Air [french band]’s pocket preview: an online listening party

air headphones

If you happened to miss the listening party, you can get your own small preview from the album’s first single “Once Upon A Time,” which is available from the iTunes Store.

Alternately, you can pre-order Pocket Symphony from the iTunes Store and receive 2 bonus tracks (The Duelist and Crickets) plus a PDF of artwork.

Update March 6: Pocket Symphony has been released. Get it.

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Today is the first public unveiling of Air [french band]’s new record, Pocket Symphony. It it the duo’s first release in the three year since the magnificent Talkie Walkie was set loose upon the world in early 2004. For fans of the post-modern, downtempo electronic wunderkinds, each new album is an eagerly awaited event.

While the album proper doesn’t hit the street for a few more weeks (March 6), the band has invited the entire internet to a listening party at the album’s website, pocket-symphony.com on Feb 15 (that’s today). So head on over and give it a once through. You can sign up to receive the access password and to receive future updates. Or you can simply type in “play” and get straight to listening via streaming music.

The preview window also features simple comment posting and a Google Maps mash-up showing where other listeners are located.

As for the album itself, as I write this I’m five songs in and it’s everything an Air album should be: mellow, dreamy and complexly melodious.

air pocket symphony at itunes

air pocket symphony at amazon

a quixotic endeavor?

returned from florida today. a couple highlights: air’s moon safari. that record gets better everytime i listen to it, like a fine wine that improves with age, or how the fox theatre seems to keep getting cooler just by continuing to exist. every song on that album is a masterpiece.

then there was kish kash, the most recent (2003) basement jaxx album (hey isn’t it time for a new one?). when i first got this one, it took me a while to really get into it and i continue to think that it is drastically uneven in its quality, but, ‘good luck,’  ‘right here’s the spot’ and ‘plug it in’ are among the best tracks in the duo’s catalog. ‘plug it in’ manages to succeed in spite of the n*sync connection.

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in tunequest news, i figured out how to use excel’s linear regression tools to calculate more precise trendlines.

tunequest graph 6/7/06

as you can see, the results aren’t pretty. this newly-accurate line predicts that i’ll have listened to 12,000 songs by the end of the year, about 2000 short of my goal. and, at the rate i’m going, i’m not weeding enough from my library; i’ll still be 500-1000 short. i guess all i can really do is re-double (quadruple?) my efforts again.

For a drive to Florida

It’s about a 350 mile drive from Atlanta to the florida panhandle (represent!) and it, without fail, rains in alabama every time. That’s not hyperbole; i’ve made the drive there and back 3-4 times a year for the past 4 years and literally, it rains at some point on I-85 or I-65.

as the skies went from downpour to sprinkles along the route to montgomery, my ipod provided a most suitable soundtrack: Saint etienne‘s b-side album fairfax high.

At this point, i don’t really remember how i stumbled upon the band, though i think i may have confused them with etienne de crecy from a remix of air’s ‘sexy boy.’ irregardless of the source, fairfax high was the first saint etienne album i heard (march 2000) and it impressed me enough that i was hooked.

i’ve always liked b-sides and b-side albums because of the new perspective they provide on a band. some of my favorite songs in many bands’ catalogs are b-sides, and saint etienne is no different. ‘hit the brakes’ and ‘hill street connection’ are both standout tracks from this collection.

Live Music Thursday!

One of the effects of loading the iPod alphabetically by album is that I’m getting a refresher course in live music. The tagging scheme I use for live performances looks like this:

year.month.date venue, city

Thus, all the shows are listed chronologically. As far as iTunes is concerned, each show is just an album that starts with a number.

Today found me listening to a 1995 Soul Coughing show in New York City, a completely rockin’ Toronto 2004 performance by Mouse on Mars who I’ve managed to see, twice. If you get the chance, go! and a 2001 show by Air [french band] in Los Angeles.

Also sandwiched in there was A Data Learn the Language, an uber-smooth postrock record by The Mercury Program. Good stuff that.