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Today's CDs/Listening Pile (2/2-8)

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Today's CDs/Listening Pile (2/2-8)

Old 02-02-04, 03:55 PM
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Today's CDs/Listening Pile (2/2-8)

Tortoise, It's All Around You
Natural Dreamers, Natural Dreamers
Electrelane, The Power Out
Stereolab, Margerine Eclipse
Olivia Tremor Control, Dusk at Cubist Castle (re-issue)
TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
John Vanderslice, Cellar Door
Julie Doiron, Heart and Crime
Explosions in the Sky, The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
Xiu Xiu, Fabulous Muscles
Thuja, All Strange Beasts of the Past
The White Stripes, Elephant
Frenemies, Friendship

QoTD: I assume that the music buying for 2k3 didn't end on 1/1/04, so what great albums have you heard since the new year? Include a small blurb. For me:

Natural Dreamers, Natural Dreamers
-For fans of Deerhoof and Hella.

Diverse, One AM
-Nerd-hop from Lex Records. This guy has crazy flow. Prefuse 73 and RJD2 on production.

The White Stripes, Elephant
-I'm not too proud to admit that I was wrong. Somehow this clicked for me one night. It may not be the Voice of the Generation but it is definitely solid.

Japanther, Dump the Body in Rikki Lake
-Fuzzy drum-bass-n-key trio play self-dubbed "bedroom-soul" with claws.

Mice Parade, Obrigido Saudade
-Lovely electro-organic outfit w/ Mum's lead faerie contributing vox around Sea & the Cake inspired sunshine melodies.
Old 02-02-04, 04:36 PM
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My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
Barenaked Ladies - Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits
Wilco - Being There
Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
Swag - Catch-All

AOTD: I'm always behind in my listening, so I'll probably end up listening to just as many 2003 albums this year as I did in 2003. Two that stand out, and that would have made my year-end Top 5 list are:

* Shins - Chutes Too Narrow -- wonderful, diverse pop all the way through
* Gillian Welch - Soul Journey -- I'd read a couple middling reviews, hearing that it was nothing new, so I stayed away, but she expands her folk to include some more instruments. Really good. I've got to find a copy of my own so the library can have theirs back.

Three others that I like, but need more time with:
* My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves -- listened to it for the first time. I'm not a huge fan of 70-minute albums (that's more than 2 Shins albums) and long jams, but the uptempo stuff sorta sounds like the Beach Boys meets Allman Brothers.
* Strokes - Room On Fire -- doesn't grab me quite like Is This It? did on first listen, but good nonetheless.
* Calexico - Feast of Wire -- Mariachi space-age lounge music. I prefer the laid-back instrumental stuff on the album to the songs with words...
Old 02-02-04, 04:45 PM
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Phish - Live Phish 20
Rufus Wainwright - Want One
The Format - Interventions and Lullabies
Gravediggaz - 6 Feet Deep
Cracker - Traveling Apothecary Show and Revue
Camper Van Beethoven - Tusk

AOTD:
Justin Timberlake - Justified (like about 3/4 of the album)
Okkervil River - Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See and Down the River of Golden Dreams (so glad I discovered this band...both albums are phenomenal)
The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies (not sure why I hadn't purchased this album sooner)
Old 02-02-04, 04:55 PM
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I'm mainly listening to the Colleen, Chromeo and Electrelane records (though the new Broken Social Scene B-sides collection strangely appeals to me, especially considering that You Forgot It In People was my least favorite album of 2003).

Should any of yall care, here's a sneak peak at my year-end mix write-up (it goes live tomorrow):

http://flakmag.com/music/2003/ys.html
Old 02-02-04, 07:12 PM
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I thought you rather liked You Forgot It In People? And whaddya think of that Electrelane disc? That one, TV on the Radio, and Xiu Xiu are the only ones I have wrapped my head around this year (and I've heard, give or take, 25-30). Love it.

Enjoyed the write-up. I got a big kick out of the Country Teasers email, even if that wasn't the intention, which really doesn't matter, does it?
Old 02-02-04, 07:37 PM
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I didn't mind the BSS album until I had to write an epic piece about them that took me almost four months to write. The Electrelane disc I like, but I could see myself getting bored of it quickly. I like the Xiu Xiu and TV on the Radio discs very much. My favorite album of the year so far is JC Chasez's Schizophrenic.

How did you get a kick out of that email? I like to bounce ideas off of bands in that way, especially when they're friends. (If you wanna copy of that CD, drop me a line)
Old 02-02-04, 07:45 PM
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Tell me about Electrelane. I'm seeing them open for Ted Leo at the end of March. Just read that Albini recorded the new album.

Listening to:

Concretes - S/T
Calla - ST
Consonant - Love And Affliction
Gazetteers - Territory Songs
Japanther - Dump the Body in Rikki Lake
Russian Futurists - Let's Get Ready To Crumble
Sprites - Starling, Spiders, Tiger and Sprites
Super XX Man - Vol. VII, My Usual Way
Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?

QOTD

Sprites - Starling, Spiders, Tiger and Sprites
- I'm really enjoying this new project from the guy from Barcelona. No idea how I missed it when it came out last year. Jangly goodness.

Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
- Definitely living up to my expectations. Thanks to whoever pointed this one out -- I don't think I would have bought it otherwise.

Concretes - S/T
- Best just to read the following write up from Parasol, since it's what sold me on giving them a shot:

Title:S/T
Artist: Concretes
Label: LickingFingers-006
PS, SWEDEN The Concretes, once three teenage girls, now an 8+piece Nordic pop orchestra, are led by Victoria Bergsman’s sensually slurred voice (she hangs brightly indeed)…whilst the band adorns the tunes with strings and horns and ramps up the reverb to Phil Spector-esque levels, injecting the lush Mazzy Star dreaminess with a lithe, hip-shaking Ronettes-styled 60s girl-group shimmy. Of course, all the girls singing and the “Spectorian thunder” helps in that regard as well. Even the saddest ballads are infused with the stuff that screams pop genius! A retro, sexy bliss-pop album bursting with love, love, love…sure, love gone bad but maybe love gone good too, the happiest, saddest record of recent memory. The adoring gush has already begun in the UK, and The Concretes, who had an EP collection on Up Records a couple years back and are all set to blow up here in the U.S. next year on a big-label-to-be-named-later… Seriously, one of the very best albums in recent memory, for fans of Mazzy Star, Opal, The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Delgados, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Phil Spector’s wall-o-sound, and “the ramshackle charm of early Belle & Sebastian”. Honorary Concretes for this album include genre-defying Svensk crooner Nicolai Dunger and Bear Quartet guitarist Jari Haapalainen. “Ungodly-good girl-group from the mean streets of Stockholm, who swagger like Ronnie and layer-on instruments like Phil as they conjure the Spector of past pop with wall-of-sound arrangements… It's such ridiculous genius that calling it album-of-the-year feels like slander… The best pop band in the history of this moment; playing up a debut disc proper that's the best record in the history of 2003 as it stands so far.” (Neumu) “Decent bands may be two-a-penny these days, but those flirting with genuine magic are few and far between. Which is why Swedish pop orchestra The Concretes are such a heart-melting treat… Matching the artful drone of The Velvet Underground with a sugar coating of The Ronettes and the ramshackle charm of early Belle & Sebastian, this is aural seduction of the highest order. By this time next year the whole world will be under their spell.” (NME) The Spectorian thunder of jaw-drop opener Say Something New suggests a new emphasis on maximalism. Now it sounds like a 50-piece Concretes orchestra swooning through the melancholy bonhomie of Warm Night, and the harp-led cascade on the coda to this One's For You. Victoria Bergsman's intimate, tipsy voice is just as suited to the silent movie piano backing of Foreign Country as it is to cranky, bolero tribute to Diana Ross "She leads my way in to a love hangover". (Mojo) “Second full length from one of our favourite Swedish should be superstars The Concretes. 11 tracks that range from gorgeous scando pop with those breathy and sexy female vocals to more mellow moments that sound like Mazzy Star or Nico and The Velvet Underground. From start to finish this oozes quality.” (Rough Trade) The melodic songs are undeniably accessible, evoking the gauzy, country-folk seductiveness of Mazzy Star and the tambourine-shaking fuzziness of The Jesus & Mary Chain, morphed into their unique signature sound… Choruses swell (with rising star Nicolai Dunger contributing backing vocals), horns swoop, organs wheeze, strings tickle, and gigantic cartoon bumblebees fly straight out of (Mercury Rev/Flaming Lips) Dave Fridmann’s bonnet (he didn’t produce it, but probably dreamt he did). (Fast-N-Bulbous)
Old 02-02-04, 08:03 PM
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I didn't get a kick out of anything you said so much as the second paragraph as one huge sentence. The rapid-fire way it reads is just hyper/scatter-shot/fun(ny). The way you phrase things --ie, "Also, does Ben hate America, but he's totally fascinated by its underbelly at the same time? Or he loves it for the wrong reasons (which are really the right (ha!) ones)?"-- is amusing (and I mean that with the most positive shading of the word) to me.

And as a person that is all about Reader-Response Theory in Literature, I especially agree that intention < poop.

Check yr email.
Old 02-02-04, 11:31 PM
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Air - Talkie Walkie
Air - The Virgin Suicides soundtrack
Matthew Dear - Leave Luck to Heaven
Michael Jackson - Off the Wall
Elvis - #1s
Prince - Batman soundtrack
White Stripes - Elephant
Old 02-03-04, 12:13 AM
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Beulah - Yoko
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Ease Down the Road
Centro-matic - The Static Vs. the Strings, Vol.1
The Coral - Nightfreak & The Sons Of Becker
Robyn Hitchcock - Luxor
The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed
Songs: Ohia - The Lioness
Stereolab - Margerine Eclipse
The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows

AOTD:

Menomena 'I Am the Fun Blame Monster'
While I bought this album late last year, I never really gave it a good listen until early last month. This album sure kicked me in the ass when I wasn't looking! Fantastic!

The Mountain Goats 'We Shall All Be Healed'
When John Darnielle signed to 4AD and got all polished on us, he did so at a point when his songwriting was better than it ever was. I just got this album last week, but it's spinning a whole lot more than discs I bought last year. Great songs, brilliant lyrics.

John Vanderslice 'Cellar Door'
After the first few listens, I wasn't really getting into this one. But with more headphone listens, this album has shot to a point of greatness with me. The production and arrangements on this album are miles ahead of his already polished previous albums. A good batch of songs on this one...looking forward to the tour!

Jason Molina 'Pyramid Electric Co.'
Secretly Canadian shipped this out in mid-December; though, being that it was officially released in January, I think it qualifies as a good listen for 2004. It's quiet, dark, and sparse, and it's the perfect example of why the hell I fell in love with Songs: Ohia. Shows that major production isn't necessary to make a beautiful record in these modern times.

Air 'Talkie Walkie'
I went into this one not expecting much, and that probably was the best way to go, because this album damn impressive. It sounds like more of a proper follow-up to Moon Safari and the Virgin Suicides soundtrack. I'll let '10,000 Hz Legend' slide, because this one is damn good.
Old 02-03-04, 09:13 AM
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Incubus - A Crow to the left of murder

The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium
Old 02-03-04, 09:47 AM
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Electrelane reminds me of a really stripped-down Stereolab mixed with a really fleshed-out Gossip. Even those references feel superficial, though. The songwriting is really tight and only meanders once on "Take the Bit Between Your Teeth" but the return to form is near perfection. Not owning this disc would be criminal, Steve, especially for you.

I just saw the Unicorns in concert on Sunday. They are sloppy as hell live but it was a blast - hilarious sweetheats. I understand that it is a show-staple by now, but they plugged "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and "P.I.M.P." into "The Clap." Threw me for a curve.
Old 02-03-04, 10:56 AM
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Incubus- A Crow Left of the Murder

That will probably put me on an Incubus kick and have me listening to all their albums for a couple weeks.
Old 02-03-04, 05:17 PM
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Echo and the Bunnymen - "Crocodiles" reissue
Echo and the Bunnymen - "Porcupine" reissue
Echo and the Bunnymen - "Ocean Rain" reissue
Echo and the Bunnymen - "Heaven Up Here" reissue
TV on the Radio full-length

Q of the D:
Not much, really - most of the 2K3 albums I failed to hear until recently didn't really do much for me.
Old 02-03-04, 06:02 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Incubus- A Crow Left of the Murder

That will probably put me on an Incubus kick and have me listening to all their albums for a couple weeks.
Ditto:


Also:

Flaming Lips: Yoshimi battles the pink robots in DD 5.1
Chimaira: The Imposibility of Reason
Burnt By the Sun: The perfect is the enemy of the good
Poison the Well: You come before you
SLAYER: Soundtrack to the Apocalypse
Sixpence none the richer: Divine Interv -er- Discontent
Old 02-03-04, 06:43 PM
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Aesop Rock - Bazooka Tooth
C-Rayz Walz - Ravipops (The Substance)
Shins - Chutes Too Narrow (just picked this up for $8.99, I hope you are all right )

AOTD:
Aesop Rock - Bazooka Tooth
C-Rayz Walz - Ravipops (The Substance)

Two of the greatest hip-hop albums of the last 5 years, IMO.

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