Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Now Downloading: New Releases 05.08.07

Today, the much anticipated new Wilco allbum (Sky Blue Sky) arrives to us a week early. Not that it was necessary, considering the Elliott Smith rarities compilation (New Moon) from Kill Rock Stars hits the digital shelf today along with new releases from Bjork, Mary Timony and Rufus Wainwright (also a week early.) Add to that advance singles from White Stripes, Interpol and Black Francis, and you've got yourself a fine week for releases.

Playlist: New Releases 05.08.07

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Album: Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (week early exclusive)

Wilco - Sky Blue SkyMost Yankee Hotel Foxtrot fans might recoil initially at the seemingly 70's FM radio sounds ala Steely Dan that permeate Sky Blue Sky, but lying beneath the simplicity is a world of complexities. Jeff Tweedy recognizes the strengths of his players, and here the fretwork of guitarist Nels Cline is given a ton of open space to work with (perhaps that's what the album title Sky Blue Sky is referencing?) If it's not their best album (YHF/Summerteeth) then it's at least their most cohesive. There will be haters, but, like the songs themselves, you need to give it time and room to breath, and it opens into another world.

Free Album stream from AOL

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Album: Elliott Smith - New Moon

Elliott Smith - New MoonBetween 1994 and 1997, Elliott Smith recorded his best work, on the albums Elliott Smith, Either/Or (and with Heatmiser, don't forget Yellow No. 5 and Cop and Speeder.) New Moon collects various songs that didn't make the albums of that time, along with early versions of songs that would appear later. It's a vital collection of post-humous material, in a time when these sort of things have been scattered messes. "New Monkey," "High Times," and "All Cleaned Out" are all such great songs it's initially puzzling that they didn't make the cut back then, but those albums were pretty stellar. One of the best things about the album is the contribution to the liner notes from former roommate and fellow musician Sean Croghan (of Crackerbash, who sang "High Times" on the recent Smith tribute album.) Also chiming in with memories are former bandmate Sam Coomes (Heatmiser, Quasi) along with fellow Portland musician Rebecca Gates (The Spinanes.) With all the 90's acts reuniting, it's nice to hear Smith in the mix as well, even if it's from the grave.

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Album: Mary Timony - The Shapes We Make

Mary Timony - The Shapes We MakeI've always been drawn to Mary Timony's guitar work, but it had taken a backseat since she started releasing albums under her own name. But on The Shapes We Make, she adds Dischord/DC scene vets Devin Ocampo and Chad Molter (Smart Went Crazy, Faraquet) along with production from Fugazi guitarist Brendan Canty, so the guitar is back at the front of this product, ala her work with Helium. She's still playing with the music structure, though, and enjoying some of her best lyrical turns. Since she's on Kill Rock Stars now, it's appropos that she give us some Riot Grrl politics in the song "Pause/Off":
My reaction to your faction?
Go back to school and learn your fractions!
Get your laws off my body, mister.
Paws off, Supreme Court Misters.
Don’t mess around with me and my sisters.

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Single: White Stripes - "Icky Thump"
Single: Interpol - "Heinrich Maneuver"
Single: Black Francis - "Threshold Apprehension"

Singles Going SteadyThis week sees three significant singles from anticipated upcoming releases. The first on everyone's lips is White Stripe's "Icky Thump," which signals that the album of the same name (due June 19) is going to be their heaviest release yet. Still no bass, but Meg's bass drum is UP FRONT, and lyrically, it's got some bottom end as well: "Who’s using who? What Should we do? Well you can’t be a pimp and a prostitute too."

Interpol's single "Heinrich Maneuver" starts with "how are things on the West coast?" as a not-so-caring inquiry to an ex-lover, and the riff pushes the band back into Turn on the Bright Lights territory (a welcome return.) The new album, Our Love To Admire, hits shelves July 10.

"Grand Mariner and a pocket full of speed" sings Charles Thompson (aka Frank Black, aka Black Francis) on his latest single "Threshold Apprehension." The song title (and pending album Bluefinger, due in September,) were taken from Dutch painter Herman Brood's work. He's using the Black Francis moniker here as the songs were written (and didn't make) the new Pixies album still in the works.

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More going (or already in) the Sansa
Rufus Wainwright - Release the Stars (Rhapsody exclusive, one week early)
Lavender Diamond - Imagine Our Love (Free album stream from AOL)
Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures (Free album stream from AOL)
brakesbrakesbrakes - The Beatific Visions
Travis - The Boy With No Name (Free album stream from AOL)
Mice Parade - Mice Parade
Sage Francis - Human the Death Dance
Electrolane - No Shouts, No Calls
The Clientele - God Save the Clientele
The View - Hats off to the Buskers

Not making it into Rhapsody this week:
Shannon Wright - Let in the Light (Free album stream from AOL)
Bjork - Volta - In, but for purchase only...

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

New Releases - 05.08.07

1. Side With The Seeds - Wilco
2. New Monkey - Elliott Smith
3. Killed By The Telephone - Mary Timony
4. Going To A Town - Rufus Wainwright
5. Wanderlust - Bjork
6. Garden Rose - Lavender Diamond
7. Margarita - brakesbrakesbrakes
8. Lay Your Head Down - Keren Ann
9. Du Og Meg - Of Montreal
10. Icky Thump - White Stripes (SINGLE)
11. Heinrich Maneuver - Interpol (SINGLE)
12. Threshold Apprehension - Black Francis (SINGLE)
13. Girls Who Play Guitars - Maximo Park
14. Selfish Jean - Travis
15. I Hope I Know You - The Clientele
16. Catcher Song - Great Lake Swimmers
17. Fluorescent Grey - Deerhunter
18. Tales Of Las Negras - Mice Parade
19. Underground For Dummies - Sage Francis
20. To The East - Electrelane
21. Superstar Tradesman (Radio Edit) - The View
22. Nothing But A Heart Ache - The Detroit Cobras
23. Charming The Flames - Fields
24. Bump In The Trunk - Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
25. When We Were Young - Dolores O'Riordan
26. Springtime - Rumskib
27. The Garden You Planted - Sea Wolf
28. Dulce Et Decorum - Alsace Lorraine