Thursday, January 24, 2008
New Releases 1/22/08 (Dengue Fever)
One of the changes I’m making this year, is that I’m not going to do those monster listings of all the new releases each week. There are other resources on the web that do a good job (the best I’ve found is Largehearted Boy and he does a roundup of where you can sample the new releases). Here’s my overview for January 22, 2008, the first big release week of the new year.
Albums I’ve heard:
Cat Power: Jukebox (Matador) – Chan Marshall’s talented and attractive, but for me (with a couple of exceptions) it feels like work to sit down and listen to her records. This is another (mostly) covers album and features a slew of noteworthy guests. She tackles Sinatra, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Hank Williams, Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin. You think it’s going to be unbearable when she kicks off with “New York” but there are a few worthwhile interpretations. See Cat Power live at the Wiltern on 2/29 (tickets on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM).
Barton Carroll: The Lost One (Skybucket Records) – If you’re into folky, Americana you should give this one a listen. The Aquarium Drunkard has a nice post with links to some MP3s.
[Local] Dengue Fever: Venus on Earth (M80) – This is the third release from one of LA’s most unique bands. For longtime fans like myself (I started seeing them in 2002) it’s nice to see them grow as a band and continue to evolve beyond their early, Cambodian pysch-pop (mostly covers) sound. As on their second album, they bring in new influences and lead singer Chhom Nimol’s English has further improved. This one has some nice call and response songs. The critics are already responding as positively to this new album as they did to the last one (New York Times, LA Weekly). There’s already a documentary about the band and their music has been featured in a Jim Jarmusch film. They put on a great live show which you can see at the Echoplex for their record release party on 1/31/08.
Download “Sober Driver”
[Local] Get Set Go: Get Set Go Presents Sunshine, Joy and Happiness – A Tragic Tale of Death, Despair and Other Silly Nonsense (TSR Records) – This is Mike TV’s band. He helped put Highland Park on the music scene map. For fans of upbeat, power pop. They’ve already been featured in Grey’s Anatomy and Weeds.
MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Columbia/Sony) – They’re buddies with Of Montreal and Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) produced this record. As many critics have pointed out they mix smart ass lyrics with prog influences and disco influences and Britpop influences. I don't love all the songs, but some of it's pretty fun. See them at the Echoplex this Saturday with Yeasayer.
Things I haven’t heard yet:
Black Mountain: In the Future (Jagjaguwar) – Download “Tyrants” See them at the Troubadour on 2/5/08.
Blood on the Wall: Liferz (Social Registry) – Two of them are from my college town, Lawrence, KS. At Spaceland on 2/7/08.
Instruments of Science and Technology: Music From the Films of Richard Swift (Secretly Canadian) – Download “Shooting a Rhino Between the Shoulders”
Biirdie: Catherine Avenue (Drive-Thru)
Bodies of Water: Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink (Secretly Canadian) – Finally available nationally. “I Guess I’ll Forget the Sound, I Guess, I Guess” At the Echo on 2/1/08
Steve Aoki: Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles (Thrive) – Featuring Justice, Klaxons, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Datarock, Peaches, Mystery Jets, Scanners – (notice it wasn’t released on his Dim Mak label).
Other stuff I haven't heard that requires further investigation:
Buzzcocks live album, Drive-By Truckers, Envy, Evangelicals, Ex Reverie, Liam Finn, Mahjongg, Jack Penate, Rafter, Super Furry Animals, Times New Viking, The Whigs, The Whitsundays