Wednesday, February 3, 2010


  • Joanna Newsom has a new record coming out, which is apparently a pretty big deal. I listened to a few tracks from it, and it sounds awful. Just awful. Look, I'm pretty open minded about music--especially weird singers. I'm a huge latter-era Tom Waits fan, after all. But damn, this just oozes pretentiousness. I hope I have to eat these words some day...I hope it clicks, and her sharply enunciated pixie chants will greet my ears kindly. But it's hard to conceive now. I viscerally could not stand what I heard.
  • The new Spoon and Vee-Dub have dominated my personal earspace this year. Can't decide if "I Think Ur A Contra" or "Out Go the Lights" has been in my head more often.
  • My concert schedule has filled out nicely: Jason Isbell in a few weeks is a definite, but the big get is My Morning Jacket in April. They're in the upper echelon of bands I need to see but haven't. Hopefully the Arcade Fire will come close later this year.
  • Finally bought another Velvet Underground album after a few years of frustration. I tried to appreciate the influential group, but it wasn't happening. But Loaded is going down a bit smoother. I'm intrigued...will stay on this one and hopefully something will click.
  • Thanks to Drew for pointing me towards a nice live collection of Richard Buckner material. His husky vocals and endearing inflections are certainly dominant, but not over the top (Joanna Newsom should take note.)
  • I think The Basement Tapes features one of Bob Dylan's most interesting vocal styles. He's been characterized as a speak-singer (Blonde on Blonde-era Dylan serving as the template for most impressions.) But on The Basement Tapes, he's pretty much just talking with a bit of bravado. It's oddly likable.
  • Here's a really good write-up about how Wilco slayed at a Neil Young tribute. And apparently they were pretty much the only ones who weren't a letdown.

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