Friday, December 07, 2012

(Too Much) Music In

Man, so much good music! But it seems like I just cannot find enough time to listen to it all to where it sinks in. Between new albums from known favorites, and the 2 fabulous new Brooklyn bands I seem to find every month, and going back and mining gems I missed like Tom Waits, and ripping my vinyl to MP3 (which I basically haven't started yet), there just ain't enough time!

My current sources of new music are:

  1. An email every Tuesday from Amazon: MP3 Newsletter. Usually 20 or so recommendations. I'll usually listen to any indie / alternative that look interesting. (Note, I'd still like to have someplace to buy music from other than Amazon (or Apple)).
  2. Lexington Herald-Leader Friday Weekender section, In The Bins column lists newly releaased albums and albums to be released the next Tuesday. Plus their music critic of 30 years Walter Tunis usually reviews a few albums a week.
  3. The Rolling Stone RSS feed. It has around 10-20 items a day, usually one or two videos of new songs.
  4. Word of mouth (particularly Chris Cooper).
I got somewhat signed up for Spotify but haven't been using it. I unsubscribed from its email notifications "so-and-so is listening to blah" almost immediately. Way TMI.

OK, enough whining, let's get down to it! (Gotta get down to it!) This is acquisitions from the start of October to the start of December.

  • Dave Matthews Band, "Away From The World". I think about half the people I play music with don't like DMB. My daughters all liked them in high school (particularly my middle daughter), and I always liked it pretty well myself. I checked, my smart playlist of 5-star songs "Serious Medicine" has 7 DMB tracks in it (out of 115), so I guess I like them a lot. This album is a good effort. This is the first time that I noticed that some of the instrumental sections of multiple instruments playing the same theme reminds me of some of Frank Zappa's orchestral stuff. 3 stars.
  • Van Morrison, "Born To Sing: No Plan B". This one more jazzy that the last one. Very nice tunes. Some of the same world-weary lyrics as his last album: "Playing in the background, some kind of phony pseudo jazz". I classified this album as Pop, Van's 3rd genre, along with Rock and Blues. 3 stars.
  • A.C. Newman, "Shut Down The Streets". Very nice tunes, extremely listenable. 3 stars.
  • Grizzly Bear, "Shields". Man, another great Brooklyn band! From the catchy and distinctive opening riff of "Sleeping Ute", the 1st track, to the last track tour-de-force "Sun In Your Eyes", which became the 115th 5 star track (out of > 16,000) in my iTunes library. 4 stars for the rest of the album.
  • Benjamin Gibbard, "Former Lives". At some point I am going to go through the 3300 "Alternative & Punk" tracks in my library and break them down into more atomic genre. Benjamin Gibbard, along with his bands Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service, will definitely go under Emo. Very nice songs. Aimee Mann featured on "Bigger Than Love". 3 stars.
  • Of Montreal, "Daughter of Cloud". Their last couple of albums hadn't been up to the crazy energy of "Skeletal Lamping". Well, they're back, with Kevin Barnes at his snarky, gay, obscene best, with great ELO backgrounds and vocals and, of course, bongos! 4 stars.
  • Andrew Bird, "Hands of Glory". Much folkier than his earlier stuff, and as such, somewhat lacking in the quirky charm of the earlier stuff. 3 stars.
  • Donald Fagen, "Sunken Condos". OK tunes. Donald apparently is still a player. The best Steely Dan followup album is still "11 Tracks of Whack", by Walter Becker. 3 stars.
  • Beach House, "Bloom". This is the 2nd I have by this husband/wife duo from Baltimore. Very nice tunes. They remind me of the other excellent husband/wife duo Tennis. Wikipedia says their genre is Dream Pop. Another genre for the big split. 3 stars (almost 4 tho).
  • Dirty Projectors, "Swing Lo Magellan". Another great Brooklyn Band. Really distinctive voicings of both melodic and rhythmic instruments and vocals. In "Maybe That Was It" it sounds like the guitarist is playing the tuners on the guitar, very odd. 4 stars.
While doing this post, upgraded to iTunes 11. It created duplicate entries for ~400 tracks, not sure what that was about. Hopefully OK now.

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