Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sinking Radio: Tortoise's "Northern Something"

This is my reminder to tune in to Sinking Radio tomorrow from Noon to 2:00 PM on

Each week, the hosts play an official You Set the Scene Pick. This week, the choice was tough. A lot of great stuff got sent my way (and I purchased some great reissues last weekend). I considered the new Jarvis Cocker, the new Akron/Family and the new Steve Earle (a tribute to Townes Van Zandt). Ultimately, I decided on Tortoise's "Northern Something."

I always forget how much I love Tortoise until I put on one of their records. I might be thinking, "Nah, I'm not really in the mood for instrumental stuff today" but then they immediately draw me in. Like a lot of college radio fanatics in the Midwest, I first got in to Tortoise back in 1996 with the release of their second record, Millions Now Living Will Never Die. At the time, Chicago seemed like the center of the music world. 

The band's sixth album, Beacons of Ancestorship, comes out June 23rd on Thrill Jockey. It's another fantastic listen. The sounds are so varied and across the map it's pretty pointless to list them (jazz, Krautrock, dub, indie rock, ambient, downtempo, electronica). It's not until the very end of the record that it sounds anything like early Tortoise. These five musicians are just insanely talented chameleons. Wouldn't it be great to see what they could do with a commercial hip-hop artist? Kanye sans auto-tune?

See them July 11th at the Troubadour. 

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