music of the month - april edition

David Bowie - Station to Station [cd]

another Bowie rescued from the used bin. honestly I have ignored this one in the past as the reviews I had seen indicated it was pretty mediocre. After picking it up however, I can safely say that this is a really good album. I would even rate it above low and close to “heroes.” That may get me kicked out of the Bowie fan club but sometimes the truth hurts.

slowdive - souvlaki [cd]

similar to Catherine Wheel for me, this is a band that I liked the first time around but was less enamored of than many of their peers and that’s too bad. This album, probably their best, holds up really well. matter of fact it holds up better than many of their peers albums’ have.

Broken Bells - Broken Bells [cd]

I will admit it. when I first heard about this album and all the accompanying hype, I wasn’t going to even give a chance. then I started hearing the music and couldn’t deny that this is a good album. are they the american gorillaz? kind of, though I guess it doesn’t hurt that dangermouse produced that last gorillaz. 

The xx - xx [cd]

This is another CD that I just didn’t pay a lot of attention to partly because of the hype, but like the Broken Bells record, this one really grew on me. it’s really the seductive male/female vocal combination that gets me. what I really like about this record is that it doesn’t sound like it obviously cribs from someone else or another era like a lot of groups recently.

Capsula - Rising Mountains [mp3]

like a more 60s influenced Black Mountain. they are all psychedelic grooves and distortion. don’t get them confused with the Israeli electronic producer with the same name. highly recommended

Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night [mp3]

The best way I can think to describe Besnard Lakes is shoegaze 2.0. I don’t mean that as an insult because shoegaze is a genre in my itunes library and this is a really good album. like any good shoegaze band, these songs aren’t just drenched in layers of reverb for no good reason, but rather use all the effects and layers of sound to complement as integral to their songwriting.

Syl Johnson - The Complete Hi Records [cd]

another artist I am embarrassed not to have known sooner, I came to Syl through the fabulous numero group label and his work on twinight records. what I didn’t know was that he put out several records on Hi Records, home of producer extraordinaire Willie Mitchell. of the four albums collected here, the first three are the clear winners. just smokin R&B in that killer Willie Mitchell style. the last album ‘Uptown Shakedown’ is a very ill-advised disco album that I just cannot get behind. no one needs a 9 minute discofied otis redding medley.

Communist Daughter - Soundtrack to the End [cd]

a great local band I discoverd through the Current’s song of the day podcast. They are a solid country-tinged indie rock group with great songwriting and I am really excited to see them live sometime soon. if they can keep up this level of music then I could see them being really big.

Black Man’s Cry [cd]

Covers from and music inspired by the Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. Hard to go wrong. especially when there are two, count em two, steel band Fela covers

Jack Rose and the Black Twig Pickers [cd]

Still can’t believe he is gone. A guitarist that gave Fahey a run for his money. Paired up here with the Appalachian folk/Americana Black Twig Pickers it is a match made in heaven