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December 31, 2008

Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping

Attention, sexual beings of the future: your anthem as arrived. Of Montreal's fifteenth album, Skeletal Lamping, is a world where sex rules, and love is just a lubricant. This world, pictured on the album cover, is full of naked, uninhibited bodies swimming in a swirling, blooming bowl. The predominant figure points to the teeth-like thorns that surround the bodies, the only threat to their lustful libations. This threat, it becomes clear, is tradition: "Georgie said romantic love is flat/(Georgie said that)/Only for people with no real ambition in their life (no life)" croons Barnes in "For Our Elegant Caste."

Georgie Fruit is taking love, dyeing it purple and adding sparkle. Does it matter that Georgie Fruit, who on stage is a hot mess of drag, latex and Bowie-like make-up, is the pseudonym for OM frontman Kevin Barnes, a white heterosexual family man? Not in the least. This is about blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, people. The wild charade and orgy of sounds, though, is not just about fun- it is the band's way of addressing some of today's serious issues. When not all are free to love, how better to rebel than to let it all hang out (which, by the way, Barnes has been known to do at shows)? The surreal sexual scape of Skeletal Lamping is ultimately an idealist's answer to the crushing conservatism of our time. "We function on the lowest human level/Yet somehow keep living," Barnes laments in "St. Exquisite's Confessions." So what better than suspension of belief? Why not let apples be apples, and let Barnes be Fruit?

Barnes' call for libido liberation is fitting for the sexually ambiguous indie-rockers who make up much of the Of Montreal fan base. These kids are Obama-oogling, Prop. 8-negating, pants-off-dance-off ravers who aren't afraid to pop the pill and shift their shapes (have you seen pictures of Girl Talk's November Terminal 5 concert in NYC?). The question of the Of Montrealers is, and will remain: Why not get down with our bad selves? And I can't think of a good reason why not.

December 13, 2008

10 Best Albums of 2008

Everyone seems to be coming up with their lists, so here's mine...

Emma's Top 10 Albums of 2008

1. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago (yes, the name helps)
2. Cut Copy- In Ghost Colours
3. Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
4. TV on the Radio- Dear Science
5. Of Montreal- Skeletal Lamping
6. Gnarls Barkley- The Odd Couple
7. Santogold- Santogold
8. Beck- Modern Guilt
9. Coldplay- Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
10. Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend

December 8, 2008

Playlist for 12/7

The Spinto Band- Summer Grof
The Welcome Wagon- Sold! To the Nice Rich Man
Bear Hands- Golden
Friendly Fires- Paris (remix)
Rafter- Sweat
The New Deal- Receiver
The Twelves- When You Talk
TV on the Radio- Golden Age
The Presets- If I Know You
Passion Pit- Cuddle Fuddle
Digitalism- Pogo
Takka Takka- Silence
Ghostland Observatory- Silver City
Foals- Olympic Airwaves
Department of Eagles- No One Does It Like You
Human Highway- The Sound
Of Montreal- Gallery Piece
Department of Eagles- Sailing By Night
The Whitest Boy Alive- Burning
Kanye West- Say You Will
Sia- Buttons (CSS remix)
Tokyo Police Club- Juno (remix)
Passion Pit- Sleepyhead (remix)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Satan Said Dance
Mark Ronson- The Only One I Know
Mark Ronson ft. Santogold- Pretty Green
Depeche Mode- Never Let Me Down Again
The Rosebuds- Bow to the Middle
Vampire Weekend- Ottoman
Grampall Jookabox- Ghost (Nobody remix)
The White Stripes- Walking With a Ghost
Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal (remix)
Jose Gonzalez- Heartbeats
TV on the Radio- Love Dog
Kanye West- Bad News
El Ten Eleven- Jumping Frenchmen of Maine
Daedelus- Sundown
Fujiya & Miyagi- Collarbone
The Presets- Girl and the Sea