Saturday, October 22, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

On this rainy Saturday, it's time to focus on some music. I'm still working far ahead with music reviews, so I actually listened to these two weeks ago, but it's a good list. There are a few new releases that I'd been looking forward to, one deluxe reissue of one of my favorite albums, and a couple of back catalog curiosities. All in all, this was a good selection and I hope you find something that strikes your interest. Enjoy.

The Growlers - City Club: The new album from the Long Beach garage psychedelic surf rock band is a bit more electro-dance than their previous material, but manages to maintain the established sound. Two years ago, this band was one of my favorite new discoveries and I'd been looking forward to this record for a while. This record had more of a summer feel to me and I wish it had come out a few months ago because it would be a great heavy rotation summer album. Worth checking out, as are their previous releases.

Bob Weir - Blue Mountain: The Grateful Dead founding member released his first solo album in 17 years a few weeks back and it's pretty great. I've always been a fan of Bob's. A lot of his Dead songs are among my favorites. This album is bare bones Americana Folk rock. There's nothing fancy here, but its power stems for the rawness of it. The lead single, "Only a River" is a true gem, along with "Lay My Lilly Down" and the title track. Definitely a must for fans, and even if you're not a Dead fan but like the current trend in roots folk, this is an album that is worth checking out.

Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows - Songs from the Inverted Womb: The German darkwave band has been making their unique brand of neoclassical gothic music for over twenty years. I was introduced to them two years ago with the release of their most recent album, which I loved, and have begun to look backwards on their catalog. This album from 2000 is considered one of their best. The mood is like a dark fairy tale about dead children in a world of shadows. The varied instruments create a sound that seems forgotten from time. This wouldn't be out of place in a David Lynch movie if he were to do fairy tales. Certainly worth checking out if you don't know this band.

The Verve - Northern Soul: This is one of my all time favorite albums, and is the soundtrack of my life in the mid to late '90s. It was recently given a deluxe treatment, including two bonus discs of unreleased material. The majority of that material consists of early versions of songs that would eventually make the album, or become B-Sides as 90's British market was still hot for CD singles. This is one of those records that should be a million times more popular than it is, so if you don't know it, you must do yourself the favor and listen.

Seasick Steve - Sonic Soul Surfer: For the last decade, the California born electric blues man has been making waves on the indie circuit with his updated old timey sound. His most recent album, released last year, is one of his most complete. There is an authenticity to his music that feels transplanted from the days of the blues with the fire of late '60s electric reinvention of the blues. "Dog Gonna Play," "Swamp Dog," "Sonic Soul Boogie," and "Your Name" are personal favorites.

Eazy-E - It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa: In the continuation of my month long revisiting of NWA solo albums, I finally got around to Eazy's 1993 EP. I remember when this came out, and to most of us on the East Coast, E was kind of a joke and Dre and Snoop were huge. So this was ignored by me and my friends. That's too bad, because this is a great album and holds its own with Dre and Snoop. It's one of the best feud albums ever made, and it's a too bad it came out after The Chronic and Doggystyle, because E was the truest to what he was rapping about. "Real Muthaphukkin G's" is dynamite.

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