So, here are the highlights of the past 3 months (Sept 30 to Nov 7, 2006) of music acquisition.
Okkervil River - "Black Sheep Boy" and "Black Sheep Boy Appendix"
Found these folks thanks to fellow blogger The Guilty Carnivore after posting my last music round-up. I should do more background research, but it's really about the music, right? I feel like there is some Austin TX connection. Heartbreaking music, beautiful, passionate, amazing. The Appendix are songs that wouldn't quite fit on the original release, but were too good to cast off to oblivion.
Mulatu Astatqe - "Ethiopiques Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale 1969-1974"
Thanks to -M- for this one. Super smooth, slightly scratchy, tripped out jazz. Apparently used in a recent Jim Jarmusch film that I have yet to see. Instrumental bliss.
The Evens - "The Evens" and "Get Evens"
A little find thanks to DS, a co-worker. The Evens are Ian MacKaye from Fugazi (vocals & baritone guitar) and Amy Farina from The Warmers (vocals & drums). Their 1st, self-titled record came out in March of 2005. The 2nd, new album was released just last week. Although I am still in the initial listening stages, I've gotta say I prefer the 1st album, but the are both pretty damn good. [Correction, listening to "Get Evens" right now. Good, but in no way holds a candle to "The Evens." ]
Guided by Voices - "Alien Lanes"
Evening out with some friends, playing some (unfairly judged, in my opinion) pub trivia. During one of the breaks in the 'action,' this amazing, scratchy, poorly recored rock comes blaring out of the speakers. It sounded more like a friend's crappy 4 track demos than an actual release in terms of recording quality. But the songs! Short little burst of some of the most perfect pop/rock I've heard in quite some time (and by short, I mean 1 to 2 minutes per song). I finally asked what was on, and it was GBV's Alien Lanes. I picked it up from e-music and have loved it ever since.
Sparklehorse - "Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain"
A new Sparklehorse album is always reason to celebrate. Notoriously reclusive Mark Linkous finally emerges again. His last full length, "It's A Wonderful Life," is still one of my top 10 records of all time. This one is good, but feels like it's comprised of leftovers from the last release (partially due to the fact that one track is a previously released b-side and one actually is a leftover). At any rate, the songs are good, and the overall feel to the album is much like "Wonderful." Guest musicians include Dangermouse, Tom Waits, and the Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd.
Tommy Guerrero - "From the Soil to the Soul"
By my count, Guerrero's 4th solo full length. This picks up right where Guerrero left off on Soul Food Taqueria; mellow, mostly instrumental tracks that are at once both warm and slightly aggressive. I really dig this guy. He gets next to no press or recognition, which is criminal. Check him out.
Destroyer - "Thief"
I picked up three Destroyer albums recently, "We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge," "City of Daughters," and "Thief." The first 2, including the LONG out of print "...Golden Bridge" don't do a whole lot for me. They're most just Dan Bejar recoding on a 4 track. Not a bad thing, but I don't think they really show Destroyer's brilliance. 'Thief" on the other hand is great. Released in back in 2000, it is the first of a trio of albums I consider Destroyer's best. I love "Rubies' (their latest), but it's no match for "Thief" (2000), "Streethawk: A Seduction" (2001), or 'This Night" (2002). [For the fans out there, the CBC has a 5 song Destroyer studio performance from earlier this year.]
Anyhow, those are my latest picks. Enjoy...