Better to Burn Out: A Farewell

Notes on Leaving

  Apparently, this is my 600th post on Now This Sound Is Brave; it’s also my last post as owner. As the song goes, it’s better to burn out than to fade away, but I think I did both. I don’t have the fortitude to recount the whole thing in new words, so I’ll steal from a personal post I made yesterday: “My music blog is set to turn four years old around the end of this month… but I’m thinking about shutting it down. I took an official hiatus from posting when I started my current day job in early 2013, but I’d slowed way down on writing before that. I thought the seasonal layoff from the day job would give me time to get back into the spirit, but the spirit seems not to be there for me anymore. I haven’t even listened to much music in the last few months. And very little in the way of new music (I listened to an old A-ha album a few days ago, and those songs are still bouncing around my head because there’s been nothing in the meantime to replace them). I did go much longer with the blog … Continue reading

Friday Link Session

Friday Link Session feature

  Our friends, and becoming one of my favorite bands, the Wind-up Birds have broadened their offerings on their Bandcamp site. Their latest addition is Acting Thick for Money, Vol. 2, collecting the EP In These Great Times, the “mini-album” We Fixed The Raffle, and the original version of “Meet Me at the Depot” – pay-what-you-want. If you’re in the Leeds, UK, area, you can catch them playing for free on February 1 at Brudenell Social Club with Kleine Schweine, Monmon and Guerin. I Rock Cleveland announced that Dave Grohl’s new documentary “Sound City” will be screening here in Cleveland at the Cedar Lee on January 31. Click here for more details and check out Grohl’s recent appearance on WTF with Marc Maron – so much glorious music geeking. Boing Boing has a free download of “She Lives in an Airport” from Guided By Voices. A new album is expected in the first half of this year. A Neil Young bootleg called “The Joel Bernstein Tapes” has been posted to YouTube. Over an hour of ’76-vintage Young. Read a little more about the tapes here. Closing things up with a video for “What’s for Dinner?” by the Wind-Up Birds.  

Bah Humbug

Ho Ho NOOOOOO!

  You know the best thing to do on Christmas day? Stay home and watch horror movies. May I suggest choosing titles from this fine holiday-centric list? But if you need a weightier excuse for foregoing Christmas activities than a Bartlebian “I prefer not to”, the Wind-up Birds have a suggestion (and the song is available at a “name your price” rate).   Working Christmas Day by The Wind-up Birds   Or, if you can’t find it in your heart to be festive this year because some cold, selfish lover stole that heart and then tossed it like so much discarded wrapping paper, Daniel Knox has set his warm baritone to work on a love-torn carol some of you may recall from that foreign land known as “The ’80s”. “Last Christmas” – Daniel Knox (Wham! cover)

The Wind-up Birds: The Mild Awards

Wind Up Birds Mild Awards feature

  Time to put my favorite discovery of 2012 on your radars again. The Wind-up Birds have a new single out (note to other bands: you see? Two songs is a single, not an EP): “The Mild Awards” b/w “Some Gimmicks for You”. The two songs together form a set piece, commenting on the carefully calculated path toward mediocrity that so many artists seem to take in pursuit of attention and validation. Oh yeah, and the songs sound great, “The Mild Awards” punctuated with grand horns while “Some Gimmicks for You” employs some new wave pop keys. Not to mention the video put together for “The Mild Awards” which had me not just LOLing but actually laughing out loud.     Pick up the single through the Wind-up Birds’ Bandcamp site in either digital download or limited-edition 7″ vinyl (you know you want cover puppy Royston in your collection).   The Wind-up Birds Official Website The Wind-up Birds @ Bandcamp The Wind-up Birds @ Twitter The Wind-up Birds @ Facebook

A Good Read, a Good Listen, and a Good Drink: The Wind-up Birds

WindUpBirds_TM-69

  It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Our feature on the Wind-up Birds has only just scrolled off our front page, and I’ve already brought them back. But when a band is named after a novel (in this case, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami), it’s a cinch that they should take part in this series. That and the fact … Continue reading

The Wind-up Birds: Talking Back All the Time

TWUB feature

  While we moan like owt then this good shop shuts Well take the blame No you don’t have the guts While we moan like owt then a good shop shuts We’d take the blame if we had the guts For the money we never spent The times we never went This is how The Land, the first full-length album from Leeds, England-based band the Wind-up Birds, opens: with an indictment that blankets us all who have popped around to the nearest discount megastore in the name of convenience and saving a buck, then proceeded to moan about what a shame it is when a good locally-owned store is forced to close. You know right off that if The Land is going to leave you feeling anything, “comfortable” will not be among the emotional options. The Wind-up Birds – named for Haruki Murakami’s novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – have been playing together for nearly a decade, and perhaps it’s best that they waited so long to get their first full album together because this is a strong showing. While the intense “There Won’t Always Be an England” is the immediate favorite for me, I’d hasten to point out the … Continue reading