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Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Tomorrows Tulips" lo-fi coolness

So i got the record for my birthday, "eternally teenage" by Tomorrows Tulips. Its a great lo-fi record with a good vibe.
This is the album that should have came in between the 1st and 2nd Velvet Underground records.
It hits me as the kind of album fans of the Velvets wished Lou Reed would make.

I'm drawn to this lo-fi recording for a few reasons. I feel the modern lo-fi recording is a symbol of conscious or unconscious rebellion (like all great art) against the way the world is money, fame and technology obsessed.
In this day and age when bands have access to many ways to use "pre-fix" recording programs like Garage-band that makes the shittiest song sound like it's good enough to sell, it's cool that some bands choose to not focus on the new technology.
Just like Neutral Milk Hotel, Guided by Voices and early Elf Power, the "shit recording" becomes its own cool effect and even an honorary member of the band and crucial to the sound and vibe of what comes across in the final product.

One very important thing to remember is that the bands that make good art have recorded a great performance of what they do....just in a lo-fi way. They don't even have to be great musicians, just be true to what they are doing. I think it is a cool concept when a band has great tunes and a great vibe and some of it is lost in the style of recording....(excluding crap pop recording styles). Example My Bloody Valentine's Ecstasy and Wine, it has a great sunny 60's vibe but is destroyed by the production....intentionally.
It sounds like a bad AM radio station from the 60's, but since the melody's are strong it makes your ears want to fish for the catchy tune.
It's a bit of work but once you extract the tune from the nasty warm fuzz that lays on top it, is very rewarding.
Now you have a cool melody to enjoy and some buzzing fuzzed out noise to get lost in.

Much like this record from Tomorrows Tulips, it takes a few listens but will stay with you for longer and if you are like me it will dominate you turntable or ipod for the next 2-3 weeks.

The album echos bands like early Jesus and Mary Chain and the newer band Crystal Stilts with the reverb louder than the vocals, thin twangy fuzz guitar with catchy simple pounding drums. The mix could use more bass but that may tip the delicate balance of the sound that was created.

This record even went as far as to have some songs get cut off for lack of space left on the tape.
Now this doesn't serve the song it self but it's cool as shit to literally record the technology limitation to the point were there is no recording to be heard anymore!
This leads me to believe the band was so in to their playing that they didn't notice the tape ran out.
I don't know if this was planned or not but it really adds to the audio visual and vibe of the production!
And it raises a huge middle finger to the excessive "i want it now" generation and culture that is killing art.


Above all I feel the record speaks to people and my self because it brings back better times..."the good old days".
The sound brigs me back to a time when the newest tech gadget wasn't so import to your way of was the content that was import and pushing the limited recording gear to its max.
When a band does that, their excitement comes across however it was recorded, like the feeling they are doing something that was never done before......and that feeling makes great performances.

So do what you do to space out or reach another level of existence and pop this record on your turntable and listen.

Tomorrows Tulips "eternally teenage"

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