The Well-Played List, 10-9-2013: Valerie June, Blue Sky Black Death, Miles Davis, Boogarins & more

Music we're jamming this week; w/audio, video & Spotify playlist.

The ongoing listening series formerly known as MusicMonday continues for its fourth consecutive round in its re-imagined form! 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 last few weeks' entries 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 Darcys, Warring (2013) Hundreds of publicists blow up my inbox every day repping bands that I absolutely HAVE TO listen to, and generally, if I've never heard of the band in question, the email gets sorted and forgotten about. But sometimes persistence pays off, especially when the agent reaches out to me a good six times, and said agent has turned me onto good tunes in the past. Such is the case with The Darcys, indie rockers from Toronto (yes, I have a soft spot for Canadians) that I actually did encounter in the past when they recorded and released their own re-imagining of Steely Dan's AJA in 2012. I'm also a sucker for a good falsetto and The Darcys' Jason Couse has a velvety high timbre that soars over the band's propulsive, electro synth rock and lower-key melodic art rock meanderings. This is the quartet's third album for Arts & Crafts; it was produced by Tom Mcfall (REM, Snow Patrol, Regina Spektor), and its sonic detail is apparently inspired by studio opuses of the 1970s. Compelling; for fans of TV on the Radio, Alt-J and Everything Everything. Check out "River" after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries...

Chris Whitley, Din of Ecstasy (1995/2013 alternate mix) A misunderstood masterpiece by one of the most under-appreciated rock artists ever, 1995's Din of Ecstasy was a commercial disaster, especially given the high hopes Whitley spurred with his acoustic-oriented 1991 debut Living With the Law. Now appears a thrilling find: an original pre-mixed version of Din, which actually provides a more visceral, detailed listening experience than the official release. For Whitley acolytes, this is an absolute must-listen. For anyone professing to like heavy, blues-drenched guitar music, it should be a revelation. Full album stream here.

I've been jamming to Valerie June's Pushin Against a Stone (2013) lately. I first heard her a few years ago on MTV's $5 Cover and it's awesome to see her finally getting some push behind her. The album is marked by her distinctive vocals and has a Southern gospel blues feel. "You Can't Be Told" below.

MELANIE CADE | Mojo Books & Records

Miles Davis, In A Silent Way (1969 / 2013 Mobile Fidelity)
Miles goes electric. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix and arranged in classical form, In A Silent Way is a masterpiece of composition and performance that transcends its jazz fusion label. Could any album better deserve the MoFi treatment? Available on Mobile Fidelity audiophile vinyl at Mojo.

Jaco Pastorius, Jaco Pastorius (1976 / 2013 reissue) More generally known as a member of The Weather Report, to my mind, Jaco Pastorius did his most groundbreaking work on his debut album. And it's versatile — “Come on, Come Over” with soul duo Sam & Dave and “Portrait of Tracy” featuring harmonics on Jaco's fretless bass are equally memorable. The Miles Davis cover is just a bonus. Available on vinyl at Mojo.

Moby, Innocents (2013) I don't really like EDM. And I certainly don't like Moby. Right?... Well, I thought I didn't. When I realized I really liked Kanye West's Yeezus (minus the misogyny), I knew I'd have to start challenging my musical biases and assumptions. So, Innocents. I gave it a fair shot and found something worthwhile, even if some tracks feel longer than they need to be. Standouts included the Damien Jurado and Mark Lanegan collaborations, and the surrealistic instrumental “Going Wrong”. Available on vinyl at Mojo. Moby with & Mark Lanegan in "The Lonely Night" video below.

ANDY WARRENER | freelance writer, CL & TBT.

John Neilson, 4th Street Sessions (2013) This country-folk rock crooner based out of Austin has just released his second album, actually a compilation of two EPs recorded over three years. The singer-songwriter hits on multiple levels with rock-out, Allman Brothers-vibed jams like “Dreams” juxtaposed with quiet ballads like “Handcuffs” and “I'll Wait for You.” Then Neilson lets the dogs out with signature rolling western-feel songs “Mexico” and “The Desert.” The entire album is available on his website.

Nook & Cranny. A Gainesville-based newgrass group that delivers an awful lot more than your granddad's tired grass sounds and opened for Eilen Jewell at Skipper's Smokehouse on Saturday night. The five-piece group combines traditional bluegrass with a dose of rockabilly and honky tonk. Bluegrass standards like “Driving Nails in My Coffin” are complemented by catchy original compositions like “Stay” and “Kill Me Before I Get Old.” Mark Archer is a one-man show when he's solo-ing on Dobro, especially in “Woke Up In Love.”

KEITH ULREY / Microgroove, New Granada Records
NYC's Other Music Records' latest release is from Brazilian psych-rock duo Boogarins. Heavy tropicalia vibe with current indie sensibilities. The most obvious point of reference would be Os Mutantes. I've had this on repeat up at Microgroove for the last week or so. Check out "Lucifernandis" below.

JARED FAGER / music fan and scenester with discerning taste
Juveniles, Juveniles (2013)

Saskatchewan, Occasion (2013)

Polyenso, One Big Particular Loop (2013)
"Dog Radio" below...


Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (2013) I about wore this out in 1993. The album was in super-heavy rotation at Vinyl Fever, the record store where I worked at the time. We just couldn’t get enough of it. Every staff member loved it and needless to say, it wasn’t uncommon to walk into the store and hear it cranking loudly and rattling the walls. Lenny’s third full-length is a sexy mix of fat power chords and Curtis Mayfield-style slinky funk. Are You Gonna Go My Way has aged well and the super raw, in-the-moment production has really helped it sound timeless and not so much a product of the ’90s. The new deluxe edition heaps on a slew of bonus tracks including b-sides, demos, and alternate takes. This was the album that broke Kravitz into the mainstream and it’s easy to hear why. The title track alone literally sizzles as it pumps out of stereo speakers and induces sudden, involuntary, spontaneous dance moves.

Mazzy Star, Seasons of Your Day (2013) Brand new and long overdue, the new Mazzy Star album is just as dreamy, transcendent and atmospheric as you might expect. Lead crooner Hope Sandoval’s hushed, seductive voice fills all the gaps perfectly in the album’s sparse arrangements. For the band’s first album since 1996, it’s nice to hear that they haven’t strayed too far from their signature laid back, trippy sound. The echo-filled production is bolstered by the masterful guitar and pedal steel work of David Roback. Highly recommended late night or Sunday morning music. "California" below.

SARAH GECAN | Daddy Kool Records and No Clubs Entertainment

Blue Sky Black Death, Glaciers (2013) Contrary to the heaviness that the name implies, Blue Sky Black Death is, in actuality, a group reminiscent of Glitch Mob. Ethereal beats mixed with angelic vocals, and an occasional rhyme laid on top make this record perfect music to get lost in. (Daddy Kool)

The Wanted, "We Own The Night" (2013) It's still okay to be a teenybopper, right? Because the fact of the matter is, 2/3 of the No Clubs staff are closet teenyboppers and The Wanted are bringing it out. It's about time the boy-band revolution started up again. We can't wait to see them on May 11 at Jannus Live. (No Clubs)

Bear's Den, Agape EP (2013) I am currently obsessed with Bear's Den and cannot wait until "Agape" gets release on vinyl later this month. Simple music, hearty vocals, and lyrics that hit. I honestly can't tell you how many times I've listened to "When You You Break" but the last minute of that song gets me every time. Title track below. (Sarah)

CHRIS NADEAU | non-musician, Permanent Makeup

I've been listening to lots of heavy, sludgy tunes by Miami instrumental two-piece Holly Hunt, since they are coming to Epic Problem (4215 E. Columbus Drive, Tampa) this Mon., Oct. 14. Huge riffs, aluminum guitar, lots of amps, pounding drums, no vocals. Their album, Year One, rips through this concept and completely destroys everything in its path. As you can hear from the track "Manchurian Candidate," even the recording is crushingly loud and demands attention. When I bought the double 12" record (45 rpms version, sounds so good!) from the band, it came with earplugs!

Spotify Playlist, 10-9-2013.

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