The New Decay

for those who love myusik

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Julie Doiron Wakes Up!

Below is a copy of a review for Julie Doiron's upcoming awesome album Woke Myself Up which, if I don't say so myself, is the biz-natch (that means really good). The review will appear in the next issue of umfm's monthly publication.


Julie Doiron – Woke Myself Up
Endearing Records

And it all starts to make sense. Ever since Julie Doiron began writing songs apart from Eric’s Trip she has gently lulled us to sleep with numerous albums of soft-spoken confessional songwriting. Whether it was through her 1996 Broken Girl album, her 2000 album with the Wooden Stars, the French Desmorais, 2002’s Heart and Crime or 2004’s Goodnight Nobody (featuring Herman Dune), Doiron has spent the better part of a decade perfecting the craft of writing fragile and subtle music that never hinted at anything ‘rock.’

Woke Myself Up points to new potentials for the singer-songwriter. With the help of her fellow Eric’s Trippers Rick White, Mark Gaudet and Chris Thompson, Doiron unleashes a wonderful song cycle that clearly wants to rock. The album consists of numerous moments where the quiet guitar that is typical of Doiron’s solo material is losing a fight with a brittle distorted guitar. As a result, the album is much more a response to Eric’s Trip’s Purple Blue than Doiron’s recent material.

However, Woke Myself Up isn’t wholly different from Doiron’s solo albums. The confessional lyricism that has made her albums so inviting is still around. This time it is taken to a new level as Doiron shares with us the frustration and pain of being involved in a failing marriage (she and her husband split up soon after she finished writing the album). This is music that is inextricably tied to the writer’s current experiences, while never retreating into tacky sentimentality or ‘love gone wrong’ clichés. It is music that only Doiron can make, and only Doiron should make.

Woke Myself Up could very well be the defining record of Doiron’s 16-year career. It’s a wonderful mix of the harshness that made Eric’s Trip memorable, and the sincerity that blessed her solo work. It points Doiron in a new direction, giving her songwriting new life and vigor when she appears to need it the most.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

When Will it Ever End!!!

So aparrently January doesn't mark the end of the 'best of' season as this week saw a few of the best lists pop up.

I already mentioned idoloters jackin' pop but feel I need to again. This is possibly the most well orchestrated list as it contains hundreds of the best music writers in North America submitting their analysis' of the year (including Robert Christgau, Chuck Eddy and Carl Wilson). Also, how can you not like the fact that it was born out of protest.

Woebot tv puts out one of the best lists I've seen, and most entertaining, which includes the likes of Joanna Newsom, Burial (I'll get to that in a moment), Juana Molina (who should have really been on mine as well), Matmos, and Scritti Politti. Plus he dances to all his selections.

In non-list news earshot magazine has put up my article on Guided by Voices frontman Robert Pollard. Check it out.
So, in honor of all this list business, and the fact that I refuse to talk about last year anymore (well maybe not as much as I have been lately), and because the beauty of list-making is how it introduces you to music that managed to slip by you in the past year, I'll be doing a top 5 albums from last year that I hadn't heard until the year was finished, on my show this Friday @ 2pm Central Time. And here they are;

1.)Burial - Burial
Yeah it's dubstep and supposedly only the British can truly appreciate this stuff, but in a year where the 80s hit me the hardest (see My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and Rip it Up and Start it Again: Postpunk 1978-1984) I can't get enough of this stuff. When we are constantly being bombarded with bands such as Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, LCD Soundsystem, and The Rapture, who seem to focus on vintage postpunks more sunnier sides, its refreshing to hear an album that wants to remind us of the more haunting and disturbing aspects of the genre. This is able for those who love Eno, Arthur Russell, Cabaret Voltaire, and Throbbing Gristle, not just the brits. note - make sure to check out woebots awesom analysis of Burials use of the mutant trumpet
2.) Ornette Coleman - Sound Grammar
How I missed this album is simply a testament to the fact that until October I really wasn't paying much attention to jazz (side note - check out Zoilus' article on the demise of Jazz). This is my favorite Jazz musician playing some of his best jazz yet. The two double basses (one bowed) add amazing texture, and the drumming is sweet. Recalling various aspects of previous eras of Colemans work (the straight-up bop of Tomorrow is the Question, the breaking through of free jazz in The Shape of Jazz and the resurgance of this in The Sounds of Science) Sound Grammar is one of, if not the best Jazz album of the year.

3.) Fionn Regan - The End of History
Singer songwriter from Ireland, Fionn Regan, offers up a wonderful collection of folk songs and one of the years best in 'Put a Penny in the Slot'.
4.) Johnny Dark - Can't Wait
I havn't spent too much time with this one yet. However, I felt that the only thing missing from the new Junior Boys album was the awesome drum beats provided by Johnny Dark on their first album. So far his solo stuff seems to be providing the missing link.

5.) Xiu Xiu - The Air Force
Ok, so I didn't really miss this one. Yet by the time December came around, I had completely forgotten about it. More out of frustration over his canceled show in the fall, than quality of the album. The Air Force provides a stunning progression from 2004's Fabulous Muscles, that in a wierd sense, points to a more hopeful future for Xiu Xiu than 2005 La Foret

And to take us into 2007:
Julie Doiron - Woke Myself Up (a healthy dose of some much needed Rock n' Roll)
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (this time not sponsored by Nike)
Low - Drums and Guns (looks to be a significant improvement on 2005's boring The Great Destroyer)

Until Next time!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Back from the Holidays....

Well I'm back from E-ville (that's hip-hop lingo for Edmonton), and ready for some serious blogging ... kind of.

I will be doing a focus on Ornette Coleman's awesome 2006 release Sound Grammer on my radio show today and will be having a longer write up on that up on the site soon. Other than that here are some quick links to check out;

2006 is only a few days old and it's already reached its pinnacle. It's all downhill from here folks.

Zoilus posts his top 20 for 2006. The biggest surprised being that Destroyer's Rubies didn't make the top of the list. It wasn't even second!

Umfm has posted its top 101 records of the year, and a bunch of dj's top 10's as well.

Idoloter as its jackin' pop poll up and it's oh so good with demographic options and everything.