Mary Weiss - Dangerous Game, 2007
Former Shangri-La Weiss returned to the music business to record for the first time in over 30 years. I wanted this album to be better than it is. Backed by the Reigning Sound, this album had a lot of potential. It is fine but nothing amazing. It amazes me how much she sounds like a cross between Joey Ramone and Johnny Thunders in their more tender moments.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights, 2007
There aren't any blow me away type songs on this record as their first two. This is more of an overall slow burn but damn it is good. Overall, it is probably their best record yet. There aren't any clunkers in this set. All around solid from beginning to end. I need to see her perform live again.
It is amazing to have a sound that is so derivative of a past sound while still sounding completely fresh and exciting. This is the kind of record to put on at 3 am after a night of partying at Franks' Lounge and you are ready to unwind. Not that I know much about nights of partying at Frank's or even, these days, staying up to 3 am but you get what I'm saying.
Neil Young - Prairie Wind, 2005
I wish I had this album before seeing the film documenting the tour. It is such a good record. Jonathan Demme really nailed the tone and feel of the songs in his film. I'm not even close to being a Neil Young completest but maybe I should become more of one. Thank you Mitch for burning this for me.
Laura Cantrell - The Hello Recordings, 2004
This collects a four song EP from '96 and one song recorded live at a Brooklyn barbeque in '93. Four originals, one cover. All good. It really stands in stark contrast to the boring, disappointing, overproduced last full length of hers.
The National - Boxer, 2007
I've liked this band a bit over the past couple of years. I love the song "Mr. November" which I put on the first Listmaker comp. But I never quite got why some people were obsessed with them. I'm also shocked at how big they've gotten seemingly out of nowhere.
I wasn't that impressed with this record at first. I thought it was okay. But then I kept listening to it more and more and it is now one of my favorites of the year. What? How did that happen?
Because I'm not a music writer and Joe Keyes is, I'll steal his review from the spring. He wrote:
"Obviously one of the best records of the year, and a record for people as old as me, feeling everything I’m feeling right now. Moreover, it’s subtle; I’ve been burned out with big bands who make Big! Points! Loud! And! Often! With Big! Choruses! And obvious concepts. The National are the right kind of fuck-you, small and quiet and unassuming. I’ve loved them since their first record, and I didn’t quite get this record until the fifth time through — which is the exact kind of experience I want to have with records. The phrase “half awake in our fake empire” is the best description of New York I’ve heard in years, and I love that Berninger can take a nonsensical phrase — like “showered and blue blazered/ fill yourself with quarters” — and sing it so I know exactly what he’s getting at. Boxer just keeps on giving."
Lee Hazlewood - Trouble is a Lonesome Town, 1963
Requiem For an Almost Lady, 1971
The Noiseboy mailed me these many months ago. I am not all that familiar with Hazelwood's career and the Noiseboy is trying to school me. These are both very good. It is interesting to hear the differences between the two albums spread out over eight years. The first one cracks me up as Hazlewood begins each song with a spoken monologue. I'm not quite sure what to make of many of the songs. Are they sincere? A joke? A tribute? Hazlewood's own strange style that encompasses sincerity, humor, and appreciation? Whatever these albums are, they are a lot of fun to listen to.
The Lilys - Everything Wrong Is Imaginary, 2006
I like the Lilys as much as the next 1992 indie rocker. I respect the fact that Kurt keeps putting out new records. But this album just don't got no hooks to hook me. My boss likes it though.
The Go Team - Proof of Youth, 2007
Like a high school football game, you know. The cheers are good at first but by the third game of the season, you've had enough.
Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City, 2007
I liked their first record okay but this one is kind of boring to me. And all of the songs are the same damn tempo.
Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart, 2007
If Callahan decided to stop recording under the name Smog solely so he could start recording mediocre records, then he definitely succeeded.
Interpol - Our Love to Admire, 2007
At first, I was lukewarm to this band. Then I decided I kind of liked them. But this album is so incredibly dull that I can't get over how boring it is. I mean, really really really dull.
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible, 2007
I used to really get angry about this band and their popularity. But then their songs started popping up everywhere and I realized that maybe I kind of liked them. Then this album came out and I really liked it at first and then I really didn't like it and now I really like about 2/3 of it and am bored to tears by a 1/3 of it. So I guess I like this band? Maybe?
Blonde Redhead - 23, 2007
This used to be one of my favorite bands to see live. And from what I can tell from the one or two times I've seen them on late night TV, they've still got it. But this album doesn't do all that much for me. Light and wispy, it goes down easy but I can't hold onto it at all upon further reflection.
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, 2007
Do you get the impression that Isaac Brock could put an album like this once every two years in his sleep? I mean, it's good and all but how much does it add to the whole Modest Mouse arc? Good songs and all but it feels like it is 34 hours long, don't it? Brock's albums have always been long but this one really feels long.
Ted Leo - Living With the Living, 2007
This suffers a little from the Modest Mouse problem. This album is way too long. With the Modest Mouse CD though, I like all of the songs (even if some are just rewrites of Float On). There are some clunkers on this record. There are also some really good songs on here. And some of the songs I didn't like at first like the reggae one have grown on me immensely. And there's one song that reminds me of that mid 80's Kinks song Do It Again which is a good thing. The Bomb. Repeat. Bomb. song is angry as hell but just isn't that effective enough as a song for me. The video is good though. All in all, Leo is in this for life and I'll keep wanting to hear whatever he puts out. Some of the 6 plus minute songs in the 2nd half are a bit much but I do like the last one that rips into the C.I.A. Good stuff Teddy boy.
The Gothic Archies - The Tragic Treasury, 2006
A brilliant concept marrying Stephin Merritt's sensibility to the gloom and doom of A Series of Unfortunate Events. This CD collects all 13 songs from the audio books of the series. With titles like Dreary, Dreary, The World is a Very Scary Place, and Smile! No One Cares How You Feel, what's not to like? There must be many kids out there who dig the Lemony Snicket books who were absolutely horrified by these songs because Merritt can be one scary dude.
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped, 2006
All of their recent albums tend to blur to me. But I definitely like them. This one is no exception. Is it me or does Kim sing more on this one than previous albums? Meaning - number of songs she lends vocals to as well as lack of screaming on said vocals. Anyway, a really good record. Not to mention, not many albums make me think "Damn, this Cd's songs are really sequenced well." Well, this one made me think that very thought.
Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity, 2007
Why do so many people I know not care for this band? Everyone should love them. Is it because they think that they are too silly? Come on, listen up - they are so damn good! There's some interesting stuff going on here damnit!
The Best of the Fleetwoods
Thank you Stone Groove. Wasn't life easier when songs like this were big hits?
Bee Gees - Best of Bee Gees
Thank you again to Stone Groove. I still can't believe how much I like their late 60's stuff. None of that disco stuff on here. Just all I Started a Joke and Massachusetts and To Love Somebody and the like.
Gene Pitney - Anthology 1961 - 1968
Yet another Stone Groove CD. I always enjoyed Pitney when I listened to him here and there but I had no idea how many great songs he had. This CD is one great song after another and makes me want to go see Liberty Valence right now. I love listening to compilations like this where you can easily trace how the former hitmaker desperately tries to keep up with the times as the times change. But hell, I even like his 1968 jam She's a Heartbreaker.
21 hours ago