Sunday, April 06, 2008

Frequent Spins (2008.3)

March was a bit of a slow month, not so much with respect to the quality of releases, but mostly in terms of my interest in new music. When I mentioned in last month's Frequent Spins that I needed to do spend a little time diving into American Music Club back catalog, it got me into that mode in general. I actually spent more time listening to Luna's Bewitched and Penthouse than any older AMC albums, mainly because I'm still obsessed with The Golden Age, easily the record of the year so far.

There were a few good, if not great, albums to come out in March though. So, here goes...

Devotchka - A Mad & Faithful Telling
An interesting trend in the current indie scene involves the use of elements of various ethnic styles, with Beirut being a prime example of this. Beirut also happens to be the most obvious band to compare Devotchka to, mainly due to the Eastern European influence in their respective styles. Still, there's no denying that this is more electic American indie music than anything else. There's also no denying that A Mad & Faithful Telling is littered with modern pop gems and definitely one of my most listened to albums of the past month.

Kathleen Edwards - Asking for Flowers
I fell in love with Kathleen Edwards when she burst onto the alt-country scene in 2003, pretty much at the tail end of my interest in that genre. She's primarily responsible for my somewhat recent trend of leaning towards female singers of said variety. Her second and third albums, including this year's release, have fallen a bit short of living up to the magic of the debut, Failer, but that's a tall order, and it's not like either of them have disappointed. She may not break any new ground here, but she's still the #1 alt-country diva in my book.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash
Stephen Malkmus is a God to a lot of music fans for being the frontman of one of the 90's most important indie rock bands, Pavement. Not to detract in any way from his importance in that respect, I adore him for a different reason. In an interview in this past week's Weekly Dig, a Boston alternative news-weekly, he states emphatically, "I can't stand the Red Sox. I'm always happy when they lose. Sorry. All of a sudden the Red Sox Nation becomes this massive thing? I was right there in the '70s, man. Where was Red Sox Nation when they were being humiliated all the time? They weren't around. I can understand if you're from Boston, that's your team. There's a lot of people who aren't from Boston that have, like, one Irish uncle and they're Red Sox fans." He then goes on to say that he'd kick Dustin Pedroia's ass if he got the chance. Well, actually that's a lie, and he'd probably lose that battle anyway...although I bet he could kick Johnny Pesky's ass. But, I digress. Real Emotional Trash plays like an homage to an era when all was right in the world, and Boston-ites had yet to be deprived of their right to do what they truly love...complain about their team.

Malcolm Middleton - Sleight of Heart
Malcolm "Walter Becker" Middleton probably knows nothing about baseball, but he certainly knows a thing or eight about heartache, misery and loneliness. On Sleight of Heart, he once again hits the nail on the head, although there aren't any songs here that make you want to down a pint or four as did last year's "Fuck It, I Love You" and "Up Late at Night Again". Still, this is another impressive effort from the former #2 guy from Arab Strap.

Also spin-worthy
Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams
Ladyhawk - Shots
The Ruby Suns - Sea Lion

Making up for March's short-comings, April looks to be an exciting month for new music, with Cloud Cult and Sun Kil Moon topping the list of my most anticipated. Add The Black Keys, Clinic, R.E.M., Colin Meloy, M83 and Gnarls Barkley to that list, and...well, you get the picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment