As frequently happens around here, I'm way behind. Here's what came out last Tuesday....
Released on 7/8/08
Records I’ve Heard:
Albert Hammond Jr.: Como Te Llama? (Black Seal) – The rhythm guitarist for the Strokes releases his second solo album and still no new Strokes record (although people tell me they’ve been working on it). I was a fan of Hammond’s debut, Yours to Keep, so I was excited when this showed up in the mail. The charming thing about that record was that it didn’t try to be anything but pleasant sunshine pop. This one’s got some of that, but Hammond must have been bored with the idea of making Yours to Keep 2. There are Police-lite experiments (“Borrowed Time”), painfully long instrumental tracks (“Spooky Couch”) and cheesy drum machines (“Lisa”). There’s also interesting guitar playing and some genuinely good songs (“GFC” and “Bargain of a Century”). Overall, it probably would have been a great EP, but he could have used some more time to flesh out the songs on the second half of the record.
Hamell on Trial: Rant and Roll (Righteous Babe) – This is a CD/DVD combo with Ed Hamell’s rant/songs/poetry. It’s not really my sort of thing. Download “When You Are Young”
Ratatat: LP3 (XL Recordings) – I honestly don’t have much perspective to review this record. I’m a lyric guy and tend to get bored with instrumental music. It’s got a 71 on Metacritic though. At the Fonda on 9/9/08 and 9/10/08. Download “Mirando”
Abe Vigoda: Skeleton (PPM Records) – Abe Vigoda’s the latest Smell band to get a lot of positive national press. They’re purveyors of “tropical punk.” I haven’t heard the record yet… PPM is Dean from No Age’s label. See them at the Fonda on 8/8/08.
Beck: Modern Guilt (Interscope) – I used to really look forward to new Beck albums, but I haven’t heard this (or his last one). Danger Mouse produced it and it’s getting pretty good reviews. See him at the Hollywood Bowl on 9/20/08.
Other Noteworthy Releases:
Architecture in Helsinki EP – mp3 and mp3
Joseph Arthur: Foreign Girls (Lonely Astronaut)
The Baseball Project
The Black Ghosts – At the Echo on 7/26/08
The Capstan Shafts
Dutchess & the Duke – mp3
The Fall compilation
The Gits best of
Karl Hector & The Malcouns
Matt Keating – (mp3) – At the Cinema Bar on 8/12/08
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – At the House of Blues on 8/3/08
Melvins – At the Glass House on 8/29/08 (mp3)
Parts & Labor EP
Patti Smith & Kevin Shields
Son Ambulance – Knitting Factory on 8/4/08 (mp3 and mp3)
Sunny Day Sets Fire
Totimoshi – Viper Room on 9/10/08
Tu Fawning – mp3
Various Artists – Life Beyond Mars Bowie covers
Weeds Season 3 soundtrack
Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis
Yaz box set