Happy Tuesday, kids. Those of you who relaxed poolside or bedside or beachside yesterday please allow me to welcome back to the world of daily labor. Whereas your (shortened!) week has just begun, mine has drawn to a close. I’m off tomorrow and Thursday. Lest you sit back and curse me for this good fortune, remember I work all weekend every weekend. Yeah, I’d be thankful if I was not me, too.
My weekend is off to a great start. I had a grilled cheese sandwich and some chicken and later I have to pick my roommate up from the airport. Naturally these things are bound to happen when one reaches the forefront of the blogging industry. Six-figure advertising deals, grilled cheese sandwiches, picking your friend up from the airport when you should be at home watching TV and trying to forget your miserable existence. One of these things is not like the others…
Alas, here I am. Waiting for the hands on the clock to move forward a few hours so I can run my silly little errand. I’m listening to some terrible new releases that PR people want me to review, and really all I want is to be listening to something else. You know what I’ve been enjoying a lot lately? The new…
No, wait. I’ve got an idea guys. A blog idea!
Five Albums I Have Been Listening To Frequently Of Late
• P.G. Six – Parlor Tricks And Porch Favorites – The 2001 debut album from Patrick Gubler still makes me giddy every time I hear it. There’s something so haunting and beautiful about it I can’t quite describe. I will forever be stunned by the one-two punch of “Quiet Fan For SK” and “The Shepherd.” You can’t listen to one without the other, and combined they reach that rarified air of absolute perfect experimental folk music. This is lo-fi bedroom songwriting/recording that never sounds forced and required no production techniques to help it sound hip. And when Gubler performed with his little band — or solo with just his harp — his performances always left me with my jaw on the floor. I miss seeing him at Tonic or other little NYC venues. I’ve been listening to this a lot (mostly that combo of songs I mentioned before) when I cool-down after long runs. I like to close my eyes, return my heart rate to normal levels, and think about one day writing songs as beautiful as these.
• Swervedriver – Raise – How you can call this record — or Swervedriver — as “shoegazer” is beyond me. This is, like, Dinosaur Jr. with a singer who preferred cocaine to pot. Great riffs, searing solos, driving rhythms, tell me again how that even remotely compares to MBV or Ride? “Deep Seat” has that great alliteration in lines like “You rise up riled and I’m reeling / I swallow salt and you’re kneeling.” In 1991, this should have been as big as Mudhoney (EGBDF), Teenage Fanclub (Bandwagonesque), or Smashing Pumpkins (Gish). It was better than those records then, and it is better now. There, I said it.
• Ben Frost – Theory Of Machines – I was listening exclusively to By The Throat for a long time, and then on the drive up to Montreal last month Ian put on this record and it started me on a downward spiral of listening to this one…like…twice a day. It opens with the title track, and incredible composition that sounds like what Mono or Explosions In The Sky or any upper-echelon post-rock band might try to pass of as an introduction to one of their records. But so much better, of course. And then it moves into “Stomp,” which has Wolf Eyes (Dread-era) written all over it, only more melodic. The record is all over the place, but the places it goes to are awesome, and the feelings it elicits are are welcome. Required listening.
• Chelsea Wolfe – The Grime And The Glow – Chelsea might have finally dethroned Marissa Nadler as the Swan Fungus Unobtainable Female Songwriter Crush Object Of The Moment. She’s called her work “spiritual realm funeral songs” and labeled them “Estonian industrial.” What’s not to love about that? Self-descriptions and labels aside, the music is great. I’ve been listening to this record a few times a week for the past few months. Remember all the hype Zola Jesus was getting a couple years ago? Chelsea’s shit is lightyears ahead of that. She’s like the evil stepsister Lykke Li wishes she could emulate. Best of all, this isn’t blindly aiming for an aesthetic and doing everything in one’s power to attain it. The ominous, spiritual, menacing songs all sound natural. They flow seamlessly. The singer’s voice might sound affected but it is not disingenuous. Listen to “Moses” and then “Advices & Vices and you’ll understand. She’s brilliant.
• Goat – World Music – Fuck the backstory about the small town in Sweden that was cursed by a voodoo witch doctor, or the fact that Goat is a band that has existed for generations but this is the first incarnation to ever record its music to tape. I’ve been listening to this one almost on repeat for the past two weeks and I think I’m finally starting to win some friends over. Mark had me order him a copy today, and Drew…kind of got freaked out by the video to “Goathead“. Mark my words, Goat is this year’s Master Musicians of Bukkake. There’s no way this album — as of right now — isn’t ranked in the top three albums of the year when I draw up my list in December. It’s like a Subliminal Sounds record funneled through Krautrock and space rock. It’s White Hills meets Group Inerane. It’s easily the best new thing I’ve heard since MMB’s Totem Two blew my mind a few years ago. Thanks, Goat.
Goat – Goathead [MP3]