Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Tale of Two Albums: Death Grips & The Wanted

Today, I bought two CDs: The Money Store by the Electro/Punk/Hip-Hop outfit Death Grips and the self-titled U.S. release by the U.K. boy band The Wanted. I think these purchases say a lot about me. First, I still buy CDs. I feel that they pump louder than mp3s. Plus, if I ever tire of the album, I have something physical to sell. Second, I think these albums represent a broad spectrum of my musical tastes.

I love things like Death Grips that are really visceral, hard, and new. Seriously, I've never heard anything like this album. It sounds like a fucking revolution. (You can here the whole thing for free here. My fave song so far is "Hustle Bones." In the Pitchfork review of the album, Jayson Greene writes: "The Money Store is about as intellectual an experience as a scraped knee. But it's just as good at reminding you that you're alive.")

I also really love great pop music. People think that I'm crazy for all boy bands just because I'm gay and dig twinks. But that's totally not true. I actually don't give a fuck about One Direction or Big Time Rush--although I used to watch the latter's TV show. But there's always been something special about The Wanted, even outside of the fact that Nathan Sykes is, like, my ideal teenage dream (cue Katy Perry). I loved the adolescent desperation of their first single, "All Time Low." It was such a contrast to the shiny, vapid love songs that most boy bands put out. And so many of the group's subsequent singles ("Gold Forever, "Glad You Came") have a melancholy side to them. They're ecstatic celebrations of living and loving in the moment, but they also acknowledge the challenges of time ("We could rule the world someday, somehow/But we'll never be as bright as we are now"). I especially love the new single, "Chasing The Sun," because it runs with those themes and offers the sweet promise of renewal ("When the daylight's fading/We're gonna play in the dark/'Til it's golden again."). All of these things give The Wanted's songs a certain depth that I connect with.

Anyway, here are the most recent videos by each group, along with some previously un-posted pictures that I took of The Wanted when they were in Chicago at Roscoe's and the Bottom Lounge in January. (You can see the previous post here.) Interestingly enough, I just bought tickets to see Death Grips at the Bottom Lounge in June.

The Wanted (Live & Previously Un-posted)

The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago 
The Bottom Lounge
The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago The Wanted in Chicago

For more of my photos of The Wanted, go here
For more of my photography, go here.

No comments: