The Sounds of CL, Vol. II: What the music team is listening to right now, from Portishead to The National to Chaka Khan

Deborah The National, High Violet (2010)

I am irrationally obsessed with The National's dramatic, highly orchestrated, indie rock. I've been anxiously awaiting this album for months and it hasn't stopped streaming on my computer since it went live Friday morning. (Listen to the live stream here.) My full review of the album will post shortly, but after spending 72 hours nonstop with it, I can recommend if you're going to [image-1]purchase one album next month, make it this one.

Taylor Elton John, Honky Chateau (1972)

There's nothing like a little classic Elton to get your blood pumping at the start of another work week.

Brad Trelldom, Til Minne (2007)

Black metal featuring ex-Gorgoroth vocalist Gaahl.

Infinite Skillz Gravity, Chick Magnet (2004)

Amber -- Bob Marley, Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers (1984)

An essential album for any Marley/reggae lover. I got my first copy when I stole it from my parent's collection during freshman year of high school. Bob Marley is always on the top of my music radar once summer starts and, since this was the first weekend of 2010 that I spent poolside, Legend is officially back in rotation on my iPod.

Nicole Murder By Death, Good Morning, Magpie (2010)

After Friday night's stellar performance, MBD's newest record is still on repeat.

[image-2] NoBunny, Love Visions (2008)

Nice slices of pop punk garage-billy from San Fran made by a guy in a bunny mask. Why does he hide behind a mask even though his songs are so stellar? Once you spy the album cover, the mystique he's trying to build becomes understandable. All should get hyped for the show in Orlando at the end of May. Totally worth the drive. I've actually been waking up to his song "Mess Me Up" for the last few days.

Jeff Peter Gabriel, Scratch My Back (2010)

I'm still surprised that Peter Gabriel, an awesome songwriter in his own right, would ever record a CD of cover tunes. Be it swapping songs with other writers, as Gabriel explained, or just the love of great tunes, I really don't care; it's a tremendous CD.

Gabe Chaka Khan, Chaka (1979)

Chaka's triumphant debut solo album proved she was more than a hired hand and pretty lead singer of 1970's R&B band Rufus. Dabbling in funk, disco and some jazzy, Steely Dan-sounding stuff, this solo album did plenty to cement Khan's reputation as a versatile, accomplished interpreter of all styles. Her inimitable, soaring voice glides and sparkles on her first outing as a solo performer. Chaka Khan set the standard for all modern day, female R&B artists ... and none of them has caught up to her yet.

[image-3] Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record (2010)

Today, I want to listen to only Canadian bands. Plus, there's a track called "Texico Bitches." Why the hell not?!

Joel The Hold Steady, Heaven Is Whenever (2010)

I had to buy a new file cabinet, so I spent my Sunday afternoon filling it with folders and listening to this album. I want my weekend back.

Tracy May Nico Vega, Nico Vega (2009)

They're an amazing trio, and I can't get that song "Gravity" out of my head.

Matthew the bird and the bee, Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall and John Oates (2010)

I love Inara George's low-key solo work, but hearing her unleash her inner pop star with Greg Kurstin from time to time is pretty awesome. Gorgeous vocals, tight production and the insanely catchy songwriting of Hall and Oates. It's particularly nice after last night's tempest.

What are YOU listening to right now? We want to know! Leave your answer below in the comments section…

Ever wonder what the Creative Loafing music team has been listening to, above and beyond all those albums we review? There’s plenty. Here's the latest compendium of Monday selections.

Portishead, Dummy (1994)

Rather than fight the dark moodiness of my Monday morning spiritual malaise, I decided to roll with it; this bleak trip-hop classic was the perfect treatment, and it's still relevant and listenable 16 years after its release.

Autopsy IV The Morning Pages, Rising Rain (2009)

More stupidy fun coming out of Brooklyn. Discovered these guys via their cover of Lady Gaga's, "Telephone" floating around on Youtube.

Scott The National, High Violet (2010)

A little mellower and more straightforward than previous albums, but no less evocative. Still, I miss the occasional rave-up or weird, ominous track.

Joran No Means No, Wrong (1989)

The best release from Canadian punk/metal trio No Means No. This group may or may not have paved the way for the likes of Primus and Mr. Bungle, but it definitely provides an undeniable context.

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