Red Sticker Collection
Leonard Cohen - More Best Of, 1997
I really am not all that familiar with the career of Leonard Cohen. Sure, I know his best of and now I know his more best of. These songs are all from the 80's or 90's except for live versions of a few of his classics like "Suzanne." I've got to say that this isn't the easiest listen. It is almost Scott Walker like at times with strange phrasings and melodies and the like. And the song "Everybody Knows" creeps me out everytime I listen to it because it reminds me of that Atom Egoyan film Exotica. I'm curious what Leonard Cohen LP I should start with if I want to delve deeper. Any suggestions?
Margo Guryan - Take a Picture, 1968
Oh my, I love this album. I read about her on some music blog a few months ago. It might even have been the Noiseboy's blog? I listened to a couple of songs and was hooked. I was thinking of buying it and wanted to tell SHR about it. When she came home, I started to describe to her the song I had found on the Internet. Before I could finish my sentence, she cut me off and said, "Is it Margo Guryan?" I still don't know how she knew who I was talking about. She said, "I have that Cd." She promptly went to our collection and pulled it out. I was in shock. Not only did she immediately know who the obscure singer that I was talking about was but she had it in her collection! What? Who is this magical woman I'm married to?
The album is perfect 1968. Perfectly pretty vocals. Strings. A little drugged out at times. Jazzy. Rocking. Moe Tucker like at times? Sad. Sexy. An American Francoise Hardy? The album Joni Mitchell wasn't ready to make? I don't know. A perfect time capsule is all I know. Enjoy this before the next Devendra Banhart discovers it and ruins it for everybody.
Listen to "Sun."
Youthlarge Brought These Home
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, 2006
It is too easy to say that this is Yo La Tengo's return to form. Sure, this is my favorite LP of theirs since 1997. But I did like their last two records even if I really just couldn't wait for them to rock out a little more. This kind of reminds of Tom Waits' Mule Variations in that both of these records feel like career retrospectives consisting of new songs rather than greatest hits.
The band hits all their favorite kind of songs here. The freak out on organ. The power pop. The wispy Georgia led song. The droning way too long song near the end of the album. The Brydsy guitar song. The pop song. The Ira sings all falsetto song. Basically what I'm saying is that this album doesn't break any new ground but damnit, it sure is good. And "Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind" is the best groove this band has put together since "Moby Octopod."
The Pernice Brothers - Live a Little, 2006
Every Joe Pernice release makes me so excited for the first few listens. His voice is so full of yearning that it almost like he is begging me to like his music. When added to the clean production and hummable tunes, his music is always immediately charming. But after many listens, the songs tend to blend together for me. Some really stick out and stand the test of time, others just seem mediocre after a few months.
So I'm not sure how I feel about this one yet. There are some really great songs on here. Some seem like they might be slotted into the forgettable mode someday just like every other record of his.
But it is hard to dislike the man and his songs. He's so earnest and down to earth and he's a damn fine storyteller. How can you not like a song about the summer he was obsessed with the Clash and pot? So I can't quite call this album one of his best because, to be honest, all of his albums blur together for me. But this is definitely the best Pernice Brothers release of right now. And that is more than good enough for me.
Listen to "High as a Kite."
El Perro Del Mar - El Perro Del Mar, 2006
Girl group ohh laas laas married to moody 2006 atmosphere? That is a terrible description. What a fucking voice! I love love love the sound of this record. Some of the songs aren't all that memorable but the sound is the key. And everytime I think maybe this album isn't good, some amazing be bop a lula or sha la la will grab me. I guarantee you that songs from this album will become a staple of movies and television shows within a year.
Listen to "This Loneliness."
Television Personalities - My Dark Places, 2006
What the fuck? I don't know anything about this band other than they've been around forever. Now they have a new album for the first time in years. And it is fucked up. Always on the verge of falling apart it seems. But only a genius could pull off this sound intentionally. Seemingly every song ends with the music stopping but the vocals continuing on because he still has a little more to say. Male / female vocals interplay but not necessarily melodic on every song. Then there are some really pretty and quite touching moments mixed in with songs about kids on crack. A truly unique experience. Mark E. Smith tries to make a Beat Happening record but being sincere about it rather than cloying? Or something like that.
Listen to "Ex-Girlfriend Club."
Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light, 2006
The promo cd refers to this band as sounding like "a place on the map where MBV, Lee Perry, and Little Willie John can all happily co-exist." I'm not quite sure about that one. I hear a lot of Spiritualized. I hear a little grooved out and slowed down Black Mountain. I hear Mojave 3 trying to sound like Slowdive. I hear some damn fine jamz, organs, horns, and slow slow slow.
Jens Lekman - Oh You're So Silent Jens, 2005
With apologies to the Noisboy, I don't really like this. Lekman seems like maybe he'll be a good songwriter someday but right now he kind of bugs me. He kind of sounds like The Magnetic Fields trying to do a Jonathan Richman tribute album which in and of itself isn't that bad of a concept.
This is a comp of some of his early stuff so maybe he's gotten better? On this one, it is kind of fun to spot the Belle and Sebastian song he's ripping off or the Beatles riff but overall I don't dig it. There are some really really dumb songs on here - like the one where he sings about how the F word is BS, BS, BS. Clever.
A Message to the Ladies
Oh how I love Hot Tub Eric's mixes. So so so good, always and forever. Monster Party is an amazing Halloween mix featuring such amazing tracks as "Coolest Little Monster" by The Cool Ghoul and "The 5 Blobs" by The Blob. Honestly, I'm not quite sure how I survived 32 Halloweens before this one without this collection.
A Message to the Ladies is Eric's response to Listmaker II. If you recall, that CD had a photo of Mr. Eddie Murray on the cover. Eric said that he thought that the CD was going to be all jams that Eddie would have been listening to as the Orioles were winning game after game in the late 70's and early 80's. Eric is right - Eddie would have found most of the songs on the disc to be quite "jive" and wimpy.
So Eric did me one better. He made a mix of what he thought Eddie would have been into during that time. He brilliantly manipulated a photo of an old baseball card into the cover. So how is the CD? Great, of course. But don't listen to me. Read Eddie's review of it here.
Speaking of baseball and music, check out this movie of an organist named Frisbee taken in Little Rock this past summer.
Then head over to the entry on my baseball blog about the game. A definite highlight of the season.
Hide and Seek
2 days ago