Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Music Roundup

Back to the usual format, and with two weeks of music to pick from, there's some choice albums on the list this week. Last weekend I hit up a great music store in Philly. I found tons 0f stuff from my wishlist in their HUGE used section. I got 7 albums for under $35. Not all were great, but still I wish I lived near a store like that. Hell, I just wish there were stores like that around anywhere. As much as I can't argue with the dirth of available internet music, there's still nothing quite like browsing the racks and going up to the counter with a fat stack.
The Cool Kids - Gone Fishing (Mixtape): Finally the Cool Kids put out some shit...yes it's not the long delayed album, but in hip-hop, a mixtape is often better. The new rhymes are great and they're still keeping the beats fresh...I'll be gone fishing all summer long.

Swan Lake - Enemy Mine: Swan Lake is the side project of Spencer Krug (Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade) and Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers). Spencer is one of most talented songwriters around and I eagerly await everything he works on, and though not everything he does is perfect, it's always interesting. This is Swan Lake's second album. I really enjoyed the first one. Their styles blend great together and create this sort of surrealist feel. This one is great as well...better than Spencer's last Sunset album, probably on par with the last Wolf Parade. Bejar is good on this. He's very hit or miss for me.

Ezra Furman & the Harpoons - Inside the Human Body: I'd been digging the single off of this for a while and finally got around to listening to the whole album. It's great Dylan-esque bit of Greenwich Village sounding folk but with some fun in it and though very derivative, it also feels very much of the times. 

Paul Duncan - Above the Trees: This is Duncan's newest (from 2007) and the third one of his I've picked up. This one might be my favorite. It's sounds like a very, very good Bonnie Prince Billy album (better than most of Bonnie's own of late.) A sort of country-folk dreariness that never fails to please me.

Damon McMahon - Mansions: This singer/songwriter acoustic album dates way back (to 2006) and I've had it since then. Damon was managed by a friend of mine who passed me this disc a few years back. I remember it getting a great review in Entertainment Weekly, but alas my friend admitted that "no one bought it." I listened to it once back then, but it wasn't what I was into at the time. I recently gave it another spin and have been hooked. I love his voice. I love the fractured construction of the songs. I love everything about it.

Piano Music - Speed the Road, Rush the Lights: Officially listed as a single (though it's more EP length in my opinion), this dates back to 2003, but I read about it first a few months ago. I picked this one up for $2.99 and it's been a steal. Sort of along the lines of Olivia Tremor Control, but more controlled. 

Pinback - Some Voices: This is an early EP from Pinback (from 2000) that I also picked up for the bargain price of $3.99. I really like this band. They play indie rock, but use some interesting drum loops and slight electronic efforts to great effect. If you don't know these guys, and like good indie rock in the vain of Built to Spill...check them out.

The Triffids - In the Pines: This 1986 album from Australian band The Triffids has been on my wishlist for about a year. They are often credited as one of the founders of the "gothic country" genre of which I'm so fond. This one didn't disappoint. It's very much like Nick Cave's albums from the same time (Tupelo, etc). And though I like me some Nick Cave, there still something special about this album that stands out above and beyond.

Eleventh Dream Day - Praire School Freakout: This little heard album from 1988 is one of those "influenced many, but hear by few" albums that I'm always a little skeptical about. Sonic Youth is a reportedly a big fan, amongst others. I sort of expected not to like it too much and perhaps that's why on the first listen, I didn't quite see what was so great about it. But then when I listened to again, I got it...and it was fantastic. It's like an entire album of Neil Young's "Down by the River" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" fever dream. 

The Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall: So as my previous TWO mentions of "Tomorrow the Green Grass" suggest, I've really been liking the Jayhawks. I'd been listening to (and been obsessed with) that album for months and held off for another dose. I finally felt ready about a week and half ago and plugged this one in. Chronologically it's the album right before "Tomorrow..." and has much the same vibe. I can see myself being obsessed with this one for a bit too.

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