I have never immediately loved a Radiohead album besides OK Computer. The first listen is usually one of cerebral appreciation, and only in subsequent listens do I really feel like I’ve been cleared to approach by the music appreciation gods. The new Radiohead album, King of Limbs, was released a week and a day ago, and since then I’ve listened to it close to a dozen times. I think I love this album. Listen: Get: CD/Vinyl
Listened to this three time to make sure, but yes, my 2nd favorite Belle & Sebastian album for sure, right behind If You’re Feeling Sinister. Get the CD
Album: 5.0 Nelly’s album isn’t terrible. Not good, but not terrible. A few standouts, but padded with album fillers. “Just a Dream” is one catchy song. I’m feeling it take over the role in my life previously filled by “Bad Romance.” Buy: CD/mp3
Album: Castaways and Cutouts I’m heading down to Monterey this weekend for the Big Sur Half Marathon which will be a nice break after a crushing three weeks of constant work and sleeplessness. I’ve been heading down to Monterey and Big sur pretty regularly, and it’s become my favored spot for some contemplative repose. And with this song, I’m starting to run low on songs in my collection about the Highway 1 coastline. Anyone know of any others? Buy: CD/mp3
Album: Write About Love This past Sunday, I was at the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco, headlined by Belle and Sebastian, and also featuring Ra Ra Riot, Broken Social Scene, The National, Superchunk, Rogue Wave, and other great acts. Ra Ra Riot was spectacular as usual, and Alexandra Lawn even sang a song. Matt Berninger of The National was just sipping wine the entire show and looked like the coolest frontman of all time. This was my first time seeing Belle and Sebastian, and all the good things I’ve heard about their shows are well-deserved. Listen: Get the album! CD/mp3
One of the most covered songs ever, Feeling Good “is a song written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the 1964 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd” (thanks Wikipedia). The two versions here are from Muse’s Origin of Symmetry, and My Brightest Diamond from the compilation, Dark was the Night. Dark was the Night, especially is probably the best charity compilation I have ever heard, with two sides filled with great artists recording new material, and actually trying hard to create art, instead of the usual afterthoughts that appear on these type of albums. Other notable versions include Nina Simone’s and John Coltrane’s. Listen: Get Origin of Symmetry! CD/mp3 Get Dark Was the Night! CD/mp3
When Stars performed at the Independent in San Francisco back in June, they played through all of The Five Ghosts, which was at that time, unreleased. The whole album was a bit of a throwback to an earlier version of Stars when they were much more of an atmospheric electronic band with soaring melodies. This song exemplifies that feel. Pictures of the concert after the jump. Listen: Purchase: CD/mp3
Album: Eyelid Movies Year: 2010 A few nights ago, Phantogram opened for Ra Ra Riot in a Syracuse, NY show, a show I would have loved to attend. Phantogram shares some connections with Ra Ra Riot, both having a melancholy sound, and signed under the venerable Barsuk Records. Their sound is a tripped up dream-electro-pop; M83 stripped bare to a piercing, pounding, entrancing core. Make sure you listen to this with good bass. Listen:
Year: 2006 From the album Magnificent City, a collaboration between RJD2 and Aceyalone, “Heaven” is hypnotic, and, like the rest of the songs, has a refreshingly layered aesthetic both in terms of the form of the song and the obviously carefully produced synths and vocals.
Year: 2006 I recently started having a Silversun Pickups kick, probably spurred on by the release of their newest album, an album I haven’t even listened to yet. This is probably my favorite track of of Carnavas.