Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken-Camera Obscura

These Scottish retro-popsters have been accused of swimming in Belle and Sebastian’s wake, and this tune from their latest Let’s Get Out of This Country, might fit the bill. Where I feel B and S falls short these days is that their songs to me almost seem to follow the incredibly derivative and arch production. It is as if they have stopped working in the retro medium and have gone on to complete caricature. This is not to say that they don’t do it very very well. “Hey Lloyd..” by Camera Obscura has that caricature feel, but most of the rest of the album falls on the good side of the line, point being I still believe in her voice. I feel the emotions are still conveyed, not destroyed by the oh so quaint horns, or jaunty sixties flute. To me, Camera Obscura plays their songs while working in a particular style, rather than only existing for the propagation of that style. My current fave is “Come Back Margaret” on the new album. I predict Shingles will play “Come Back Margaret” at least twice in a row if he were to play it once.

Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken-Camera Obscura

And here is a bonus, from their last Underachievers Please Try Harder

Keep It Clean-Camera Obscura

29 Responses to “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken-Camera Obscura”


  • The Uncanny Canadian

    I don’t care about whether a song is derivative or cliched or a charicature or what have you. When it’s a good tune with a sweet voice and killer killer chorus, I am just going to love it. The second reptition of Lloyd is so good. I heard this song on Indie Pop Rocks, and I could identify it within 10 seconds as Camera Obscura. I love it.

  • I don’t think there’s ever been a bigger difference between how I pictured a chick looking and how she actually looked.

  • Whatever on the B&S comment. I heard about Camera Obscura way back in Ought Four and only just recently heard of B&S. If we follow the typical rantings of my brain, that means that Camera Obscura has been at this for years longer than B&S.

    Plus, Underacheivers please try harder was an album that I listened to for five whole days world without end, amen. Then it was so rudely removed from my life by the owners when they went back to LA. Now that I can find it in my local cool music store, it will be the next album purchases.

    In other news, I think I gained a new level in the Indie Rocker prestige class. I asked if the same store had any ‘INSERT BAND NAME HERE’ and they didn’t and had never heard of them. When asked what kind of music it was, I responded with an absent-minded, “Good” and then corrected myself by saying indie rock. I left before the dude could hit on me any further. Seriously, do I give off homomones?

  • Chuckles, not everyone wants you.

    Oy, UC knows good music. What, Pet Sounds or that quality mongolian torture music he played on Sunday? That was instead of letting me listen to old skool Depeche Mode and then dumping on Morrissey while not letting me listen.

  • Were you going for the trifecta of whine on Sunday? What was next on your playlist? Concrete Blonde?

    Oy, the angst. It is killing me, all the angst!

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    I’m with you Chuckles. I have no use for any of that genre. AG also really likes The Cure. My personal cure: Fiery Furnaces.

  • Seitz, I think she is wearing a mask to prevent stalkers.

    I still love her, only slightly less than I used to.

    Chuckles, you probbaly asked for the black eyed peas, or alternatively, you were in Sam Goody and asked for Pavement.

    Nothing is worse than Concrete Blonde. Nothing. I can picture AG singing 4-Non Concrete Blondes in the car right before she flips off some old dude sending his pacemaker haywire.

  • If memory serves, and I think it does, I believe it was Chuckles who owned Concrete Blonde in high school. AG was not the owner of such nonsense.

    Futhermore, AG doesn’t flip off old dudes. She prefers to drive as close to their car as possible before cutting them off and driving away.

  • Pinko, I asked for Canasta. Melody Music peeps had not heard of them. They did not have any of The Wrens, either.

    100% of bloggers named UC and Chuckles agree that Blueberry Boat may be one of the most upbeat but strangely not annoying albums in existence. I am not sure of the UC’s opinion on The Soft Bulletin but I know that there is at least one other member of the Genius family that thinks it is awesome. Because they stole my first copy in the summer of 1999.

    I think it is the same person who swiped my DJ Shadow Preemptive Strike and Garden State soundtrack.

    I will now use my superhuman powers of perception to dodge all scorn for admitting to owning that soundtrack.

    While dodging said scorn, I shall pull off the two fisted while back flipping “Eat it, Cobagz!1!!”

    Cuz I’m l337, yo.

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    Chuckles, I’ve never heard of a band called Canasta. Are you sure you’re not thinking of Castanets, which has a Sufjan Stevens connection, and is actually pretty interesting, albeit uneven?

    Any record store that does not have The Wrens has zero indie cred. Of course, getting a copy of Secaucus was once a rarity, usually reserved for things like PP’s birthday. But Meadowlands should be owned by 100% of people with good taste in music.

    Blueberry Boat is beyond strangely not annoying. I rank it amongst the great progressive rock/operatic theatre concept albums of all time. It’s just so addicitively good in a very strange way. I can’t stop listening to FF. Bitter Tea is just as strange and addictive, while EP and Gallowbirds Bark are more straight-up accessible rock albums.

    Soft Bulletin is really good, but I can’t listen to it too much. It has just enough saccharine in it that, the dosage must be well controlled. Except for the last few tracks, which are amazing and flow beautifully. Feel Yourself Disintegrate is one of the most haunting tracks ever.

    Yes, I also like the Garden State soundtrack, especially the Nick Drake song and not the really cheesy one.

  • So right on the Nick Drake. He died a while ago from the Artist’s Drug, didn’t he?

    I am going to miss the FF for the second time in 9 months because I have to be in Baltimore the night before the Assault on Boston. They are playing the 930(lame!) Club in DC on the 30th.

    The record store may have been out of The Wrens or I may have been in the wrong section.

    Canasta is a Chicago band that fulsome put on a mix and then found an album/EP of in Amoeba Berkeley.

    I would be surprised if you all did not know the wonders that is DJ Shadow, but if you haven’t Preemptive Strike is a solid introductory album. Pretty much any of the Quannum MCs are awesome. I especially enjoy Latiryx(or however that is spelled).

  • Chuckles you will never get Uncanny on your chill out/ambient electrosnooze. He just doesn’t dig that.

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    There’e one track from Entroducing DJ Shadow that I like. I think it’s the opening track and is pretty classical influenced. Otherwise I don’t dig electrosnooze.

  • “chill out/ambient electrosnooze”

    DJ Shadow defies such labels with his funky fresh flow. When I saw the Quannum MCs at the 930 (lame!) club a few years ago, he was using DVD turntables for some of his spinning. He spun vinyl, CDs and DVDs from one massive setup. It was awesome.

  • Hold on, I’ve got to play it again.

  • Nice, but I gotta admit I like the melancholy of Keep It Clean better.
    There’s more to Shingles than just jingle jangle madness and name dropping pretension.

    Not much more though, since it reminds me of an old East River Pipe song, Bernie Shaw.

  • Ok, so, here’s another in the classic series of Strange Admissions from The Genius:

    Every time I watch the Lloyd video, the singer sinks deeper into my mind. She is subverting my ability to remain objective about my objectification of the female form.

    Why does youtube torment me so?

  • Hey guys…

    My name is Matt Priest and I sing for Canasta. As Chuckles said, we’re a Chicago band – a sextet, actually… And as any fledgling band will tell you, egosurfing (which is how I came across this discussion) is a crucial part of locating one’s audience. Sometimes, it’s the only way to find out about stories/reviews in the press or places where people are interested in your stuff, but can’t get ahold of it.

    Anyway, we’ve got a lot of free songs available for download here: http://www.canastamusic.com/audio, as well as on our MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/canasta. Or, you can basically stream most everything we’ve ever recorded in the sidebar of any page on our site.

    We’re not currently distributed out there in California, but our CD’s can certainly be ordered through our website, as well as Insound and CD Baby. We’re also on iTunes and will soon be on eMusic and a bunch of other sites.

    Oh yeah, also… Whenever we play CMJ events, we get little nametags with our band name on ’em. And inenvitably, people always come up to us, misread the tags and tell us how much they like our band and then ask what it’s like to work with Sufjan. So we get the Canasta / Castanets confusion a lot. After hearing it enough, we actually went as a band to check them out at the Mercury Lounge in NYC (as part of CMJ). They were great – allbeit *nothing* like Canasta…

    That’s all. Hope y’all enjoy the tunes… Thanks for listening and take it easy…

    P.S. DJ Shadow’s “Entroducing”, The Flaming Lips’ “Soft Bulletin” and Nick Drake’s “Bryter Later” would all be present on my desert island. No question. The Wrens and Camera Obscura are great too…

    Matt Priest / Canasta
    http://www.canastamusic.com / http://www.myspace.com/canasta
    “…a barrage of hooks and nuanced performances… their value to the pop scene continues to grow…” – PopMatters
    “…one of the most vibrant pop sounds to emerge from Chicago in years…” – UR Magazine
    “…one of Chicago’s best pop bands… We Were Set Up doesn’t disappoint…” – Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader
    “…smartly constructed songs that balance traditional pop and indie-minded subversiveness…” – The Onion
    “…miniature blockbusters built for the head and heart… the result is transcendent…” – The Daily Herald
    “…quite impressive… it could sneak its way onto some year-end top ten lists…” – Real Detroit Weekly
    “…fantastic… incredibly tight and consistent throughout 13 tracks of pop goodness…” – OnMilwaukee.com
    “…pop phenoms… the delicacy of Belle and Sebastian and the lush, upbeat melodies of the Shins.” – Flavorpill
    “…Best of Chicago’s Unsigned Artists… has the potential to join the ranks of its heroes…” – Illinois Entertainer

  • See this is funny, because fulsome introduced me to Canasta and then on a lark I go looking for them at Melody in DC and then lament my inability to find their album on SOTD and then POOF! Here they are!

  • Matt, I think you meant to say that you sing for the Castanets.

  • “Matt, I think you meant to say that you sing for the Castanets.”

    Wait, Shingles – now I’m lost…

    I sing for Canasta. From Chicago. Castanets are the band on Sufjan’s label with whom people often confuse us. Here’s their site: http://www.asthmatickitty.com/. And they’re a great band, but that’s not us…

    Or are you making a joke and I’m just not getting it?

    Matt Priest / Canasta
    http://www.canastamusic.com / http://www.myspace.com/canasta

  • Behold the power of Chuckles.

    Shingles is making a joke, and I also presume a poopy in his pants.

    OK, which Canasta song should feature on song of the day, this place needs an update- Chuckles? Fulsome? matt? Shingles is in time out.

  • Impostor or Chicago Slow Down.

  • Is time out time over?

    Cause otherwise I can’t make any comments in honor of the BIG DAY.

  • “Impostors or Chicago Slow Down.”

    Either of those would be a safe bet. They’re definitely two of our live staples and they’re two of my favorite songs as well.

    Or, if you’re in the mood for something slow, pretty and sad, “Shadowcat” is another one we’re real proud of…

    Or, if you’re in the mood to hear something you already know, we’ve got covers of Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom (Coming Home)” and Kraftwerk’s “The Model” up there for download too. I guess we have some kind of fetish for German electropop.

    http://www.canastamusic.com/audio/

    See ya, dudes…

    Matt Priest / Canasta
    http://www.canastamusic.com / http://www.myspace.com/canasta

  • shingles is out of time out. Have a watermelon jolly rancher.

  • I have come to the conclusion, which should be dabated, that Canasta is indie rock sex music. If only I had a sexy partner to test this conclusion.

  • PS:

    Camera Obscura was a fun show, even if the band was terribly tired from jetlag and two (three?) weeks of touring. Anyway, they rocked in a soft and cool non B&S way. Plus a really short girl was sort of flirting with me, but then I was dragged away by my companion to lament lost oppurtunities.

    They played the Lloyd song and in the encore they played the “…elbow from ass” song.

    The opening band, Georgie James, (yeah, I saw most of their set, so eat it) was cool and will be touring with CO. GJ is a DC band and better than French Toast but that is not a cut on FT just a statement of opinion. SlavisElvis, one of my brothers of indeterminate number, remarked that they were really cool and had some good indie rock protest songs, but GJ still had a little more to go to sound really professional. I thought they were groovy without being slick. Plus the keyboardist/vocalist looked like Anna Faris and had an impressive set of pipes. I could listen to her sing more.

    Major Drawback: GJ’s cd was ten bucks for a 7 song demo disc. That was sadly out of my price range since we had to cab it due to Metrobus shenanigans.

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