[image-1]Nicole Cap'n Jazz, Analphabetapolothology 2xCD (1998)
Cap'n Jazz (Tim and Mike Kinsella, Sam Zurick, Victor Villarreal and Davey von Bohlen) is the latest in a string of '90s hardcore/emo bands getting back together for some reunion shows. In February, Cap'n Jazz announced they'd be playing a one-off show in Chicago this summer that has now expanded to a second night, and with additional dates in Louisville, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles. For many hardcore kids, Cap'n Jazz (and Jade Tree records) was the transition point from metal and melodic hardcore to emo/indie rock music. Personally, it is hard to believe it has been 15 years since Cap'n Jazz broke up and 12 years since the anthology came out. The very first note of "Little League" takes me back to my college years in DC and accordingly, has a very special place in my auditory history. However, this record has definitely stood the test of time and is worth a listen, especially for those of you who've only heard the direct progeny of these musicians -- The Promise Ring, American Football, Owls, and Joan of Arc, among others. Also, really, who doesnt love a band that can pull off an amazing A-Ha cover ("Take on Me")? If you like Look Mexico and Algernon Cadwallader, take a listen to Capn Jazz and connect some dots on this musical family tree.
Scott Daytrotter Sessions: Riverboat Gamblers
Illinois studio The Horseshack hosts all sorts of bands, records them live in the moment, then posts the warts-and-all performances at Daytrotter. Austin punk 'n' roll act The Riverboat Gamblers recently stopped by and blew out two old tunes and two new ones; it could use a little more bass, but the energy and fun is all there.
[image-2] Jónsi, Go (2010)
A week full of hard work and the beginnings of a cold demanded a non-distracting soundtrack to help me concentrate. It seemed a good time to finally check out this solo release from the Sigur Rós vocalist, which has been receiving phenomenal reviews. It's chock full of lush vocals and arrangements, as one might expect, however it's anything but background music ... this one requires your full attention. It's truly lovely, and I can't wait to spend more time listening when I can give it the attention it deserves.
Joel Wolf Parade, Expo 86 (2010)
Wolf Parade are one of those bands that I loved on first exposure You Are a Runner and I Am My Fathers Son off their 2005 debut. While I was never as floored by anything else they did, Im enjoying their third full-length. Expo 86 finds Wolf Parade continuing their quirky, post-punk falling somewhere between Talking Heads and Bauhaus.
Jason Foals, Total Life Forever (2010)
Their second album was released June 15 and contrary to what their name might suggest, are cooler than a pony at a preteen's birthday party.
[image-3] Cat Power, The Greatest (2006)
This album makes me crazy, in a good way. I could listen to "Lived In Bars" and "Where Is My Love" over and over.
Amber 180 South Soundtrack (Various Artists, 2010)
Features mellow melodies by Ugly Casanova, Jack Johnson and Mason Jennings, which act as the background music for a documentary that follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he sails, climbs and surfs his way to Patagonia to eventually meet up with his climber heroes and conservationists, Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. Stay tuned for the a review of the documentary, which celebrates his adventure and preserving the natural world.
Evan Wolf Parade, Expo 86 (2010)
Joel beat me to it, but I've been listening to the new Wolf Parade. It's not as good to me as Apologies To The Queen Mary, but it is nice to listen to something with a bit more edge than Belle and Sebastian or The Album Leaf. Click here to read my full review of the album.
Mike of Montreal, "Coquet Coquette" (from False Priest, due out September 2010)
The newly-released single from of Montreal's upcoming album that drops in September. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking forward to this album.
[image-4] Delorean, Subiza (2010)
Subiza is quite the little powerhouse of a dance album; layered and ethereal enough for a zone-out, lights-off headphone listen yet dense and pulsingly clubby enough to irk the neighbors amidst a drunked-out upstairs dance sesh with friends. If Animal Collective blew the balloon of musical ethos in "My Girls" from their latest, Merriweather Post Pavillion, and expanded it to album length, I have a feeling Subiza would be pretty close to what it'd sound like.
Shawn Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs & Barrett (both 1970)
Lying in bed, in those moments before sleep, I often wonder about the music Barrett would've made with Pink Floyd if he hadn't gone crazy, or the even quirkier psyche folk that would have emerged had he even continued on with his solo career. It's an endless sprawl of thoughts, usually culminating with the upbeat sparkle that, thank Christ he was wild and turbulent enough to at least finish two phenomenal albums, something most musicians never achieve.
Tracy May The Devil Makes Three, Do Wrong Right (2009)
Since meeting this trio and watching them perform at Bonnaroo, I've been mesmerized by their blend of bluegrass, rockabilly and old country. Equipped with a couple of guitars, the occasional appearance by banjo, and a stand up bass, they've forgone the traditional percussion and listeners won't miss it a bit. If you've ever been a Hoots and Hellmouth or Squirrel Nut Zippers fan, The Devil Makes Three will definitely grab your attention. Give a listen to "All Hail" and "Help Yourself"; you can thank me later.
What are you listening to right now? We want to know! Leave your answer below in the comments section...