Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Stay tuned

Family stuff and vacation stuff the next few days. Will try to blog from the road, though.
Playlist stays the same, though Stephen Malkmus might work his way in there...

NR: Whedon/Cassady--"Astonishing X-Men"
Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Now playing

NP: Sleater-Kinney--"The Woods"
Well yes, of course, pretty much non-stop actually, but yesterday I got the full retail limited edition in the package the ladies intended it from the git-go. And it is a beautiful thing too, a triple-fold digi-pak with lyrics and the real prize a live DVD. Suffering only from brevity, it includes 4 songs filmed at the time they were first test-driving the new material, and in their stripped down essence, they are superb to behold, and not just rehashes of their counterparts on the main CD. As said before, June 18th in Toronto cannot come soon enough (and early on in their tour for once, meaning they should be fresh and roarin to go).

NP: R.E.M.--"New Adventures in Hi-Fi" (5.1 edition)
Possibly the most underrated album in their catalog (well maybe not including "Around the Sun" which got majorly dumped on last year and was not a bad CD by any stretch) and especially two albums down the road from the pantheon-reaching "Automatic". This certainly one-ups "Monster" and paves the way for the equally-underrated "Up", but I remember when I first bought this in 1996 and just loving it, a rager in its own way as "The Woods" is today.
What is interesting to sit down and listen to is the new Surround mix, which is part of this whole R.E.M. reissue from earlier this year. It is indeed great to be able to pick out background vocals from behind you and hear new details in the mix, but somehow it almost seems...too clear. There's something to be said for an original context for many beloved albums, and it only highlights how disappointed i was with several favorites when I upgraded them to CD. There remains nothing like a first time, as they say. And that said, now is a great time to rediscover this seemingly lost classic, probably R.E.M.'s last trumpet blast before the quieter reflection of the next 3 albums.

Bloc Party this Monday on the Review, and I'm finding that this seems to be ringing a lot of bells across the board. It is good, but...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Been a while

A bit of an update...

NR: Seagle/Kristansen--"It's a Bird..."
Joyce Carol Oates--"The Corn Maiden: A Love Story" (from Transgressions)
Oates does rock, doesn't she?

Next week on the ol' review, we actually stay the same as we had planned: Bloc Party, House of Love (advance tip, surprisingly good), and Trevor Horn.
For Memorial Day, how's this?: Verve Remixed, Bread tribute, Maria McKee (a definite return to form).
Update, 5/19: 6/6: Dead Meadow, The National, Dirty on Purpose
6/13: The Wedding Present, Joanna Newsom

For all my buddies out there who check my online "diary" out, sorry for the lack of updates. As I'm driving along in the AM, I think of all the things I want to spew about in the blog, but by the time I get to work, reality rears its head and the blog goes by the wayside. I hope to beef this up in the near future. For now, keep an eye on next week's releases: the Woods makes its official appearance (I'm gonna pick up an extra copy just for the DVD), the new Gorillaz looks very promising (my wife loves the iPod commercial), and there's even a Smile DVD coming out. Summer music looks very good. I'm very curious about the new Coldplay album (have to check them out on SNL this week).

BTW, head over to Matador and check out the new New Pornographers track. It seems like 2005 is the year for music from all my favorite bands.

And next week my wife and I head to Stratford for plays and fun. Cool!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Raise your hands

...if you guessed last night's "secret" artist.

NP: Sleater-Kinney--"The Woods"
and it's still in the CD player, revealing something new with each listen. I feel almost embarassed by flinging out the superlatives, but this band draws a line in the sand and effortlessly crosses it, leaving just about everyone else slack-jawed. Much has been made about the great sheets of noise throughout the album; there's plenty of it, and I couldn't be happier, like some unholy matrimony of Sonic Youth and Hole (in fact the Guardian review of one of their recent concerts is right on my money). The best song on their last album, "One Beat", was "Light Rail Coyote", a song about an animal loose in the subway system, and it sounded like it, like a broken live wire snaking on the ground. Imagine an entire CD like that. June 18th in Toronto cannot come soon enough.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Stop the presses

Already an update to below: we will not be playing Robbie Fulks next week.
Instead, something crawled into my hands that I'm absolutely dizzy over. Anybody who reads this journal or listens to this show should be pretty much figuring it out as we speak.

PS: happy birthday to Kate tomorrow! And happy Cinqo de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Playlists galore

Last night: New Order, Pearl Jam, Go-betweens
5/9: Mercury Rev, Robbie Fulks, British Sea Power
5/16: Hal, The Kills, The Hold Steady
5/23: Bloc Party, House of Love, Trevor Horn
5/30: Dead Meadow, Sleater-Kinney, Bread tribute

Once again, subject to change, but so far looking good. That darn Trevor Horn album I keep meaning to get to as part of our compilation series, it's a great import that showcases plenty of the nominal producer's works like ABC, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Art of Noise, and the like.
And the 5/30 show is in honor of an upcoming show in Toronto on June 18 that you darn well better believe I already have my ticket for.

Alergies hitting hard this AM, and I absolutely hate Benedryl. Got up this AM, took some, and feel right back to sleep, making me late for work for like the first time in ever. Thank goodness for yerba mate' tea.

Got some books to tell ya about, be back soon.