It’s that time of week again, folks — time to get your jam on, that is. The ongoing listening series otherwise known as The Well-Played List features the most listened-to, jammed-out songs, albums and artists of the week as submitted by the CL Music Team along with a rotating crew of tastemakers — local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two; check the past several week’s worth here. Audio and video included, along with any applicable show information. And on that note, what are you jamming this week? Tell us in the comments…
The Black Angels, Indigo Meadow (2013) Fuzz-crunchy psych-garage rock in the vein of Velvet Underground (from which the Austin outfit has taken its name, specifically, "The Black Angel's Death Song"), The Doors and The Warlocks, all scuzzy riffing guitar, ominous organ tones, and walls of sound broken up by groovier swaying odes and vocals that alternately croon, drone or sing-song echoing or acid-specked lines like "I'd rather die than spend another night with you." The Black Angels are also influenced heavily by 13th Floor Elevators, and that elder band's cult hero, Roky Erickson, joins Black Angels at State Theatre on Feb. 26. I'm intrigued for sure.
Jun純, The Heart and Home, The Body and Throne (2014) The new 16-track (plus one live cut) release from Jun Bustamante (aka Jun純). Our own local anti-folk songstress plays a range of instruments (accordion, guitar, sitar, tambura and a Thai phin guitar), and has a stripped-down yet finely-instrumented way of crafting songs. She also has the sort of empowered, uplifting, soul-warming appeal that's helping motivate me at the end of a very long week, when all I want to do is curl up somewhere and thaw these ice bricks called feet. Read more about Jun's new record in my review, here; CD release show at Mangia Gourmet Sat., Jan. 25.
Nardwuar interviews Pick one, any one — you're bound to be amused, if not downright tickled to pants-peeing death by the goofy yet delightful Canadian interviewer "Nardwuar the Human Serviette," who has a completely unique style. He digs so deep and surprises his guests (lots of hip hop artists but plenty of others as well) so thoroughly that he's become renown for it, and every seems to want to be his subject. Some of his interviews are even hosted on the Pharrell Williams I Am Other YouTube channel. A recent fave is Chance the Rapper (below), but check his two ?uestlove interviews for some real good candid (and rather emotional) moments...
ALASTAIR ST. HILL | Local musician, Gentlemen Please & Early Forms; WMNF host, Grand National Championships.
New Swears, Funny Isn't Real (2013) Ottawa guitar pop; album cover, and band, pictured left.
Owls, "I'm Surprised" (out March 25, 2014 on Poly vinyl) A song from Owls forthcoming album, Two. I'm eager to hear the rest of it. Listen to the track here.
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything (2014) The new album from the Godspeed You! Black Emperor-related group contains much of the same grand energy and chaos of GY!BE, contorted into more traditional song structures. It is absolutely cataclysmic and very hard to look away from. "Take Away These Early Grave Blues" below
The new Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings!!
The Bryan Ferry Orchestra, The Jazz Age (2012) Exquisite collection of 1920’s jazz-styled renditions of great songs from both Bryan Ferry's solo catalog as well as from his days as lead singer of Roxy Music. The sound here is so authentic, you’d swear “Avalon” and “Slave to Love” actually dated back to the roaring '20s and were later revived and updated. Mr. Ferry oversaw this entire project to ensure that the utmost care was put into the reinvention of some of the greatest glam rock anthems he had a hand in creating. The songs take on a whole new life and a whole different mood within the horn arrangements and big band readings this fine collection of instrumental re-imaginations.
ROBBY MCDONALD | Mojo Books & Records
Thundercat, Apocalypse (2013) This is just cool. Look into it or something.
Inside Lewyn Davis, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2013) The aural companion to the Coen Brothers' latest endeavor is picturesque and lucid. The Coen gang, to the surprise of few, have blessed us with another masterpiece soundtrack and celluloid classic. We are not worthy.
Bill Callahan, Dream River (2013) I'm ashamed to say that Bill's new record sat in my "just-in" crate for way way too long. I made up for lost time by keeping it in rotation for the next forever.
All available on vinyl at Mojo. Video of Callahan below.
PHIL BENITO | Brokenmold Entertainment
St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Greetings From St. Paul and the Broken Bones (2012)
The band hits Crowbar on February. Click here, the rest is self explanatory.
Pedro Reyes 'Disarm', "Turning Weapons Into Instruments" Not really what I'm 'jamming to' but this was one of my favorite videos (and arts installations) from 2013. It's now locally relevant because some of these dismantled-guns-turned-instruments will on display at the USF Contemporary Art Museum until March 7, and on January 23, there was a related live performance and discussion, "Amendment to the Amendment/(under)stand your ground". More info here.
Twee-pop Brooklynites Hospitality (Merge Records) release their sophomore effort Trouble on Tues. Jan. 28. I was huge fan of their self-titled debut and I'm really digging this new one. Girly vocals, indie-pop? Yes, please.
You can stream the entire album over at NPR.
Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014) I was a bit timid at first listen to Against Me!'s newest album; 2010's White Crosses didn't do it for me, but Transgender Dysphoria Blues makes up for it all. The songs are honest anthems of not feeling quite right in your own skin. Laura Jane Grace doesn't sugar coat it, either. She is blatant, honest, and tells her story without holding back. My favorite track on the album so far is "Dead Friend." A heartfelt song about the death of a past friend. The lyric "She wishes for you to haunt her, she sleeps with your ghost at night in bed," gets me every time.
This album lives up to everything I hoped it would be. Sure, there songs I haven't learned to love fully just yet, but with time I'm sure they will grow on me. It's a true AM! record in music, song, and delivery. The band plays State Theatre tonight.