First Third Report

It’s almost the end of April, and that means a full third of the year is pretty much gone.  I’ve bought a lot of music this year, and I was kind of looking over it.  Thought I’d toss together a quick blog post, checking in on what just MIGHT make it to the Top Ten list this year, if the rest of the year produces absolutely nothing I like.  (That, of course, is highly unlikely.)

So here’s where we stand as of April…and there’s still a lot more to buy!

  • Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
    I was shocked to find out that this is Girls’ THIRD record and I hadn’t heard of them.  It’s the kind of thing I like, albeit a little but long-winded.  Contender for the top ten, but could get bumped off the list into the “honorable mentions” if there are some real heavyweights later in the year.
  • Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
    Love it.  Had to grow on me, but I love it.  Lanegan’s music shoots off into different directions every time he puts his name on something, and this one’s a whole new experience from his other work.  And that’s a good thing in this case.  Manages to feel fresh and new, but still organic to who Lanegan is as a musician and person.
  • Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
    I will be shocked if this isn’t my record of the year.  If there’s a flaw on this record, I haven’t heard it.  Best band you’ll meet this year, and if they’re not HUGE by this time next year, there is something seriously wrong with society.  (Or the Mayans were right about that “end of the world” thing…)
  • Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
    Definite top five.  Probably top three.  The record that should have followed “The Seeger Sessions” (though that’s not saying those in-between weren’t awesome).  Those who love classic Bruce will be happy, and those who love the folkier Bruce will be happier.
  • Heartless Bastards – Arrow
    A little bit sleepy and some of the songs are a minute or two too long…but it’ll probably still make the list.  There’s a warmth to the record that you just don’t hear much anymore, and I appreciate that almost more than the actual songs.
  • Hospitality
    This is exactly the sort of thing I should be disappointed or even irritated with…and I have no idea why I like it.  Super poppy.  Almost like what would happen if The Pixies had been happy and let Kim write everything instead of Frank.  That should suck.  But I like it.
  • Bro. Stephen – Baptist Girls
    I go back and forth on this one.  It’s pretty dull and there’s not a lot to hold on to.  It’s largely unremarkable…but there’s something about it I can’t put my finger on that I really like.  Maybe it’s the lyrics, even though I’m not quite sure what all of them are.
  • Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
    It’s Cohen, and it’s great.  My only issue is that some of the mix of the music is a little quiet in places, bringing Cohen’s voice out front in a way that’s almost distracting…but that’s a personal thing.  And (as I’ve said before) on what COULD be Cohen’s last record, I can understand why they’d bring his voice—that golden voice—to the forefront.  Destined for my top ten, and probably my top five.
  • Civil Wars – Live at Amoeba
    Reviewed in previous posts.  Don’t care for it, and it soured me on the band as a whole…but I’m willing to like things they may do in the future.  Door isn’t closed…but I’m at the back of the house and the doorbell isn’t working.
  • Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?
    Not as good as Antifogmatic, but good.  Goes back and forth between catchy moments you didn’t realize were stuck in your head until you’ve found yourself lying in bed thinking, “What the hell song is that from???  Is that a Punch Brothers tune?” and moments that are entirely forgettable.  But three records in, I don’t necessarily expect every moment to be perfect.  I like it, and that’s good enough.  If I made the list TODAY, it’d make the top ten…but I’ll be making the list in December or so…

And there’s still plenty out there.  We’re still expecting to see releases by the likes of Rush, Rufus Wainwright, a posthumous Joey Ramone record, and a few others.  And I haven’t gotten around to picking up a couple that caught my interest.  (Shooter Jennings, Sharon Van Etten, etc…)  Might shape up to be an interesting and weird list this year!

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Current Listening:

  • Still a little bit of Elvis Costello.
  • Re-listened to my “Out from the Light” record…why not?
  • A playlist I’m not sure I ever posted here on the blog called “Driving Down Woodson.” Maybe that’ll be a post soon.  It’s a kind of cool list.