Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Now Downloading: New Releases 04.08.08

If some were worried that 2008 wasn't going to have the same share of great albums we've seen in recent years, a slew of this week's releases should alleviate most (if not all) of those concerns. Last week I poached Foals great debut on Sub Pop and yesterday I wrote about Tapes n' Tapes' sophomore release, which is fortunate, since I probably wouldn't even be able to get to either this week with all the rest of the riches that dropped. To wit, we have the latest from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Man Man, The Breeders, Clinic, The Long Blondes, Jason Anderson, Cloud Cult, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Richard Swift, Neva Dinova, Peter Moren, The Duke Spirit, Robots in Disguise, full-length debuts from Wye Oak, New Bloods, The Old Haunts, and new EPs from Spoon and the much hyped Fleet Foxes. In fact, there's so much good music, I'm breaking up this post into two parts, one today and a continuation tomorrow.

Playlist: New Releases 04.08.08

Album: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!If the garage rock of Nick Cave's Grinderman project last year served as a cathartic exercise, then Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! is a refinement of that midlife Christ-kick. Cave hands the guitar back to Mick Harvey and mans the organ, hammering out an album that infuses some of Grinderman's noise and bravado into songs that often recall the power of '97's The Boatman's Call. At age 50, Cave is now releasing some of his most vital work, and he seems to be having more fun while doing it, taking himself a little less seriously. In the stomping title track and opener "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!" Cave re-imagines Lazarus (calling him 'Larry') crossing America before ending up "back in the streets of New York, in a soup queue, a dope fiend, a slave." Meanwhile, with "We Call Upon the Author," Cave eschews Bukowski ("a jerk!") preferring the works of John Berryman ("the best!") but still calling upon the author to explain his suicide. Prolix, of which I often suffer, provides another humorous take. "I say prolix! Prolix! Something a pair of scissors can fix." And then there's the line "our myxomatoid kids spraddle the streets." Colin Meloy's thesaurus just got green with envy. It's not all fun and diction, though, as Cave still has time for one of his patented murder ballads in achingly beautiful "Jesus on the Moon." The album ends with eight minutes of Cave saying 'c'est la vie' to the unstoppable force of time with "More News From Nowhere." "Don't it make you feel so sad, don't the blood rush to your feet, to think that everything you do today, tomorrow is obsolete? Technology and women and little children too. Don't it make you feel blue?" As long as it's backed by the Bad Seeds, it don't feel so bad at all.

Full Album Stream from AOL

Album: Man Man - Rabbit Habits

Man Man - Rabbit HabitsWhen Philadelphia's Man Man released Six Demon Bag back in 2006, it was if someone had blended all my Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa albums as into one delectable shake. But both live and lyrically, the songs took on more than just a rehash of music's marginalized past. Rabbit Habits, whose title comes from the practice of rabbits eating their young, doesn't stray too much from their Waits/Zappa/Beefheart junkyard ethos, but this time around, there's an underlying darkness amidst all the vaudevillian tomfoolery. Frontman Honus ruthlessly hunts down the title character in "The Ballad of Butter Beans," and then calls out a vacuous lover in "Poor Jackie." "I don't see what everybody sees in your sexy body. All I see is a shallow grave, trapped inside a pretty face." "Whalebones" brings it's own dark heartache, with the line "but she holds him like an infant, though it breaks her in half to know he'll wake like a man -- sold on cold indifference." All this lies underneath tremendously fun (re: great live) songs, full of crazy instrumentation. Pitchfork TV launched yesterday, and the first video time-waster you should check out is the behind the scenes look at Man Man recording this album, recording falling junk, dogs in the bathtub, and of course fireworks ("Mysteries of the Universe Unraveled.") All in all it's a great rock album, even though there's nary a guitar in the mix.

Full Album Stream from AOL

Album: Wye Oak - If Children

Wye Oak - If ChildrenThis album is already destined for my Best of the Year (That's Really Rrom a Previous Year) list, as it was originally self-released last summer by the duo from Baltimore. If Children is a great debut, one that relies quite a bit on the shoegaze of the nineties, along with the dreamy folk pop of Yo La Tengo, but without sounding entirely derivative. Jenn Wasner's vocals are a bit like a laid back Kim Deal, dry and double-tracked, but lyrically a bit more like Jenny Lewis, smarter than you give what you're hearing credit for. The duo easily move from the controlled feedback of first single "Warning" into the gentle acoustic pop of "Regret," a nice demonstration that the band isn't reliant on the shoegaze angle. Meanwhile, "I Don't Feel Young" is a joyous number, where Phil Spector's wall of sound meets Crosby Stills and Nash, by way of lots of distortion, of course. It's an album that I've had on repeat all week now, and only through the incredible depth of today's haul will it (temporarily) slip out of rotation.

Stream the album from Merge Records
Download: "Warning" [mp3]

More on the radar this week:
The Breeders - Mountain Battles / Free album stream from AOL (more tomorrow)
Jason Anderson - The Hopeful and the Unafraid / Free album stream from AOL (more tomorrow)
Foals - Antidotes / Free album stream from AOL (Reviewed last week)
Clinic - Do It! / Free album stream from AOL (more tomorrow)
The Long Blondes - Couples / Free album stream from AOL
Tapes 'n Tapes - Walk it Off / Free album stream from AOL
Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP
Old Haunts - Poisonous Times / "Volatile" [mp3]
Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Pershing / Free album stream from AOL / "Glue Girls," "Think I Wanna Die" [mp3]
New Bloods - The Secret Life / "Oh, Deadly Nightshade" [mp3]
Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours / Free album stream from AOL
Richard Swift - Richard Swift As Onasis
Jim Noir - Jim Noir (Free AOL Stream - Not in Rhapsody)
Neva Dinova - You May Already Be Dreaming / Free album stream from AOL / "Knee High Boogie Blues" [mp3]
Peter Moren - The Last Tycoon / Free album stream from AOL
The Duke Spirit - Neptune
Robots in Disguise - We're In The Music Biz
Ike Reilly - Poison The Hit Parade
Boredoms - Super Roots 1
Spoon - Don't You Evah
The Wombats - The Wombats EP
Hayes Carll - Trouble In Mind
Finest Dearest - Finest Dearest
Marie Digby - Unfold
Eric Avery - Help Wanted / Free album stream from AOL
Meat Meat Manifesto - Autoimmune
The Green Owl Comp: A Benefit For The Energy Action Coalition
Dark Meat - Universal Indians [Expanded]
The Microphones - The Glow Pt. 2 (w/ Bonus Disc)

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1 comment:

Shawn Anderson said...

New Releases 04.08.08

1. "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!" - Nick Cave
2. "Hurly / Burly" - Man Man
3. "Warning" - Wye Oak
4. "Cassius" - Foals
5. "Bang On" - The Breeders
6. "38172" - Jason Anderson
7. "Tomorrow" - Clinic
8. "Guilt" - The Long Blondes
9. "Hang Them All" - Tapes 'n Tapes
10. "Drops in the River") - Fleet Foxes
11. "Poisonous Times" - The Old Haunts
12. "Everybody here is a Cloud" - Cloud Cult
13. "Boring Fountain" - Someone Still Loves You Boris
14. "Oh, Deadly Nightshade! - The New Bloods
15. "Out There On The Ice" - Cut Copy
16. "Sm60" - Richard Swift
17. "Will the Ladies Send You Flowers" - Neva Dinova
18. "Missing Link" - Peter Moren
19. "Send A Little Love Token" - The Duke Spirit
20. "Can't Stop Getting Wasted" - Robots In Disguise
21. "Janie Doesn't Lie (Solo)" - Ike Reilly
22. "Visit Colonel" - Thee Oh Sees
23. "Budokan Tape Try(500 Tape High)" - Boredoms
24. "Kill the Director" - The Wombats
25. "All I Got Is Me" - Spoon
26. "It's A Shame" - Hayes Carll
27. "Night-Blooming Flowers" - Finest Dearest
28. "Better Off Alone" - Marie Digby
29. "Beside the Fire" - Eric Avery
30. "I Hold The Mic!" - Meat Beat Manifesto
31. "Dem Nah Ready" - Elephant Man
32. "On the Run" - Tina Dico
33. "The Day That You Decide" - Drive By
34. "Who Am I" - Rosey
35. "Head In My Hands" - Fixer
36. "Drive (Eyerer And Namito Rmx)" - Client
37. "It's A Miracle" - Was [Not Was]
38. "Fat Snake" - Robert Kelly
39. "Nothing's Forever" - Asia
40. "Back To Freedom" - Juliana Hatfield
41. "The Seed (2.0) (The Roots cover)" - Person L
42. "One More Trip" - Dark Meat
43. "the Glow pt. 2 (version)" - Microphones