Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heavy Rotation #11

My music listening was fairly scattered through the early part of the summer and included a fair amount of shuffle mode both on iTunes and my iPod. Over the last few weeks, however, a few albums have been played repeatedly and it's time to talk about them.

The Afghan Whigs/1965 - This album represents another in a long line of groups that I missed out on the first time around. I'd heard about The Afghan Whigs, of course, but I don't think I really ever heard any of their stuff. Thanks to eMusic, I took the plunge with this album late last year. It didn't sink in immediately and I forgot about it until recently...and now I can't get enough of it. It's slinky and sexy and creepy and stylish and Greg Dulli is one of a kind. Once I've had my fill of this one, I'll be delving into some more - should I go Congregation or Gentlemen next?

Band of Horses/Infinite Arms - So, for this band the backlash came with album #3 and not the sophomore release. I think people just decided it was time to turn on Ben Bridwell, maybe because the rest of the band is different from the first 2 albums or maybe it's just not as majestic-sounding as those albums were. I read a lot of mediocre reviews and I'm not sure why. Yes, I did take a few listens to for the album to fully sink in but once it did, I was hooked. This is melodic folk-pop in the finest sense. Kudos to those few critics brave enough to avoid the rock critic playbook on this one.

Pernice Brothers/Goodbye, Killer - This is the new album and it is packed full of great pop and country-inflected songs. As always, Joe Pernice writes with a wonderful melodic sense and a way with words that can be depressing and beautiful at the same time. So good.

Bruce Springsteen/Born To Run - A recent purchase and viewing of his new DVD, London Calling, had me grabbing this classic album from 1975 (the remastered version from a few years back) and playing it for the thousandth and one time. "Thunder Road" is my favorite song ever and songs like "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," "She's The One," and the title track sound great blasting on my car stereo with the windows down on my way to and from class.

Superchunk/Indoor Living - I came late to the Superchunk party and am very excited that I get to buy one of their albums upon release, as I can in Sept. with the upcoming Majesty Shredding. I spent some time on my Blip account posting older songs of theirs that I mostly don't own and decided it was time to devote some listening time to this album. I grabbed it from eMusic a while back and mostly ignored it but I won't make that mistake anymore. Mac McCaughan is someone I have a lot of respect for as an artist and businessman (as one of the heads of Merge Records, my favorite indie label). Again, once I exhaust this album, I'm going back for more.

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