As the calendar sets on another week gone by, it's that time once again to share some thoughts on a few records that I've acquired recently. As of late, I've been all over the place with what I'm spinning. Usually there is one genre that is really grabbing me at one time or another, but not this week. I suppose that's partially due to the fact that I've been all over the place when it comes to work. I'm working on four different projects, all very different levels and in very different stages. So I guess my soundtrack is simply mirroring my mind. Here's a little peek inside:
Babyshambles - Diamond Liner Sessions: Another amazing bootleg sessions album by Pete and Co. This one dates back to the first album era, feature tracks that would later appear on Down in Albion and as B-Sides for that album. But these versions are very different than the ones that would later be released. Much slower, softer, and darker. Pete sounds incredible on here. A must for any fan of the band.
Dead Meadow - Three Kings: Though I have all of the band's previous releases, I didn't rush out to buy this when it came out a few months ago. This is due to my general lack of enthusiasm for live albums. However, there are a few new tracks on here which makes it more intriguing. Then I heard it and realized that there was no need to wait. This band is one of those bands who has built their reputation on live shows and they sound amazing. Straight up, just great psychedelic hard rock.
Procol Harum - Procol Harum: The psychedelic British band's 1967 debut is a solid album that really feels like one of those gateway albums that would eventually lead to the folk-prog albums that came out of England in the early '70s. It's not perfect by any means and there are certainly many better examples of the genre, but still "Whiter Shade of Pale" is fantastic. Not essential, but definitely worthwhile if you're into that era and this sound.
Giant Skyflower Band - Blood of the Sunworm: Another lo-fi California freak folk album from the the past decade. Naturally, I love it. There's a lot of people out there that believe this genre to be boring, but I couldn't disagree more. I think for me, these albums play out like so many stories in my head. They really inspire me creatively.
milburn - well well well: This album came out in 2006 and sounds very much like a lot of the other indie rock that came out of the UK at that time. It's full of catchy hooks, grinding guitar and snarling verses mixed with softer moments. It's not the best of the bunch, but falls somewhere in the upper middle. If you've exhausted all of the Arctic Monkeys, Pigeon Detectives and Fratellis' catalogs and are looking for more, this is probably the album to get.
The Black Keys - Chulahoma: This 2006 EP consists of five covers of blues legend Junior Kimbrough. In some ways, these covers really cement the duo as most likely the best blues band around. They truly bring something incredible to the songs, giving them a dangerous edge. A must for any fans of the Keys or just fans of dirty blues.
The Who - My Generation: Let me start by saying that I'm not a fan of The Who and never have been. In my opinion they are easily the most overrated band of the era. However, I do respond much better to the earlier Mod days. This is their first LP and it's pretty solid. Heavier than The Beatles or The Stones at the time, The Who are pretty frantic on this album. It's impossible not to respond to the energy on here.
Dot Allison - We Are Science: Dot Allison's debut solo album, 1999's Afterglow, is a beautiful dreamy electronic album that I loved when it came out. This is her 2002 follow-up. Though it tries to keep the same spirit of the first, it becomes way too techno-y for my tastes on many of the songs. There are still a handful of Scala like moments that make it worth a listen or two, but overall it was kind of a disappointment.
Blue Mountain - Homegrown: I picked this up without knowing anything about it. I was simply attracted to the cover and hoped it sounded something like it appeared it should. It does. This is a 1997 alt-country home recorded gem. There's also quite a bit of bluegrass influence which distinguishes it from its contemporaries. All in all, a pretty awesome find.
Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac: The debut from the original line-up featuring Peter Green. This is a classic British Blues album in the Bluesbreakers tradition. Peter is amazing and this collection of songs is downbeat and beautiful. However, it's not this line-up's finest collection. At this moment, I would certainly recommend the album titled The Original Fleetwood Mac as a finer example of their great blues work.