Feb 172009

Tuesday Playlist for 2008.2.17

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Intro: This week’s column may be a bit monotonic since the music part of my brain is completely stuffed full of a potent combination of Power+Light and Sasquatch! Festival excitement.  That being said, I’ll probably also mention the new Morrissey album, though only in passing.

But enough of the preview…

Listening: So, I got the new Morrissey album, Years of Refusal in .mp3 download format.  (Which, BTW, is on sale today at Amazon.com for just $4.  Helluva deal, that.)  It came out a day later than the CD, so I only just got it today and haven’t had much of a chance to listen to it yet.  What I’ve heard, though, I like a great deal.

Other than that, I’ve still been totally digging on Power+Light.  It’s embarrassing how addicted I am to it.  I listen to music about eight to ten hours a day, and for the past two weeks not a day has gone by where half of that time or more is devoted to that EP.  It’s crazy good.  If you haven’t heard it yet, PLEASE go give it a listen.

Oh, and I also grabbed the new M. Ward album today, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet.

Upcoming: As mentioned above, Morrissey and M Ward have new albums out today.  In the next few weeks, look forward to new material from JJ Cale, Hatebreed, U2, and Neko Case.  (Random aside: the Neko Case, Middle Cyclone, sports some of my favorite album art in a long time.)

Thinking: 1.) In bands whose name is [Definite Article] [Noun], should the definite article be capitalized?  Should it be (e.g.) the Rakes or The Rakes?

2.) Sasquatch Festival!  As I’ll expound below, the lineup’s been announced and I am crazy stoked.  I’ve already started plotting with my good friend and long-time Sasquatch ally Mike, and the concensus is that this year’s festival is going to be a month’s worth of awesome crammed into a 3-day weekend.

News: The Sasquatch! Festival lineup has been announced!  Or at least according to the super-awesome unofficial Sasquatch Festival blog.  The main Sasquatch site for 2009 isn’t up yet, but I imagine it will be within the next day or two.  I’m extremely stoked about the fact that this year will see the return of Nine Inch Nails, The Decemberists, TV on the Radio, Calexico, and others.  Among the fresh new faces that I’m happy to see are A. A. Bondy, Silversun Pickups, Gogol Bordello, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

It should be noted that every place carrying the lineup also carries the wording “…and more to come” or equivalent, so there’s strong potential for even more awesome.  (Rumors abound that Sasquatch veterans Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins might added to the lineup.)

Tickets will be sold in the tiered pricing scheme of previous years, with cheap (~$155) 3-day passes going on sale the weekend of the 28th and prices going up from there.  It should be noted that these cheapest tickets will be on sale for ONE WEEKEND ONLY.  So if you want to save at least $40 on three days of Sasquatch awesomeness, then I strongly encourage you to get them then.

If anyone’s planning to attend and wants to meet up, drop me a line in comments.

Song of the Week: One of the many Josh Ritter songs I discovered a few weeks ago during my binge was this off of his album The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter.  It’s called “Mind’s Eye” and I think it’s crazy awesome.

Oct 192007

"Since then it’s been a book you read in reverse"

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Some days are just Shins kind of days, you know? Here’s the video for “Pink Bullets”.

Apr 112007

"One hand on that wiley comet"

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I grabbed a copy of Wincing the Night Away, the latest album from indie folk-pop band the Shins, a few weeks ago, but I really didn’t get much of a chance to listen to it until just the past week or so. I’m totally smitten. It’s everything I liked about Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow, but with a clearer lyrical focus, a more polished sound, and a much greater sense of musical maturity. James Mercer’s songwriting is in top form, delivering his uniquely surreal still-lives, and the melodic trifecta of Mercer, Martin Crandall, and Dave Hernandez delivers some of the catchiest damn melodic hooks I’ve heard in a long time. Add to all that the fact that I’ve always had a music-crush on the simple, folky, understated drumming of Jesse Sandoval and it’s an album that’s managed to dig into my brain and put down some serious roots. Seriously, to continue an ill-conceived metaphor, I think it’s building some sort of nest in there. In other words, it’s really quite catchy.

If you’re a Shins fan who doesn’t have it yet, then, well, what are you waiting for? Get thyself to a record store. Or, you know, grab it from Amazon. For everyone else: you should all seriously consider grabbing a copy. If you like folk-influenced pop-rock, have an affection for the surreal or the imagistic, or just enjoy melodically and lyrical interesting music, it’s well worth the purchase.

Video for the first single off the album, “Phantom Limb”