Kick out the Jams 2K6
Rock and roll, hell music in general has been a part of me even since I was a youngster. When I was four I forced my mom to buy INXS Kick. But it was never my intention for this blog to focus only on music. That doesn’t mean that I won’t talk about it at all. So I present to you a selection of my favorite recorded works of 2K6
TV on the Radio-Return to Cookie Mountain
TV on the Radio dares you to pigeonhole them. They have a sound that defies easy categorization, which means they get tagged with the nebulous moniker of “indie-rock”. Don’t be deceived though, they are as far from Death Cab for Cutie as Fergie is from Bikini Kill. Their sound touches on everything from art-punk to soul to hip-hop without being overly derivative of anything. David Bowie even sings on a track! The best tracks are: Playhouses, Province, and I was a Lover, though the album is solid straight through. Return to Cookie Mountain is their second album and it comes out on September 12th. I would highly recommend purchasing it.
Among the finest MC’s in the game today, Ghostface returns with Fishscale, his first album in a few years. It continues his trend of soul-sample drenched hip-hop and fantastic lyricism. Whether talking about failed heists, cheating girlfriend, bad haircuts, bus-stop romances, or general boasting, Ghostface remains clever, insightful with a master’s eye for storytelling and details. Standout tracks: The Champ, Kilo, Big Girl, Shakey Dog.
Comets on Fire-Avatar
Existing somewhere on the rock and roll spectrum between Led Zeppelin and the Stooges, Comets on Fire deliver an album full of psychedelic, noisy ,classically inspired, but not classically derivative rock and roll. There are a lot of guitar solos. And they’re very good. Standout Tracks: Dogwood Rust, Jaybird, The Swallow’s Eye.
Neko Case-Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Words I would use to describe this album: Pleasant, Ethereal, Lovely. Neko Case has an incredible singing voice, and is a great songwriter too. Cryptic and somewhat obtuse lyrically the songs have a certain romanticism to them, which as endeared me to this album, as it has remained in somewhat regular rotation since its release earlier in the year. Standout Tracks: Margaret vs. Pauline, Star Witness, That Teenage Feeling, The Needle had Landed.
The Lawrence Arms-Oh! Calcutta!
I think those people who say punk is dead miss the point. While the original environment that made punk rock so vital and immediate is gone, that doesn’t invalidate punk rock as a viable medium for songwriting. A good song is a good song. And The Lawrence Arms write some damned good songs. While shorter and lacking the esoteric literary and cultural references of their last album (though the title alludes to a nude Broadway musical) Oh! Calcutta! is full of great songwriting and memorable melodies. Political without being embarrassingly polemic, personal without being whiney, The Lawrence Arms are one of the finest punk bands going today. Standout Tracks: The Devil’s Taking Names, Great Lakes/Great Escapes, Recovering the Opposable Thumb.
Sonic Youth-Rather Ripped
Sonic Youth are old, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still good. Turning down the distortion and noise, which they have become legendary for, and focusing on melody and subtle dynamics, The Youth have come up with a very pleasant album for summer. Kim Gordon has never sounded so good and she takes the mike on several songs. The songs are short, the album compact, never diving into the free-form noise experimentalism that they are so famous for. The tradeoff is that these are some of the most melodic songs they’ve written. Standout Tracks: Incinerate, What a Waste, Reena, Jams Run Free.