A lot of driving the last two weekends, so I decided to go old school for yesterday's drive and loaded the car's disc changer. I rarely do that these days, having become obsessed with turning my iPod into the-jukebox-I-wish-every-bar-in-the-world had. It was a great change of pace listening to full albums in the car again. In some way I think it makes the time pass easier. Here's an abbreviated Roundup consisting mainly of the soundtrack during a drive from the relatively warm mountains into the scorching tropics of South Jersey.
The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights: Finally got around to buying this new live album recorded during the band's 2007 Canadian tour. I've seen this band play live quite a few times and the great thing about their shows, is that Jack (kind of like Neil Young) brings something different to every song every time he plays it. He's in rare form on these tracks, freaking on the guitar and wailing. Really captured the feel of their shows.
Samantha Crain - You (Understood): The new album by one of my favorite performers of last year. This one certainly didn't disappoint me. It doesn't stray far from the previous releases but does manage to get a little darker musically. Beautiful southern folk album.
Murder by Death - Good Morning Magpie: This gothic western band has released some of my favorite albums from the last decade. Doesn't quite live up to their best In Bocca al Lupa, or even Who Will Survive, but still a solid album.
Okkervil River - Sleep and Wake-Up Songs: A 2004 EP that I didn't have yet and saw it for sale for $7.99 and figured that was pretty much a steal. I was right. Only six songs, but six wonderfully crafted songs featuring the bands' indie folk side. It fits in perfectly with the albums that book end it.
damien rice - O: I remember a lot of people recommending this to me when it came out in 2003, but I always passed. My reason being, I've seen covers in this style a ton in my music shopping lifetime. Every third CD in the USED bins at Philly Record Exchange had covers like this in 1994. Mostly, they were all bad. But I knew this was unfair and finally gave this guy his day in court. Some songs are beautiful indie singer-songwriter tracks. But there a definitely a few that I thought just a wee bit pretentious.