Technically, it's not the weekend, but I'm only a few hours shy of making the cut-off...so let's call it a wash. So, I got back from London and spent the entire week back listening to the music I pillaged from across the pond. So this past week, I started staring at the endless wishlist that I have that keeps growing and decided to pick up some of the ones that I've been meaning to pick up for some time...
Julian Plenti is . . . Skyscraper: For those who don't know, this Paul Banks' (of Interpol) solo side project. When I saw this announced I was looking forward to it. I was hoping this would by an interesting departure. It wasn't. It sounds like Interpol-lite. There's three or four really good songs, but the rest is only OK. The album sounds like an Interpol album with slightly lesser muscianship. But it's worth listening to for fans.
Lightning Dust - Infinite Light: I was looking forward to this one! This band is a relative of Black Mountain...both members are also in Black Mountain (an amazing band by the way that you should check out if you don't know them). This is the second Lightning Dust album, the first one was easily one of my favs of 2007. This one is even better. Amber Webber's voice is beautiful. This is one of the best indie folk albums of the year without a doubt.
Dead Weather - Horehound: When I first heard of this project a few months ago, there was no doubt I was going to wait eagerly for this one. I mean, Jack White and Alison Mosshart in a band together...yeah, I think I'm into that. This album didn't disappoint either. It's the kind of dirty blues that I was hoping for.
Marilyn Manson - The High End of Low: I've always appreciated Manson's music. I've never been one of raving legion of fans, but I'm dedicated follower of his career. As a public figure challenging America's uptightness, he's definitely a folk hero of mine to some extent. Musically, I love his angry driving anthems (Dope Show, Rock is Dead, God of F#%K, etc, etc). After mellowing out a bit on the last album, this album returns to the industrial roots (and reunites him with guitarist Twiggy, YAY!). I'm really enjoying this one...he really knows how to make industrial music that's heavy, yet still listenable.
The Wave Pictures - if you leave it alone: Though from London, I actually had this before I left, but never had time to really savor it. I gave it a few more listens this week and it's really growing on me. Sing-along lo-fi indie folk...what more could one ask for.
The View - Which Bitch?: A Scottish pub-rock band, The View get little or no love here in the states. They should. I enjoyed their debut that came out in 2007, but it wasn't exactly the bee's knees. So I kind of slept on this one for a few months, unsure whether or not I was interested. That was a mistake, but this one is such a progression for the last one. It's still, at it's roots, pub rock...but now with swirling orchestra behind it, lounge piano, and always the brilliant voice that I guess you either love or hate. Another cool thing about this record that I really dig is that between songs, there's this undercurrent of chatter that gave me the impression of being in a huge old mansion and wandering from one song to the other like drifting into different rooms.
The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love: I've never been so conflicted about an album going into the first listen as this one. See, I love this band and always have. Love everything they've done from the 5 Songs to The Crane Wife. Even love all those Colin Sings eps. But then they put out those Always the Bridesmaid singles last fall and I wasn't too into it. With exception of the song "Record Year for Rainfall", I thought all of those singles were not so great. Then this album was announced, released, and thoroughly trashed by reviewers. I don't usually put much weight on that, but I mean it was really trashed. So I kind let it go by, figuring maybe it was a band that lost it for an album. Enough time went by and last week, I decided I really wanted to hear this....and my god, what was I waiting for and what the hell were those reviewers listening to? Because it wasn't this? I kept hearing "laughable rock opera", "comical guitar shredding"...I heard nothing that would ever make me use either of those phrases. This vintage Decemberists...very close in scope and feel to The Crane Wife...frankly, it's an excellent record and the last time I ever let press sway me....maybe.
Lovvers - Think: So this was a London purchase but didn't make it onto last week's list because quite honestly, I didn't like it so much upon first listen. This is one of the few that I picked up there that were actually on my wishlist. Upon further listens, I realized I just wasn't in the mood the first time. This is a very fun garage punk cd. Now, I was raised on punk, but have long been weaned from off it. I can really appreciate it though when in the mood, especially if it's as interesting and diverse as this it.
Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing: I held off on this one for a little while not for any reason other than I have obtained three albums worth of bootleg sessions of their work in the past year and was waiting until I was fiending for this. After watching the new video several times, I was fiending. This album is definitely heavier than their previous work. They utilize the Quiet, Loud, Quiet technique quite well here. It seems Georgia is becoming the new "Seattle Sound" and I mean that in a good way. As always, Andy Hull comes through with some the best lyrics out there today. (As a writer, I'm naturally a lyrics guy).
Jason Molina - Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go: Surprise, Jason Molina makes the list (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.). This album is from 2006, but somehow I missed it. I finally got a hold of it and no surprise here, it's heartbreaking, beautiful and outright amazing. I've run out of adjectives to describe his music...just listen to it.