Commodities of the Abstract Sort

a hopefully-less-pretentious-than-other-pretentious-music-blogs music blog

Dead Heart Bloom Friday May 25, 2007

Filed under: misc. good non-local music — Kayla @ 7:16 am



Dead Heart Bloom is a band (I have a feeling it’s a “band” in the sense that people like Bright Eyes and Badly Drawn Boy are “bands” with only one person in them) out of New York led by Boris Skalsky. His music has an orchestral quality, with lush piano and and guitar arangements. He uses multiple tracks of himself singing to get intricate and compelling harmonies (this is what Elliott Smith does too). The first time I heard his latest album Chelsea Diaries it immediately stuck me as something that would have sounded right at home in the 1960s, with shades of late Beatles peaking through every once in a while. But then there are also little snippets of Beck in there too, so there is something for everyone. No two songs sound the same, the album goes from rockin’ Beck-ness to a slow, pretty song with full string arrangement and the best part is that this drastic transition doesn’t sound weird like you might expect. Unfortunately the two best songs on Chelsea Diaries would cause the FCC to maybe send a strongly-worded letter if I played them on the radio, so I’m giving them to you instead. You can download both Chelsea Diaries and Dead Heart Bloom’s self-titles debut album for FREE DOLLARS at his website and I would strongly reccomend you do so because there is nothing better than (legally) free music…except perhaps (legally) free music that is actually good.


[mp3] Dead Heart Bloom-New York City Heat

[mp3] Dead Heart Bloom-Chelsea Song #2


Official Site | Myspace | buy/download Chelsea Diaries


pssssst: I have it from a reputable source that Andrew Bird is coming to Bumbershoot (my reputable source is the Andrew Bird newsletter, not some shady indie-music deep throat). I also have it from a not quite as reputable, but still classically reliable source that Les Schwab Amphitheater will regain some indie cred by hosting the Shins before/after Bumbershoot and Spoon/The Dandy Warhols/some other bands that my source had never heard of in another Summer Camp (the last Summer Camp was my first ever concert and is still in my top 5 concerts of all-time…you might say I’m a little pumped about another one, especially another one involving Spoon, who are also in my top 5 concerts of all-time). High five, Les Schwab Amphitheater! I’m sorry to have ever doubted you.


Business Friday May 11, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kayla @ 11:49 pm


This is everything that is wrong with America right now….

a) School is finally out and I am now sleeping on a mattress that is not secretly made of solid metal. I am also not living next to my psycho neighbor who would turn her stereo up as loud as it would go, put some Britney Spears or Linkin Park song on repeat, and then LEAVE FOR 3+ HOURS. This means that a) there is no longer a constant stream of hateful thoughts running through my head and b) there will be updating. Much updating. With actual content, about actual new(ish) bands. Get ready.

b) I’m taking down all the mp3’s on posts prior to April, so if you want them, you’d better get them soon (as in by Monday).

c) Does anyone have an Oink invite they would like to give me? Help me enter the 21st century, will you? I will make you some sort of ridiculous craft project involving the army men and/or “SASSY” patch I found in my desk when I moved out. You know you don’t want to miss out on that…commoditiesoftheabstractsort AT gmail DOT com.

d) I got a recording of that amazing Andrew Bird concert and it’s pretty good quality, see that post below for the link.

e) I’d be a happy bear if you would leave a comment and tell me who you are and how you found this site. I promise I won’t be creeped out if I’ve never met you before (or if I have met you before). I’m obscenely curious as to who all you people are (yes, I can see how many people are coming here each day).


Show Review: Andrew Bird at The Crystal Ballroom, Portland Oregon Sunday May 6, 2007

Filed under: show review — Kayla @ 8:56 pm



Let me just start off by saying that Andrew Bird is probably the most talented indie musician alive today. He exudes musicality in a way that no other indie performer I’ve ever seen does and I suspect this comes from his classical violin training. Watching him perform live feels the slightest bit voyeuristic, when he plays the violin sections of his songs it feels like you are watching him practice unbeknownst to him. He paces around the stage with this intense look on his face like he doesn’t realize that he is standing in front of 600 people. I didn’t get the feeling that he was just going through the motions of performing, he was genuinely invested in the songs and it showed in his intensity. I was also amazed at how seemlesly he works with his drummer/keyboard/various other instruments player, Martin Dosh. They worked largely independently, with only a few sideways glances to start songs off, yet it was so tight that it sounded like one person playing everything.


The setlist was mostly from Armchair Apocrypha, with a few highlights from The Mysterious Production of Eggs such as Skin Is, My and Fake Palindromes. He also played Why, which I’m pretty sure is something he only plays live. That song was fascinating to watch because it involved intricate looping of himself playing violin, he recorded at least 3 different tracks to play back and each had to match up exactly. The first time he tried this people clapping screwed up his counting and he politely asked them to stop before trying again and nailing it. Fake Palindromes was the highlight of the night for me because he led into it with Dr. Stringz. A very small percentage of the audience realized how awesome this was, but it was nonetheless. Other highlights included Sythian Empires, which he said was his favorite song off the new album, and the fact that shortly after taking the stage he took off his shoes to reveal mismatched (but to his credit, both striped) socks.


The other thing that made this concert so incredibly amazing was the crowd. I don’t know why I don’t go to more concerts is Portland, I have never encountered a more polite audience. I was in the front row and I had enough room to put my hands on my hips and spin in a circle without taking out the people around me. There were no hoardes of thirteen-year-old girls with massive purses shoving their way to the front (why does a thirteen-year-old need a purse that big? What do they have in there? Lip gloss? It’s not like they have keys and checkbooks and planners to carry around) or creepy skinny hipster boys standing just a little too close for comfort and I didn’t come home drenched in other people’s sweat. Another anomaly: we got there an hour early and there were 3 other people in line…3 people. If we had been in Seattle we would have been behind a two-thirds of the crowd an hour before the show (when I saw The Shins the people at the front of the line had been sitting in the pouring rain for FIVE HOURS by the time the doors opened). Seattle needs to take a page out of Portland’s book and chill out a little bit, it makes for a much more enjoyable concert-going experience.


ETA: I got a recording of the whole concert. It’s got pretty good sound and all his talking is still in there. Here’s the link:

[zip] Andrew Bird Live at The Crystal Ballroom 5-4-07