[image-1] Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit (2006)
I recently rediscovered this album. Bouncy "good morning, world" songs like "Another Sunny Day" and "Funny Little Frog" have been weasling their way into the lyric-memorization section of my brain. Pleasant annoyance.
Ivan For Squirrels, Example (1995)
This is, in my opinion, one of the best grunge albums (if you can call it that) ever released. Every song has a unique vibe and story that makes the whole that much greater. From "Superstar" to "Stark Pretty," For Squirrels' signature energy permeates each note and is delivered organically to your ears. If you can find this album, buy it! For fans of REM, Nirvana.
Autopsy IV Hank Williams III, The Rebel Within (2010)
New album from Hank III. Hank likes to get drunk, eat pills and raise hell. I know this cause he's been telling me about it for 3 albums now. Wash, rinse and repeat. Hopefully he'll branch out now that he's out from under Curb.
Jeff Foghat, Last Train Home (release date June 15, 2010)
Pouring over the upcoming release from blues-rock legend, Foghat. This album represents a return to a more bluesy sound, more reminiscent of Roger and Dave's early band, Savoy Brown. Review to be posted this week.
Infinite Skillz Joe Stu, Stamp of Approval Mixtape (2010)
If you like lyrics and reality to play prominently in your hip hop, you need to get up on Joe Stu. The Bronx native, now stomping around the ATL urban music scene, simply delivers!
[image-2] The National, pretty much their entire discography...
I'm having a bit of an emotional week, and when that happens my ears inevitably crave The National. I've been giving their new release, High Violet, a little rest and going back to the familiar comfort of earlier albums; their self-titled debut and Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers seeing especially heavy play. Listen to "90-Mile Waterwall," "Lucky You," or "Brainy" to get an idea of where my head's at right now.
Jason Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles II (2010)
How could you not love a band named after She-Ra, princess of powers fortress in the sky?
Joran Ethiopiques, Volumes 1-12
Got this set from a friend last week of Ethiopian music from the 60's and 70's. Stellar stuff that combines elements of American funk, swing and R&B with a more soulful version of traditional Ethiopian chanting-style vocals. Even the horn tracks (and there are some great jazz performances here) retain the same "warbled" vocal phrasings. Standouts are Volume 1 ("The Golden Years") and Volume 4 ("Musique Instrumentale"), the latter which was featured in Jim Jarmusch's film Broken Flowers.
Nicole Jawbreaker, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (1994)
I had a trying week personally and professionally, so I turned to one of my favorite tried and trued records to help me see the light. With lyrics like "I'm coloring outside your guidelines" ("Boxcar"), "A superstitious hyperrealist." ("Jinx Removing") and "We're getting older. But we're acting younger. We should be smarter. It seems we're getting dumber." ("Do You Still Hate Me?"), Jawbreaker consistently delivers desired words of wisdom whether the needed words are compassionate, insightful or just plan riotous. Works like a charm every time.
Leilani The Black Keys, Brothers (2010)
I've been spinning Brothers all weekend, and it's easing me nicely into a busy week. The blues rock duo's second outing with co-producer Danger Mouse and sixth LP overall is a gritty, well-textured, riffadelic stomp and scorcher. Lovin' it, and it's definitely already made it to my best of 2010 list, despite being a tad overlong. (Which seems to be my usual complaint about this year's greatest albums ...) Stay tuned for a review.
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