What the Creative Loafing music team is jamming to break through the Monday malaise and rocket launch the week Click here to check out previous entries.
Nevermore, The Obsidian Conspiracy (2010)
Waiting seven albums to drop a snoozer is pretty admirable and for that, Seattle prog-thrash legends Nevermore deserve credit. The ingredients for great metal are here Jeff Loomis mind-bending riffs, Warrel Danes soaring voice and gloomy, thoughtful lyrics, and Van Williams' tight drumming. Nevertheless, The Obsidian Conspiracy simply fails to connect. In the break since their incredible 2005 set This Godless Endeavor, Loomis and Dane both issued solo albums and Dane revived his 80s thrash outfit Sanctuary. Did they simply overextend themselves?
Fantastic covers album by outstanding R&B keyboardist/singer John Legend backed by hip-hop/R&B band The Roots. Choosing socially relevant songs that still resonate today, Legend and The Roots tackle nuggets by Donny Hathaway, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes and Curtis Mayfield. A highly recommended and very timely release.
Just watched the Rush documentary, Beyond the Lighted Stage, and I'm totally on a Rush kick now. They're apparently performing Moving Pictures on their upcoming tour, which stops at the Ask-Gary Amphitheatre this Friday, October 1. Standout tracks: "Tom Sawyer," "YYZ" and "Limelight."
Will Johnson, Vultures Await (2004)
The Centro-Matic frontman's '04 solo album is a beautiful and eclectic affair that belies the alt-country tag and reveals a wide array of styles and influences. It's still intimate and heartfelt, but also endlessly inventive and truly original. "Catherine Dupree" sounds like Tom Waits taking a stab at melancholy pop, and "Closing Down My House" is just incredible.
J. Tillman is the drummer of Fleet Foxes. He's released numerous albums and EPs, and each one is just as good as the last. If you're into the chilled-out, relaxing-in-a-field-with-your-honey type of music, check him out. It's worth your time and effort.
Falling somewhere between Carole King and Joni Mitchell, 35 years later, this album is still poignant and beautiful. The obvious stand-out is Ian's signature tune "At Seventeen." (I wonder how sick musicians get of a song after so many years?) My favorites are the title track and "In The Winter."
Anyone remember this band from their Smashing Pumpkins opening gig at The Ritz? I know everyone was there for Sir Billy, but hopefully enough people paid attention to these guys too, and filed the name away for future reference. Josh Caddy and company have a great sound. The duel lead guitars, anthemic multi-voice choruses, and songs like "Wild Life" (video after the jump) and "Call Paul Stanley" have put Bad City on my must-see list.
I just simply can't decide which of these new albums to listen to first today, but I know that they'll both be on repeat all week. Maximum Balloon is the new side project from TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek. It's full of bright and funky moments, which so far remind me of 2008's Dear Science more than anything else. The release features a "who's who" of phenomenal artists: TVOTR members Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, David Byrne, Karen O, Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano, and a kickass opening track featuring Theophilus London (below). It's pretty clear that everyone involved had a great time making this album.
I've anxiously anticipated the new Deerhunter for a while, but Halcyon Digest has (so far) blown away everything I was hoping for. The production of Ben Allen, who gave us Animal Collective's mindblowing Merriweather Post Pavillion, provides a silky, sprawling, epic quality; the sort of album that's going to continue delivering surprises long after it's tracks have become familiar. I haven't given it the time it deserves yet, but I already know this one is making a place in my top playlist.
Finishing up my story on Yeasayer (stay tuned -- it should be posted in a day or two) and have been spinning Odd Blood incessantly. The band has gone in a completely different direction than on 2007's All Hour Cymbals; while the worldbeat flavors are still present, they are far from pervasive. This album around, the band amped up their bass tone and sub bass, and incorporated more keys and synths while reducing (but not completely abandoning) their reliance on guitar, percussion and organic elements overall. While I love the band, I'd say I'm still not completely sold on this album. Some of it is just too dang club-rave time for my taste. I've been listening to How I Got Over little by little, and am loving it, but I don't actually have a copy, so I've been randomly listening to it on Myspace when I have a few minutes here and there to spare. The Doobies -- gosh I love these guys. It's like progressive comfort-food music. I like both pre- and post-Michael McDonald, but my all-time favorite track is a track without McD's distinctive high vox, "Wheels of Fortune." The funky little jam that kicks in about halfway through just makes me happy inside. Check out some classic Doobies below...
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