There are few things better in this world than hearing a new album for the first time. I would even have to rank it above books. I know, that's blasphemy for a writer to say, but it's true. Unless of course the book is along the lines of Gravity's Rainbow and the album is one retrieved from the clearance bins. But in general, I find it easier to get pleasure from an album than a book. I suppose that's because I'm less particular about music and have a wider range of what I like than I do for books. Don't get me wrong, I'm very snobbish about my music....but I'm borderline fascist about my taste in literature.
I would estimate that I listen to music at least 70% of my waking hours. Music has a way of creating images and stories and landscapes that I'm addicted to. I'm constantly seeking out new music and finding things that inspire me within it. That said, I've decided to devote Saturday's to mentioning the albums that have dominated my attention over the past week.
This week's standout spins:
Babe Ruth: First Base- A heavy prog-rock standout from '72
Jackson C. Frank-A dark folk album from 1965 from a guy in the Woodstock area. Absolutely beautiful and sad.
Jean Grae: Attack of the Attacking Things- I've just been getting into Jean's albums. She's an MC from Brooklyn with an amazing flow and a very intelligent point of view.
Wale: Paint a Picture Mixtape- Wale is the leader of the D.C. rap scene and has mad skills. The mix of rhymes with D.C. go-go beats is unbelievably catchy.
Harlem Shakes: Technicolor Health: besides having a great title, this NYC indie band is very dynamic. This album hits "stores" next month.
Dan Auerbach: Keep It Hid- One half of the Black Keys, this is Dan's solo effort and it's great. Has the eerie sound of Black Keys but with a scaled down folk blues style.
Fever Ray- Hailing from Sweden, this album is just a great soundscape.
Trouble Andrew- Impossible to define, this album is a part club music, part Joy Division and 100% addictive.
Santogold- This came last spring and had been on my wishlist since then. I finally got it this week and could kick myself for waiting so long.
Cocoon: My Friends All Died in a Plane Crash- French folk pop...I know I'm going to love more come spring time when it matches the weather.
END OF THE MONTH BONUS
Since this is the last Saturday of the month, I thought I'd add to two albums I've listened to the most this month. They're actually both very similar...both are perfect for dark, cold winter afternoons and singing along to as you man the fireplace.