the Saturday Evening Post-up (Sunday edition)
SOOOO, uh, in case you hadn't noticed, it's not Saturday. I didn't quite make it to the station yesterday, so please accept my humblest humblest apologies.
Every once in awhile, a CD slips through the cracks here at KWUR. Sometimes no one picks it up to be reviewed and sometimes it literally slips into a crack and is lost for like six months. There often are stacks and stacks of unreviewed CDs at the end of the semester, and for every ten discarded turds there's a real gem. So, this week, I'm going to take a look (via DJ reviews, as always) at a couple of CDs that didn't quite make it onto the new release shelf this year. I'll offer a few brief comments after each review, as well. Let's show 'em some love:
David Byrne and Brian Eno - "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today"
These two draw on a lot of genres here - sun bleached pop, jazzy lounge, folk - and combine them to make a diverse and enjoyable album. Eno's production is top-notch and Byrne's croons are as falsetto as ever.
RIYD: Talking Heads, older Eno, Radiohead
Play: 1 (sun bleached, layered pop), 2 (ambling folk), 3 (textured jazz), 4 (standout - beautiful pop), 11 (great finish)
This album, like Radiohead's "In Rainbows" or Nine Inch Nails' "The Slip," was released via the internet long before it met any kind of official physical release. Because of this, we only just received it, although it's been in circulation for quite some time now. This was the year of self-releases, and if other major bands (such as those aforementioned) follow the trend, it's going to shake up the entire industry, from the (honestly outdated anyway) Big 5 (Universal, et al) to lowly college radio outfits like us. The times, they are a'changin'.
Land Of Talk - "Some Are Lakes"
Saw them open for Broken Social Scene and fell in love with Lizzie Powell's voice. Solid album with quite a few shining moments. Good blend of drum beats, kind of jagged guitar riffs and dreamy pop-esque vocals. Give them a listen.
Play: 4, 6, 7, 10
As noted in the review, these guys opened for Broken Social Scene at the Gargoyle about a month ago. I've been to my fair share of shows, and I've only been truly impressed by openers a handful of times - and I'd easily include Land of Talk in that handful. Whereas most openers tend to be watered down versions of the headliner, or even just flat out suck, they truly stood out on their own merits. It's indie pop, no doubt, but with razor sharp edges and a lot of tension boiling under the surface.
Annuals - "Such Fun"
Nice, country laced indie pop. Anthemic stuff, and lots of nice instrumentals. The vocals are a little annoying at times, got a little pop-punky, but the musicality of the band really makes this record worth your time.
Play: 2, 3 (good build), 6 (rockin good orchestration), 9 (nice piano), 10 (pretty)
Back in 2006, Annuals basically exploded onto the indie scene from the ever-fertile fields of North Carolina via their debut "Be He Me." This was around the time I really started getting into "indie," and one of my friends burned it for me. I hated it. Here was a band that was lauded as excellent by a number of prominent music blogs (this was also 'round the time the "blogosphere" came into full effect, I think) and I just didn't get it. Yet, this album didn't get half the press or praise their first did, and I liked it a hell of a lot more. I don't know what that says about anything - other than maybe I shouldn't read Pitchfork so much.
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - "Sunday At Devil Dirt"
Former female vocalist for Belle & Sebastian teams up again with Screaming Trees frontman (and Tom Waits doppelganger) Mark Lanegan. Really downbeat ballads, slow, ominous folk/country. Their voices blend well together, and really fit the music. All of these were arranged by Isobel, and they're all really good.
Play: 2, 4, 5, 6, 9 (really sweet), 11
What the hell happened to Belle & Sebastian? They recently released "The BBC Sessions," but it's been, like, a billion years (actually 3) since they put out new material, and 10 since "If You're Feeling Sinister" (which is arguably their best work). I suppose none of that is relevant here, as Isobel's no longer a part of the group. She is, however, doing fine work with Mr. Lanegan - this album isn't groundbreaking but it's damn fine nonetheless. I think (and hope) time will be kind to their work together.
Last charts of the yeaaaaar:
Rank Artist Recording Label
1 WOMEN Women Jagjaguwar
2 VIVIAN GIRLS Vivian Girls In The Red
3 JENNY LEWIS Acid Tongue Warner Bros.
4 I'M FROM BARCELONA Who Killed Harry Houdini? Mute
5 EAGLES OF DEATH METAL Heart On Downtown
6 PAST LIVES Strange Symmetry [EP] Suicide Squeeze
7 DESOLATION WILDERNESS White Strobing Light K
8 TOUGH ALLIANCE A New Chance Modular
9 STARFUCKER Starfucker Badman
10 BOUND STEMS The Family Afloat Flameshovel
11 MENAHAN STREET BAND Make The Road By Walking Daptone-Dunham
12 THESE UNITED STATES Crimes United Interests
13 GENTLE GUEST We Are Bound To Save Some Souls Tonight Amble Down
14 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS Another World [EP] Secretly Canadian
15 ETTES Look At Life Again Soon Take Root
16 PARTS AND LABOR Receivers Jagjaguwar
17 SEBASTIEN GRAINGER Sebastien Grainger And The Mountains Saddle Creek
18 TOBACCO Fucked Up Friends Anticon
19 MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA Let My Pride Be [EP] Sony
20 PINK SPIDERS Sweat It Out Mean Buzz
21 WINTERSLEEP Welcome To The Night Sky Labwork
22 LITTLE ONES Morning Tide Chop Shop
23 HER SPACE HOLIDAY XOXO Panda, And The New Kid Revival Mush
24 FUCKED UP The Chemistry Of Common Life Matador
25 PORTUGAL. THE MAN Censored Colors Equal Vision-Approaching AIRballoons
26 LITTLE TEETH Child Bearing Man Absolutely Kosher
27 RELIGIOUS KNIVES The Door ECSTATIC PEACE!
28 OF MONTREAL Skeletal Lamping Polyvinyl
29 ARIZONA Glowing Bird Echo Mountain
30 JAY REATARD Matador Singles '08 Matador
and that's it folks. I'll catch you again in a few weeks - enjoy the holiday.