New Music Tuesday August 19th
This Week's Interesting Music Releases (August 19th, 2008)
I would love to hear the argument of what is better : a blockbuster release full of Grammy nominations waiting to happen, or a plethora of enormous talented artists chalk full of new music that you won’t be sick of in a month?
“Love Song” from local favorite Dandy Warhols' “Earth To The Dandy Warhols”. All I have to say regarding this album is … “This is Bowie, to Bowie – do you hear me out there man?” OHhhh yeah man!!! That’s pretty far out man! The Dandy’s are growing, and being from Portland, that warms my heart. They may have sold their soul to the devil, but I think they are making it up to us. This record is one I actually might purchase! Don’t fall off your chair just yet, I said MIGHT. I am very proud these fellow alumni (yeah we went to the same high school… me and the lead singer Courtney). You can see them play October 5th at the Roseland, if you have any respect for your brother’s of Portland.
“Antoine and Birdskull” from Jaguar Love’s new “Take Me To The Sea”. Well well well we have another Portland band making it. We sure do have a lot of local talent in the music scene here, and some pretty kick ass venues for them to display it. I feel lucky to live in such an underground setting. Jaguar Love is perfectly punk for my liking – the lead Johnny Whitney is effin amazing, and I quote: “Johnny Whitney's vocals have been described as "like Robert Plant on steroids, or Perry Farrell after a sex change"
They will be playing at the Roseland September 5th, but I will be enjoying another bands sound that evening so I will not be able to join you. (Vampire Weekend at the Crystal)
“Always in your mind” from Jennifer O'Connor's ‘Here With Me’ LP. This was a bit hard to track down considering even iTunes doesn’t have it yet. She’s just hard enough you know you would have a great time with her. I sense a bit Lucinda Williams, but a bit more playful with a little folk indie acoustic guitar Portland Waterfront feel. Her song “Here with Me” is so true to life. Each track is unique, displaying her range in songwriting, vocals, and points of view. These are my favorite types of artist – showing their versatility and 3-dimensional spirit. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing… and I will seriously consider your show at the Doug Fir Lounge on September 12th.
“Melodies and Desires” from Lykke Li's “Youth Novels”. This Swedish princess is 22 and just released her first album. Having traveled and lived in places like Lisbon and Morocco, her music breathes a life I certainly couldn’t have at that age. Boy that sentence made me feel old. Let me be quite frank, here. Her music is worldly, not her lyrics. Her hit single “I’m Good, I’m Gone” is a bit cheesy pop but the song I chose for this playlist is eerie and fun. Apparently the Doug Fir is so cool these days they are the host to every latest act. Lykke Li will be there October 30th.
“Freeing Song for Reindeer” from Music Tapes new Music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes, Their lead singer Julian Koster is all over the board with projects, from story albums to movies. Sounds like a guy with some fantastic connections… and it’s ALWAYS about who you know! Good thing for Julian and the gang they have talent as well. Music Tapes is sooo out there in space its bloody spectacular. I think the OMSI Planetarium should have a laser light show to Music Tapes music. Partake in a few illegalities and grab your slurpee (spiked of course), lay back and enjoy. Damn that sounds pleasant right now. Currently OMSI is showing U2 and Pink Floyd. I think I know what I will be doing this weekend! Doooood who’s with me?!!!
“Dying is Fine” from Ra Ra Riot's “The Rhumb Line.” Way interesting, this band. Not something that will get your blood pumping, and sometimes that’s a good thing. This track “Dying is Fine” is actually an ‘at peace’ song to me. Recently I had an uncle who passed away, and I think he has got to be so much happier. I saw his body in the hospital, and I think I could see a smile. I thanked him for dancing with me. He seemed so peaceful. Ra Ra Riot does have something about this song that made me smile. Their album is pretty mellow… I can’t decide if it’s too lax for a coastal trip and if it’s over zealous to sleep to. Maybe background at work will do. I need a bit more motivation here in la la land. You’d expect a punk band with the title “Ra Ra Riot” but is soft flowing and smooth sailing. Don’t hate it, but still not wet over it. (oops is that inappropriate?) This “Healing – Easy Listening” band will be playing at the Doug Fir September 22nd, but I will be rocking to the Jewish Elvis in person that night.
“Neon Beanbag” from Stereolab's “Chemical Chords” Ah Yes. Elise likes this band a whole heck of a lot – and if you don’t know her, you are missing out. She introduced me to Stereolab back in the day of skipping Technical Theater class and deciding it was more important to get lost in Lake Oswego trying to find a Starbucks!!! We actually were looking at people driving to see if they had a coffee in hand and went that direction (well - the direction they were coming from). Yeah that plan didn’t work. In that time, however, we shared our music loves and this is how I came to know Stereolab. Yeah too much information unrelated to this album review, I know. Fortunately this is my OWN music review blog and I get to run it how I like it. And we all know how I like it… Wonder Ballroom October 18th. This song ‘Neon Beanbag” reminds me of Elise too… ;)
“This Lonely Love” from Juliana Hatfield's “How To Walk Away”. I admit I was waiting for her to starting singing “Toms Diner” mid-song, and ironically her song “Just Lust” sounds the same. She is mixing the sound of Lisa Loeb and Sheryl Crow – and I think she’s gone off the deep end of whiny. She may have been able to spark a light inside me if it was 1999, but not today. I want hardcore, and I want raw, and she ain’t it. Her “Just Lust” is poorly written and has no heart when sung. I have a deep seeded issue with the word ‘lust’ and this powerless voice behind the lyrics bores me to – well I can’t even muster up tears here. Sorry Juliana, maybe you caught me in a mood, but this album just isn’t speaking to me. According to the other reviews on iTunes, and others, she is well liked – so I am sure it’s just me.
“Common Reaction” from Uh Huh Her's new release “Common Reaction”. I think this album could become a guilty pleasure… its that prefect combo of discotheque pop music that makes you want to get off your ass. I really love it, actually. You actually feel like there is a point to the song as well – a story to tell, not just music and “la la la’s”. Yeah… I checked out the rest of the album and it’s on my list officially. I am such a dork. Maybe it’s the bands name. I was discussing bands names with a couple of friends recently, and I am sure “Uh Huh Her” should have been on the list ( I will get back to this in a later blog I’m sure). “Common Reaction” itself does rub me the wrong way, for I will always see the world in grey, never assuming there is a common reaction to anything. Other than that, I be racing to download them in a few. (they band got their name from PJ Harvey’s album in ’04 … and I am so down with PJ so good for them)
Last but not least, the whole compilation of “Total 9”, which is all electronic, all various artists, and all gay night club music. If you are looking for something other than the usual, check this out. I doubt it will disappoint.