This is a ridiculously strong week with something for everybody (and lots for people with broad tastes).....
Top New Releases:
Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam (Domino) - Indie snobs and rock critics adore these guys (Pitchfork gave this one a 9.3 and it's gotten great reviews elsewhere). While I feel like it's a bit of a chore to listen to one of their records all the way through, they do have their moments. As affected as they seem to me, they're also undeniably original, psychedelic and whatever else you might feel about them. They seem to be having a lot of fun too, so it's hard to be too critical. At the Fonda on 9/18
[LOCAL] The Deadly Syndrome: The Ortolan (Dim Mak) – Back on December 8, 2006 I named them one of the my top three local bands to watch out for in 2007. Thankfully their debut record is finally available and it doesn't disappoint. The songs are mostly upbeat and catchy, but more introspective than I was expecting. The songs are often piano/keyboard driven but there's also the occasional accordion. I recommend this one if you're into slightly askew indie pop. Since I got it a few weeks ago, it's really grown on me. See them at the Detour Festival on 10/6.
[PART LOCAL] Film School: Hideout (Beggars) – The San Francisco/LA band releases their third album. If you're into dreamy, atmospeheric noise pop then you'll want to check this one out. See them at Amoeba on 9/20 and Echoplex on 11/15. Download “Lectric”
The Go Team!: Proof of Youth (Sub Pop) - This is their eagerly anticipated second album. They've got a live band and a lot of guest appearances. I haven't heard it yet, but based on the reviews, it sounds like it's just as exuberant and well suited for starting the party as their first album. See them at the Echoplex on 10/21.
: I'll Follow You (Merge) - This is the Brooklyn band's fourth release. With their lap steel, fiddle and organ (along with drums, bass, and guitars) their music should appeal to people who like old country-rock. But the great thing about Oakley Hall is that their not on some retro trip. Instead of trying to duplicate the masters, they're bringing a perspective informed by punk, krautrock and classic rock. The result is a fresh rock'n'roll sound. Easily their best album to date. Recommended for fans of straight up rock'n'roll. They're a great live band too. See them at Spaceland on 9/21.
Pinback: Autumn of the Seraphs (Touch & Go) - I like all their records, so I'm sure I'll like this one. Layered and lush indie rock that sometimes gets wrongly labeled emo. See them at Amoeba on 9/12 and the Wiltern on 10/28.
Listen to "From Nothing to Nowhere"
Emma Pollock: Watch the Fireworks (4AD) - I was a fan of the Delgados, so I was immediately drawn to Emma's voice on her solo debut. There are a few tracks like the excellent "Adrenaline" that sound like they could have been on the last Delgados record. Not all the tracks are that upbeat, but the whole record's well worth hearing. This one is recommended for fans of dreamy, indie pop.
Download "Adrenaline" [Highly Recommended]
Download "Adrenaline" [Highly Recommended]
[LOCAL] Qui: Love’s Miracle (Ipecac) - They were an intense local duo who got the opportunity to have one of their heroes join them as a frontman (David Yow of Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid). The music's not for everybody, but if you're sick of Grey's Anatomy soundtracks, iTunes commercials and people rocking out to the Shins and Arcade Fire in their BMWs, then this might be the kick in the scrotum you need. Recommended for fans of the Melvins, Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid and other bowel loosening music. See them at the Echo tonight (9/11)
Kanye West: Graduation (Roc-aFella) - This one's getting almost univerally positive reviews. Check out Jeff Weiss' humorous take on the 50 Cent/Kanye beef at the LA Weekly.
Other Noteworthy New Releases:
50 Cent: Curtis (G-Unit/Interscope) - Timbaland and Dr. Dre help producer. Eminem and Justin Timberlake make appearances. Mostly blah reviews.
Adrian Orange: Adrian Orange & Her Band (K) - Formerly of Thanksgiving. No longer lo-fi, he's got a 17 piece band backing him up.
Axe Riverboy: Tu Tu to Tango (Minty Fresh) - The former frontman for French rockers, Tahiti 80. I liked those guys, very light, upbeat, almost dance music.
Black Francis: Bluefinger (Cooking Vinyl) - The Pixies frontman. See him at Safari Sam's on 10/15 and 10/16.
Black Lips: Good Bad Not Evil (Vice) - Garage punks. See them at the Troubadour on 10/19.
C.O.C.O: Play Drums + Bass (K) - Inspired by ESG and no wave bands. Download "For You"
Vic Chesnutt: North Star Deserter (Constellation) - Talented rootsy singer-songwriter.
The Dirty Projectors: Rise Above (Dead Oceans) - Covering Black Flag songs. At the Echo on 9/14.
[LOCAL] Eulogies: Eulogies (Dangerbird) – Local indie rockers led by Dangerbird Records founder, Peter Walker. If you like his solo records, I'm sure you'll like this. Their tour with Film School stops at the Echoplex on 11/15.
Download “One Man”
Figurines: When the Deer Wore Blue (The Control Group) - Indie rockers from Denmark. I haven't heard it yet. See them at Spaceland on 10/16.
The Good Life: Help Wanted Nights (Saddle Creek) - Led by Cursive's Tim Kasher. At the Troubadour on 10/25. Supposedly Kasher lives in LA these days.
Download "Heartbroke" and "You Don't Feel Like Home to Me"
Joe Henry: Civilians (Anti) - Veteran, rootsy singer-songwriter. Van Dyke Parks makes an appearance. See him at Largo on 9/14.
Hot Hot Heat: Happiness LTD (Sire) - See them tonight (9/11) for free at Cinespace with the purchase of the album at Best Buy. I haven't heard this one yet. I think the guitarist lives in LA these days.
Picastro: Whore Luck (Polyvinyl) - Female fronted, maudlin band with stark instrumentation.
[LOCAL] Jonathan Rice: Further North (Reprise) – Local singer-songwriter and the envy of indie dudes around the world (he dates Jenny Lewis). I haven't heard this one, but All Music said his last album was somewhere between Pete Yorn and Badly Drawn Boy. At the Troubadour on 10/25.
Shout Out Louds: Our Ill Wills (Merge) - This is the Swedes indie debut after getting dropped by Capitol. I haven't heard the whole thing, but that first single is ridiculously Cure-like. Their first album was pretty good, so if you don't mind derivative music and like indie pop, check it out. See them at the Detour Festival on 10/6.
Simian Mobile Disco: Attack Decay Sustain Release (Wichita) – Producers and former members of Simian. If you like house/dance music along the lines of Daft Punk, you might want to check this out. At the Echoplex on 9/22.
Taken By Trees: Open Field (Rough Trade) - This is Victoria Bergsman's new solo release. She was formerly the singer in the Concretes and she's the female voice on PB&J's "Young Folks." I've listened to this one a couple of times and it's pretty good. I do like her voice, but the arrangements aren't that varied and the songs start to run into each other by the end. However, if you like fragile, female voices, go stream it on Myspace and see what you think.
Reissues / Compilations:
Ani DiFranco: Canon (Righteous Babe) - Career retropspective.
Cloud Cult: Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus (Earthology) – Re-release
Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True Reissue (Hip-O)
June Panic: Songs from Purgatory (Secretly Canadian) - Compilation
Mono: Gone - A Collection of EPs 2000-2007 (Temporary Residence) – Live at El Rey on 9/21