Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Drive-By Music Recommendations

I’ve been a bad blogger (again) this year. The combination of travel, housework and studying (I’m trying to add Certified Internal Auditor to my list of certifications) have kept me from sticking to my resolution to blog more regularly in 2011. What I have been doing lately though, is listening to a lot of great new music (as all of the aforementioned tasks are very conducive to music enjoyment). I splurged on a set of Sony studio monitor headphones, and they’ve made all the difference in the world to my home music enjoyment.

Some quick music recommendations from the first couple of month of 2011 are:

Go-Go BootsDrive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots: The title of this post was in reference to the brevity of this entry, and not one of my favorite bands. Of course they showed up as well. Go-Go Boots is less immediate than last year’s The Big To-Do, but I think it’s going to be more rewarding over the long haul. Opener, “I Do Believe” may be my new favorite Patterson song, and “Everybody Needs Love” shows a new side to the band.

The King Is DeadThe Decemberists – The King Is Dead: A drastic improvement from the feelslikeworktolistento concept album The Hazards Of Love, The King Is Dead is 10 songs of near perfection. This album feels like a cross between the best parts of modern American roots music (Is that an oxymoron?) with vintage R.E.M. Guest appearances by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and roots music mainstay Gillian Welch suggest that might have been just the mix they were going for. Here they are with the aforementioned Gillian Welch on Conan.

Kiss Each Other Clean (Deluxe) [Explicit]Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean: It’s Sam Beam, he still has a beard, he’s still awesome, and it’s fantastic…just listen to it.

Yuck (Amazon Exclusive Version)Yuck – Yuck: Members of the Fat Possum Records (Oxford, MS) roster, Yuck have made one of the best lo-fi pop releases in recent memory. It’s catchy as hell, but not too perfect, and that makes it just about perfect. Best heard on vinyl. Here's my favorite song on the album.

King Of The BeachWavves – King of the Beach: Fuzzed-out summer anthems performed with reckless abandon. This one is really growing on me the more I listen to it. King of the Beach is the album on my current playlist that is most likely to make me want to put on my Converse and a hoodie and hang out at Goner Records all day, pretending to be a hipster. Also from Fat Possum Records, and also best heard on vinyl. Check out the title track below.

The ArchAndroidJanelle Monae – The ArchAndroid: I’m not sure why I missed this one on my best of 2010 list, but now it’s a glaring omission. Be warned, the songs range from “so funky they should be illegal” to just plain weird, but that’s what makes this album so great. Here's one of the funky numbers.

Kmag Yoyo (& Other American Stories)Hayes Carll - KMAG YOYO: Just another stellar album from Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll. While I miss the more melodic side he showed on his last album Trouble in Mind, this one is just as strong for different reasons. Google the title acronym for a good laugh. Here's the title track as performed on Leno.

I’m also enjoying the just released albums from Lucinda Williams and R.E.M., but I haven’t fully digested them enough yet to form a solid opinion. They both look promising for the long-haul though.

What about you? What are you listening to right now?


  1. I can't believe you didn't like The Hazards of Love by the Decemberists. It is on my top albums ever list. I love the new one as well but Hazards blew me away. It has many guest singers who's work I love as well. The new album is the only album they've ever done that isn't conceptual in some way. It's great but veers far from the sound of all of the others. Kind of like the new Iron and Wine. It's a great album but veers very far from the Iron and Wine I remember from college.

    I love the new band Yuck and Wavves. The Wavves front man cracks me up with his tweets. He's always high on something and tweeting up a storm.

  2. Don't get me wrong, I liked The Hazards of Love. I just felt it was an incredibly exhausting listen at times, and I had to be in the right mood for it. I really liked The Crane Wife.

    I could have done without some of the extra "ear candy" on the Iron & Wine album, but overall it works.

    I'll have to follow the Wavves frontman on Twitter. If you ever want any of the Fat Possum releases on Vinyl, you should order them direct from the FP website. Shipping is really reasonable and you usually get the MP3 code.

    Thanks for the comment!