face of the forest

Discoveries from the forest floor and beyond.

Ulver – Childhood’s End

by amy – November 2, 2014 in Music

Ulver - Childhood's EndThis nineth studio album by Ulver shows them experimenting once again, this time with 60’s psychedelic rock. Childhood’s End: Lost and Found From The Age of Aquarius is an hour-long collection of 16 cover songs by obscure psychedelic rock groups from England and the United States. Before hearing this album I was unfamiliar with the original groups except for Jefferson Airplane, of which Ulver has done a brilliant cover of Today – arguably the best song on the album.

On the cover is a famous photo that came out of the Vietnam War. What significance this photo bears in regards to the album is not clear to me. The photo poignantly conveys the devastating effect of war, but seems to have little in common with the actual subject matter of the songs. My guess is that it’s an homage to the memory of the 60’s, perhaps carrying with it a note of melancholy or nostalgia.

Garm’s voice shines exceptionally on this release. He embraces the chorus-oriented rock style of the genre with its light mood and sometimes playful lyrics. In doing this he casts aside the brooding shroud of mystery and profundity that has often characterized Ulver’s music. It’s appealing to hear him adopt the attitude and charisma of a rock singer comfortable with the stage. There is even some seductive hip-shaking on numbers like 66-5-4-3-2-1. It makes me smile to hear Garm singing, “If ever you need me, baby, there’s a number that you can call, it’s double 6, 5-4-3-2-1, yeah I’ll be there and I’ll be on my own, ’cause I know what you want.” Many of the songs are a sweet, short length of 2-3 minutes long, which makes me more compelled to throw the album on any time of the day. As another review aptly described it, this album is sunny and infectious. read more

Zesty Chicken Wings

by amy – October 12, 2014 in Cooking

chickenwingsI made these the other day for a potluck. They were super easy to make! I got the recipe from my mom and modified it some; below is my combination of ingredients for the sauce.

Sauce for 3 lbs chicken wings:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder

If you have time to marinade the chicken (using half the sauce) for 2+ hours before cooking, I recommend it, because that’s what I did and I was very satisfied with the result. Nevertheless, marinading is not necessary if you’re in a hurry. read more

Cocteau Twins – Lullabies To Violane

by amy – October 11, 2014 in Music

Lullabies to Violate [Vol.1]Lullabies to Violane, Vol. 1 is a two-disc compilation of songs from the Twin’s singles and EPs released in the 80’s. This disc sat unplayed in the glovebox of my car for years. I don’t even remember exactly how I came upon it. It may have been a gift, or a chance find in a used cd store. This year as the leaves started to turn color and the cool smell of fall was in the air, I decided to pop it in.

I have listened to Cocteau Twins for years. It was only after many casual listens that I became captivated by their music. My love for them blossomed one sleepy autumn afternoon, long ago, as it played in my headphones at work. There is something highly addictive about Elizabeth Fraser’s voice. Her melodies catch in your head and echo in your memory, drawing you back again the more you listen. In the beginning I was never particularly fond of Guthrie’s music. He writes a kind of dreamy rock made with layers of guitars that are affected with shimmering reverb, as if the sound waves are surfacing through water, bending and rippling read more