Friday, October 15, 2010

Back in Business

In order to truly start blogging, one must begin at least one post with "Well it's been busy lately. Back to normal activities." Well it's been over a week since my last post, so here it goes. I've been busy lately. To make it up to you, here is what I've been listening to lately.

New Releases

The Bad Plus: Never Stop

ver Stop is first album by Minneapolis trio The Bad Plus to feature only original compositions. After making a name for themselves for wonderful jazz arrangements of pop classics like Tears for Fear's "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" or Rush's "Tom Sawyer", here The Bad Plus re-display their own pop sensibilities with originals such as the title track "Never Stop" or "Beryl Loves to Dance". While clearly still living firmly within the jazz tradition, these are songs that could easily be re-done by countless pop artists. As such, the record serves well to draw attention to the line connecting the likes of Monk, Oscar Peterson or even Cecil Taylor with Prince, Janelle Monae and, at times, Rihanna. A great jazz record, that ought to be remixed by Timbaland (I'm totally serious).

Mount Kimbie: Crooks & Lovers

Surprise! Another great electronic album. Seriously, when did electronic music get so freaking good? First it was the likes of Pantha Du Prince, Actress, and Four Tet pushing awesome records at the beginning of the year. Then came in T++, Vex'd, Flying Lotus and Baths with equally strong records. More recently it's been artists like James Blake and Teengirl Fantasy that have been providing strong beats to excite the masses. It's a good time to be a fan of electronic music for sure. With regards to Crooks & Lovers, an album that is currently skyrocketing up my list for favorite records of the year, it's their re-working of the more formulaic elements of dubstep (something which has resulted in the horrible label "Post-Dubstep" being used to describe the bands sound), that sets them apart from others. This is dance music first and foremost that proves to be a rewarding listen time and time again.

Other new releases I'm currently loving:
the new Deerhunter and Women records (obvie)
Dave Holland Octet - Pathways,
Salem - King Night,
Zola Jesus - Valusia EP

Currently looking forward to: New records from Darkstar, Panda Bear, Blank Dogs and Tomboyfriend. Especially Tomboyfriend!! What a wicked name for a band.

Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia!!

Matador at 21

Enough has already been said with these release celebrating 21 years of one of America's most beloved record companies that I won't go into too much detail here. I will say though, that Matador at 21 has done what all good compositions ought to do, in that it has encouraged me to go back and listen to some of my favorite Matador releases over the years. The past weeks have been filled with records like Helium's The Dirt of Luck, Yo La Tengo's Painful and I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, Guided by Voices, Chavez, Pizzicato Five and a host of others. That and the release comes with it's own set of poker chips!!

That's all for now!

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