Saturday, November 28, 2015

Weekend Music Roundup

On this long weekend it's a short list, due to the long list of activities that seem to fill long weekends. This week's Roundup is pretty much split between experimental weirdness and traditional classics, along with one by-the-numbers garage rock album tossed in. I was in a place where I needed to finish the closing action of my manuscript, and for some reason the experimental demons were calling to me, and with their help I was able to wrap up my thoughts. It wasn't a busy week for new releases, but there's always time in December to catch up on those. Hopefully something here interests you. Enjoy.

John Frusciante - Renoise Tracks 2009-2011: Over the past six years, Frusciante has moved away from the singer songwriter albums that defined his work a decade ago to explore his more experimental interests. While some aren't too happy with his new direction, but he's always pushed the limits, and though his adventures are more in glitch pop and electronic, his first album was also very experimental. This collection of songs represent the movement away from the lush sound of 2009's The Empyrean and toward the music he's released since. "Singular Scope 85"  and "Unending 126 mix" are my personal favorites. 

Black Moth Super Rainbow - SeeFu Lilac: The masters of lo-fi psych weirdness return with their first album in four years. They have always pushed the envelope between music and noise with their indietronica style, and this short record is no different. Moments of experimental tinkering combine with soaring moments of Floyd-ian bliss to make an enjoyable listen. "Warm Water Leviathan" and the title track are standouts for me. 

Sp├Ące Girl - 2015: The second release from the psychedelic pop group from Roswell, GA reminds me of bands like Broadcast and Movietone. This four song EP is a washed out piece of dreamy sound. It's one of those albums that sounds like something seeping through from an unseen world, like music that might be heard coming from inside the radiator as in Eraserhead. Interesting and eerie, without being unnecessarily weird. If anything, it's simple too short, but that's a good problem to have.

Bass Drum of Death - Bass Drum of Death: The Oxford Mississipppi garage rock band's second album from 2013 is a rough and raw shot of gritty guitar noise. I picked this up on vinyl on my recent trip north of the border and though there is nothing terribly original about BDOD, I quite like them. This is garage rock at it's purest, all attitude and sound with nothing fancy about it. If you like Ty Segall or Black Lips, then you should check these guys out. "No Demons," "Bad Reputation," and "Faces of the Wind" are my favorites.

Elton John - Empty Sky: The 1969 debut from the iconic performer was released when he was just 22 years of age, which isn't particularly young for a musician's debut, but it's young considering how confident this record feels. It opens with the line "I'm not a rat to be spat upon" at the beginning of the epic title track, on an album that will remain his most ambitious until "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Though ambitious, certainly not his best. He would continue to improve over the course of his next few albums and avoid some of the missteps here, but still some great stuff. Along with the title track, "Western Ford Gateways" and "Sails" are stand-outs.

John Lennon - The Complete Lost Lennon Tapes Vol. 9: Finally getting back to the Lost Lennon tapes, moving on to volumes nine and ten this week. Once again, these seem to focus on mid-70s era Lennon as he works through some songs and rambles off versions of others. Even more so than some of the previous volumes, this one has a very laid back and easy feel which gives the songs a cozy living room feel. "I'm Stepping Out," "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier Mama," and "Well (Baby Please Don't Go)" are the highlights of this volume.

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