Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Release Tuesday 9/26/06

A solid week of new stuff. I definitely recommend the Sparklehorse and My Morning Jacket. The Lemonheads and Adem are probably worth picking up for the right price. I need to hear a few other things....

Top Five New Releases:
Adem: Love and Other Planets (Domino) – He was in Fridge with Kieran Hebden. He mixes folk with electronica in a somber way. I really like several tracks off his last album so I definitely want to hear it. It’s got a 71 rating on Metacritic but Pitchfork thinks you should get the Grizzly Bear album instead. Live at the Echo on 10/24/06. Grade: ?

The Lemonheads: The Lemonheads (Vagrant) – Evan Dando hooked up with Karl Alvarez and Bill Stevenson from the Descendents for the first Lemonheads’ album in ten years. If you haven’t listened to It’s a Shame About Ray in a while, it holds up very well. And the Descendents were my favorite band in junior high. There are some upbeat tracks, some countrified tracks and some introspective lyrics. There’s also two tracks with J. Mascis’ characteristic jamming. Live at the Troubadour on 11/21 & 11/22. You can stream it at Myspace or AOL. Grade: B

My Morning Jacket: Okonokos (ATO Records) – They’re a great live band and this double live album captures it quite well. This one ranks up there with the Wilco double live album that came out last year. Since I don’t like a lot of My Morning Jacket’s early recordings, it’s great to have these versions. Jim James will appear solo on 10/27 opening for John Prine at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. Grade: A

Cale Parks: Illuminated Manuscript (Polyvinyl) – Drummer/percussionist for Aloha (who released one of my favorite records this year). Here he plays “bedroom ambient electronic music.” Download “Wet PaintGrade: ?

Sparklehorse: Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (Astralwerks) – Sparklehorse is one of those totally overlooked bands that deserves a much bigger audience. It seems like their only fans are other musicians. This one has a few tracks with Dangermouse, a few tracks with Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, a few tracks with Dave Fridmann and a track with Tom Waits. It’s haunting but pretty music. Grade: A

Other Releases:
Jay Bennett: The Magnificent Defeat (Rykodisc) – I feel like Bennett got a raw deal with that Wilco documentary. Wilco recorded their best record when Bennett was still in the lineup (and he got a lot of co-writing credits). Unfortunately I’m really not feeling this record. The All Music Guide gave it 4 stars out of 5. Grade: C
The Byrds: There Is a Season box set (Legacy) – You’ve probably already got most of this stuff. Just for the record my favorite Byrds’ records are: Notorious Byrd Brothers, Younger Than Yesterday and Sweetheart of the Rodeo. 99 songs and a DVD with a bunch of lip-synched TV performances.
Nels Cline: New Monastery (Crytogramophone) – Normally Cline’s solo records are a bit too experimental for me. This one’s a look into Andrew Hill’s music. Hill’s one of my favorite Jazz artists, so I’m intrigued. If you’re looking for some Andrew Hill, I really like Judgement!
Emily Haines: Knives Don’t Have Your Back (Last Gang Records) – The lead singer of Metric releases a solo record. I heard she was really good at the Viper Room last week. I got this one in the mail, but I haven’t listened to it yet. Download “Doctor Blind
Horse Feathers: Words are Dead (Lucky Madison) – There was a pretty good band that was popular in Lawrence, KS called Arthur Dodge & the Horsefeathers. These guys play “chamber folk.” This free track isn’t bad. Download “Finch on Saturday
Ladyfinger: Heavy Hands (Saddle Creek) – If you like heavy music try downloading this song. Reminds me of a cleaner version of a lot of Midwestern rock I listened to in college. Not too bad. Download “Too Cool For School
John Lennon: The U.S. vs. John Lennon soundtrack (Capitol) – It’s a solid Lennon compilation with songs that fit the theme of the film. Looks like maybe one unreleased track.
Lucero: Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers (Liberty & Lament) – For the alt-country fans. They do get the Replacements comparisons too. At the Troubadour on 10/13.
Ludacris: Release Therapy (Def Jam)
The Oohlas: Best Stop Pop (Stolen Transmission) – Their record release party is tomorrow night at Cinespace. The press release compares them to Belly, Veruca Salt, and Weezer. Download “Gone” and “Small Parts
Paul McCartney: Ecce Cor Meum (EMI Classics) – This is one of Sir Paul’s “accessible” classical records.
Scissor Sisters: Ta-Dah (Universal) – I think this is terrible, but I’m a party pooper so I’m probably not the right person to review it. The first track was co-written by Elton John. As they say, it’s kinda like Abba. It’s got a 72 rating on Metacritic. Grade: D
Solomon Burke: Nashville (Shout Factory) – He worked with Buddy Miller and doe soulful covers of some great country songs that were made famous by Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, George Jones, etc.
Teddybears: Soft Machine (Big Beat Records) – With guests like Ebbot Lundberg (Soundtrack of Our Lives), Iggy Pop and Neneh Cherry.
Various Artists: Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival 1961-1965 (Smithsonian Folkways) – Box set featuring live performances.
Various Artists: Open Season soundtrack (Lost Highway) – It’s mostly all new songs written and performed by Paul Westerberg. The tracks work pretty well outside of the context of the film too. A bit cleaner than some of his recent solo stuff.
Wolf Eyes: Human Animal (Sub Pop) – Scary noise rockers. Download “The Driller

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