Saturday, December 17, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

The weekend arrived with a wintry blast up in here in the Catskills. The snow is perfect for the Christmas spirit, and for staying in and listening to music. This week I've rounded up a few more recent releases and some older finds. There's a lot of great music on here for you all to check out. Hopefully you'll find some time during this busy holiday rush to kick back and rock out. Enjoy.

Dr. Dog - Abandoned Mansion: The Philly indie band's 10th album was released a few weeks ago, and it's their first in three years. They channel their inner Dylan on this record as it sounds like something Zimmerman might have released thirty years ago. That's not such a bad thing in my book and this was is another solid album that fits in well with their best efforts. In some ways, this is a return to form for them after two semi-letdown albums and extended layoff. I was certainly happy for that. A definite must for fans.

Damien Jurado and Richard Swift - Other People's Songs Volume One: This was a nice surprise this week. Richard Swift has been one of my favorite artists of the '00s and this new partnership has produced a great record of covers. Their voices work great together, and they make these songs sound original. Some unexpected choices makes this a good addition to any fan of indie singer songwriter stuff, and a must for Swift fans.

We Are Wolves - Wrong: The Montreal band's fifth album was my big surprise listen for the week. This is a band whose second album impressed me back in 2007, but following albums disappointed me. This one sees them live up to the promise I heard all those years ago. They found a way to keep their post-punk elements and make them easier to listen to. This holds a lot of similarities with the most recent album from fellow north of the border post-punkers Death From Above 1979. I really enjoyed every song on here. 

The Microphones - Early Tapes, 1996-1998: In 2001, this Washington band hit indie cred gold with their release The Glow, Pt. 2, one of the best albums of the last decade. The seven albums that came before it remained obscure, and still do. That's why this was a nice surprise. These 16 tracks very much feel like The Glow, Pt. 1 if it were ever to exist. Lo-fi experimental music, the kind that was only made in those years, and refreshing to hear. Any fan of The Glow would appreciate this.

Frijid Pink - Frijid Pink: The 1970 debut from the Detroit heavy psych band is one of those lost gems. I'd been looking for a good vinyl copy of this for some time and finally found one last weekend. This is proto-metal at it's finest. Based in blues, but sounding more like The Stooges than Sabbath, this is a must for any fans of the current heavy psych blitz. A true must have. 

Jim Kweskin and The Jug Band - The Jug Band: This is the 1963 debut from the Massachusetts folk outfit, and was the last of the band's early output that I was missing. Though steeped in the '60s freak folk tradition, Kweskin was a few years ahead of his time, making music that would later be associated with late '60s San Fran. One of those bands that deserves more of a following, this another fine album, but they'd hit their true stride two years later with their second album "Jug Band Music." Definitely worth checking out.

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