Thursday, November 22, 2007

Some records

Back in spring I was feeling a bit down in the dumps and wondering if my appetite for new music was beginning to taper with the onset of middle age - now it's six months later and the heap of CDs piling up on the floor beside my computer is imperiling I seem to have acquired a heap of new stuff to tantalize the ol' lugholes.

Acid Mothers Temple, Babylon, April 30, 2007

Some of it was kind of obvious: I filled out my Harvey Milk collection with their riff monster The Pleaser and their super debut My Love is Higher than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be. I bought the new Circle album (like I always do) Katapult; I'm also thrilled to hear the band has regained the rights to their classic Meronia and plan a rerelease in the not-too-distant future. I also got the new Reverend Bizarre, III: So Long Suckers. It doesn't impress me as much as Rectory, but is still pretty cool. Good cover art too. And of course I bought some Acid Mothers Temple stuff - not just their latest CD, but a decent concert DVD, Hardcore Uncle Meat, recorded in Croatia in 2005 during the Cosmic Inferno incarnation. My taste for heavy music has slowly been creeping in a more black metal direction. I picked up Southern Lord's two Velvet Cacoon rereleases and Wolves in The Throne Room's Diadem of 12 Stars. and its followup Two Hunters. I suspect that both of these groups were listening to My Bloody Valentine when they were supposed to be listening to Venom. I've also picked up a pair of Xasthur albums: Subliminal Genocide and To Violate The Oblivious, and hear some of the same influence, although that may just be the bargain-basement recording techniques the folks in the black metal genre seem to favour.

New Pornographers, Bluesfest, July 16, 2006

Mind you, it hasn't all been heavy. I loved Oneida offshoot Oakley Hall's last album, and their new one sounds great too. I'll Follow You has a superbly warm production. I also bought and enjoyed the New Pornographers album (I'm with Matthew Pollesel on this one). I've been entranced by Marissa Nadler since buying a copy of her sophomore album, and am even more impressed by her her third effort, Songs III: Bird on the Water. Such a lovely voice in service of such finely crafted lyrics. I walked past Mountain Home's debut a couple of times, then heard that Nadler provided most of the vocals and snapped it up as well. Another fine effort. The new CD from Six Organs of Admittance on Drag City is also excellent: Ben Chasny is some kind of genius. I haven't heard tell of a new Drive-By Truckers album, but we do have the next best thing in retired Trucker Jason Isbell's new solo album and Bettye Lavette's new soul smasher Scene of the Crime, recorded with loads of help from various DBTers. Then there's Spoon. After buying Ga Ga Ga Ga, I felt compelled to buy their entire back catalogue (barring Girls Can Tell, which I already had a copy of). Also I bought both of Amy Winehouse's albums. I'm quite keen on her music, so I hope she gets herself together.

KTL, Psychic Paramount, Whitehorse, White Lichens

And then there's the whacko noise. I don't want to live in a world without earbleed like White Lichens self-titled album on Holy Mountain, KTL and a newer favourite, Psychic Paramount. I always thought I'd pick up something by their predecessor, Laddio Bolocko ever since Your Flesh raved about them, but never got around to it (story of my life). Now that No Quarter has released a comp of their early work (as well as an exhaustive roundup of Laddio Bolocko as well) I've got no excuse. I started by grabbing the LP rerelease of Gamelan Into The Mink Supernatural, which is going to make it into my year-end Top 10 near the top of the list, and have since snared the first of No Quarter's 2CD comps and a live recording appropriately dubbed Live 2002 The Franco-Italian Tour. Another entry in the stuff-I've-been-waiting-to-hear category is Double Leopards' Halve Maen, which is just about the most spooky slab of noise I've lent an ear to. I've also been finding reliable results from the 20 Buck Spin label with releases from Australian sludge lords Whitehorse and the Monarch/Grey Daturas split Dawn of the Catalyst.
Finally, on the retro side of the things I've been getting major kicks from the two-CD comp of Victoria, B.C. punk bands, All Your Ears Can Hear, Culture's reggae masterpiece Two Sevens Clash, John Uzoni's guitar monster Peacepipe and Food's splendid psych pop LP.

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