Notes on my first Moon Gaze

Along with releasing Moon Gazer, Brandon asked me to write something about the album.  A review didn’t seem quite right, but what happened is that I ended up live-blogging my first listen.  -h

1 – Moon Gazer

  • starts off with a block-rocking sleep-beat!
  • it sounds like shooting sunbeams from one’s eyes is commonplace in this world
  • love the space at the end of the first verse/chorus
  • i feel like this is going to be my favorite panda face album

2 – Lofty Eye

  • yeah, i think so!
  • this feels like all the things i like about panda face – sweetness and creepiness, the vocal stylings, weirdness and pop… ness – all cranked up four notches at once
  • i’ll have to ask brandon how his musical adventures since the last record – renfields, millions, burns – have influenced this, and what order all that stuff happened in
  • really proud this is going to be on MFR. brandon just emailed me out of the blue, “hey, i have a new record out, will you post it?” that is exactly what i hoped MFR would be!

3 – King of the Sun

  • ooh, i wanna dance a bit. i’m doing kind of an egyptian neck movement thing
  • AND HE JUST SANG “EGYPTIAN FANTASIES…” we have some connection going on
  • is that “cesearian?” probably, there was a roman thing, too. fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck weareintrouble. i think i might get cut open, somehow.
  • whew

4 – White Hawk

  • i have been listening to brandon’s music since the blane “blair” EP, so, about ten years. i think we’ve only met once, and it was at a dark satellites/renfields show, and i’m terrible at hanging out at shows because i’m super-focused on my performance and my gear
  • the sounds in this song are really cool, but the song doesn’t rely on them. i think brandon could make this work acoustic. that is a compliment. but i’m glad he didn’t, for this version, at least.
  • another sort of unexpected, tight ending. i’m loving these arrangements.

5 – She Fell

  • another great sound, that rubbery bass. it could almost be cheesy in someone else’s hands, but since it’s panda face, i know i’m going to end up hiding under a blanket, so it’s already kind of ominous
  • sick deep filters, deployed very subtly. nice touch.
  • is anything still sick when it’s cool? i don’t know. i might be out of touch. i didn’t start saying “snap!” until 2006.
  • and i still do sometimes :-|
  • this is def my fav panda face album. it seems fully realized; like brandon accomplished exactly what he wanted to, and i love hearing that. that’s what i always aim for, and only rarely, partially ever achieve.

6 – Mysterious Danger

  • nice interlude. kinda british educational film strip-y. death is probably coming around the corner…

7 – The Down Low

  • or not? this is funky and kind of twangy. two great tastes that i’m listening to right now together and they sound good.
  • first line = perfect
  • the little high keyboard on the chorus is making me laugh in a good way. with joy. that happens to me sometimes when a riff is just perfect and overwhelming. here, it’s like the musical idea is spot-on, kind of like something out of a ’90s Dre production, but it has this cracked kind of Pavement, played-it-wrong-but-left-it-in-whatever quality, too. both of those at once is magical.

8 – Lame to Try

  • maybe we won’t die after all. i predict this will be a bit of a love jam.
  • cool instrumental part under “i think you know exactly what we should do” (might have gotten the pronouns wrong)
  • over the whole album, is this the least amount of guitar brandon’s ever had? might be. not good or bad, just observing. what guitar i’ve noticed has been well-deployed. and you know by now how i feel about the various synths.
  • nice come-down ending