Monday, March 24, 2008

The National - Cherry Tree (2004)

With the blistering success of Boxxer last year, the National have finally gained substantial notoriety. In this indie rock world of "less fame is more fame" it is a tragedy to many, but a relief to a band who has been grinding it out for years. This is an early EP with a few republished tracks seen on their LP's. It also features an awesome version of "Murder Me Rachel". Dig it.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Menomena - Friend and Foe (2007)

This album has gained some acclaim since its release last year. However, acclaim is not enough. There are few albums that punch you in the gut repeatedly and fill your steps with adrenaline. This is a push through all obstacles in your path; a sensation that you have a purpose greater than your environment. Unique indeed. The thundering drums and shifting instrumentals on Friend and Foe encourage you to keep moving. Yet, the instrumentals are not the only force on this record. The lyrics speak of conflict, interpersonal frustrations, and our innate inability to communicate with our fellow men. The lyrics have unique certainty and a tangible depth that can be read as metaphor or literal reference. Heavy, but not demanding. It is not the kind of album that requires concentration to enjoy. It will paint the walls of an empty room while your idle day struggles to drag the hands of the clock. Though it has the ability to combat boredom without the listener's effort, it is an album that has been intricately layered and organized to allow complete immersion if the listener so desires. There is something uncanny about the amount of energy stored in this album. It is a jolt to your core. Incredibly empowering. This all may seem like exaggerated flattery, but my intent is to translate my love for this record. It is definitely my favorite of 2007, easily overshadowing so many 'big' releases we saw last year. Turn off the lights, put on your headphones and let this grand recital control you mind for 12 well composed cuts.


Check the music video for the song "Evil Bee" featured on this record. It is tres chic.

Music Video

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Madvillain - Madvillainy (2004)

You may have listened to one of the previous posts: Madlib - Shades of Blue. If you liked his style, get this. Madlib cooperates with MF DOOM on this album. To mix these talents is unfair to all other hip hop artists. In fact, it is more than that. It is criminal. If you have never listened to MF DOOM rap, show haste and get this album now. His style is one of a kind. This is where buttery beats and the Mask's prophecy meet your hungry ears.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Clutch - Elephant Riders (1998)

When I feel like drinking whiskey and getting rowdy (once every 50 days), I bring out this album, dust it off, try to scream in that particular Neil Fallon way, and headbutt anyone or anything in my immediate vicinity.

I have seen Clutch a few times in small clubs and it was one of the best live shows I can remember. One particular show, John-Paul Gaster gave me one of his drumsticks. I was so intoxicated from the offering that I felt superhuman. If someone were to have challenged me for that drumstick, I believe I would have beheaded them right there on the spot. I had fought for the front row, and spent the entire show headbanging. I then spent two following days with a sore neck from said headbanging. It was a ride. Point being, this album fucking jams. If you want to jam, look no further.

Neil Fallon has an awesome voice, the lyrics require encyclopedias and the instrumentals are jam funk jazz metal. Neil Fallon probably has more children than Genghiss Khan from speech alone. His voice penetrates anything where it can be heard. At a live show he stands there with only a mic in hand, like some wizard or the grand inquisitor- sans the scary judgement, but 'holy' nonetheless. He commands all in reach to pay attention and be humbled by the spirit of his beastness, yet he manages to do it in a fraternal way. He is like the guy in school who can beat anyone up, and happened to take a liking to your scrawny ass- You are relieved that he likes you and have a strange sort of pride from the whole mess. If you've liked the previous posts, get this. It is on my top shelf.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Grant Green - Alive (1970)

Grant Green is a legendary Jazz guitarist. This Blue Note release is a personal favorite in a thorough repertoire from Grant Green. It is a live show in gritty Newark city at the Cliche Lounge. Green and the band are inarguably on their game this particular evening. The funk and R&B captured here on Alive provided the framework for the evolution of instrumentals in early Hip-Hop albums. This is the pinnacle of Green's funk style. Dig it.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Smog - A River Ain't Too Much to Love

I waited to put this album up on the site due to the lack of views in the first weeks. Dongs of Sevotion was posted first. If you failed to get it, do so now.

I am curious how many lives this album has saved. I am equally curious how many deaths to which it has contributed. Like a strong medication or poison, the potency should be measured according to the patient. Songs on A River Ain't Too Much to Love are catchier than other Smog albums. All stands true for this album as did for the description of Songs of Devotion in the earlier post. However, this album will attract a wider audience. It is more accessible.

"With the grace of a corpse in a riptide; I let go." -B. Callahan


Monday, March 10, 2008

Derroll Adams - Feelin Fine (1972)

Read Derroll Adams' biography here.


Gillian Welch - Hell Among the Yearlings (1998)

When the sun is shining and you think it may hold out for more than a few hours, and you get that longing for home... There is a road all souls must take to heaven. I believe it passes through Kentucky. Though Welch herself is no native of Kentucky, she reproduces the folk and bluegrass that has bled in Kentucky for the last 200+ years. Her voice is charming and forsaking at the same time. This album is Welch's second release. It holds well to her talent, despite the exaggerated follow-up expectations to her Grammy nominated debut: Revival.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Velvet Underground - Gymnasium (Live 1967)

These guys need no introduction. Recently discovered bootleg.
-Never heard before, and a 'new' song as well.

Dig It.

1. I'm Not A Young Man Anymore (previously unheard VU song)
2. Guess I'm Falling In Love
3. I'm Waiting For The Man
4. Run Run Run
5. Sister Ray (debut live performance)

Thanks to Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky.


Goran Bregovic - Le Temps de Gitans (1989)

Sarejevo's finest. Bregovic has a robust career as a composer. He embodies the Balkan Stylo. Dig It.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sun Kil Moon - Tiny Cities (2005)

This is a truly special album. Mark Kozelek decided to play Modest Mouse songs on his sophomore effort with Sun Kil Moon. The result is a presentation of older MM favorites which is relieving for fans. However, more relief comes in Kozelek's scope of MM's material. His ability to take Isaac Brock's talent with the pun, and all other things English, and present them in a more intimate way than MM, deserves gratitude. This is an acoustic record. It plays like a requiem and less like an angsty loose garage rock album; ie... Modest Mouse's The Moon and Antarctica, and The Lonesome Crowded West.
Despite Tiny Cities being an acoustic album, the force of Kozelek's voice and the passion in Brock's lyrical world view encourage some rocking and fist pumping. Buckle up.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Electrelane - The Power Out (2004)

Electrelane is four women who have a rock fantasy and want you in it. The Power Out was the first release on the British Too Pure label. Steve Albini produced it (think: Pixies, Nirvana, The Stooges, Cheap Trick). If that doesn't say enough, farewell. Electrelane, is a rooty alternative rock band with the creative tendencies of bands like Sonic Youth, but sans the mess. They keep it tidy.
This, like the Os Mutantes from an earlier post, has enough rockability to fuse a room of disconnected neurotransmitters. In other words, it is a great album for social gatherings and rug cuttings. I highly recommend this album.