Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stars/Amy Millan Solo

I have spent the last two and a half hours in some sort of computer purgatory land. I've been in limbo, in between downloads and crashes, floating along that loosely tethered tight-rope where you either tenuously struggle on or fall to oblivion. Basically, the past few hours have been shit. And it's all because of Real Player. I had to install it to watch a Stars video. Then I uninstalled it because I despise it. Then it uninstalled Media Player Classic so I couldn't play any .ram files. Which frankly, is a bit of a bollocks. So I have spent this time, fixing, downloading, creating errors, updating windows and basically breaking my laptop in more ways than I care to even think about.

Happily, Real Player is no longer on my system [I hope. You never know with it. It's like a secret infiltraitor [sic - due to the whole, does Real Player really transmit personal information? debate]]. Also fortunate is that due to the fabulous K-Lite Mega Codec Pack, I now have Media Player Classic, once again, which means I can stream .ram files without worrying about my laptop having a fit and breaking. Well, anyway, you could say that I'm done with the "temporal suffering" now and I'm in computer/musical heaven. My laptop works. It's not slow. It's not frozen. It's not broken - yet. I still have some memory left [although, it's worryingly low]. And well, to be honest, that Stars video is amazing! So intense... so good.

For the record, I really love Stars. I think they're a brilliant band, and of course it's fantastic that they're on Arts & Crafts, encouraging that they're from Canada, and of course it's great that they have close links with Broken Social Scene. Basically, without even listening to their music, they already have scored more or less maximum points for indie cred just because of who they are and what they represent [and that would be part of the Canadian movement in the world of music... see: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, etc.] But I'd rather judge them on their music: I think they make beautiful pop music. Their instrumentation is fantastic, and there is evidence of the incredible arrangements on many of these MP3's, especially Let It Go. Anyway, Stars are like a sad/happy likeable ambient pop group to me. In otherwords, just listen to them.

In the interview, Torquil Campbell describes their music as, "epic, sad, romantic, kinda dark, sorta self-loathing, orchestral pop" or more simply, "lover's rock", as Amy Millan asserts, "there's alot of love in our music and couples can dance to it". Anyway. It's class. Check it out. Definitely. I've also included linked MP3's of my favourite Stars tracks of the moment, and the new promo track off Amy Millan's solo album due to be released on May 30th. This album, Honey from the Tomb features songs written before her membership in Stars, and will feature the inevitable guest appearances of members of Stars, Broken Social Scene, and more...


from Nightsongs

The Very Thing
On Peak Hill
Better Be Heaven

from Set Yourself On Fire

Let It Go
Sleep Tonight
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Other Voices Performance [website link]

Amy Millan

Skinny Boy - zip file

Okay, well maybe all's not perfect. My screen needs cleaned - badly. And there's like a pretty aqua pixel just floating about, suggesting I've broke my screen. Hurrr... I'm away to sleep. It's all good.

P.S. I saw Bell X1 at an HMV in-store today. I also saw them at an in-store in Cool-Discs last Wednesday. They're pretty good, if you've never heard them. Find out more soon.

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