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  #51  
Old April 24th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

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Originally Posted by mel View Post
...the old fart in me, recently got ... the B-52's "Funplex" which just picks up from where they left off several years ago. The latter is a fun album that'd go good at a dance party if people liked that kind of music.
Yeah!!! Platinum action at the Funplex! Great album!
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  #52  
Old April 25th, 2008, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Poi Dog Pondering - 7. A mix of their old sound and recent house/soul sound.
poidogpondering.com
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  #53  
Old May 16th, 2008, 04:06 PM
NemesisVex NemesisVex is offline
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

  • Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs (05/13/2008, Atlantic) Got it yesterday and listened to it once. I think I like Chris Walla's solo album more.
  • Madonna, Hard Candy (04/29/2008, Warner Bros.) Timbaland and Justin Timberlake did Duran Duran no favors on Red Carpet Massacre, but they do fine by Madonna on this album. The Neptunes tracks are also quite good.
  • Furukawa Miki, Bondage Heart (04/23/2008, BMG Japan) Not as appealing as her 2006 solo debut, Mirrors.
  • Kylie Minogue, X (04/01/2008, Capitol) I've actually been listening to this for months, since it was released elsewhere last year. Quite fun, really.
  • R.E.M., Accelerate (04/01/2008, Warner Bros.) Oh, thank goodness R.E.M. finally shook off that funk.
  • Wayne Horvitz/Gravitas Quartet, One Dance More (04/08/2008, Songlines)
  • Wayne Horvitz, Joe Hill: 16 Actions for Voices, Orchestra and Soloist (04/01/2008, New World)
  • Wayne Horvitz/Sweeter Than the Day, A Walk in the Dark (April 2008, self-released)
  • Varmint, Mr. Man in the Moon (April 2008, self-released) I'm still listening to all these Horvitz discs (Varmint included), so I don't have much of an opinion just yet.
  • ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, World World World (03/05/2008, Ki/oon) The more I listen to this album, the more I warm up to it.
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  #54  
Old July 11th, 2008, 02:41 PM
NemesisVex NemesisVex is offline
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

I think it's high time to bump this thread.

CDs:
  • Shiina Ringo, Watashi to Houden Shiina Ringo's B-sides are as good as her singles.
  • LOVE PSYCHEDELICO, This is LOVE PSYCHEDELICO This actually has previously released material from Japan, but it's the band's US debut. Imagine a classic rock band time traveled to 2000.
  • Emmylou Harris, All I Intended to Be Harris ditches the moodiness of her previous two albums and mixes originals with interpretation. This one is a contender for my year-end favorite list.
  • Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust The first half of the album is refreshingly lively, but the second half brings back the atmosphere of the band's previous work.
  • The Dead Betties, This Is Your Brain on Drugs The most melodic of the wildly prolific Dead Betties albums I've heard thus far. Doesn't have the blister of Nightmare Sequence, but the performances are still tight.
  • Eponymous 4, enigmatics I released my own CD.

MP3:
  • Jonathan Mendelsohn, Various SNOCAP tracks Not an actual album, but a number of recordings available on Mendelsohn's Myspace page. I like his voice, and his songs don't tend to get lost in the R&B clutter.
  • Nico Muhly, Mothertongue An enigmatic album weaving monotone melodies, minimalism and ancient music. Strangely appealing.

Last edited by NemesisVex; July 11th, 2008 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Adding Jonathan Mendelsohn
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  #55  
Old October 12th, 2008, 10:03 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Been buying a lot of stuff recently, after a bit of a drought. New releases that impressed me include:

"An Invitation" - Inara George (vocalist with The Bird and the Bee, daughter of Little Feat's Lowell George) teams up with Van Dyke Parks (acclaimed arranger/songwriter best known for his work with Brian Wilson)

"S.M.V." - three incredible bass guitarists teaming up: Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller - jazzy, funky fun.

But the one that has blown me away is the US release (with additional tracks) of a 2002 European collaboration between jazz guitarist Pat Metheny & Polish singer Anna Maria Jopek, "Upojenie." If you like Metheny at all, you have to have this album. Several of the tracks are new arrangements (with Polish lyrics) of some of his past instrumental works, and several are composed by the musicians on the album. Jopek's voice has a haunting breathiness reminiscent of Brazilian bossa nova singers, and is a fantastic lead instrument for these works. Unutterably gorgeous jazz.
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  #56  
Old October 26th, 2008, 11:37 PM
NemesisVex NemesisVex is offline
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CDs:
  • BLEACH, Kien If you've listened to this hardcore trio from Okinawa before, you've pretty much heard this album as well.
  • Hajime Chitose, Cassini Hajime Chitose still has the voice of the millennium, but this album finds her bouncing back from the relative disappointment of her last album.
  • Joan Jeanrenaud, Strange Toys Former Kronos cellist records an album of her own works, and while haunting, the album can get conspicuous.
  • Samamidon, All Is Well Traditional music quietly performed at an introspective pace. Features orchestrations by Nico Muhly.
  • Spangle call Lilli line, ISOLATION An album featuring some gorgeous piano work.
  • Tarik O'Regan, Threshold of Night (Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare Company of Voices) I bought this at an in-store appearance.
MP3s:
  • Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium), Miniatures Mostly piano and synthesized orchestra. Classically minded but not beholden to dogma.
  • Frederick Rzewski, The People United Will Never Be Defeated (Ralph van Raat, piano) Holy crap do you need to be virtuoso to play this piece.
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  #57  
Old October 30th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

AC/DC's Black Ice is the best CD from the band since 1980's Back In Black. A must for any rock fan.

I also recommend James Taylor's Covers. A nice CD with familiar covers done in Taylor's style.
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  #58  
Old October 30th, 2008, 08:37 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Originally Posted by NemesisVex View Post
Joan Jeanrenaud, Strange Toys Former Kronos cellist records an album of her own works, and while haunting, the album can get conspicuous.
Frederick Rzewski, The People United Will Never Be Defeated (Ralph van Raat, piano) Holy crap do you need to be virtuoso to play this piece.
I was just checking these out this week, as they are eligible for Grammy Awards in a number of Classical categories (another area where I vote).
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  #59  
Old November 3rd, 2008, 11:04 PM
NemesisVex NemesisVex is offline
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MP3s:
  • ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Festival Thyme Not sure if they've shaken off the torpor of So Divided.
  • Antony and the Johnsons, Another World A bit nondescript -- I hope the forthcoming album fares better.
  • Girl Talk, Feed the Animals Holy crap how does a person get away with laying Missy Elliott over Nu Shooz or Jay-Z over Radiohead?
  • Ivri Lider, Beketzev A'hid Batnu'ot Shell Haguf (The Steady Rhythm Of Body Movements) One of Israel's biggest pop stars records a rather rocking album.
  • Matt Alber, Hide Nothing Former member of Chanticleer sounds a bit like Rufus Wainwright, except Rufus probably can't do countertenor like Alber.

And while haven't actually gotten around to buying these yet, I have listened to:
  • Sam Sparro, Sam Sparro The Force of Prince is strong in this one.
  • VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE, Halan'naca Darkside Oh thank goodness Ahito Inazawa has mitigated the awful influence of POLYSICS
  • ZAZEN BOYS, ZAZEN BOYS 4 Finally -- Dave Fridmann went in and saved Mukai Shuutoku from himself.
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  #60  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:25 AM
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Man, it's been some time since I last updated this. I've got too much 2008 stuff to discuss all in one post, so I'll hit it in alphabetical order a few at a time, I guess.

Alice Cooper
Along Came a Spider
It's a pretty good concept album about a serial killer who leaves his victims wrapped in cocoons of silk, minus one leg. Something about assembling a spider of his own, only he falls in love with his eighth victim. The thing about Alice's albums is that they usually take quite a while to grow on me and I haven't given this one an adequate number of listens. Alice can still sing, though, and I think he's one of the best at telling a story in a four-minute song. Slash and Ozzy Osbourne make guest appearances.

Asia
Phoenix
I'm very, very excited about this one. It's the first Asia album with the original lineup (Wetton, Downes, Howe, Palmer) since Alpha, the band's 1983 second album. As has been discussed on HT before, Wetton had some health problems, resulting in a postponed tour (including a scheduled Hawaii show), and a lot of that comes through in the Wetton-penned songs. There's a lot of "I'll never take things for granted again," and "Now I know what's important" in the lyrics, but if you love Asia the way I love Asia, you wanna know how proggy it is! The answer: About as proggy as an Asia album gets. It really does feel like the third part of a trilogy beginning with Asia and continuing with Alpha. Everybody on the album rocks about the way you'd expect. I think the best thing I can say about it is that there are no surprises here, except maybe how truly positive the vibe is. When Wetton's on his game, he's a great singer, and he's on it here. I don't know if I mentioned it, but for me and my rocker friends in high school, it was really Asia that got us into progressive rock. When we found out it was a supergroup, one of us (not me) investigated his dad's record collection and found LPs of Yes, King Crimson, UK, Uriah Heep, and ELP and over the next few years we were all eventually converted. Oh, and Roger Dean did the album cover. THAT almost tells you all you need to know, right there.

Carly Simon
This Kind of Love
I haven't listened to this since a couple of weeks after I bought it, and the thing that strikes me about this album is that it's a good age-o-meter. If you like it, you're probably old. I kinda like it, so I think that means I'm kinda old. I'm going to have to revisit it, though, because I don't remember anything else about it!

Crooked Still
Still Crooked
Now THIS is an album I'm excited about, and a definite candidate for my album of the year. I've mostly heard Crooked Still described as neo-bluegrass, but I guess I'm still something of a bluegrass tenderfoot, because when I listen, I hear bluegrass. This group of virtuoso twenty-somethings recently lost its founding cellist, a central figure in the group, but found a new one and added Brittany Haas, a college-aged fiddle-playing hotshot on whom I have something of a crush (do a YouTube search and you'll see why). This is beautiful, beautiful music: sensual and energetic and lively and just cool. Check out "Did You Sleep Well?" and you'll see what I mean. A great, great album.

David Byrne and Brian Eno
Everything that Happens will Happen Today
It's about what you would expect: Interesting, intriguing, not altogether memorable, but with moments of genius. Still getting into this one.

Digital Underground
...Cuz a d.u. Party Don't Stop!
I should know better than to purchase an entire Digital Underground album; they've NEVER put out a whole album of solid material. However, since I knew it was unlikely I'd get to hear anything from this album through the usual channels and since DU has announced that this is its final album, I went ahead and got it, hoping for at least three good tracks. DU is so inconsistent and so uneven, though, so I knew there'd be a chance none of it was worth it. There is nothing here as memorable as "Same Song" or "Humpty Dance," but there are a few moments. I miss Tupac.

The Duke Spirit
Neptune
I saw this band on Leno one night, which is amazing because Leno doesn't usually have such little-known bands and also because I never watch Leno: what the heck was I doing watching Leno that night? Anyway, what I heard was basically a nice, noisy, buzzy band with a cute lead singer; the band reminded me a lot of the Raveonettes (a band I really dig) but a little less esoteric, a bit more accessible. That pretty much describes the whole album, really. It's kind of like Raveonettes Light. Nice, interesting, fun music. If you wish the Ravenonettes were a little bit more melodic, you might really like this.

Extreme
Saudades de Rock
I should probably present the disclaimer that Extreme can really do little wrong in my book, and I had despaired of the band ever getting back together even though the members have remained close friends all these years, so there was no way I would dislike this. It's got most of the good Extreme elements: good harmonies, interesting lyrics, good rhythms, and really tight musicianship. It's missing what the last couple of albums were also missing, though: That really great variety of styles and approaches that can be heard on Pornograffiti, the band's artistic and commercial peak. If you liked III Sides to Every Story, you'll probably like this. If you even liked Waiting for the Punchline, then you should definitely get this, because you're as much a fan as I am. Those who are unsure might just give the first track, "Star," a listen. You'll know from that song whether or not this is up your alley.

K. That's enough for now. More tomorrow.

Last edited by scrivener; December 3rd, 2008 at 03:02 AM.
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  #61  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

I buy plenty of single tracks from the iTunes (Plus tracks only) and Amazon.com (DRM free MP3) online digital music stores... too numerous to mention... I track them at my Top 20 webpage and my Last FM webpage. You guys pretty much can see what single tracks I own by checking these pages out.

Albums: I tend to lean more toward the traditional CD when I buy an album... and usually it has to be $10 or less (BestBuy or WalMart) for me to buy a single disc new CD (or even oldie); otherwise I'm satisfied to just get a single digital track at iTunes or Amazon or wait for years for a certain title to be reduced down to the bargain bin. Amazon digital frequently puts entire albums on sale for $3.99 or less. I bought a 22 song Patsy Cline collection from Amazon.com digital for only $1.99 several months ago.

That said, recent albums I bought on CD that came out this year 2008:

Enya - And Winter Came - the cold chilly holiday season is ideally suited to Enya's latest album filled with several originals and a few covers of holiday music. You have to like airy new age music to appreciate Enya. No head banging here.

The Killers - Day & Age - just bought this a few days ago. I haven't listened to it all the way through, but I have liked their 2 previous studio releases. I'll probably like this one, already dig the tracks "Human" and "Spaceman".

Lenka - Lenka - pop goodness in the vein of Colbie Caillet perhaps but more upbeat, brassy and electric. Plenty of tracks on this are already my favorites: "The Show", "Dangerous & Sweet" and "Trouble is a Friend".

The Raveonettes (2 EPS) - I'm bunching these 2 shorties into one. One thing about their music, is that it is next to impossible to find on CD at an affordable price now that they are on an indie label instead of Sony/Columbia. I really love their Christmas single "Come on Santa" which is on their 4-track Christmas EP that I got from iTunes Plus. Different cover of the old Darlene Love song "Christmas Baby Please Come Home".... of course this duo loves the old Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" production as a lot of their music pays homeage to this recording technique with a lot of noise added in.

I also like the EP that came out just before this Christmas release. Beauty Dies is a 4-track release with 2 songs that I really like... "Black /White" and "Here Comes the End". The Raveonettes also released several free tracks from their website and MySpace, remixes of "Aly Walk With Me" and "Dead Sound" from this year's earlier release, Lust Lust Lust.

One album that I should have bought last week was by a "new band" called The Fireman, which is actually the latest "experiment" by Paul McCartney and I don't know who else. Amazon.com had a free downloadable track from this album last week which I did get... however I forgot to check if BestBuy had the CD on sale last week (their first week new release single CDs often sell for $9.99 or less)..... so this is one I'll wait on for a while until I see it for sale again or maybe get a digital copy at a later date. The samples I heard at Amazon.com sounded interesting and different from recent music put out by McCartney.
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  #62  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:39 AM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Scrivener - thanks for the blurb on the new Asia disc. I gave up on them quite a few years ago, but I will have to check this volume out.

BTW - have you seen the Rodrigo y Gabriela "Live In Japan" CD/DVD set in stores there?

This time of year, I am put on moratorium by the Alpha Female - no purchasing of CDs, DVDs or books until after Christmas. Any new releases I want, I let her know - so she has ideas for herself and others for my Christmas gifts; otherwise, my collections are so large that she generally has no idea whether or not I already have something.

One exception is holiday CDs (though the new Enya is on the moratorium list, oddly) - I've been enjoying the twisted take on classics from Bela Fleck & the Flecktones (imagine Tuvan throat singing on "Jingle Bells"), as well as the wonderful mix of special guests working with Yo-Yo Ma on his holiday disc (he does a duet with Jake Shimabukuro on John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over).") The jazzy overtones on the Hawai`i-Island based acoustic guitar trio Kohala's Christmas album makes for some sweet listening, too - we're using it on-air this month.
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  #63  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

More 2008 releases.

James McMurtry
Just Us Kids
I already wrote about the advance single, "Cheney's Toy," earlier in this thread. Picked up the rest of the album the day it became available. Musically, it's McMurtry through and through: Country rock leaning more toward rock, with country-flecked guitar work that reminds me of Timbuk3 and vocals that remind everyone of Lou Reed. I don't know if McMurtry does his own lead guitar work, but the solos on this album are terrific. Kinda dusty, kinda grimy, very soulful. Lyrically, it's some of McMurtry's best work since his first two albums. Bitter, sarcastic, bemused, and always interesting. No painting by numbers on this album.

Jana Pochop
The Early Year
This independently released five-song EP is by a musician I got to know on Twitter. I don't know what prompted one of us to follow the other, but I became aware of her when I sent a Twitter message about really liking the latest album from Adrienne Young (I'm really on a serious bluegrass kick lately) and she responded by saying she loved Adrienne Young. I purchased everything I could find from her and became a quick fan, pre-ordering this latest music as soon as it was announced. It's contemporary singer-songwriter folk music, mostly Jana's very good guitar-strumming and her vocals. I hear a little bit of Mary-Chapin Carpenter here; it's definitely folk music flavored strongly by the American Southwest. Jana's got a rather high, thin voice that sometimes has trouble holding a note, but her lyrics are clever, comfy, and sincere, and that goes a long way with this kind of music. People sensitive to vocalists who sometimes have to slide up or down to the intended note might have difficulty listening to this, but otherwise, I give it a strong recommendation. I think Jana's a really good acoustic rhythm guitarist and I will continue to buy anything she puts out. Her blog is always a fun, interesting read, too.

John Mellencamp
Life, Death, Love, and Freedom
Fricking terrific. If the most recent thing you've heard from Mellencamp is that ubiquitous "Our Country" song that played over those Chevy truck commercials, you've got to put that out of your mind and give this a listen. It's Mellencamp's folkiest album ever. It is sad, melancholy, mellow, simple songwriting and produced by T Bone Burnett. I get excited about anything T Bone's name is on, so when I saw he was working with one of my favorite, favorite musicians, I almost did a little dance right where I was. Check out the first track, "Longest Days." Good stuff.

Jordan Zevon
"The Joke's on Me" from Insides Out
I can't remember what kept me from buying the whole album, but when I saw Zevon play this song on Letterman one night, it almost moved me to tears, just because of who it was and where he was performing. This is a great tune, not really reminiscent of Warren Zevon at all, except for the slightly sardonic, self-deprecating lyrics: "It looks like the joke's on me / 'Cause I'm the only one / That isn't really having fun / It looks like the joke's on me / I've signed the dotted line / To be the perfect punchline." And later: "The agony of defeat with a catchy melody / Standing dead on my feet / Maybe someone should bury me / A natural born loser smothered in humor / It looks like the joke's on me." I think I've just convinced myself to buy the rest of this album.

Juliana Hatfield
How to Walk Away
It's like the former Lemonhead, former Blake Baby woke up in Sheryl Crow's body but kept her lyrical (and physical) voice. Musically, the best way I can describe this is Juliana Hatfield channeling Sheryl Crow. It's good. It's quite good. It lacks the sorta unpolished, fun vibe that characterized her early work, as if she woke up one morning feeling old, but it's got some of her best singing. Definitely worth a listen if you dig Crow. Might be disappointing to longtime Hatfield fans.

King's X
XV
I don't know what happened to King's X, but since signing with InsideOut America, the band has just ROCKED. This, the second release on the label offers more of what was offered on 2005's Ogre Tones, with perhaps a bit more finesse and a bit less ferocity. It's crunchy, rumbly, grumbly power metal sung in three-part harmony. A definite candidate for my top-ten list this year.

Midnattsol
Nordlys
It's dark Norwegian symphonic folk metal with female operatic vocals. Very goth-sounding and pretty. For people who care (yes, I'm mostly talking about myself), a look at the band's lead singer might be enough to convince you at least to give it a listen. I like it.

Minus the Bear
Acoustics
I love this band. It's the mathiest math-rock I've heard in ages. This EP is made up of acoustic versions of the of the band's previously released material, plus one new song. It's very, very good, and if I had to decide today what my album of the year is, it would be this.
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Last edited by scrivener; December 3rd, 2008 at 12:30 PM.
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  #64  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:53 PM
Ron Whitfield Ron Whitfield is offline
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Default What a surprise!...

...All steel guitar related stuff.
Anybody interested can say so, and...you'll...be...sorry...

Thanx for the review of Kings X. I liked them in the beginning, and they must have matured quite a bit since.

Oh yeah, I did get another copy of the 200- live DVD by Amon Duul II.
Friggin expensive!
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  #65  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Went to two of the Symphony Pops concerts recently. I did that great bargain they had of 3/$45.00 of their series. I bought the Ellis Hall Cd and the
Bela Fleck "Jingle all the way" CD last weekend. It was cool to have the
artists actually take time and sit in the lobby to meet with fans and sign
things and pose for pictures (if people had a camera). The last of
the series (for me anyway) is next weekend, "Peter and the Wolf" narrated
by Jorge Garcia of "Lost" fame. Looking forward to that one too!
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  #66  
Old December 4th, 2008, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Just bought that Paul McCartney "Fireman" CD today at WalMart for $9.00.
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  #67  
Old December 4th, 2008, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
The Raveonettes (2 EPS) - I'm bunching these 2 shorties into one. One thing about their music, is that it is next to impossible to find on CD at an affordable price now that they are on an indie label instead of Sony/Columbia. I really love their Christmas single "Come on Santa" which is on their 4-track Christmas EP that I got from iTunes Plus. Different cover of the old Darlene Love song "Christmas Baby Please Come Home".... of course this duo loves the old Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" production as a lot of their music pays homeage to this recording technique with a lot of noise added in.

I also like the EP that came out just before this Christmas release. Beauty Dies is a 4-track release with 2 songs that I really like... "Black /White" and "Here Comes the End". The Raveonettes also released several free tracks from their website and MySpace, remixes of "Aly Walk With Me" and "Dead Sound" from this year's earlier release, Lust Lust Lust.

One album that I should have bought last week was by a "new band" called The Fireman, which is actually the latest "experiment" by Paul McCartney and I don't know who else. Amazon.com had a free downloadable track from this album last week which I did get... however I forgot to check if BestBuy had the CD on sale last week (their first week new release single CDs often sell for $9.99 or less)..... so this is one I'll wait on for a while until I see it for sale again or maybe get a digital copy at a later date. The samples I heard at Amazon.com sounded interesting and different from recent music put out by McCartney.
Quite a bit of the “Raveonette” catalog and the new “Fireman” album are available on eMusic. I subscribe to emusic and find it a bargain and a treat, with my plan it works out to around 23 cents a song. Most of their stuff is from indie or foreign labels. For major label stuff I use itunes, Amazon, or run out and buy the CD or vinyl. Emusic has music from around the world and most genres. I found some “Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau,” and now have Pakalolo on one of my iPod play lists.
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  #68  
Old December 6th, 2008, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

More 2008 releases that found their way into my collection.

Guns N' Roses
Chinese Democracy
You knew this either had to be terrific or lousy. I am quite pleased to announce that it's terrific. I've only given it one attentive listen-through, but it really rocks, and it's just a really interesting collection of songs. I love the title track, but other highlights for me are "Catcher in the Rye," "Better," and "Street of Dreams." There's one slow song (booooo!) and one song that sounds a lot like vintage GNR, the title of which escapes me at the moment. I say if you own a GNR album, get this one too.

Motley Crue
Saints of Los Angeles
Pretty good album! The guitar-playing by Mick Marrs is some of his best ever, and the band sounds like it's having fun. The title track is your best place to start, and "Face Down in the Dirt" is good, too.

Presto Ballet
The Lost Art of Time Travel
This will probably be my choice for prog rock album of the year. The best song, "The Mind Machine," is in my 8tracks.com playlist, mentioned and linked to in another thread. Excellent proggy stuff.

R.E.M.
Accelerate
Best stuff from REM in ages. Good, rocking album.

The Raveonettes
Beauty Dies, Sometimes They Drop By, and Wishing You a Rave Christmas (all EPs)

The Raveonettes released four EPs this year and I got three of them (the other was an EP of remixes that didn't interest me much), and yes, I got them from eMusic.com too. I'm a long-time subscriber. I really like this band, if you can't tell. It's all good, and it all sounds like the band's Lust Lust Lust album, mentioned a few times already in this thread.

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947
I just love me some Ricky Skaggs. I am not familiar with any of the original versions of these songs so I have nothing to compare these performances to, but man, it's some terrific stuff. Also released this year is a compilation called American Masters Series: Best of the Sugar Hill Years, and I know we're staying away from reissues and compilations in this thread, but if you haven't heard this stuff, I highly recommend it. Skaggs is just a killer musician with amazing stage presence. I am in the process of getting my hands on everything bluegrass he's ever recorded.

More tomorrow.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

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Originally Posted by alohabear View Post
AC/DC's Black Ice is the best CD from the band since 1980's Back In Black. A must for any rock fan.
No it's not, but it's the best album from the band since For Those About to Rock, We Salute You (AC/DC's best album). It's good stuff. I don't know if it's a must, but if you're even a casual fan, you'll find it a worthwhile purchase. Twelve bucks and available only at WalMart.

I think I've shared this before, but Malcolm Young once said something like, "It annoys me that people are saying we've made the same album for twelve years. We've made the same album for seventeen years."
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Old December 8th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

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Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947
I just love me some Ricky Skaggs. I am not familiar with any of the original versions of these songs so I have nothing to compare these performances to, but man, it's some terrific stuff. Also released this year is a compilation called American Masters Series: Best of the Sugar Hill Years, and I know we're staying away from reissues and compilations in this thread, but if you haven't heard this stuff, I highly recommend it. Skaggs is just a killer musician with amazing stage presence. I am in the process of getting my hands on everything bluegrass he's ever recorded.
You heard about the project he worked on with Jack White of White Stripes fame?
Quote:
The Raconteurs, a Nashville-based rock band featuring Jack White of the White Stripes, has rerecorded its new single, "Old Enough," as a bluegrass song featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe. "We wanted to show a different side of the band and work with a few local artists we highly respect," said the Raconteurs' Patrick Keeler. "Ricky is a legend, plain and simple, and one of the best players around. Ashley Monroe is a young, rising star with an angelic voice." The single will be released digitally exclusively through Amazon on Dec. 2, followed a week later by all other digital retailers. The single will also be available as a CD single on Dec. 9 and released on vinyl on Dec. 16. The B-side will be a bluegrass version of "Top Yourself."
I met Ricky Skaggs when he was a rising-star youngster in the late 1970s, touring with Buck White's bluegrass band, The Down Home Folks (featuring Buck's two musical daughters); Ricky ended up marrying Buck's daughter Sharon. Dobro wizard Jerry Douglas was part of the band at that time, too. Wish I still had the concert tapes I made back in those days!
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Old December 10th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

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BTW - have you seen the Rodrigo y Gabriela "Live In Japan" CD/DVD set in stores there?
I had it in my hands last weekend when I went to Best Buy to pick up Chinese Democracy but put it back as an act of self-discipline. The audio tracks are available on eMusic; I haven't downloaded them because I want the DVD too. It's next on the list.

Quote:
This time of year, I am put on moratorium by the Alpha Female - no purchasing of CDs, DVDs or books until after Christmas.
When I was a kid, my mom would make me get rid of a bunch of books every year before December, knowing that I'd be getting new ones for Christmas and my birthday AND that any money I received from relatives was also going to be used for books. I think this was a good thing; I've tried to continue it in my adulthood, 'though I confess I've skipped a few years many times.

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Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
You heard about the project he worked on with Jack White of White Stripes fame?
I hadn't heard about that. It's going on the list, too! Jack White has a definite fondness for American country music.

Quote:
Ricky ended up marrying Buck's daughter Sharon.
The Whites are a legendary family in country gospel circles. They were never really my cup of tea, but I've admired them since my early college days.

-----

Metallica
Death Magnetic
It's a good album, but like St. Anger a few years ago, it needs repeated listens before the songs begin to distinguish themselves from each other. I kinda liked the freeform, kind of chaotic structure of the St. Anger songs, and while the songs on Death Magnetic have a similar sound (raw, aggressive), they are something of a return to earlier Metallica styles, with longer solos and more traditional structuring. This is still growing on me.

I mentioned in this thread that I thought the sound was flat and thin; it turns out that there were TONS of complaints about the way this album was engineered. Apparently, the dynamic range was sacrificed in order to make the album LOUDER. So anyway, it turns out that the sound on the Guitar Hero tracks is actually better. There are fans screaming for a remastering of the album (not sure I'm using the right words here), which I would be in favor of. I don't know much about the technical aspects of music recording, but I do know that this is not a good-sounding recording.


Sam Phillips
Don't Do Anything
Some background: Sam used to be known as Leslie Phillips, and if you heard of her under that name, it means you either listened to contemporary Christian radio or you had a friend who did. She was really good. Her song "Your Kindness" was a staple in worship services (those blasted Minus One accompaniment tracks!). But when Amy Grant's popularity soared in mainstream pop, Leslie's record label wanted the same thing for her, and it did its best to market her that way. She responded by recording The Turning, still one of the best CCM albums ever (produced by her future husband T Bone Burnett), her bitter, perplexed, WONDERFUL farewell letter to the CCM business entirely. She renamed herself Sam (it had been her nickname for most of her life, I think; it wasn't a tribute to the other Sam Phillips) and released a bunch of critically lauded albums on Virgin, including The Indescribable Wow and Cruel Inventions. She also played the mute terrorist in Die Hard with a Vengeance.

The critics still love her, but record sales, alas, did not keep pace with the acclaim, even with T Bone's magic touch (she's one of a very few artists whose albums he has produced more than once; Bruce Cockburn is another). She's on Nonesuch now (same label as Wilco) and Don't Do Anything is her third album on the label and her first in twenty years not produced by T Bone (their marriage ended recently). It's very, very much like the previous two: moody, quiet, pensive. But it is quite beautiful. I would love to compare her to someone, but I can't think of anyone who sounds like her. Just find a way to hear it.


Serenity
Fallen Sanctuary
Austrian progressive/symphonic metal. Sounds a bit like Scorpions meet Dream Theater, but maybe a little more mechanical-sounding than Dream Theater. This is good metal, with nice symphonic themes (very movie-soundtrack-like) and fun background vocals.


Sia
Some People Have Real Problems
You've probably already heard some of this. Sia can really sing. Check out "Little Black Sandals" and "Death by Chocolate." She reminds me most of a less gritty Joan Osbourne. Very pretty vocals.


Sieges Even
Playgrounds
A live album from the German progressive metal band. I'm not fond of the way this is mixed; it almost sounds like a soundboard recording. The vocals are way, way up front and the drums way, way back. I can't hear the guitar well enough either. Still, it's a really good performance. I was slightly surprised at how well the rest of the band sings on BGVs. A great, energetic performance, it turns out this is the band's swan song: it announced a month after the album's release that the band is through.


T Bone Burnett
Tooth of Crime
This album was showing up on MUSE (remember that?) ten years ago as an available album but nobody I spoke to knew anything about it and I could never track it down. Turns out it was never released until 2008. It's some of the songs T Bone wrote for Sam Shepherd's play, The Tooth of Crime. It's pretty dark for a T Bone album, and very orchestrated. There's just some heavy instrumentation on this album, quite unlike most of his solo recordings, which tend to be rather spare. zztype gifted me the entire album on iTunes before I even knew it was out! So yeah. I really dig it. Check out "Kill Zone," "Dope Island," and "The Slowdown." This will not be everyone's cup of tea. It is perhaps the least accessible of T Bone's albums, and that's saying something.


Tiles
Fly Paper
Progressive Rush-like rock. Rush-like is really the best way to describe just about anything the band does. That's a compliment. I recommend "Hide in My Shadow" and "Hide and Seek" to start, but it's all good.


Ted Nugent
Sweden Rocks
Live album. It sounds like a bootleg recording; it's just not very well mixed. Ted still plays a mean guitar, but while he still can sing the notes, his delivery sounds lazy, especially if you've heard his completely over-the-top live recordings from the seventies and eighties. His between-song and during-song banter don't make much sense, either. I'm not sure why that bugs me, but it does.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

I buy my country CDs from Australia since I can't get them here.

With our dollar being really strong against the Aussie dollar, I've been able to get myself quite a few CDs at a good price.

I've picked up so far:

Hillbilly Road - John Williamson
Bourke to Beaconsfield - Colin Buchanan
Dust Will Settle - Sunny Cowgirls
Spirit of the Bush - Lee Kernaghan (AWESOME CD)
Smoky Dawson and Friends
ABC Saturday Night Country - Volume 3
Saturday Night Country - Volume 4
I'm Doing Alright - Adam Harvey
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Old December 13th, 2008, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

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Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
No it's not, but it's the best album from the band since For Those About to Rock, We Salute You (AC/DC's best album). ."
You, of course, meant Back in Black. No biggie. We forgive small slips.

I only bought a couple pieces of new music. M.I.A.'s new one and one by Wooden Shjips that may not have been released this year.

I usually listen to tunes on Rhapsody now rather than buy cd's.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

I'm quite sure I'll still be purchasing music from 2008 for the next few years, but I think I pretty much have everything I need to make my top twenty for the year, which I hope to work on this week.

Here are the last few acquisitions (probably).

Caitlin Burgess, I Know It's You (released June 10, independent).
Burgess is a guitar-strumming singer-songwriter from Canada who sounds a lot like Jill Sobule but with better vocals and maybe not quite as clever lyrics. It's nice, pretty, smart music, 'though I have found that the songs are best not when played along with their siblings on the album, but when they pop up unexpectedly during an iTunes song-shuffle. I have a feeling this album's going to grow on me in 2009.

Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Momofuku (released May 6, Lost Highway Records).
Just got this today and have given it four listens. It's good, but I don't think there's anything here that's outstanding. Gotta give it a few more spins. When Elvis isn't pissed off, he's just not as good. So far, I like "Turpentine," "Flutter and Wow," and "Pardon Me, My Name is Eve."

The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound (released August 25, Side One Dummy records)
I only downloaded this because eMusic.com proclaimed it the best album of the year. It's punky, melodic, longing music by some boys from New Jersey with an obvious love for Bruce Springsteen. The Gaslight Anthem's songs sound nothing like the Boss, but every song seems to be infused by the same spirit. You know how it seems from Bruce's earlier albums that whenever he got into a car, something life-changing and urgent happened? How every song seemed to be begging someone else to realize that THIS was the most important night of everyone's life, at least until next Saturday? The Gaslight Anthem's songs have that same feeling. It's really, really good. Highly recommended. Check out the title track, "High Lonesome," and "Meet Me by the River's Edge," which actually contains the lyrics, "No surrender, my Bobbie Jean."

She & Him, Volume One (released March 18, Merge Records)
It's Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward doing pretty, dreamy, gentle, croony vocal pop. Still growing on me. Paste magazine named it album of the year, and it has popped up on other year-end best-of lists.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Here are my twenty best albums of the year. Since I've already written about almost all of them here, I'll spare you the comments except to say that 11 through 20 aren't REALLY in any order. They are, but they could easily be in a different order if I were to create this list tomorrow. I do feel good about these being the top 20, and I feel pretty sure about the order of the first ten.
  1. The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound
    I knew this was the best album of the year midway through my first listen.

  2. Minus the Bear, Acoustics.
    This is also very easily the NEXT-best record of the year. Just a mind-blowingly good collection.

  3. Crooked Still, Still Crooked
    I still don't know what neo-bluegrass is, but if it means haunting, beautiful, engaging, and fun, then yeah. This is it.

  4. Dengue Fever, Venus on Earth
    Still the freshest thing I heard in 2008. A Twitter/Flickr friend of mine has been teaching English in Cambodia for a few months and she says that in Cambodia, people are aware of the band but don't care much for them. Silly people.

  5. King’s X, XV
    When I listen to my 2008 smart playlist in shuffle mode, I am always caught off-guard by the songs from this album. What a great-sounding, well-produced, terrific album.

  6. Asia, Phoenix
    I really hope the band makes up its canceled concert date here, because there's just no way I'm going to miss it.

  7. Elvis Costello, Momofuku
    Wasn't too impressed at first, but totally digging it now. It's kind of a nice blend of Elvis's different moods and styles.

  8. Presto Ballet, The Lost Art of Time-Travel
    You really can't have too much mellotron.

  9. Sheryl Crow, Detours
    Holds up very well to repeated all-the-way-through listens, even all these months later.

  10. The Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust
    There seems to be some disagreement about when this album was released in America. Whatever. It's a great album.

  11. John Mellencamp, Life, Death, Love, and Freedom
    Gets better with every listen.

  12. T Bone Burnett, Tooth of Crime
    This is a puzzling album; I keep getting the feeling I'm not really hearing it correctly.

  13. Black Mountain, In the Future
    Another challenging album; definitely music for your head and not your hormones.

  14. AC/DC, Black Ice
    Because some things should never change.

  15. Extreme, Saudades de Rock
    A much more musically diverse album than I originally gave it credit for. I'm hoping the band stays together and keeps going, because I have a feeling the next album could be a killer.

  16. Circle II Circle, Delusions of Grandeur
    Interesting band that plays around with power metal, progressive metal, and straight-ahead metal. New (?) lead vocalist sounds great.

  17. The Duke Spirit, Neptune
    I'm not sure why this album didn't blow up. Shoulda been everywhere.

  18. Guns n' Roses, Chinese Democracy
    I am not as enamored of this as I was when I first picked it up. It's a bit overwhelming, the layers and layers and layers of production, but it's still a good, rocking album. I need to see me some more Axl in the coming years.

  19. Ricky Skaggs, Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947
    Because I still can't get my fill of Mr. Skaggs or his Kentucky Thunder.

  20. Sam Phillips, Don't Do Anything
    Confession: I'm putting this here because I have a FEELING it's where it belongs. I didn't listen to it as much as I should have for some reason. My moods didn't seem to call for it. I'll make up for it next year.


Summary: Good year for me, discovery-wise and re-discovery-wise. I'm reconnecting with some old idols (Asia, Extreme), continuing healthy relationships with long-time friends (King's X, Elvis Costello), learning a lot about new (to me) forms (Crooked Still, Ricky Skaggs), and getting turned on to things I never imagined (Dengue Fever, the Duke Spirit). I have no idea what's in the pipe for 2009, but I say bring it. New Bruce Cockburn would be nice.
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Last edited by scrivener; December 31st, 2008 at 10:34 PM.
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