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Scott Alexander | Scott Alexander Makes Friends

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Scott Alexander Makes Friends

by Scott Alexander

What if Lou Reed grew up in the suburbs and never took any drugs? Or if Jonathan Richman had ADHD? Or for those of you who "quit" music because you didn't think you were any good: what if you kept playing?
Genre: Rock: Emo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Unfortunately Fat
2:53 $0.99
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2. F'ing Technology
3:29 $0.99
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3. What Other People Think
3:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Scott Alexander grew up in the tough streets of Mendota Heights, Minnesota and studied bassoon and lute at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. It was clear, however, that he could never submit to the classical aesthetics of consistency and technical flawlessness. Scott transferred to UCLA where he earned a degree in ethnomusicology studying musical function, aesthetics, and performance contexts in various societies. Though fascinated by foreign cultures, he was also frustrated by academic detachment from his own: the suburban and eclectic countercultures, which are often overlooked as culture altogether. Scott Alexander’s music recognizes the power and substance of American musical traditions by maintaining an intelligible pop-sensibility, while offering an alternative aesthetic that celebrates everyday wandering thought: embracing mistakes, imperfection, and instability.

Although Scott exhibits inspiration from artists such as Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman, Billy Bragg, and Tom Waits, the influence of his classical training can be witnessed in his music as well. Scott structures his songs to emphasize the emotions and thoughts behind them. His music lies somewhere between drama and song. Catchy for about 6 seconds at a time, his songs are void of verse-refrain repetition, opting instead for a constant melodic and rhythmic flux that emphasize a range of topics most are too awkward to talk about with such intense sincerity. Alone with an electric baritone guitar, Scott’s music is appropriately naked, bearing and embracing every nuance of an unstable moment.

Scott’s unique approach to songwriting and performance transcend into many other aspects of his artistry. His promotional efforts are approached as performance art, creatively executed to be as personal and sincere as possible. In addition to teaching music in inner city and suburban classrooms, he founded and directed the Choice Chamber Music Program, which was uniquely designed to remove music from a school context and catered to those with a more casual ambitions. Scott also authored Our Music, a column on Cdbabel.com that addressing cultural self-consciousness in response to a rapidly evolving industrial influence.

Scott’s latest project, Scott Alexander Makes Friends, includes a new collection of songs as well as an interactive website and performance campaign which remains true to his music, eagerly inviting others to revel in the nexus of sincerity and self-consciousness.

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Reviews


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bill skar

the belt can not hold back the belly
This album is good. Real good see. There is an unflinching truth that comes out loud, fat,ugly, angry, the opposite of seamlessly, but more than anything else, it comes out beautifully.
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Wildy's World

Speed dating with Scott!
Scott Alexander is a coffee house poet who happens to be a classically trained musician; a talented music educator whose stream-of-consciousness songwriting style disarms the listener with its candor. Mr. Alexander pays homage to the likes of Lou Reed, Billy Bragg and Jonathan Richman as influences, but he also could be described as sort of a punk Garrison Keillor. On Scott Alexander Makes Friends he talk/sings through three songs that at first sound like condemnations of world around him, but end up as condemnations of self.

The key to Scott Alexander is a thriving insecurity that runs through his music and performance art-like self-promotion. A self-deprecating spirit that could be self-destructive is instead used to comic effect to further disarm the listener. It’s not until you’ve listened through the EP a couple of times that you find yourself saying, “Hey, this guy has a lot to say!”

The effect is almost too good. Some will write off Scott Alexander as a quasi-depressed novelty act; He is anything but. While this EP is not enough of Scott Alexander to say you know him, it’s similar to a speed dating encounter, leaving you with just enough to know you’d like to find out a little more.

wildysworld.blogspot.com
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Daniel Burgess- HotIndieNews

Scott Alexander Makes New Friends
Who is Scott Alexander? In my own quest to answer this question the obvious details emerged first: Scott Alexander, bedecked in the loud clothing (a clumsy tuxedo, a brightly colored flannel cap with the brim flipped up) so characteristic of those of us who had both the brains and the social woes in high school to understand the absurdity of fashion or that oh so elusive word “cool,” is a nerd. He was a nerd before Ben Gibbard proudly labeled himself one and he will be a nerd after the trend has passed. However, aside from his thick glasses and academic background studying bassoon at the Peabody Conservatory and ethnomusicology at UCLA, Scott Alexander is a savvy pop artist with a good shot at revolutionizing the industry’s performance aesthetic.

In an era of bleeding-heart trailer rock and business-minded hip-hop stars, Scott Alexander sidesteps the determined face of today’s music that seems to say, “I take myself really, really seriously,” by… not taking himself too seriously. In his 2004 release Makes Friends the songwriter’s wit comes through in his lyrics, delivered with a sound and attack reminiscent of Talking Heads front man David Byrne. By using straight forward, almost conversational lyrics, Alexander creates a casual style that ironically reaches far beyond the flashiest efforts artists employ to breathe new life into worn out chord progressions. As his baritone guitar moves through meandering harmonies in a song called F’ing Technology, he nonchalantly explains, “I don’t keep numbers in my head/ I use my cell phone now instead/ so my brain has extra space/ to imagine being face to face.” Suddenly, a bassoon takes over the melody with the precision of classical training, placing a musical period on his expression and heightening the matter-of-fact nature of his music.

Alexander’s professional training in music is manifest in this songwriting, where recycled ideas are abandoned for a more progressive approach. In fact, the relaxed nature of his music may be a symptom of his genius, a genuine boredom with the pop song form. Regardless, the appearance of ease and humor in Scott Alexander’s music is precisely what makes it so competitive. While other artists simply make what they do look hard by furrowing their brows, Scott Alexander sounds like he’s having fun – and that is something fans can get behind. We may never hear of him again, but if there is any justice in the world for us nerds, Scott Alexander will become an important figure in popular music.
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John Book, Music For America

The belly can't hide the heart
Scott Alexander wants to be your friend. You see, he even wants to bake you cookies, as shown on his new 3-song EP, Scott Alexander Makes Friends. This guy is a bit wacky and zany at times, but on purpose, for a reason. He claims his influences are Lou Reed, Billy Bragg, and Jonathan Richman, which brings to mind everything from lyrics that are poignant, political, and outright hilarious. Alexander takes that to heart by combining all of those elements, but what makes Alexander unique is his classical training, so he is able to take takes peculiar tales and turn them into compositions that have a lot of depth to them.

The first song, "Unfortunately Fat", hit a bit too close to home, for I am someone who is a fat man. In the song, he asks "do you hate yourself, or someone else/is it in your glands, has somebody put a curse on you/what did you do, what haven't you done/have you given up on beautiful/have you given up on beautiful/on being beautiful, being somebody beautiful/well excuse me for honesty/I just don't know what to say in these situations/but you're unfortunately fat, so unfortunately fat/no sense of vanity, I admire, but it just seems so unhealthy". He reveals the reason for his "disgust", and once he says it, that light goes over your head, a bit of "aaaah, I get it". His approach is very barebones, but with his classical background he could easily move these songs into much deeper territory if he feels the need to do so. That background also makes it possible for him to take his music anywhere and everywhere, and one hopes he'll do it the next time in a much bigger dose.

I like chocolate chip with walnuts, thank you.
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