January 29, 2006

When there is nothing left to burn [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at January 29, 2006 11:26 PM

This was quite a relaxing weekend, but as a consequence nothing got accomplished. At least I will post the open thread on time!

Stars: Set Yourself On Fire: Back in the middle of last year I heard one of these songs on internet radio, and made a note to check out the whole album. However, I didn't actually get around to this until a couple of weeks ago, which means I now have an update to make to one of my previous posts:

Favorite Albums of 2005 (Revised)

5. Architecture in Helsinki, In Case We Die
4. Stars, Set Yourself On Fire
3. The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
2. Ladytron, Witching Hour
1. The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday

Stars are a Canadian band, with substantial overlap with Broken Social Scene, doing a boy/girl vocal thing reminiscent of the Delgados, only with more synth and violins. The result is spectacularly good. Beginning with the excellent opener "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead", the first nine songs tell spare but evocative stories of relationships beginning and ending. "One More Night" and "Sleep Tonight" are especially good, and "The First Five Times" has been in my head all day. And if the album ended here it would already be a great record, but instead they follow up with three protest songs: the angry "He Lied About Death", the mournful "Celebration Guns" (which is my new favorite anti-war song) and the optimistic "Soft Revolution". And finally they cap it off with "Calendar Girl", a song about mortality and loneliness that manages to be hopeful and, like all the previous songs, beautiful. Definitely recommended.

Fortuitously, Stars are playing the Fillmore in about two weeks (on the 10th), so I will be reporting on their live show shortly after that.

Tags: Music, Open Thread

You could always just count it as part of your 2006 music.

Posted by: Mason | January 29, 2006 11:48 PM

Well, I try to reserve that for music actually released in 2006. Based on last year's precedent the proper category will be "Albums I Should Have Bought in 2005", but since it's still January I figure I can try to slip it in as a correction. :)

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | January 29, 2006 11:57 PM

re: the first two comments:
I figured applying it to the 2005 year was meant to emphasize how good the album is as opposed to, say, waiting until the end of 2006 to say "buy this album", or, even worse, saying "the best album of the year... at the end of January.... is" and so forth.

Posted by: Josh | January 30, 2006 2:50 AM
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