Intro: I really don’t have anything to say here, other than that I came home today to find my cat cuddled up to my headphones, which were blaring Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia on repeat.
Listening: So if you haven’t already gotten it, go grab the new Neko Case album, Middle Cyclone. Now it may take you several hours to get that first song of repeat (lord knows it took me at least that long), but the whole album is downright phenomenal. Take for, instance, “People Got A Lot of Nerve”, which lurches into motion and then gallops along with catchy guitar licks and cathartic lyrics.
And then there’s that brilliant opening track, “This Tornado Loves You”. Catchy vocal hooks and incisive, powerful lyrics (“Their broken necks will line this ditch until you stop it.”) form a strong core to the tune. Galloping drum beats and soaring melodies polish it off into a truly brilliant track.
And it’s a perfect opener, since the whole album is full of exactly this sort of rolling, pacey drum lines supporting catchy melodies. “This Tornado Loves You” sets the musical paces for the whole album. Of course, as with previous albums, the aesthetic focuses mostly on Case’s expressive voice which ranges broadly from pensive to roaring, and the album profits greatly from that.
Truly a great album which further establishes Neko Case as one of the best vocalists and songwriters in music today.
Upcoming: So the rest of this month doesn’t look too impressive release-wise from where I’m sitting. I’m really excited about the new Decemberists album (I’m a bit behind on their singles series, but am stoked about their new LP). And new Rakes and KMFDM albums, which is kind of cool. Other than that, well, you tell me. Is there anything else in March to get excited about?
Thinking: 1.) So I’ve been thinking lately of getting another record player to replace my old one that gave up the ghost last year. I’ve got some LPs already and am inordinately fond of vinyl as a musical medium. Any suggestions from the audience for a simple, no-frills record player that I could run through a stereo amp?
2.) So since I got addicted to Power+Light (which I’m still listening to at least once a day) I’ve been interested in Kristin Hersh’s CASH Music project. These days it’s rare to see the words “music” and “non-profit” used in the same breath, and it’s almost a bit suspicious when you do see them. It’s hard not to look at a project like CASH and think “huh, okay, so what’s in it for YOU?”
But CASH seems to be genuine in their simple desire to, as their website says, “[improve] the music experience for artists and listeners alike.” And that’s pretty cool. It’s rare these days that musicians take time to simply work on the craft and artistry of making music instead of on the craft of selling music. I have to say: I’m very much a fan.
Song of the Week: Here’s Neko Case’s “This Tornado Loves You”, off of Middle Cyclone. Ha! Now I won’t be the only person with this tune on permapeat!