Seven thread

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As we wait - here are couple of other links to here non album versions of the songs on the album.

3 here (radio session)

http://kutx.org/uncategorized/blitzen-trapper-at-kutx-7-15-13-4pm

2 here (live show)

http://archive.org/details/BlitzenTrapper2013-05-30.Matrix.16bit

The live version of "Thirsty Man" sounds huge. Also that show has a top class version of "Texaco".

Please post any others and reviews when they come out (Pitchfork will give it 5.9).

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I love that "Dont Be A Stranger" song in the first link....Cant wait to hear the new album. Its gonna be killer.

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Album stream

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/arts/music/pressplay.html?artist=Blitzen%20Trapper&album=VII

Some diverse trax as usual - full sonic spectrum (apart from Russian death metal).

Btdefault

I'm a huge fan of the band. I own all their albums. I must've played their last three albums thousands of times in total. I'll see them live whenever I get a chance (only once so far). I think Eric is a genius and the band are just perfect for his music.

All of that said, I've now listened to the new album twice on the NY Times stream and my reaction is "hmmm." I know that none of what these guys do is easy. It's not easy to write brilliant songs that sound at once familiar and totally fresh. It's not easy to construct them in the studio and to make them sound great. And BT always made it look and sound easy. But I have no idea what it is they are going for on this release. Many of the songs seem to feature a kind of "talking blues"/rap vocal style bordering on chanting or incantation and that just doesn't seem to go anywhere and doesn't bring me in. YMMV.

That doesn't mean there aren't some outstanding tracks: "Ever Loved Once" is gorgeous and I've been humming "Don't Be a Stranger" all day. But overall, I'm kinda disappointed. Maybe I'm spoiled but I'm used to BT records being "all killer and no filler" (well, except for "Love U" on Furr but the fact that that's the only track I can name on the last three albums that I'd qualify as "filler" says it all) and this one doesn't feel like that.

Maybe it's a grower...

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Been listening to this constantly and it is an immediate hit with me. One of the things I love about BT is that Eric is never content to retread what's been successful in the past. Every album is a new experience, which makes this band exciting. His stories are the constant that runs through all the records, no matter how the sound may change. Someone on Twitter referred to the sound as "hillbilly hip-hop," which is a great way to describe these tunes. The whole interconnected section of the record is brilliant. (And there is some great bass playing on this one too, MVP!! Drive On Up - Oh yeah!!)

I am LOVING this record. Can't wait for the shows.

Btdefault

Honestly I'm underwhelmed. The production value is fantastic, the music for the most part doesn't seem to live up to the standard. The majority of the songs on the album sound very much alike, and the vibe they give off isnt exactly my cup of tea. Expecially Orgeon Geography had me scratching my head. The manic energy the songs used to give off has kinda degraded, and not many of the songs really hooked me. I miss the experimental edge earlier songs used to have. Theres no Saturday Night or Destroyer of the Void on this album. I know Blitzen Trapper has always flirted with country and this kinda hillbilly vibe, but the great thing about an album like Furr is the amazing variety on it, not to mention the quality of all the songs. Faces of You could have been great. It has a Green Eyed-Lady vibe, but the song never develops. Half the songs have the same rhythm and the band sounds more like an outlaw country band than an experimental folk band. Theres nothing edgy or fresh about this record. 

That being said...

Standout Tracks:

Ever Loved Once

Thirsty Man

Drive On Up

The "?" Category:

Oregon Geography

Earth

Heart Attack

There is no song from this album that I would include on a Blitzen Trapper "Best Of" album.

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Im glad im not the only one who feels that way about the new album...i thought there was something wrong with me...I'm having a hard time getting into this album. I still ordered the vinyl though so Im willing to give it another chance. Don't Be A Stranger and Thirsty Man are probably the only two songs that stand out to me. American Goldwing and Destroyer Of The Void are still my favourite Blitzen Trapper albums....

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Ladies ladies ladies,

I too shared your reservations as I listened to the tinny stream on my headphones - but then I downloaded from itunes and cranked it up on the big deck and it tore me a new one. Its groovy and dirty - and I love it.

No it isn't American Goldwing 2 - but when have BT ever released the same album twice ?

Thirsty man is possibly the finest track they have ever released - the riffs and the lead guitars are hornier than a rhino on viagra.

Even pitchfork nearly liked it ?!

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/18572-blitzen-trapper-vii/

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Live radio spot 

http://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2013/10/09/blitzen-trapper-live

Now on tour in support of their seventh studio album, the appropriately named VII, Blitzen Trapper stopped in to The Current's studios to play some songs and to chat with Bill DeVille, who points out the new record has "a bluesier, swampier, even dancy sound."

Front man Eric Earley and keyboardist/guitarist Marty Marquis share some stories from the road, including how Blitzen Trapper have carved out a fan following in Fargo, N.D. Earley also talks about his influences, which range from old-time Appalachian songs to 1970s Waylon Jennings tunes to today's hip hop; the common thread, Earley says, is storytelling.

Blitzen Trapper play at First Avenue in Minneapolis tonight at 7 p.m.; Baraboo, Wis., band PHOX open.

Songs Peformed

"Shine On"
"Thirsty Man"
"Don't Be a Stranger"

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it`s interesting to hear how people are receiving the album, i personally love it. for me it actually feels like a natural progression from AG with a 70`s vibe and there is something reminiscent of Field Rexx to me. perhaps another reason why this album resonates with me is that i grew up listening to 70`s rock and r&b which is the core of my love for music in general.  i hear these undercurrents on the album and it makes me feel sentimental and happy all at once. junglelove coined it well, groovy and dirty is definitely what i hear too especially after hearing them live.

current favourite tracks are thirsty man, neck tatts cadillacs, drive on up, don`t be a stranger and shine on

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I freaking LOVE this album. I think its their best yet. Whenever BT is going to come out with a new album im always a lil scared i wont care for it. When i first started hearing some of the tracks i was a lil mehhh, that being said u have to give it more than one listen & ull start hearing each members contributions (im looking at u MVP), some of the finest bass playing ive heard on a BT album. Also Marty's synth is pretty awesome throughout. Disnt care for neck tatts caddilacs & when i saw it played live... FUGGETABOUTIT!!! freakin awesome. Now hearing it on the studio version i appreciate much more. Maybe when or if some of the dissapointeds see these new tracks played live they'll get a new introspect. Saw them twice on this tour & they melted brooklyn to its skivvies. Also, Erik Menteer is fuckin' nasty!!!.... in a good way.

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Let me start by saying that what Blitzen Trapper produces on a bad day is better than what 98% of the industry can crank out.  Let me also say that I applaud BT's focus on recording what they feel like recording, regardless of what the public thinks they should produce.  It is real art and should be authentic to what they feel and desire to create.  I truly dig the more rootsy vibe on this latest record, appreciate the more soulful elements and even admire the spiritual unertones present in some of the songs.  The groove is real, the vibe is laid back and the feel is consistent.  I can appreciate the prevelant theme, but sadly there is a "lazy" feel to much of the material, a sophmoric sense to many of the lyrics and an overall uninspired tone to the music in general.  To be truthful, Ever Loved Once, Don't Be a Stranger and even Drive On Up rank as classic BT tunes and are to be commended.  But so much of the remaining record is "samey", simplistic and seemingly a step down from the rich talents of the collective band. While the album as a whole works as a thematic piece, its apparent desperate effort to prove its authenticity as a "mountain hillbilly statement' results in little more than a self parody - trying a tad too hard to be "backwoods".  I believe the band accomplished its true "off the paved road" authenticity much better when it more effectively meshed its experimental psych-indie roots with its appreciation for appalachian folk and classic rock.  Appologies to rudolph, but to say that this is their "best yet" is to completely ignore the incredible accomplishment of the far superior Wild Mountin Nation and Furr records.  While I appreciate this record and commend the efforts of my favorite band, I can only hope that they don't get stuck in a rut that robs them of what they are truely capable of - authentic, interesting and excellent material worthy of continued growth which pushes the bounds of what is expected, all while fullfiling the artists' intent.  Rock on.

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I make that :

Heartbroken Haters 4-4 Loyal Lovers

so far :)

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Jungle, I prefer "Letdown Lover" if you must lable me.  I don't hate anything about this band to be sure.  I've been a faithful follower since I bought Field Rexx back in 2005 (I think I had "Asleep for Days" on repeat for a couple of months).  Just found this release a bit flat, that's all.  To support my point, of their 7 albums DoV probably ranks 3rd or 4th in overall quality of material.  Love and Hate is arguably the 6th best song at that record and there's nothing as good as that tune on VII, in my opinion.  Regardless, we're just sharing observations and reflections.  I'll keep spinning VII, supporting the band on tour and spreading the good word about this wonderful group of artists.

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Still think VII is a grower ;)

One for you old school harkbackers :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN7k5sGASMY

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Go ahead and add one more to the "plus 1" crowd. A couple of songs (namely Feel the Chill and Thirsty Man) instantly grabbed and held my attention. As always the storytelling is awesome and a highlight, though I will say that AG is still my favorite in that regard. I do understand some of the sentiments mentioned, but I strongly encourage all of those underwhelmed to crank the record up and give it a few more spins, it is a definite grower. The groove will grab you, and some of the subtle layers of the songs have a lot to offer. I definitely love the "dirtiness", though I will say that "Oregon Geography" was a little too much and I cannot quite get behind that song. The rest of it may be eclectic at times, but songs like Feel The Chill, Thirsty Man, Ever Loved Once, Don't Be a Stranger, Shine On, Faces of You, and Valley of Death are all excellent entries into BT's outstanding catalogue. I cannot wait to hear these songs live, and if I can say one thing to the skeptics, it's "Don't give up on this album!!" Put it in your car stereo, crank it up, and go drive down some country roads with the windows down. You'll find it

Btdefault

I'm not a hater and I'm not going to be "loyal" and say I love an album that I don't. I still love the band, and the production value on this album is off the charts, but like gator said, the songwriting seems uninspired. After listening to something as complicated and brilliant as Destroyer of the Void, the songs on this album as a whole just dont do it.

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Interesting that those not immediately disposed to VII all cite DoTV as their favourite - which to me is the weakest of the last 4 (or even 5) albums by some margin. Personally I could live the rest of my life without hearing "Lover leave me Drowning" again.

I think it all boils down to musical taste - those tat don't like the funkier, dancier style don't like VII - not sure it is much to do with "songwriting".

Now about that live album....

 

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Taste is a big part of it jungle, but songrwiting quality and originality are big components as well.  If you'll re-read my last post in this thread, I suggested that DotV was only their 3rd or 4th best record and that it still had at least 6 songs that were better than anything on VII.  If anything, DotV was a tad over-indulgent. But beneath all of the homages to 70's prog-rock there's some excellently written and produced songs (and if you didn't like "Lover Leave Me Drowning" it is safe to assume that you don't like their earlier work as Garmonbozia, and that you never cared much for Harry Niilsson either).  While that record could be called a concept album, this new one is more of a thematic exercise - an extended flirt with the groove, if you will - at the noticable expense of songwriting quality and consistency (I still like it, but if you love it you should also check out the work of JJ Grey & Mofro - a Florida band that perfected the "front porch soul" sound a dozen or so years ago).  As to the other BT releases, their debut found them transitioning from experimentalists to rockers, Field Rexx is indie-rock bliss, WMN and Furr are damn near perfect, and AG is a guilty-pleasure classic rock record that may be the most fun to listen to.

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I posted on this thread a while ago but deleted it because I wasn't sure of my response, but for me the album got better with each listen--especially on headphones. Feel the Chill is an interesting song lyrically--as good as anything he's ever written. The comparison to Beck just seems lazy to me.

Am I really the only one who constantly hits repeat on Ocean Geography? Maybe you have grow up in rural Pacific Northwest to really appreciate it

Huffing Glade through a towel on the roof with my girl/A stark kind of beauty has fueled the world...Out east run the mountains like fangs they be touting volcanic fountain darkness expounding ...I worked in them fields struggled under the sun with a quad and a gun until my work there was done...I see it all clear through the haze of my mind/Huffing Glade through through my towel take a hit stay wild... 

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Thirsty Man video from "the current"

http://youtu.be/yFh7ZGgDpGQ

Warning - contains keyboards and a dance beat ;)

and NYC article on songwriting

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/the-seeds-of-song/?_r=0#more-150193

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YES ! A new Daytrotter session taped !

@realdaytrotter session in SF. Tonight @RegencyBallroom w/@alialujah opening. Something old, something new for yas. pic.twitter.com/xQdjbqLxIk

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Loved the show last night at the Regency. It was the first time I'd seen them live and it was intriguing. I'm always amazed when I see a band live because the songs you've listened to are all recorded and so you think that's how the song goes - the way you've heard it over and over on the recording. But the recording is a record of one moment, one time, so when you hear it, you hear the nuances of that particular moment, which makes it different. So for me, the songs expanded in their scope. I brought my 15-year-old daughter - we were right up front - loved it.

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Decent interview with some background to the "new direction"

http://www.acafe.com/archives/page-blitzen-trapper-2013.html