S&D - American Analogue Set

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have recently stumbled across 'The Only One' and 'Choir Vandals'(tho i think the version i heard of this was the Ben Gibbard cover)which both took my fancy. does anyone have any love for these guys? is anything else worth checking?

Guy Incognito, Thursday, 4 March 2004 16:13 (nineteen years ago) link

Their first three albums are pretty similar, and all good. Kind of like Galaxy 500 meets Stereolab. I'd get the first one "The Fun of Watching Fireworks" and then just keep going in order if you're interested. Later on they started trying shorter songs, which wasn't the best idea.

dlp9001, Thursday, 4 March 2004 16:42 (nineteen years ago) link

dlp9001 is pretty OTM, but the last album Promise Of Love strikes a pretty good balance of the shorter strummy songs and the emptier early stuff.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 4 March 2004 19:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The Golden Band is a great place to start. It's a bit of a concept album--at least I think it is--about irritating hipster attitudes. the first song reassures you "Don't worry the kids down at the record store'll show you how." "Cool's moving out and moving in," etc. Musically, the first five songs all amaze, the "New Drifters" suite is hypnotic and never dulls, the bass line on "I Must Soon Quit the Scene" swings. The downbeat last song is a perfect closer. "They are angels who see angels all around them."
The other albums are all spotty, but each have highlights. The earliest stuff is the spaciest, and TGB's a bridge between that and the shorter, poppier songs of the last two albums.

otto, Thursday, 4 March 2004 19:24 (nineteen years ago) link

excellent band.

i started with From Our Living Room to Yours, with "Magnificent Seventies" and "Don't Wake Up" being the most accessible tracks IMO. i saw them live on a whim for the first time at Spaceland when they toured for this record and have been hooked since.

otto is right about The Golden Band. it's lush.

tk, Thursday, 4 March 2004 20:07 (nineteen years ago) link

sorry, "Don't Wake Me".

tk, Thursday, 4 March 2004 20:07 (nineteen years ago) link

I only know Promise of Love, which starts very strongly but gets progressively weaker (Search: first three songs on that album, all very warm with a kind of contradictory urgent patience -- "Continuous Hit Music", "Hard to Find" and "Come Home Baby Julie, Come Home").

David A. (Davant), Thursday, 4 March 2004 21:23 (nineteen years ago) link

Know By Heart is my favorite of theirs. The songs are more concise and the album is more cohesive on the whole.

Steev (Steev), Thursday, 4 March 2004 22:06 (nineteen years ago) link

i've got the singles/rarities compilation, which is about 50% excellent stuff. of the albums i've heard, "golden band" is my favourite.

the surface noise (electricsound), Thursday, 4 March 2004 22:37 (nineteen years ago) link

i like "promise of love". it warms my heart. i may get some of their other stuff...

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Friday, 5 March 2004 00:33 (nineteen years ago) link

people criticize stereolab for having one song, these guys have one note.

keith m (keithmcl), Friday, 5 March 2004 02:12 (nineteen years ago) link


the surface noise (electricsound), Friday, 5 March 2004 02:16 (nineteen years ago) link


the surface noise (electricsound), Friday, 5 March 2004 02:17 (nineteen years ago) link

Start in the middle and work outwards: The Golden Band, Know By Heart, From Our Living Room to Yours, Promise of Love, and The Fun of Watching Fireworks, in that order.

Nick Mirov (nick), Friday, 5 March 2004 09:48 (nineteen years ago) link

Jim that was the best response I've ever seen

Mr Mime (Andrew Thames), Friday, 5 March 2004 09:55 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
analogue. great spelling mistake. know by heart has some amazing songs. esp. 6-8 and the last.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Wednesday, 11 January 2006 21:05 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
I started with 'Promise of Love'. A bit underwhelming at first, but a year later that album has really grown on me through discreet appearances on shuffle. Where do I go next? There seems to be a consensus around 'Golden Band'.

baaderonixx, Monday, 12 March 2007 14:12 (sixteen years ago) link

Golden Band is really good, I've just rediscovered it.

Trip Maker, Monday, 12 March 2007 14:52 (sixteen years ago) link

Promise of Love is probably their worst album--still decent ("Come Home, Baby Julie" is a nasty Set track) but not quite as strong as the others. I agree that The Golden Band is your best bet going forward, and I'm also a big, big fan of the last one, Set Free as probably the most consistent record of their later, poppy phase.

I really hope they break their plan and tour again. The prime musical example of doing one thing extremely well.

call all destroyer, Monday, 12 March 2007 15:14 (sixteen years ago) link

destroy: American Analogue Set

Fetchboy, Tuesday, 13 March 2007 01:03 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...

They have another singles etc. compilation out. And jesus, the long (12") version of Green Green Grass is just utterly amazing, and maybe the best thing they've ever done. I'd kind of stopped paying attention to them, and am a little horrified at the thought that I might have missed this.

dlp9001, Saturday, 14 November 2009 03:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Did anyone listen to that Wooden Birds album? That's the main guy's new thing. I heard one song and liked it but haven't heard the rest.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Saturday, 14 November 2009 07:11 (thirteen years ago) link

gosh I really loved these guys in hs.

iatee, Saturday, 14 November 2009 07:27 (thirteen years ago) link

the wooden birds album is kind of boring--sort of like the set without all the things that made the music of the set interesting--so it's v. focused on the songwriting which is probably not that guy's strongest suit.

omaha deserved 311 (call all destroyer), Saturday, 14 November 2009 14:35 (thirteen years ago) link

The more I listen to it, the more I wish they'd do a half-hour long version of Green Green Grass. The 12" version > album version purely due to length. Even at almost eight minutes, the 12" version is still too short. Songwriting is totally not this guy's forte, but when they drone on 2-3 chords it's magic.

Sadly, the rest of the rarities comp isn't as good, though it's all listenable.

dlp9001, Saturday, 14 November 2009 18:10 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Really digging in with these guys this summer. Have always had Set Free because of the Codeine cover (and liked the whole thing quite a bit), but just now finally getting around to everything else. And boy, the Stereolab comparisons are right on the money. They do one thing. But, oh my, how well they do it!

The 'Late One Sunday' and 'The Following Morning' thingy is a nice oddball addition to their catalogue.

But yeah, Golden Band is probably the most consistent album.

Austin, Friday, 19 July 2013 01:50 (nine years ago) link

Didn't they kinda shake off the Stereolab tag with the later albums? I thought they gave the farfisa a rest after the third album or so.

Andrew Kenny's new act, Wooden Birds, is very good--what I've heard of it. Similar to early Iron & Wine, in that it's whispery acoustic stuff.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 19 July 2013 01:52 (nine years ago) link

Oh, looking above - I posted about Wooden Birds in 09, last time this thread came up. Guess I'm answering my own question.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 19 July 2013 01:54 (nine years ago) link

the later albums were all about vibraphone. idk if stereolab used vibraphone a lot.

call all destroyer, Friday, 19 July 2013 01:55 (nine years ago) link

Wow, I 100% totally forgot this band existed, and it's all coming back to me in a wash.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 July 2013 03:37 (nine years ago) link

Stereolab most certainly does use vibes to great success:

Just like AmAnSet:

Austin, Friday, 19 July 2013 04:29 (nine years ago) link

seven months pass...

oh man. american analogue set. seems like know by heart is considered their best work, right? like, it's funny, i got really into the fun of watching fireworks when it came out, but i never liked it so much that i was like, "i need to hear everything they put out!" so i had already kind of moved on from them when know by heart came out, but i probably read some good things or heard an .mp3/.wav file that i thought "okay, let's do this." i think my brother got me the album for xmas, probably. like in that just-out-of-college-"have you heard of pitchfork?" period that certain dudes my age had. and yeah it's a keeper. all tight, compact pop songs. but without sacrificing the trancelike elements that felt so innate to their sound. kinda makes me want to make a mix of know by heart-era american analogue set and pinback. maybe, what? sea and cake? black heart procession? american football?

jaymc, Saturday, 1 March 2014 05:33 (nine years ago) link

golden band >>> living room > rest

j., Saturday, 1 March 2014 05:47 (nine years ago) link

weird i am now listening to "kamera" by wilco, and it is reminding me of american analog set.

when i mention know by heart as the band's best work, i don't mean their best work, i mean their "best work." like it's their most popular on spotify and whatnot.

jaymc, Saturday, 1 March 2014 06:30 (nine years ago) link

AmAnSet was the last band I saw at Liberty Lunch. Great Galaxie 500/Stereolab blend on first three albums.

Liquid Plejades, Saturday, 1 March 2014 06:59 (nine years ago) link

still the best band

call all destroyer, Friday, 14 March 2014 18:31 (nine years ago) link

four years pass...


reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 5 October 2018 21:57 (four years ago) link

seems weird that there's a whole thread on AAS without a mention of the gorgeous Aaron & Maria.
guess I'll defend the later 'poppier' albums-Set Free is amazing.

campreverb, Saturday, 6 October 2018 01:31 (four years ago) link

I was soaking in a pool in a Russian spa in Manhattan with a college friend and a dude from Versus. I forget how it came up, but I was trying to describe this band while somehow forgetting their name. He kept coming up with good guesses, but I knew they were wrong. Then my friend came back from a phone call and I described them again. Dreamy, I probably said. Vibes, I'm sure I said. Oh, he said. American Analog Set.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:09 (four years ago) link

still the best band

― call all destroyer, Friday, March 14, 2014 2:31 PM (four years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

call all destroyer, Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:10 (four years ago) link

haha, that's a great story Josh. I saw +/- gig at sxsw that was amazing.
we should have a TS: American Analog Set, Versus or Mendoza Line for all the tertiary indie bands that I love.

campreverb, Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:17 (four years ago) link

At the time I saw them live twice in very tiny places about as big as a living room in and near Frankfurt. They were at least as nice and easy going as their music. It really is sunny stuff. I miss them.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Saturday, 6 October 2018 21:21 (four years ago) link

still the best band

― call all destroyer, Friday, March 14, 2014 2:31 PM (four years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

― call all destroyer, Friday, October 5, 2018 7:10 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Saturday, 6 October 2018 21:34 (four years ago) link

I worked all day in the Texas sun and I'm on the bus home, and I think when I get home I'll eat some kratom and listen to amanset

rip van wanko, Saturday, 6 October 2018 22:38 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

still the best band

― call all destroyer, Friday, March 14, 2014 2:31 PM (four years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

― call all destroyer, Friday, October 5, 2018 7:10 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

― Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Saturday, October 6, 2018 2:34 PM (four years ago) bookmarkflaglink

''can be prusuaded to show gayness'' (Austin), Thursday, 16 March 2023 15:14 (two weeks ago) link

"the nineties never happened and the american analog set was there."

''can be prusuaded to show gayness'' (Austin), Thursday, 16 March 2023 15:15 (two weeks ago) link

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