Veritas Est Rock: And the Christmas spirit abounds

Paul Karner

This week, seeing as the Appleton Christmas Parade has once again trampled over the Thanksgiving season, perhaps it is time we look ahead to the quickly approaching holiday season. This past week the staff at “Veritas Est Rock” had a few nights of intense deliberation in order to compile a list of a few albums that would make great gift ideas as well as wise additions to one’s Christmas list.Feist “Let It Die”
This sophomore release from female solo artist Feist is nothing short of an indie-rock gem. Leslie Feist, former singer for Broken Social Scene and By Divine Right, has made waves in her past endeavors but nothing shines quite as brightly as the delicately swaggering songwriting of “Let It Die.” The music is calm and reserved, yet unmistakably confident and poignant throughout. This album would fit great in the stocking of your strong-willed female loved one or a self-affirmed male friend who can appreciate some sincerely feminine musical prowess.

The Books “Lost and Safe”
This album is for the intellectually minded listener. These two computer-minded composers created a masterpiece of electronic backdrops and layers of acoustic instruments on “Lost and Safe.” The Books have developed such an unbelievable ear for sampling that the extended audio clips scattered throughout the album seem perfectly in tune with the music itself. This is another record that gains ground by holding back. Many of the tracks barely escalate above a whisper, making the sheer depth of this album all the more impressive. Give this to your philosophical friend or family member that is less interested in introspection than the typical hipster.

Q and Not U
“No Kill No Beep Beep”
This album is for those indie-rockers who all too often suppress their urge to shake it for the sake of that enigmatic hipster persona. The debut full-length by dancepunk veterans Q and not U manages to blend post-punk irony with some of the most infectious dance beats this side of the Pacific. Innovative guitar work and rhythmically infused vocals collide with a level of sincerity that makes it safe for those who are too serious to listen to Junior Senior.

Portishead “Live: Roseland NYC”
Perhaps the sexiest art-rock band to ever earn any indie cred, Portishead’s sensual trip-hop laments are accompanied by a full orchestra on this album that melts into the band’s stripped down sound delicately and powerfully. This record is the capstone of the minimalist rock pioneers’ career. Front woman Beth Gibbons gives one of her most gripping performances ever recorded, which helps make this album one of the most inviting live albums to date. Giving Portishead to a friend could serve to affirm your confidence in their musical tastes or perhaps woo them into some sort of fatalistic love affair you’ve been concocting.