This week, Crash Chords undertook a slightly heavier project. We’ve rejoined the wondrous world of soundtracks—our first in over three years. This time, it’s to discuss the sparse yet pointed soundtrack to the video game ‘Life is Strange’ by DONTNOD Entertainment. Chronicling the story of an 18 year-old girl named Max who discovers her ability to control time while attending the Blackwell Academy, ‘Life is Strange’ is a story about friendship, right & wrong, and most of all, about consequences. Today we’ll be strolling through the game, dissecting its myriad of outcomes, and finally attempting to “get a feel for it” from the songs that were chosen to adorn some of the game’s key scenes. So either pick up, rent, or watch the game (via this 5-episode no-commentary Let’s Play of ‘Life is Strange’ by Xenonz Kenway), and help us wrestle with the implications of Max’s time-shattering actions together. We highly suggest it, as, you see…
THIS EPISODE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Today we welcome special guest Anja Keister, a producer & performer at D20 Burlesque gifted with a rich musical background. More than prepared to discuss her album choice, Anja starts by sitting down for a warm-up interview. Join us as we discuss Anja’s uniquely-conceived acts, her trials, and her inspirations. Then, join us once more as we dive into Anja’s album pick of the week (20:37). Anja’s choice: Beat the Champ by The Mountain Goats. As The Mountain Goats’ 15th studio release, Beat the Champ is actually a journey through songwriter John Darnielle’s childhood love of dirt cheap, small circuit wrestling. For more details, you’ll just have to experience it. Then visit us for the analysis, and thank Anja for the selection!
“April is the cruellest month,” as T.S. Eliot put it. If rain and taxes weren’t proof enough, let’s tack on some death! Sufjan Stevens’ latest release, Carrie & Lowell, is not so much an expansion on his existing work as it is a trip down the bleak rabbit hole of life’s greatest mystery. With the untimely passing of his mother Carrie, Stevens drifts from the cutthroat realities of death’s aftermath to despair and bittersweet nostalgia. Join us as we join him on this harrowing yet preparatory journey. Afterwards, we address other methods of dealing with death. Seriously, don’t enjoy this episode too much!
Described as indie folk, indie rock, and baroque pop, most genres fail to capture the plethora of avenues used by The Decemberists to spin fanciful yarns to their devoted fans. Often celebrating antediluvian themes with modern sensibilities, The Decemberists have become the paradigm for making the old-timey “à la mode”. Let’s take a trip through their latest work, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World for today’s much-awaited analysis. Also stick around for a chat on what it means to employ research in the course of band-diving. Should the discography of a band be calling the shots?
This week Matt chats with the singer-songwriter from Juneau, Alaska — and Rennaissance woman of lyrical subjects — Marian Call. After the release of her newest record, Marian Call Sings the Classics Vol. 1, she is well on her way through her Autumn Tour from Portland to Portland. She’ll find herself in NYC on October 19th at 6pm, performing at Rockwood Music Hall at 196 Allen St. She can also be found on MC Frontalot’s new record Question Bedtime, in the song “Mornings Come and Go.” Today, she shares her thoughts on the process of making a new record, with various “nerdigressions” from comic books to Doctor Who.