Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Now Downloading: New Releases 01.08.08

Should I just change my blog's name to 'Wire World'? This first new release day with enough to squawk about has two soundtrack albums from HBO's fantastic drama The Wire, of which I touched upon last week while praising/recapping season four. By my count, that's six of the last ten posts obsessing about The Wire. Don't worry, though, the ratio should go down slightly going forward. Other releases of note include the latest from Marah, Kate Nash, and Sia. This week also sees the physical release of one of my top soundtracks of the year Juno - Music From The Motion Picture, but we wrote about that upon it's digital release a month ago.

Playlist: New Releases 01.08.07

Album: ...all the pieces matter: 5 Years of Music from The Wire
Album: Beyond Hamsterdam: Baltimore Tracks from The Wire

...all the pieces matter: 5 Years of Music from The WireOk, so five years of The Wire is a bit misleading. We only get the four previous theme songs (current one featuring Steve Earle you can find on his album Washington Square Serenade,) with the only season 5 tracks being a couple dialogue pieces. But that's a minor quibble. Here's one album I beseech you to not bother downloading and instead by the physical copy. For one, there's the great liner notes from Jeff Chang (Can't Stop Won't Stop,) and then there's the David Simon interview with Nick Hornby (for Believer Magazine). But there's also the sequencing and flow into each track -- including 12 great dialogue snippets -- done with great care. Of course downloaded versions sometimes mess that shit up. Of the 23 songs, the finds for me are a couple songs that were featured in the rare montages for season one (Jesse Winchester's bluesy "Step by Step") and two (Stelios Kazantzidis' touching Greek tragedy of "Efuge Efuge").

Beyond Hamsterdam: Baltimore Tracks from The WireBeyond Hamsterdam, unfortunately, serves very little other than to collect all the Baltimore tracks from ...and all the pieces matter together, with only one other track added to the mix (The Get' Em Mamis' "When You See Us").

I suppose if you're only interested in the Body-More Murderland music, it's the way to go, but haven't you already picked up Dark Productions Hamsterdam Mixtape?

Album: Marah - Angels of Destruction!

Marah - Angels of Destruction!This Philly band has kept the Springsteen/E Street Band torch lit for the past decade while remaining unknown to most music fans -- yet a fave to Nick Hornby and Stephen King. Now with the minor blowup of The Hold Steady, Marah's rootsy beer-soaked bar band sound has a better chance of getting noticed. Angels of Destruction is just the self-assured follow up to 2005's If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry that the band needs to get over the hump, but releasing it in early January might not be doing them any favors. There's nothing here that's hip or cool, so I'm sure critic appeal will be mixed, but
indie kids will still find themselves unconsciously toe-tapping to "Santos De Madera" and "Can't Take it With You" is the kind of drunken ragtime that the Replacements and Scott McCaughey's The Minus Five have both excelled at.

"Angels of Destruction" [mp3] (Red Eye USA)
Full Album Stream (YepRock)

Album: Kate Nash - Made of Bricks

Kate Nash - Made of BricksBased on the prior single and EP release, I had high hopes for Kate Nash. Her "Merry Happy" is already an Eli-approved favorite in our household, ala Lily Allen a couple years ago -- but Lily she ain't. I blame it on the production, which is smoothed over nearly every worthwhile rough edge that Nash seemed to have. Of course, she still swears and it's cute to hear her sing-songy voice and thick accent make with filth and all, but aside from the couple great songs we've already heard ("Merry Happy" and "Foundations,") this collection starts to sound the same, in it's ubiquitous production.

Nash makes her US television debut on Conan Wednesday night, January 9.

More going (or already in) the Sansa
Music From the Motion Picture Juno
SiA - Some People Have REAL Problems / Free album stream from AOL
Reverend Organdrum (Horton Heat) - Hi-Fi Stereo
Medeski Martin & Wood - Let's Go Everywhere
Amanda Shaw - Pretty Runs Out
Wisely - Wisely
Frank Turner - Campfire Punk Rock

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

New Releases 01.08.08

1. "Old Time Tickin' Away" - Marah
2. "Way Down in the Hole" - The Neville Brothers
3. "The Life, The Hood, The Streetz" - Mully Man
4. "Foundations" - Kate Nash
5. "Electric Bird" - SiA
6. "Strollin' With Bones" - Reverend Organdrum
7. "Where's The Music" - Medeski, Martin and Wood
8. "Chirmolito" - Amanda Shaw
9. "Cracked World View" - Wisely
10. "Nashville Tennessee" - Frank Turner