I bought a bunch of stuff recently, and as is my usual practice, iTunes has been shuffle playing the recent purchases for the last couple of weeks. The albums in question:
- Janelle Monae, the Arch-Android. Not usually my sort of thing, but I saw a bunch of absolutely rapturous reviews calling it groundbreaking, etc, so I gave it a shot. Verdict: Enh. Not my thing. Some decent songs, but I suspect anything with the drum/bass line from "Tightrope" would sound pretty cool.
- Gaslight Anthem, American Slang. A post-punk band from New Jersey with the inevitable Springsteen complex (at least they're not aspiring to be Bon Jovi). I originally heard them when I asked Last.fm to play more stuff like the Hold Steady, and that's fairly accurate-- they have fewer cryptic references to Catholicism and more conventional song structures, but the core idea is similar. If you liked their last record, you'll like this one-- it broadens their range a little bit, but isn't any kind of radical departure.
- The National, High Violet. Less mopey than the other record I have from them, but still in the same basic genre. "Bloodbuzz Ohio" is getting some radio play, and is reasonably representative.
- Band of Horses, Infinite Arms. Bought this because I heard "Laredo" a few times on the radio, and really liked it. Slightly spacey alternative, with dense vocals (lots of harmony and background and jangly guitars.
- Josh Ritter, So Runs the World Away. Slightly off-kilter folk-rock. My favorites are "Folk Bloodbath," and "Lantern." "Another New World" tries a little too hard to be epic, but it's grown on me a bit.
- Kings Go Forth, The Outsiders Are Back. A soul revival act. Lots of brass, funky bass, occasional Barry White strings. Good stuff if you like this sort of thing. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was an obscure album from 1973, but it's a new record.
- The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St.. I already had this on CD, but this is the new digital conversion, and way higher quality than the mediocre rip I had in iTunes. Was and is one of their very best.
Kind of an odd mix of stuff, but it's enough variety to keep from getting too stale. We're coming up on the end of the "recent acquisitions" time window, though, so I'm looking to add some new stuff. What should I be checking out and buying?
I recently listened to and loved "Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue" by Saffire -- The Uppity Blues Women. The lyrics are sly and funny, and the blues are upbeat and fun.
P.S. In other news, I made your Graduate Student Chicken Creole for company this past Saturday night and it was a hit. Thanks for the recipe!
You could try some new Massive Attack, maybe Splitting the Atom or Atlas Air.
It's not pop but Broken Bells "High road" and Carolina Liar "I'm not over" are very good.
My recent purchases:
"Mrs. Cruff" by Mr. Scruff - Downtempo Electronica
"Bombay Beatz" by David Starfire - Remixed Indian Dance/Pop
"The Mirror Conspiracy" by Thievery Corporation - Trip Hop
"Viator" by Corvus Corax - Um...Electronic mixes of metal-influenced medieval pop performed on traditional instruments with Latin lyrics. ...no, really. If Filii Neidhardi doesn't work for you, you can probably give this a miss, but I found it irresistible.
"The Essential Johnny Cash" by Johnny Cash - Duh
A bunch of assorted soul and techno tracks.
You probably have the dead weather, but if not, you'll like them.
New Alejandro escovedo is good.
I have been listening a lot to Peter wolf's midnight souvenirs. Excellent. Slept on.
If you didn't get the version of exile with the outtakes, get it. That is probably my most played of the last couple months.
New Tom Petty is not good, despite the reviews.
If you have not heard The Ponys, you would like them. I would probably start with Laced with Romance or celebration castle.