34:31MY COUSIN I BID YOU FAREWELL. WHAT? WE ARE EATING TONIGHT! Don't go!
As if it wasn’t enough that I was eating a delicious breakfast this morning, this jam came on the TV-radio and it was just sublime. Yes, sublime, that’s what I said now. Doing a little wikipeding (wikipediaing?) on the Spin Doctors I discovered that John Popper, of Blues Traveler fame, was in an early incarnation of the band. I guess that makes sense. Also turns out that the Spin Doctors are still active. That makes less sense.