Day 165: Maps & Atlases – Perch Patchwork

12 Aug

Pigeon

I’ll be the first to admit that Swole Ear is not perfect.  It has its share of flaws, of which a fair number have revealed themselves over the past 165 days.  The biggest problem with this blog is that it’s a huge pain in the ass (for me) to listen to a new record every day.   On a more relevant note, however, sometimes it’s hard to judge an album after a single listen.

I have no idea whether I like Maps & Atlases or not, and here’s why: they sound a bit like Grizzly Bear.  Regular readers of this blog know that I loathe Grizzly Bear and all of their imitators with a burning passion.  Let’s just say, if you’re pretentious enough to refer to your music as “art rock,” it probably won’t sit too well with me.

Maps & Atlases isn’t straight-up obnoxious art rock, though.  Sure, it has its share of annoying, drawn out intros, lame little guitar riffs disguised as intricate and important behind their never ending repetition, even an ill-advised attempt at vocal harmonization every now and then.  There’s more going on here, though.   I hear plenty of bands other than Grizzly Bear in Perch Patchwork.  The lyrics (or at least their delivery) often resemble that of Okkervil River, and the treble guitar is reminiscent of Vampire Weekend at points, and those are two bands that I like and respect.

I guess I’ll have to give this record a few more spins before I can make the call.  For now, I’ll have to give it the benefit of the doubt and move on, as there’ll be another post tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next day…


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4 Responses to “Day 165: Maps & Atlases – Perch Patchwork”

  1. Yuanny Dollar August 13, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    Interesting points all, but let’s talk about the nomenclature for a minute. You didn’t really “spin” this record. Is it time to find a new way to say it, or should we hold on to this antiquated phrase. Someday twenty years from now, you will say it and your insolent teenage children will laugh at you, I’m sure. Maybe you just need to give this record a few more clicks.

    • Uncle Jiggly August 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      Is this a record? It is a record of someone’s music. It is a record that some group of people existed and that they came together and made music. And depending upon how Swole Ear obtained this music there is likely a record of that and perhaps even that he listened to it.

      And, again, depending upon how Swole Ear played the recording when he listened to it, it may actually have spun. If Swole Ear listened on an MP3 player or some other solid state device then there was no movement involved other than the ebb and flow of electrons but if The Ear listend on his computer then this was actually spinning on a hard disk while it played.

      So perhaps The Ear was spinning a record after all.

      No good can come of a degree in philosohy combined with a little knowledge of computers.

  2. elcheeserpuff August 13, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    @Yuanny, is that a serious complaint?

    This album would be difficult for me to like too. Despite something being actually good, I’ll have little hope of enjoying it if it just consistently reminds me of something I’m not into.

    • Yuanny Dollar August 14, 2011 at 2:24 am #

      It isn’t a complaint El-Cheese, it is just an observation. I find the evolution of language or lack thereof interesting. As the way that we listen to music completely transforms, we hold onto the language that describes the way we used to listen to music. My grandma used to say turn up the light, from the gas lamp days and then we went to electricity and it made no sense and then we all got dimmer switches and then it did again, but, by then, my grandma was gone.

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