Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kay!

My mom turned 80 yesterday. She doesn't share my musical tastes for the most part, but how can I not say hey to Kay on her day!?

1.BOB DYLAN – Modern Times (Columbia)
Uh-oh. I used to get Columbia music on a regular basis. Have I been dropped from another list? So I bought it at Best Buy and this bonus – a nifty CD-sized booklet of all Bobby’s album covers.
There are only 10 tracks in all, but those that are, are choice -positively cheery. One even has a James Taylor arrangement – breezy and charming. And on “Beyond the Horizon” he seems to be – is it possible? – crooning!
2.GNARLS BARKLEY – St. Elsewhere (Downtown/Atlantic)
After hearing only the ubiquitous “Crazy,” I went for it on super sale ($9.99) and am glad I did. One of those albums, like Gorillaz’ “Demon Days,” that makes you feel cool anytime you put it on.
3.JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – SexFuture/LoveSounds (J)
It’s become rather rare that I rush out to buy a CD on release day, but this one was a must – if only to save me from giving in to buying the “Sexyback” single on iTunes, which was just a matter of time, so I might as well have the other songs, too. Too bad that the bonus track from Best Buy is a track featuring Snoop Dogg. I am not a fan.
4.PINK – I’m Not Dead (LaFace)
This month’s selection (only $5.99, including shipping). Getting one is a reminded to go and check the queue, ‘cause they charge you each month whether or not you have an order on file. I added the Massive Attack best-of collection, to go with the Cyndi Lauper acoustic hits collection and a Brian Stokes Mitchell (Broadway vocalist) to give to my mom when the holidays come around.

Another visit to the CD trade-in store:
5.The LONG WINTERS – Putting the Days to Bed (Barsuk)
Saw John Roderick, the lead singer for this band, at the “Revenge of the Bookeaters” benefit last month and was intrigued by his high, keening voice and his impressionistic lyrics. Though I recognize one song from that show, the one I was really hoping to hear again – something about falling from space, a la Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” is not here, as far as I can tell.
6.PHASER – Sway (Emperor Norton)
Always sad to see a good band in the $1.99 clearance. Though I was fairly sure I had this CD already, I didn’t recognize the cover and so took the chance. It turns out this version has a few tracks that weren’t on the one I had, so nothing lost. When I put it on again, I was impressed anew with the band’s slow, cool guitar sound. Wondering what happened to this fine band.
7. CARTEL – Chroma (Epic)
Another Grace selection for her pretty-boys-play-pop/emo collection. I saw the video – bright colors and a myspace romance story – which was quite cute, as was the lead singer.
8. WILCO – A Ghost is Born (Nonesuch)
Terry went on a long car trip this past summer, which began and ended with a plane ride. He took a case of his favorite CDs, which did not make it home with him (we suspect it was taken from his luggage). One of the missing pieces was this longtime favorite, so I replaced it. It took a little of the sting out that I was able to get a copy of the limited edition disc (which we didn’t have) with the extra disc of live and demo tracks.

Free samplers:
And two “snippets.”
10.VARIOUS ARTISTS – Lost Highway
A nice collection, with two each from 4 artists, including some good new sounds from Golden Smog.
11. VARIOUS ARTISTS – Deluxe Edition, Volume 3 (Universal)
Yeah, I have it already, but if Best Buy is gonna give ‘em out, I’m gonna take ‘em and redistribute to the bigger world. Gave a similar sampler to the guy who installed my water heater the other day. He was happy, and I felt good. Musical socialism?

We Get Out:
12. TOBIAS FROBERG – Somewhere in the City (FireEgg Recordings)
This Swedish singer/songwriter’s CD caught my ear immediately with a Simon & Garfunkle-y folkiness on tunes like "God's Highway" and breaks my heart every time I hear his duet with Norweigian star Ane Brun, "Love and Misery." I caught his set at Jammin Java and, though, I prefer the studio versions, he’s one to watch.
13.TEITUR – Stay Under the Stars (Equator Records)
This one-name artist from the Faroe Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean between the UK, Norway and Iceland, was supposed to headline the show that Froberg appeared at, so I was curious about his CD and bought it sound-unheard. I’m so glad I did. He’s got a quiet, organic sound with subtle arrangements, and writes vignettes that echo like short stories, my current favorite being “I Run The Carousel.”
14.STEPHEN KELLOGG and the SIXERS – S/T (Foundations)
Interview feature for the Post.
A lovely man to speak with, especially as he’s a friend of Matt Nathanson’s and we had lots of fun talking about their musical friendship. This album, frankly, doesn’t rock my socks, but the live show – held at the student union of a local commuter college – was filled with thoroughly charming moments. Kellogg spoke with clear pride about his upcoming studio CD, due in February ’07, so I’m going to keep an ear out for that.

Other Covered Artists:
15.NAKED BLUE – Five by Five (self-released)
Local acoustic husband-and-wife pair (with band) played a free show at an outdoor plaza.
16.M. WARD – Post-War (Merge)
Played the Birchmere.

Coming to Town:
17.GAELIC STORM – Bring Yer Wellies (Lost Again Records)
Playing at the Birchmere on October 11th
18.The PRIDS – Until the World is Beautiful (self-released?)
Sorry, I can’t find the release, but they’re coming soon.
19.POWERMAN 5000 – Destroy What You Enjoy (DRT Entertainment)
A JAXX show – act now, ‘cause it’s Wednesday, the 27th.
20.YONDER MOUNTAINSTRING BAND – self-titled (Vanguard)
October 8th at 930 Club. A dupe of a CD I got earlier.

21..JEREMY ENIGK – World Waits (Lewis Hollow)
Former Sunny Day Real Estate player’s solo album.
Out Oct. 17th
22.MEAT LOAF – Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose (Virgin)
Out Oct. 31st.
23.MINDY SMITH – Long Island Shores (Vanguard)
Lovely late night listening. One of those voices that instantly soothes.
Out Oct. 10th
24.JESS KLEIN – City Garden (Vermillion)
Out Oct. 10th.

25.The KLEZMATICS – Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie (JMG)
26.IMA ROBOT – Monument to the Masses (Virgin)
Official jewel-box edition of one I got in a cardboard advance. And I finally put it on. And while I can’t say I dislike it, there’s something a little novelty song sounding about the enterprise.

Pleasant Surprises:
I didn’t know I’d be getting these, but was delighted to open the packages.
27.SPARKLEHORSE – Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (Astrakwerks)
Listened to this one three times the first day I played it.
28.The SCIENCE OF SLEEP – soundtrack/music byJean-Michel Bernard (Astralwerks)
How much does you enjoyment of a film – or happy anticipation of it, as in this case, predisposes you to enjoy the soundtrack? So far, so good.
29.SAM MOORE – Overnight Sensational (Rhino)
30.The KLEZMATICS – Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah (JMG)
It’s happened – I got my first Christmas-oriented catalog in the mail and, while it ticks me off for retailers to start talking about the holidays this soon, I’m fine with getting advance holiday music, since it’s never too early to start thinking about this year’s “Cool Yule” compilation.

We’ll See:
31.PROPHET OMEGA – The Natural World (Astralwerks)
I misread the cover and thought it was called Project Omega, which I like better (less attitude).
32.NIOBE – White Hats (Tomlab)
33.STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE – The Sweet Dreams Movie Soundtrack (Koch)
34.LIBBY JOHNSON – Annabella (Wrong Records)
35.TRUST THE MAN (various artists) – Soundtrack (Wrong Records)
More Libby Johnson.
36.The ANTIQUES – Nicknames and Natives (Banter Records)

37.LEMURIA & KIND OF LIKE SPITTING – Your Living Room’s All Over Me (Art of the Underground)
A split-disc from two bands from Buffalo, NY. And the difference between the first 7 tracks (Lemuria) and the last five was obvious – as in, I wanted to turn the CD off during the last five.

Mistaken Delivery:
38.DANGEROUS MUSE – The Rejection Remixes (Cordless Recordings)
Intended for another Post writer (the paper has a no-forwarding policy, which probably hurts me far more than it helps in the occasional extra CD).

YTD Total: 558

And…a new, probably ongoing feature…
Heavy Metal Ha-Ha
or, Why I’d rather read about metal music than listen to it
From a press emailing about ZOROASTER
Subject: “a tumultuous, cerebellum-roasting doom celebration”
“the sound of doom buried in LSD-drenched cotton and imploding like a black hole…the indecipherable vocals become almost percussive weapons, pounding like the battering ram of the music against the gates of your sanity." - Rebel Extravaganza
And this one:
"Like the tentacled leviathan depicted on their debut mini-album's front cover, the music created by Atlanta, GA's Zoroaster rises up from unfathomable depths, propelled by tsunamis of doom, submerged in viscous sludge." - All Music Guide