Friday, January 25, 2008

another long absence from the blog spent catching up at work and getting long needles stuck in my back, all good stuff.

i know we're in the middle of college bball season (though i noticed that for the first time...ever? SXSW this year does NOT coincide with the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, which stinks) and hockey (wherein the 'Canes are trying to make it a three-way race with the once-lowly Caps and the Thrashers, who are apparently hosting the NHL All-Star Game to mass indifference in Atlanta this weekend...because there are so many other great things to do in Atlanta...) but here's a great baseball item for you to check out:

Kaplan's Korner

speaking of which, Yo La Tengo played a hilarious, fantastic show on their Freewheelin' tour recently in Carrboro, with Kurt from
Lambchop opening solo and blowing everyone away in the process. New songs, 'Chop favorites, a booklight and a clothesline.


John Coltrane - Live Trane The European Tours why did i not own this treasure trove before? i think i assumed it was an airshot bootleg type thing but it sounds good and it's AWESOME. and i'm only up to disc 5 out of 7...
Times New Viking - Rip It Off this blew me away, formerly on Silt Breeze, now on Matador, i THINK it's some great pop songs recorded on a boom box at practice, then put through a Boss DS-1 because it wasn't distorted enough before. quite invigorating, with a mid-80's NZ vibe to it somehow.
PJ Harvey - White Chalk i always bought whatever she was putting out but stayed away from this one for some reason, maybe because it looked like it was going to be some kind of wispy "ghosts of young women who died of the vapours are haunting me" dirge, until now...some of it kinda floats by without making much of an impact, but some is really great and she learned to sing a whole different way for this record it sounds like. i enjoy it.
20th Century classical music - i'm reading much-feted The Rest Is Noise by New Yorker classical critic Alex Ross and it's absorbing even for a know-nothing like myself. i'm only up to Schoenberg so far in the book but i'm jumping all around on his recommended listing list, it's over on his great blog, also called The Rest Is Noise.
Electric Kulintang - Dialects this is the percussion duo that improv drumming whirlwind Susie Ibarra and her husband Roberto Rodriguez have together, and it's pretty different than anything these artists do separately...traditional Philippine gongs mixed with electronics, percussion, field recordings and even some ethereal vocals from Ibarra, this is really cool.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Yrs!

back from a break from the blogging, hope all holidays and new things were celebrated accordingly. been fretting over Top 10s...a lot of great stuff came out this year and i don't think i can get it down to 10! and as usual i'm including no merge releases, which i naturally listened to more than anything without too much analyzing, these kept making their way back into the player over and over this year:

Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
Feist - The Reminder
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
New Pornographers - Challengers
Bill Callahan - Woke On a Whaleheart
Shins - Wincing the Night Away
The National - Boxer
Bruce Springsteen - Magic
Robert Wyatt - Comicopera
Okkervil River - The Stage Names

and all tied for #11...:
Tracey Thorn - Out of the Woods
Bishop Allen - The Broken String
Caetano Veloso - Ce
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Kevin Drew - Spirit If...
Robert Plant / Allison Krauss - Raising Sand
Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
Loney Dear - Loney Noir
Majik Markers - Boss
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

man o man like i said too much great stuff to narrow it down! and surpsingly "indie" when i look at it now -- a great year for indie rock whatever that means, and i think you do. people complained about the Feist Apple ad -- they watch too much TV, and 1234 wasn't nearly the best song on there. Panda Bear took me by surprise as i've never been absorbed into the Animal Collective's clutches really. Tracey Thorn's record is so good and without deserved fanfare. i'm still not sure if i'm spelling Loney Dear correctly.

not mentioned here were some amazing reissues as well: Neil Young at Massey Hall, Young Marble Giants Colossal Youth, and the Betty Davis reissues come to mind. Sonic Youth reissued Daydream Nation live on stage.

records i couldn't catch up with long enough to get to know but that i probably will love soon include the Fiery Furnaces Widow City, Ryan Adams Easy Tiger, Battles, and maybe even that Radiohead's on my computer somewhere....

here's hoping 2008 is as plentiful.