The New Decay

for those who love myusik

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Links, Links, Links,

Things have been a little slow on here lately.  Bloggery always seems to fall on the back-burner during the winter months.  With Blue Monday being yesterday and the fact that it's so frickin' cold that nobody in their right mind would plan a show in Winnipeg, can you really blame me?

Anyways, to catch up ...

Sadly, Woebot, the excellent music blog that is responsible for introducing me to ridiculous amounts of great British and electronic artists decided to close up shop earlier this month. However, he went out in style with an impressive feature on Jazz.  Not swing, not bop, not free-jazz or even fushion.  No, instead he decided to take on the entire genre, and did so really well.  My only beef is that I think he ends a bit early, not tackling anything much later than 1973, thus leaving out most of the ECM catalogue, Anthony Braxton (who was recently featured on Destination-Out, with a long discussion about his son Tyondai Braxton), Vijay Iyer and many other great artists who just happen to come out after that.  It's a solid introduction into North America's most significant musical creation.

Also, last week Idolator put out it's 2nd annual pop critics poll.  Collecting ballots from 452 music critics, the poll is an excellent guide to pop circa 2007.  Not surprisingly, Sounds of Silver got top spot on the album poll, while "Umbrella" took #1 on the singles poll.  The reissues poll is a different story.  Young Marble Giants' Colossal Youth beats out Miles Davis' The Complete On the Corner Sessions, Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation both Joy Division discs and Betty Davis' self-titled album.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the album, and bought it the day it came out, but as far as reissues go, it's only good, not great.  There is hardly anything new added and the packaging is annoying as hell.  There's no way it should be ahead on the Miles Davis record on this one, nor is it even in the same league as Unknown Pleasures.  It's kind of makes me wonder if this was the result of critics choosing something different just for the sake of it.

Geez, I never thought I would speak ill of YMG in my lifetime.  Anyways, the next two weeks sees a bunch of good new releases.  So far I can vouch for ...

Hello, Blue Roses: The Album title is changing all the time (Out Today!!)
My wife Jess and I were talking about this one the other day and decided it's a bit unfortunate that Sydney Vermont situated herself next to her man Dan Bejar for her first disc.  She's a really great artist in her own right, and risks getting lost in the fame of her partner by doing so.  The collaboration is still great to listen to though.

Vampire Weekend: S/T (out next Tuesday)
I want to have a more in depth review of this one next week.  It's the first great record of the year from a new artist in my opinion and is a wonderful companion to Talking Heads' 77 album.

Xiu Xiu: Women as Lover (out next Tuesday)
Jamie Stewart continues his one full length every year and a half pace and puts together another awesome collection of songs in Women as Lovers.  Few artists are able to make such uncomfortable music so enjoyable to listen to.  As with the Vampire Weekend record, expect more from me on this one later.

Until next time...

Monday, January 14, 2008

The New Decay Listens

It's officially been one month since my last post, so I thought I'd update you on a few things you can expect to hear on some upcoming shows of mine.  2008 isn't very old, yet it's already brought us some fine listens!
Beach House - Devotion (Carpark)
I've been on a bit of a Baltimore thing of late thanks to a number of things (The Wire, Panda Bear, the fact that the Orioles might actually send Roberts to the Cubs etc...).  Dream Pop duo Beach House is only solidifying this with their upcoming album Devotion due out February 29th. I'll have more on the album closer to the release date, but until then, go check out the first single "Gila" as it is a thing of beauty.

Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy - Cornell 1964 (Blue Note)
Released last year, this album catches one of the finest Jazz ensembles on the cusp of their ground breaking tour.  While, they are still getting comfortable with each other here, it's still fascinating to listen to a group so full of potential.  

Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey EP (Kranky)
I picked up the Cryptograms album on vinyl while I was in Edmonton a few weeks ago and was glad to see that the vinyl edition included this ep at the end.  Recorded almost a year after the full length, the Ep illustrates how well Deerhunter is progressing as a band.  Expect big things from them in years to come.

Hello, Blue Roses - Long title I don't feel like writing
Kate Bush meets Destroyer.  Of course I'll eat this up.

The Magnetic Fields - Distortion (Nonesuch)
Pitchfork has a review for this one up right now, which is a good read.  The album is somewhere in the 'almost-great' area between the confused and uninspired i and the classics Holiday and 69 Love Songs.

Wolves in the Throne Room - Two Hunters (Southern Lord)
Is this post-rock or doom-metal, or black-metal?  Who really cares?  One listen to "I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots" will have you hooked.

Until next time ...