Saturday, March 11, 2017

Weekend Music Roundup

Hey music lovers out there! The good news of the day is that it's the weekend and that means more ramblings on the interwebs of my recent listening habits. This week features some highly anticipated new releases, at least for me, as well as some relatively recent vinyl fans that I picked up. There's some classic albums on here, and one brand-new one that really impressed me. Hopefully you will all find some time on this frigid weekend to explore some new sounds. Enjoy.

Sun Kil Moon - Common as Light and Love are Red Valleys of Blood: Back in 2014, Mark Kozeleck and co. released Benji, the band's sixth album and a true breakthrough in terms of style and structure. Three albums and three years later comes this double album that continues to re-define songwriting in a way that can be perplexing to some, take a bit of time to get into, and eventually become transforming. Mark's mixture of storytelling, free verse poetry, and traditional song craft is utterly unique and new. These 16 tracks, averaging well over 6minutes apiece, are honesty and insight. Another exceptional record. 

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Don't Get Lost: For over twenty years, the neo-psych San Fran band has been releasing their brand of indie rock. After a lull in the first part of the last decade, the original members reformed and they've been quite a roll over the past few years, releasing some of their best music. I've loved their last four efforts, but this one fell a little flat for me. I enjoyed it, just didn't love it as much as other recent efforts.

Manic Street Preachers - Motown Junk: This 1991 single was the first release from the Welsh rockers. Being as they are one of my favorite bands, when I came across a beautiful copy of this on 12", I simply had to have it. The A-Side is one of their best early tracks, and the two B-Sides are are also exceptional. "Sorrow 16" is another track from the first album, but the third track remains unreleased on any other release from the band and is in their classic political vein.

Savoy Brown - Hellbound Train: The UK blues rock band's eighth album was released in 1972, having averaged nearly two albums a year since their first (there was also a second album in '72). Despite the incredible output, there is no let down on here. They sound like a bluesy version of CCR, or maybe Creedence is just a folkier version of British Blues. Either way, all the instruments play off each other to create a wonderful rhythm and a Winwood-esque type soul in the singing. "Lost and Lonely Child," "Troubled by these Days and Times," and the title track are standouts.

Deadstar - Baby Teeth: The third album from the prog band based in India is their first in two years and was released back in January. I went into this record sort of expecting it to be prog metal, but it isn't. In a lot of ways, it is closer to electronic music, though not electronic, than to traditional prog. It's an nice instrumental album that's worth a listen if your into that kind of thing. You can hear it for free on their Bandcamp site which is linked above.

Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool: Released in '57, this compilation highlights Miles' early career, the most mellow part of his career. Many people prefer the more abstract jazz he would go onto to play in the following decade, but I for one like the big band feel of these tracks. It serves as a precursor for albums like Kind of Blue. One of my favorite lazy morning records, newly acquired on original vinyl.

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