Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now Downloading: New Releases 04.17.07

While there's nothing truly knocking my socks off this week, there's plenty of releases worth wrapping your ears around for some time. There's latest from Joseph Arthur, the UK trio The Noisettes, The Comas and a compilation of covers from various Portland artists called Bridging the Distance, featuring Spoon's Britt Daniel, The Decemberists, Viva Voce, The Thermals and more.

Playlist: New Releases 04.17.07

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Album: Bridging the Distance: a Portland. OR covers compilation

Bridging the DistanceThe Portland nonprofit p:ear is a group that mentors homeless youth, helping them transition into productive adulthood, bridging the void. Bridging The Distance takes that concept and uses covers of classic rock songs to make a metaphorical transition... bridging the past something current. The album features longtime Portland indies The Decemberists ("Think About Me" [Fleetwood Mac]) The Dandy Warhols ("She Sells Sanctuary" [The Cult]) but the best covers here are reserved for the more obscure. Jagged guitar band The Joggers get the highest score for technical difficulty, pulling off Yes' prog-rock classic "Long Distance Runaround," and they even somehow make it sound fun. Meanwhile, Blitzen Trapper takes "Crazy on You" (Heart) and turn it into a lo-fi electro-dance workout. Other highlights include Viva Voce's take on "Eye in the Sky" (Alan Parsons Project) and Britt Daniel reworking "Bring it On Home to Me" (Sam Cooke.)

Playlist: Bridging the Gap - The Originals

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Album: The Noisettes - What's the Time Mr. Wolf

The Noisettes - What's the Time Mr. WolfAs we watch The Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O transition from punk yel-princess to smooth songstress, we can thank our lucky stars that The Noisettes' lead singer Shingai Shoniwa is here to carry forth that dropped crown. Shoniwa can go from a commanding scream to a seductive whisper in a heartbeat, and commands your attention from the start. What's the Time Mr. Wolf starts with the knockout 1-2 punch of "Don't Give Up" and "Scratch Your Name," and it's hard not to root for this trio after that exercise. This debut is far more diverse then that though - garage, jazz, 70's punk to soul, are all touched upon sometimes in the course of a song (the great "Sister Rosetta.") It's a hard pace to keep up, and there's a bit of a letdown towards the end of the album, but it still a tremendous first outing.

Free AOL album stream

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Album: Joseph Arthur - Let's Just Be

Joseph Arthur's latest has him stretching out in a big rubber band, The Lonely Astronauts. It's a departure in that it's Arthur letting loose and having fun, but for every good turn ("Diamond Ring") there's a WTF studio wankery that follows (the first minute of the following song, "Good Life" is a good example.) A great song like "Chicago" is followed by the leather-pants adorned "Cockteeze" which is followed by the 20-minute exercise in futility that is "Lonely Astronaut." It's a throwaway song that falls apart at 6 minutes and then degenerates into a bad joke without any payoff, and that's perhaps the album's biggest crime.

Free AOL album stream

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More going (or already in) the Sansa
Priestbird - In Your Time
The Comas - Spells
Dolly Varden - The Panic Bell
Superdrag - Changin' the Tires on the Road to Ruin
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
Bebel Gilberto - Momento
Richard X Heyman - Actual Sighs

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2 comments:

drake leLane said...

New Releases - 04.17.07

1. Diamond Ring - Joseph Arthur & The Lonely Astronauts
2. Think About Me - The Decemberists
3. Don't Give Up - The Noisettes
4. Hannah T. - The Comas
5. Life Not Lost - PRIESTBIRD
6. She Says - Superdrag
7. Complete Resistance - Dolly Varden
8. The Beginning of the End - Nine Inch Nails
9. Bring Back The Love - Bebel Gilberto
10. Closer - Travis
11. Big Wheel - Tori Amos
12. The Wheel Man - Watermelon Slim
13. Stockpile - Richard X. Heyman
14. Here Come The Fuzz - Jon Spencer & The Elegant Too

drake leLane said...

Bridging the Gap - The Originals

1. Think About Me - Fleetwood Mac
2. The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
3. Long Distance Runaround - Yes
4. Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen
5. Shattered Dreams - Johnny Hates Jazz
6. Eye In The Sky - Alan Parsons Project
7. That Smell - Lynyrd Skynyrd
8. Sombre Reptiles - Brian Eno
9. Don't Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra
10. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
11. What A Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers
12. White Wedding (part 1) - Billy Idol
13. Invincible (Theme From "The Legend Of Billie Jean") - Pat Benatar
14. She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
15. Pearl Of The Quarter - Steely Dan
16. Crazy On You - Heart
17. Bring It On Home To Me - Sam Cooke