Find out what the CL Music Team is jamming to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.
Leilani - Creative Loafing Birthday Bash Playlist With some help from a few CL staffers, I curated a playlist for the Creative Loafing Festival, a celebration of CL's 25th anniversary with a range of cool events celebrating the paper, our area, and of course, CL-approved live music spread out over three days and multiple venues. The 23 songs in my playlist are all by acts playing the WAD Trolley Tour & Block Party (the music portion hosted by myself and Mark Etherington of RedFeather, who also performs) on Friday, the Saturday night 25th Birthday Bash blowout at The Ritz Ybor, and Sunday afternoon's Alchemy Fest. I've been jamming the playlist all morning, marveling at the sheer diversity of our local music scene and the range of high quality acts that have all signed on to perform — Early Forms, the reverb and melody-mixing, Weezer/grunge appealing angular alt pop-rock project of Vinnie Cosentino, Alastair St. Hill and a few others; Cats in the Basement, a Sarasota act that serves bright, upbeat Afro pop; another Sarasota outfit, The Send Offs, their own sound a dynamic driving brand of psych-blues; a few unique-voiced songstresses, Jun Bustamante and Geri X, the former more jazz-folk experimental, the latter doing bruised alt roots; the Femcee herself, hip hop rhyme-ruling Dynasty with production sidekick, DJ Blenda; Luxury Mane, led by Billy Summer and offering up dreamy sighing surf rock; and the noise-washed garage-surf wanderings of Jensen Serf Co. "Memory" by the latter below; click here to check out the playlist in its entirety...
Gabe - David Bowie, The Next Day (2013) The always innovative David Bowie, who most fans thought had permanently retired from the business, shocked the world last January (on January 8th, his birthday) when he announced that a brand new studio album was complete and due for release in March. As a teaser, he also released the album’s lead-off single, the plaintive “Where Are We Now?” on the same day. The first new Bowie material since his last album, 2003’s Reality, has arrived and the wait was well worth it. A spectacular batch of new compositions finds Bowie in fine form; his vocals are strong and expressive and his lyrics are as elusive and cryptic as ever. The album opens with the title track and gets things off to a rousing start. Blistering guitars match Bowie’s forceful snarls and that’s just the beginning. The album continues it’s ascent to not only ranking as a sterling comeback but as one of Bowie’s strongest releases of the last few decades. Short, streamlined songs benefit from the spectacular playing that longtime Bowie band members provide. Add in the wizard production of longtime collaborator Tony Visconti and The Next Day shapes up to be a memorable Bowie release and a welcomed comeback.
Shae - Bob Dylan, Planet Waves (1974) Planet Waves is such an underrated album, overshadowed by the following albums in Dylan’s mid-70s come-back trilogy, Blood on the Tracks and Desire. While, yes, Waves lacks BotT’s agonized emotion and Desire’s blazing sonic palette, it has its own undeniable strengths. Bob’s voice, jumping from confident, to raunchy to playful to earnest, sounds amazing here. The Band, his support on the recording, add their distinct earthy roots rock flavor while still allowing Dylan’s sound to come through. The songs themselves are slow-burning. It takes years to fully appreciate this stuff, not because it’s any way bad, just more subtle. Subtle, that is, until you hear Dylan sing in “Tough Mama” that the day was “hotter than a crotch.” Only he could get away with a line like that and have it not sound gratuitous. Dylan’s known and praised for his lyrics, but for me, the lyrics come second to the voice. It’s all about the voice! So while many consider the slow, swirling version of “Forever Young” to be the album’s highlight, it’s the crooning on “Something There Is about You” and “Never Say Goodbye” that consistently gives me goosebumps.
Ray - Their/They're/There, Their/They're/There EP (Polyvinyl, 2013) Forget the word "supergroup" — Their/They're/There is more like an emo/punk rock/guitar nerd wet dream. The trio is comprised of Mike Kinsella, Evan Weiss, and Matthew Frank who front Owen, Into It. Over It., and Loose Lips Sink Ships, respectively. The band's self-titled EP sees release on Record Store Day (April 20 if you're keeping score), and it's fitting that Chicago-based Polyvinyl Records will be handling distribution.
The 20-minute effort is there and gone in a flash, but the six tracks on TTT have been on repeat since Friday evening. Think mathy, post-punk Chi-city guitar parts, melancholic lyrics ("I suck, this sucks" are the first four words uttered on the record), and what sounds like some the most spirited Mike Kinsella drumming I've heard since Cap'n Jazz. The EP's second track ("Concession Speech Writer") is streaming at Rolling Stone now, and the RSD release is limited to 1000 copies on Sea Foam-colored vinyl.
Valerie - Muse, The 2nd Law (2012) Ma-ma-ma-ma mad mad mad, can't get this out of my mind and I'm quite okay with that. When the smooth and sultry track "Madness" shuffled on my Spotify radio this past week there was no turning back, I was hooked. Gotta love the slick, short and sweet guitar solo midway through, which reminds you this is, in fact, a Muse song. The rest of the album satisfies the most diverse musical palate.