Saturday, November 21, 2015

Weekend Music Roundup

It's the weekend once again and to nobody's surprise, I've been listening to music this past week. It was another exciting week of new discoveries thanks to Bandcamp, as well a few much anticipated releases finally making their way through my speakers. As I continue to push through the final days of my rewrites, this list is clouded with many mood pieces used to help me remain focused. Given the dark nature of my work, this tends to be a gloomy collection, but sometimes gloom is good. I know that I always find a good piece of gloom to be relaxing. Enjoy.  

Kurt Cobain - Montage of Heck: To say that I've been anticipating this album would be a drastic understatement. This deluxe package of recently found Kurt home recordings is a bit of a Holy Grail, or rather, the bottom of the barrel of the Holy Grail. I've read a lot about how this is awful, how Kurt would never want this stuff released...and perhaps that's true, but it doesn't make it awful. Anyone expecting a fully formed Nirvana album would be foolish to pick this up. But for anyone, like me, who has an entire shelf of Nirvana bootlegs, this is a completion of all the bits and pieces that you never knew were floating out there. These are rough demos, but  I've always enjoyed Kurt's rough demos. His creativity shows through even in the rawest form. I love the sound of his acoustic guitar rambling on these tracks. The cover of "And I Love Her" is worth the price of admission alone, not to mention a wealth of other tracks. A true must have.

The Legendary Pink Dots - Come Out From the Shadows V: Yet another archival release from the experimental psychedelic UK band, this time a live performance from 1993. This is perhaps the most striking one of the lot that I've heard so far. This is Pink Floyd's "The Man & The Journey" filtered through a William Burroughs crafted lens, creating the eeriest of stories. Brilliant guitar work on this one, especially on "Golden Dawn." An absolute must for fans, or anyone into intense neo-psych. 

K Mason - K Mason 3: Instrumental experimental music from Australia. As the title suggests, this the third release from the duo. This is expansive guitar with metered electronic that keeps everything contained into very organized and intriguing soundscapes. The guitar work reminds me a bit of Neil Young's drawn out bits on songs like "Down by the River" only with more freedom in the way it wanders. This is another Bandcamp find, and another great mood record to listen to while I write. Certainly worth checking out if you're into this kind of music.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Pish: The San Fran psych band's resurgence continues with the release of newest album last week. Incorporating a Ride style of shoegaze, they expand the moodiness of their music, creating yet another near masterpiece of catchy weirdness. An amazing cover of The 13th Floor Elevators "Dust" shows their unique ability to own every sound they make. Possibly their best album, and certainly their best since their heyday. It's just a marvelous short record that never hits a down note. Truly a must have for fans.

Jordaan Mason - Homespun: The second album this year from the Canadian singer songwriter follows the phenomenal Decline of Stupid Fucking Western Civilization that was released last winter. Unlike his previous albums, this one is all instrumentals. Each track showcase his talent for creating peaceful meditative spaces for the listener, and this is among his most complex work yet. His songs often say a lot, he's a powerful lyricist, and while I miss that aspect of his songwriting on here, these songs certainly manage to say a lot. Certainly worth a listen for fans, or for anyone that's into ambient folk.

Abakus & Aokid - Deep Street Sounds: This British hip-hop duo released this blazing short album a few months back. Blending jazz with deep trip-hop beats, this is one of the most original hip-hop albums I've heard in a long time. Mellow beats with a hard-hitting flow make a perfect combination for this conscious hip-hop that is part throwback, part futuristic. Pure art of easing stuff this is. Respect.

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