Friday, April 11, 2008

New Music Releases - 4/8/08

Some disappointments and some new discoveries. This past Tuesday was a big day at record shops....
Fleet Foxes: Sun Giant EP (Sub Pop) – These young Seattleites were the highlight of SXSW for me. The first thing you notice is that the lead singer, Robin Pecknold, sounds a lot like Jim James from My Morning Jacket. The second thing you notice is the great three and four part harmonies from the rest of the band. There are elements of early 70’s/classic Yes (The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge) but if the members told me they’d never heard Yes, I’d believe them. This was produced by Phil Ek, who has done a great job in the past with Built to Spill, the Shins and Band of Horses. I can’t wait for June 3rd when the full length comes out.

Wye Oak: If Children (Merge) – Here’s another promising new band from Baltimore. This is the kind of melancholy, minor key music that typically dominates my “best of” compilations at year end. They’re only a duo, but the songs vary from sparse to lush arrangements. Some songs have pleasant acoustic guitars and soft drumming while others feature string arrangements or electric guitars with heavy feedback. After the first listen, I thought, “Oh, that was pleasant.” But in the past few weeks I’ve found myself returning to it almost every day. Jenn Wasner sings most of the songs and her voice falls somewhere between Tanya Donnelly and Kim Deal. Download “Warning
Other Records I've Heard:
Eric Avery: Help Wanted (Dangerbird) – Avery was the original bass player in Jane’s Addiction. Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters plays drums on most of these songs.
The Breeders: Mountain Battles (4AD) – I was all excited when I got this new Breeders record before my recent road trip to Joshua Tree. I excitedly put it in the CD player and… it was out before we’d made it to Pasadena. I guess I’m not really a fan. I do like Pod and Last Splash (never heard Title TK) but this just feels like sloppy demos. See them at Coachella on 4/25 and the Glasshouse on 4/29. Download “Bang On
Dark Meat: Universal Indians (Vice) – This is an expanded edition with better distribution. It’s all a bit to manic for me. Sample song titles: “Well Fuck You Then,” “Angel of Meth” and “There Is a Retard On Acid Holding a Hammer To Your Head.” Maybe I’m just too old for this shit. At the Echo on 5/10. Download “Freedom Ritual
The Duke Spirit: Neptune (Shangri-La) – See yesterday’s guest review. See them at the Troubadour on 5/10.
The Long Blondes: Couples (Rough Trade) – Female fronted, British, indie-dance, guitar-based band. If you’re into that kinda thing you might like it. At the Troubadour on 6/4.
Peter Moren: The Last Tycoon (Quarterstick) – I like Peter Bjorn & John and I liked Peter’s recent solo show at the Hotel Café. This album just hasn’t grabbed me yet. See him at the Hotel Café on 5/2 or the Troubadour on 5/3.
Richard Swift: Richard Swift as Onassis (Secretly Canadian) – Richard Swift’s Dressed Up for the Letdown was one of my favorite records last year. This isn’t the follow-up to that record. This is more of a drunken, weekend blues jam where he works out some Link Wray and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Download “Knee High Boogie Boots” and “Phone Coffins

Other Noteworthy New Releases That I Haven't Heard:
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – At the Hollywood Bowl on 9/17
Clinic – At the Troubadour on 5/20
Cloud Cult – At the Knitting Factory on 5/14
Cut Copy – At Coachella on 4/25
Dead Child – David Pajo’s metal band (Slint). The Myspace songs sound pretty good.
Marie Digby – At the Fonda on 4/12
The Drift
The Explorers Club: Do You Love Me? 7” (Dead Oceans) – Beach Boys revivalists
Finest Dearest
Foals (mp3) – At the Troubadour on 5/24
[LOCAL] Gran Ronde: Secret Rooms (Filter) – These guys are doing a Tuesday night residency at Spaceland in May
The Grouch – At the Roxy on 4/22
Man Man – At Coachella on 4/26
Meat Beat Manifesto – At El Rey on 4/12
Colin Meloy live album (mp3) – The Decemberists’ lead singer. At the Fonda on 4/28
Neva Dinova (mp3) – At Spaceland on 5/29
The New Bloods (mp3)
[LOCAL ] No Age: Eraser 7” (Sub Pop) (mp3) – The first single off their Sub Pop debut
Jim Noir (mp3)
The Old Haunts (mp3)
Jonathan Richman
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (mp3) and (mp3)
Tapes N Tapes (mp3) – At the Troubadour on 5/8 and 5/9
Thee Oh Sees

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