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...


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