Thursday, November 4, 2010


  • First of all, I'm thoroughly disappointed in myself for my lack of production in October. 8 measily posts? Anyway, I know nobody cares but I was shooting for 10 every month this year. At least I've already averaged that. At any rate, a thousand apologies...
  • The Decemberists' new album (already their 6th!) is called The King Is Dead and drops on January 18th. Here's hoping a big fat tour follows! A single is out too, entitled "Down by the Water". It's an excellent driving folk song and it sounds like they've scaled back the hyperconceptual approach. I suppose they couldn't get much more conceptual than a rock opera. Still, I'm sure they'll stir the pot somehow.
  • Eels' new album -- their second of 2010 -- is called Tomorrow Morning. It's actually quite a bit better than I'd expected. I'm always leery of a band releasing to albums in the same year, but I think Eels pulled it off. It's no all-time classic, but it's an able follow-up to End Times, which I thought was excellent.
  • 2009 noisemakers Girls are stirring. A new EP, Broken Dreams Clubs, is out. I haven't heard it but I'm sure it's charming and slightly manic. They're also well into the production of their sophomore LP.
  • You might have noticed I haven't concluded the Tom Waits piece. I still plan on it, don't worry. But in the meantime, here's a Waits-related tidbit: Reknowned Waits' guitarist Marc Ribot has released a lovely, minimalist instrumental guitar album called Silent Movies. It's not avante-garde or progressive jazz or anything. Just a quiet, subtle album of barebones guitar instrumentals. Perfect for Sunday morning coffee or stargazing. Those kinds of things.
  • Upcoming concerts: Felice Brothers tomorrow. That is all for now, unfortunately. Was hoping to make Bonnie "Prince" Billy in Decemeber, but that seems unlikely due to some scheduling stuff. Speaking of which...
  • I recently picked up Sings Greatest Palace Music by Bonnie "Prince" Billy. It features 15 re-records of songs by Palace Music, Will Oldham's band prior to taking on his BPB monicker. It was sort of passed over by critics, dismissed as being too slick and its songs lacking the character of the PM versions. I'm not well-versed in Palace Music, so my untainted reception was comparably warmer. I totally understand the reaction of afficianados, but those of us using it as a point of entry won't mind the polished approach. My personal favorite is "Gulf Shores," a beatific sunset ballad.

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