Monday, June 30, 2008

The Figuers album reviewed on Allmusic.com

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Mixing Latin and hip-hop rhythms with plenty of warm keyboards, fuzzy guitars, and bleeping electronic percussion, Michigan-based the Figuers play a version of left-field rap that's more at home in a late-night lounge than behind an MC's verses. That's not to say the trio's self-titled full-length debut, out on the group's own Fingerprint Records, has that kind of artificiality, that super-smooth breeziness, that's often associated with after-hours music, because it absolutely doesn't. There's a real sense of deliberation and reflection here, both in the careful yet fun arrangements and the actual instrumental lines themselves, so even the most lighthearted of the songs ("Sexy Collarbone," "Play That Beat") never seem fluffy or insignificant. In fact, it's only when the pieces began to feel a little too thoughtful, too serious, that the album begins to lose a bit of the significance it had and slips into the realm of the monotonous. "Instrumental #4," for example, focuses too much on the beat — which is not particularly interesting, one of the few times this is true — and less on melody, trying perhaps to provoke thought but instead losing itself in its own lack of dynamic shift, in its own plodding. Fortunately, the rest of The Figuers doesn't follow suit. Musicians and occasional vocalists Losaka and Hippo, along with DJ IrwinPlus, are able to produce melodic, intricate songs that repeat without being repetitive, that are steady without being boring, that are pleasant and comfortable but not shallow. This is certainly due in part to the fact that they play most of the samples on the album's 14 tracks, so they have the ability to amend and improvise at will, changing up a Rhodes line subtly as it moves throughout the piece; adding words in Spanish and English, extra percussion, and scratches when needed; and showing off the diversity of their influence base. "Explosion (Get Live)" sounds like something Aesop Rock might rhyme over, "Polarcita" blends California soul with warm Ratatat-esque instrumentals, "Running Closer" begins with a soul sample, "Sexy Collarbones" tries to rip off Prince, and "Jala Pelo" breaks into a slow dubstep, all tied together, however, by the Figuers' greater vision of creating a cross-cultural amalgamation of the music they love, a vision that ends up being quite successful.

-Marisa Brown, Allmusic.com


SOLD!

Sold our old house in Ann Arbor today! No more double housing payments. It took us two and half months to sell it. This calls for a celebration considering how lousy the market is these days. Done and Done!

now back to un-packing....

What a Mess



Photo taken right after we finished moving stuff into the apartment. yikes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grand Canyon

We stopped in to the Grand Canyon to check things out. Didnt get a chance to camp out because the campgrounds were full. So we stayed in a 'lodge'. We saw the sights, spent the night woke up and made a bee line for San Diego. Here are some sights:



Total miles traveled: 2,473

We're now in San Diego in an empty apartment. Just got some internet, We'll be moving our stuff in this saturday. I'll post pics of the mess then. stay tuned!

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Mexico Intermission - Day Three

Howdy! we spent all day today hiking around in Bandelier National Monument Park in New Mexico. About 2 hours north of ABQ it houses some ancient Native American ruins and awesome scenery. take a peek below:

More Random Road Fun

Random shots from the road, day one and two were rather uneventful except for the violent storm we drove through in Oklahoma. Miles traveld so far: 1,592. enjoy!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cross-country Adventures day one

Today we officially said goodbye to Ann Arbor and our house.

Here is Liz standing where our dining room used to be:


packed up the car...


and we went off on our way. Not too many sights to see on this leg of the trip, we did drive through St. Louis and Liz caught a shot of downtown


We finished day one in Springfield, MO for a total of 738 miles traveled today.
We're exhausted and just ate some Papa Johns in our hotel room, ready for some sleep and looking forward to our 13 hour trip to Albuquerque tomorrow.

stay tuned for day two!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

All PACKED up

Door #1


Door #2


Door #3


See you in California!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Challenger



Got to drive this car a few days ago.

It was fantastic on the highway, but at 12 miles/gallon I didn't feel as bad about owning one of these instead:



lookin' pretty and ready for the long voyage ahead.