Music Queue Updates – November 2011
A lot of stuff being pruned this month as I picked up quite a bit of new stuff and had a lot of stuff lingering on the end of the playlist that I’d forgotten to drop earlier. Let’s see if I can crash your browser with embedded videos.
Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer
So what I like about some of the weirder bands I listen to, such as Friedberger’s main gig the Fiery Furnaces, is that once you kind of decode the weird structures and strange instrumentation (a process which is enjoyable in itself, in its own way) at the core is some pretty darn good pop songs. This solo effort is basically that core laid bare. If these were FF songs they’d be pulled apart, stitched together, and be played on a busted piano. The jazz saxophone solos would be weirdly distorted analog synths or something. Sometimes its nice to take a breather.
Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern
So this was a recommendation for Mike. I couldn’t quite get into it initially, but after the 5th or 6th listen something just clicked and almost overnight this became one of my favourite albums of the year. Transparency Is The New Mystery is kind of an amazing song and if you don’t like it you’re not my friend anymore. Ditto for Gimme. Good call, Mike!
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
So everyone apparently loves this album and hates the followup. I love the followup and am kind of enh on a lot of this one. I think it’s because I heard Congratulations first. Kids really is an amazing song though.
Twin Shadow – Forget
One of those synthy new-wave throwback things. Chillwave or whatever, maybe, I dunno, I’m out of touch. Some of it has kind of a lounge singer vibe that I find surprisingly appealing, but for the most part this is an enjoyable yet forgettable album. I like it, but I find it hard to summon any passion for it.
The Westerberg Suicides - The Westerberg Suicides
Pretty solid stuff, but it feels weird to talk about music from a band when I know one of the members. I gotta apologize, though, I prefer the Pipings of Perabii.
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Original TV Soundtrack
This show’s awesome and this was sitting in a bargain bin for 3 bucks, so heck yeah. Though it’s occasionally funny to have something this creepy and ominous playing in, say, the car as you welcome someone in.
Chromeo – Business Casual
Hrm. I picked this up based on the track Don’t Turn The Lights On, which I heard on a CBC Radio 3 podcast, but I didn’t quite clue in to how disco dancy these guys really were. It’s kind of just on the fence of being a little too cheesy at times. Fun, when in the right mood. The Mrs. loves this one, though.
Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
Grimy sounding chiptunes with screamy punk vocals. Fun stuff, but… abrasive. Also responsible for one of my favourite lines from a review ever, in the Pitchfork review: “…despite the fact that there’s literally an Atari game named ‘Crystal Castles’, they named themselves after a She-Ra playset, which is like finding out LeBron James chose to wear uniform number at #23 as a tribute to his favorite Jimmy Eat World song.”
Cults – Cults
A breezy summer album that I was a bit late to the party for. Drenched in reverb, it kind of feels like a space-age take on 50s-60s folk to me, but I’m not really an expert of 50s-60s folk so I probably shouldn’t be making those sorts of claims.
Elliot Smith – Figure 8
I quite like his music but never really get around to collecting the back catalog. This one was part of a 2-for-20 sale which is too good to turn down. It’s a pretty fantastic album, my favourite of his by far (so far).
Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R
I remember I could have got in on near-the-ground-floor with these guys, as I remember almost but not quite buying this album back when it came out. Instead I just hopped on the bandwagon with No One Knows like everyone else. Oh well. Always a pleasure.
Weezer – Death To False Metal
I try not to think too hard about Weezer. Thinking about Weezer makes me sad.
White Zombie – Astro-Creep: 2000
Another $3 bargain bin type deal, and I like me some More Human Than Human enough for that. The Mrs. likes it too, yet refuses to acknowledge that she may be a fan of metal, despite this and mountains of other examples to the contrary.
Handsome Furs – Face Control
Wolf Parade are on indefinite hiatus. This sucks. But at least Mr. Krug and Mr. Boeckner have plenty of output outside of the band. I gotta say I’m more of a Krug guy myself, but the Handsome Furs are pretty rad too. I was late getting this one though, and picked it up at the same time as…
Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
… the newest. This one eschews guitars altogether, which is kind of ironic since you typically think of Boeckner as the “guitar guy” and Krug as the “keyboard guy” in Wolf Parade. But of course, Handsome furs is not a Boeckner solo act so its not like that should matter. Good stuff all the same.
Madvillain – Madvillainy
So, every now and then I flirt with hip-hop, mostly out of a desire to force myself out of my comfort zone. In these very limited dalliances, I’ve developed a fondness for MF DOOM, and so every now and then I grab something else he was involved in. Danger Doom is still my favourite.
Chixdiggit! – Safeways Here We Come
It is tragic that all those late 90s pop punk bands took over the world and nobody really cared about these guys. They are cranking out the exact same stuff they always have, but damn if it doesn’t rock. I am always delighted to find a new release by them, but this one was sad since it was only an EP really.
Big Sugar – Revolution Per Minute
Back from the grave with another dependable album. Big Sugar is kind of comfort food for me, and unlike what you’d expect from the comeback following a long hiatus this album is pretty rad. I mean, it’s not super crazy awesome or innovative or anything, but it stands with anything else they’ve ever done. The above song reminds me of Pierce.
Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys
Oh, this band. I can’t figure them out. I frigging loved Something About Airplanes and have stuck with them ever since out of hopes that they’ll ever equal it, but I’m disappointed every single time. Yet, looking back at their other albums, I still find a lot of tracks I really like. This time, though, is a bridge too far. This is a dull, tepid album. Bleh.