Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

Welcome to the weekend and all the music that fits into it. It was another weed of digesting some recent RSD purchases, but as promised, I've included a number of new releases. I tried to mix up my listening habits with a variety of new and old, vinyl and digital, in an attempt to stay on top things. There's a decent amount of classic rock on the list, as well as a few releases from contemporary favorites and new releases from old favorites. All in all, an interesting array of musical curiosity. Hopefully something on here will stir your own curiosity. Enjoy.

Lush - Blind Spot: The London dreampop band's first new music in 20 years came in the form of this EP released last month. At one time in my teens, I was pretty into this band. So when this came out, I was eager to give it a listen. These four songs don't stray too far from the fuzzy shoegaze material of their '90s heyday, if anything, the vocals are turned up louder, revealing flaws that were previously hidden under the cloud of sound. As I did in my youth, I find myself easily bored. All four songs sound the same, perhaps that's why the first one was my favorite.

Derek and The Dominos - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs: The only album released by this supergroup featuring Eric Clapton and Dave Mason was this 1970 double album. Basically, this is a British Blues masterpiece filled with exceptional guitar work and memorable tunes. I was a huge fan of the title track in my pre-teen years, but lately the local radio station has been playing "Bell Bottom Blues" a lot and I've become infatuated with it to the point where I had to purchase this record when I came across a mint copy at the local record shop. A must have for British Blues or classic rock fans. 

Hawkwind - The Machine Stops: Original member Dave Brock continues the space rock band's legacy, as does departed member Nik Turner. This concept album about a machine that controls human existence is very much inline with the ideas Dave has put forth on Hawkwind albums for years. The sound goes beyond the tradition space rock sound to include electronic elements which are woven in wonderfully, giving the whole thing a very rich and sometimes spooky vibe as it does on "The Harmonic Hall." A very solid and intriguing record, with "Thursday" and  "King of the World" being highlights for me. 

Arctic Monkeys - Unreleased Tracks, Demos and Live: This bootleg features one side of unreleased tracks, most of which I'd heard on previous bootlegs, and live versions of songs from their phenomenal debut. Though I had much of this material digitally, I just couldn't pass up the vinyl edition on green wax. Of the unreleased tracks, "Choo Choo" and "Wavin' Bye to the Train or Bus" are standouts. Really something for fans, particularly fans of the debut album.

Eddie Money - Playing For Keeps: The New York native released his third album in 1980, a boozy blend of pop rock that bridged the 70's blues rock and 80's power pop, sort of a mash-up of Rod Stewart and Huey Lewis. A few classic tricks on here like "Running Back" and "Trinidad" which make it a worthwhile listen. Nothing too essential, but a fun listen for when you're doing house work or the like. A nice find in the $1 bin.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors: By 1977, they were the kings of Southern Rock. Their triple guitar assault and Ronnie's good ole boy persona where can't miss. Everything comes together on this album, and it was an instant smash. Then, three days after it's release, Ronnie Van Zant, , making this the last album from the true group. It's blues rock bliss, with a Leon Russell vibe on "You Got That Right," and "I Never Dreamed." Great record from start to finish.

Elephant Revival - Petals: This the fifth album from the Colorado Americana folk band and it came out last month. The duel vocalists, male and female, both have great voices. She reminds me of Jolie Holland and Joanna Newsom and he reminds me of Andrew Bird. The songs are quiet, melodic, and often there is a enough darkness under the surface to make them different from being just another folk record. "On and On," "Furthest Shore," "Sea Monster," and "When I Fall" are stand out tracks. Definitely worth checking out if you like beautifully sad folk music. 

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