09 June 2008

Instrumentals


Because sometimes there are just no words.

Tori Amos - Over It (B's Over the Pool mix).mp3 from the "Y Kant Tori Mix" Bootleg.
A soft, dreamy, ethereal a cappella which might be considered an early mash-up, if they weren't both Tori songs and didn't result in quite such a perfect blend. I listen to this much more than either of the two original songs the create it.
"The Pool" is originally found on the Winter EP and "Over It" is part of an instrumental piano suite found on the God single.

Estradasphere - Six Hands.mp3 from Palace Of Mirrors
All their songs are instrumental, and it's a good thing: The degree of brash, cacophonous complexity would only be burdened by the presence of any lyrics. This short punch of a song screams "CIRCUS!" with its calliope-like staccato piano that surely must only be played with six hands.

Sufjan Stevens - Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou).mp3 from Michigan
Yia-Yia & Pappou are code named for Dear Abby and her sister, Ann Landers, both Michigan natives as well. Deliberate and cerebral, this instrumental pause of heavenly vocalizations backing hesitant piano in an otherwise richly poetic album, serves as a moment of silence for reflection.

Mason Williams - Classical Gas.mp3 from The Mason Williams Phonograph Record
A favorite of mine since I was a kid. Hard to believe this song is 40 years old! His most well-known and one of his best pieces, this guitar-based classic builds to full orchestral blast in barely over three minutes.

Neutral Milk Hotel - Untitled.mp3 from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Not sure if I love it or hate it when there's a fucking amazing album with a single instrumental track in the middle of it. Bagpipes, and roaring trombone are the signatures in this admittedly very odd song.

Islands - Tsuxiit.mp3 from Return To The Sea
Very similar to the above: the single instrumental track dividing (uniting?) the halves of a 11-star (our of four stars) album. Featuring gongs, piano, fluttery synthesizer and of course strings, this Instrumental Intermission cleanses the palate in a cheery way.

Sunn O))) & Boris - N.L.T..mp3 from Altar
NOT a relaxing piece, and definitely not for grandma. If you've never heard Sunn O))), it's like drinking two bottles of Robitussin, then putting a Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath vinyl on at 20 RPM, adjust the 100khz up to max, and putting the speakers on the floor.

Jeff Buckley - Peace Offering.mp3 from ??????
Sorry for the (lack-of) sound quality on this one; it's an ultra-rare/random/unreleased/b-side/whatever from back in the day. To give you a Jeff Buckley song without his gorgeous vocals seems like a crime, but this only showcases what talented songwriter and guitarist he was.
What? You don't own Grace? SHAME ON YOU. BUY IT.

Two Gallants - Instrumental Song.mp3 from Live at The Independent
This punchy rock piece holds more than a bit of southern flavor as it boldly twings and jangles through the night, driven by relentless drums and a walking baseline, occasionally pausing and delivering what can only seem like a musical punch line.
Buy their Self-Titled Album.

Aphex Twin - Avril 14th.mp3 from Drukqs
One of my favorite instrumental pieces of all time. This short, soft piano piece plucks along gently and makes good use of the residual instrument sounds, as if caught wandering and daydreaming.

Django Reinhardt - Limehouse Blues.mp3 from The Complete Django Reinhardt and Quintet of the Hot Club of France, Swing-HMV Sessions 1936-1948
If you've never heard Django play, then you've missed out on one of the greatest guitarists of our--or our parents' or grandparents'--time. His light, cheery strums bounce along jazz beats with incomprehensible complexity for such a feather-touch sound. Paired here with violin reminiscent of Andrew Bird's early works, this is a happy piece to lift any mood.

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson & Sigur Rós - Pictures & Memory.mp3 from Angels of the Universe OST
Hot Icelandic-on-Icelandic action! Here the two artists team up for the floaty, gorgeous soundtrack to the 2004 documentary of aerial scenes of Iceland. The rich violin is backed by Sigur Rós' classic dreamy soundscape.

Philip Glass - Metamorphosis One.mp3 from Solo Piano
Think: Gershwin Plays Gershwin. The only other song that could be considered a "classical" selection here (I could have all-too-easily done an all-classical mix!) but is probably the best example of the all-explaining joke:

Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?

Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass

4 comments:

Catlinbee said...

I love this blog. You always have the most amazing Jeff Buckley stuff. <3

Anonymous said...

Do you mean Dear Abby and Ann Landers?

June said...

YES! Sorry. I get them confused (but I will fix it).

Mark said...

It seems we have the same exact taste in music - I got dragged in by the Mountain Goats reference in blog's title. I'm interning for a little label in London called Blow Up. You might like this indie-pop band from Sweden called Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck. They're great, but are still a bit starved for attention. Give a listen if you get the chance.

http://www.myspace.com/mockingbirdwishmeluckswe

Cheers,
Mark Schafer