Joel - Blink-182, Neighborhoods (2011) and Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam Twenty Soundtrack (2011) I spent time listening to both of these big-name releases. Neighborhoods sounds almost as intriguing as the events of the eight years since the last Blink album; and seems to have picked up, at least sonically, where that release left off. It sounds less like the Blink of old and more like post-Blink projects Angels and Airwaves and +44 decided to collaborate. Only the seemingly blog-entry-titled "Mh 4.18.2011" echoes their salad days, but they still eschew dick and fart jokes in favor of more poignant lyrical ideas. If you dug the Blink-related output of the past several years — definitely ignoring Travis Barker's Give The Drummer Some — Neighborhoods will meet your expectations.
Pearl Jam Twenty director Cameron Crowe hand-picked live cuts for the first disc, and there are some gems. Pre-Pearl Jam band Mookie Blaylock plays "Alive," Pearl Jam covers Mother Love Bone for the first time at their 10th anniversary show, and shares pre-album renditions of "Garden" and "Not For You." And a second disc of rarities and alternate versions including individual demos, Temple of the Dog demos, and some more live cuts. While there's no shortage of Pearl Jam collections and official bootlegs available, if much of this material is new-to-you it's worth your time. to give it a listen
Taylor - Josh Rouse & the Long Vacations, Josh Rouse & the Long Vacations (2011), Matthew Perryman Jones, Until the Dawn Appears (2011), Scoundrels, Scoundrels (2011) Rouse produces music that sounds like Harry Nilsson and Ingrid Michaelson had a baby and raised him on a New Orleans beach. Perryman Jones presents whittled-down versions of highlights from his discography, slowed to meditate on the lessons embedded in the lyrics. And Scoundrels show that Louisiana blues-soaked is alive and well in London. Literally, "Loud N Proud." Check out the song and video below.
Kate - Atmosphere, The Family Sign (2011) I took a trip to Orlando this weekend to catch Atmosphere at The Beacham. It was my first underground rap show, and I really had no idea what to expect. It blew me away, and I still can't get rid of my goose bumps. Blueprint and Evidence opened up the show and got the crowd bumpin' (Blueprint even busted out a keytar). But Atmosphere definitely brought it to a whole 'nother level. Hands were in the air and every head bopped to the beat. Slug took center stage, and had a pianist and guitarist, as well as his DJ, Ant (who was so animated and loving every second). It was one of the best shows I have ever experienced.
Infinite Skillz - Black Star, Black Star (1998) I dusted off this album when I saw the Mighty Mos Def and Talib Kweli were coming to Tampa in October. This disc was my full introduction to Kweli, who I'd only heard briefly on Lyricist Lounge. It has became my exhibit A when showing friends that hip hop could be fun and smart at the same time. It stayed in my discman (yeah I said discman) for at least two months back when it came out. If you only have time to listen to one track make sure "Definition" is your destination. Be forewarned though -- after listening, you might find yourself refusing to accept some of the refuse passing for hip hop nowadays.
Leilani - Blitzen Trapper, American Goldwing (2011), Extra Classic, Your Light Like White Lightning, Your Light Like a Laser Beam (Out 9/27 on Manimal Vinyl), and Milagres, Glowing Heart (2011) Of these three new releases, the Blitzen Trapper is most disappointing because it is much like the last few Blitzen Trapper albums — a solid, if unexciting, collection of 70s-inspired rock with roots, folk, and a touch of blues rock influence. San Francisco's Extra Classic offers up a mesmerizing, soulful, hazy-layered groove-and-psychedelia take on dub reggae. In order to capture the sonic quality of old Jamaican recordings, the sextet recorded it all-analog, on 8-track tape, and using vintage recording equipment from the 1960s and '70s, and it definitely has that warm quality to it, as if the musicians are playing amid a hanging cloud of ganja smoke. And finally another pleasant surprise — Milagres, a NYC group led by singer Kyle Wilson that produces a mix of indie rock and retrofied pop reminiscent of Grizzly Bear, Pink Floyd and Arcade Fire, with electronic tendencies, piano-driven melodies, and the sort of haunting quality that immediately intrigues. Listen to "Here to Stay" below.
French electro-pop masters M83 have culled the best elements of their past albums; heavy synth, crescendos of sound, shoe gaze effects, and melodies a-plenty. Fortunately they've also left behind a lot of the gloom and doom so prevalent on Saturdays = Youth, upping the fun level considerably. This double album fills well over an hour with carefully executed, infinitely danceable tracks. I'm only on listen #2, and it's still unfolding new surprises. Check out the first track, "Midnight City" below:
What the CL Music Team is jamming this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. To check out previous entries, click here.
Gabe - OMD, Messages: OMD Greatest Hits (2008) I'm still reveling over this past weekend's awesome OMD show in Orlando. As fate would have it, the Elvis Costello show I was so excited for was postponed, thus giving me an opportunity to go and see this synth-pop act that I've loved since my teen years. The quirky lyrics and catchy melodies have aged well and the band's material took on a new life during a highly energetic performance. I still love this band and their music. So glad that Monday is starting off not only reliving my youth with OMD as it's soundtrack but recalling the fantastic concert I witnessed just a couple of nights ago.
Scott - The Horrible Crowes, Elsie (2011) This eagerly awaited side project from The Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon and friend/GA guitar tech Ian Perkins sounds, more than anything, like a long-lost Afghan Whigs record. And that's a great thing. Dark, lush, soulful and moody, Elsie (SideOneDummy) channels Greg Dulli's dark-night-of-the-soul introspection through a slightly more roots-oriented assortment of sounds to come off like a timeless stumble down the boulevard of broken dreams without degenerating into mere impersonation or cliche. This smoky selection of tracks goes a long way toward cementing Fallon's position as one of the current generation's most capable and compelling songsmiths. Listen to a few tracks off the album after the jump.
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...