MusicMonday: What we're listening to

What the CL team is spinning this week, from Vetiver to Danzig.

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GabeJoe Jackson Trio, Live Music: Europe 2010 (2011)
I can't stop listening to this new live Joe Jackson disc. Stripped down to only Jackson's marvelous piano, bass and a sparse drum kit, this fantastic live recording straddles the line between some of Joe's classics, some of his newer material and some tasty covers, most notably an awesome rendition of Bowie's "Scary Monsters." Sound quality is pristine on this one, as are Jackson's fine vocals. The man can break your heart or spit in your face within the same song thanks to his expressive delivery. Highly recommended for Joe Jackson fans who might have lost touch with him and are ready for a reintroduction to his work.

JoelDanzig, Danzig (1988)
A few weeks ago, moody folkers Wye Oak covered “Mother” as part of A/V Club’s “Undercover” series. Theirs was one of the most incredible reinterpretations of a song I've ever heard — the type of cover that stands on its own and renews appreciation for the original. (Check it out below.) Inspired to re-visit Danzig’s first solo album for the first time in over a decade, I’m reacquainting myself with Glenn Danzig’s Elvis-croon over heavy blues riffs and the darker side of 80’s metal. The approach is classic, but somewhat dated — like early W.A.S.P. or maybe even the first two Crue albums, though I’m sure many Danzig devotees will cringe at that comparison — and lacking the element of danger so present in Misfits’ material or the more aggressive thrash bands of that era. I love the sax part and the chugging under the solo in “Soul On Fire” and the throwback NWOBHM riffing of “Am I Demon.”

Wye Oak covers Danzig

TaylorDeath Cab for Cutie, Codes and Keys (2011)

For a long time, I've been a complacent admirer of Death Cab's work, but after hearing this seventh album, my admiration has exploded into full-on passion. Many songs meld into each other, so it's best to listen to it as one piece - pianos, synthesizers, organs, harmonies, and chest-thumping drums building upon each other to sweep you up in a sonic hug. Death Cab for Cutie has often been the go-to band for beautiful but intense guitar-driven melancholia (Narrow Stairs examines a bottomless pit of self-loathing and bitterness), but ladies and gentlemen, the fog has lifted. The band's musicians are in new places mentally — lyricist and lead singer Ben Gibbard, especially — and the less tragic mood throughout Codes and Keys is proof that those new mental places are happier. Really exciting stuff.

LeilaniMy Morning Jacket, Circuital (2011), Phish, first shows of the 2011 Summer Tour.
I've been jamming the new My Morning Jacket ever since seeing them again at the 2011 Hangout Fest and re-affirming my love for what they do. (The VH1 Storytellers with the band was pretty great, too.) Circuital shows MMJ at their usual best — high-quality hooks, appealing keyboard and vocal textures (like the layer of sinister stealthiness given to "Victory Dance," the fuzzed out synths in "First Light," and the haunting backing chorus of "Holdin' on to Black Metal"), good time moments ("Outta My System"), and moments of rootsy Americana tastiness given tender and poetic treatment ("Wonderful (The Way I Feel)"). As far as the Phish goes, I go through a natural ebb-and-flow when it comes to listening to my favorite band, usually at a hard flow after I've attended a run of shows. I had the chance to see Phish kick off their Summer 2011 Tour in Bethel Woods, New York, on Memorial Day weekend. They dished out three solid rocking shows at the one-time site of Woodstock '69, including a show I'd rate in my top 5, ever. I've also been jamming recordings of several shows that have followed, and must unequivocally declare that the Phab Phour are truly on fire right now. Excited to see them against next week in Georgia and the Carolias!

What the CL Music Team is spinning this fine Monday to rocket launch us into the work week... To check out last previous entries, click here.


Andrew - Big Sean, Finally Famous Vol. 3: BIG (2011)
Big Sean's one of the few big-time rappers that can wrap an intellectual, witty sensibility in all the trappings of club-cozy, radio rap. Finally Famous follows suit and acts as somewhat of a two-fold album; it's lyrical fodder when you want it and a straight party banger when you don't. Signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D., Big Sean holds it down with artists like Curren$y, Chip Tha Ripper, Chiddy Bang, and Asher Roth (with a surprisingly sharp verse on the "Fat Raps" remix) on his third mixtape. Look out for his full length, Finally Famous: The Album, dropping later this month (June 28).

DeborahVetiver, Errant Charm (Out June 14 via SubPop)
In a year full of heavy-hitting releases (Death Cab for Cutie, My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, Bon Iver, Iron and Wine), the fifth-full length from Vetiver is tied for my favorite album so far with Toro Y Moi's Underneath the Pine, which just keeps sounding better with every play. Errant Charm is less folk and more pop, but still very much embraces the nostalgic leisure of early 1970's California. It's the perfect soundtrack for lazy summer afternoons. Check out the first single, "Can't You Tell," below.

Vetiver - Can't You Tell by subpop

About The Authors

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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