Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yelling about music

So I usually don't write a lot about music, but listen up, kids, 'cause you gotta get a piece of this.

My mind is consistently blown by the musical stylings of Nick "Diamonds" Thorburn, frontman of the late The Unicorns (and their delightful cousin Th' Corn Gangg, in which he does hip-hop remixes of his own Unicorns songs), the incredible Islands, and the new, possibly revolutionary, Human Highway.

I never knew much about the Unicorns until I found out they were playing with Ben Kweller at a concert Andy and I were planning to attend freshman year. So we started to listen to a few songs and liked what we heard: classics like "I Was Born a Unicorn" and "Jelly Bones" (I'm also secretly hooked on "Child Star"). Dare I compare their personality to that of a juvenile Pavement? They wore ghost costumes to the concert and two of them kind of looked like Bill and Ted. We were instant fans.

Then they broke up.

If I have my facts straight, Islands was a natural outgrowth of The Unicorns - the band of three split up, then two of those three formed Islands. Eventually the other guy left too, so it was just Nick for a while, hiring musicians here and there to put together the first album, Return to the Sea. Now, I liked Nick's music before. But this album rocked my soul. It was darker and heavier and crazier than The Unicorns. Even more intense and schizophrenic is the second album, Arm's Way: almost, but not quite, as unpredictable as, say, Of Montreal. They touch on nearly every musical genre from hip hop to island beats. And while I appreciate the smart/dark/often nerdy lyrics more and more, I'm really just in love with the music.

And now there's Human Highway. Moody Motorcycle isn't technically "out" yet, but that hasn't stopped Andy and I from listening to it ... many times ... before we have the chance to purchase it. You can still hear some of Nick's signature moves, but overall it's surprising what you hear on this little CD (Beach Boys? Bob Marley? what?). And I really, really like it.

Don't just consider this a recommendation. Consider it a threat.

Nick Thorburn ... or else.

*EDIT: Moody Motorcycle was written and recorded in one week. Just thought you should know.

2 reason(s) to click here:

Lisa Michelle said...

Umm . . . Summer? This is the best thing I've ever seen. I love clever people. Please don't judge my blog and just let me keep checking yours.

Bakes. said...


i adore the Unicorns, and am overjoyed to hear that you do as well.... i am also quite pleased with this new knowledge with which you have presented me.