What the CL Music Team is spinning this fine Monday to rocket launch us into the work week... To check out last previous entries, click here.
Gabe - Patti Smith Group, Wave (1979)
An old stand-by of mine. Patti Smith never fails to inspire me and awaken my senses, and this album in particular always reaffirms my love and respect for the woman every time I hear it. Recorded after a period of inactivity following a near-fatal accident, Wave is as personal and heartfelt as the best of Patti's work. With wizard Todd Rundgren enlisted as producer, this album ranks as one of Ms. Smith's very best. Put it on again and get lost in the passion and power of the world of Patti Smith.
Scott - City of Ships, Minor World (out July 19, 2011 via Translation Loss)
This rising Richmond, Va. trio's second proper full-length drops tomorrow , and marks a slight change in aesthetics. Minor World is less insinuating and ethereal than acclaimed previous LP Look What God Did to Us, and comes off as a little more directly heavy without sacrificing the genre-obliterating mix of melody, groove and noise that is quickly becoming the band's trademark. Brooding, tense and explosive, this album may put the group up there with such similarly bold favorites as Pelican and Planes Mistaken for Stars. Check out an EPK preview of the album after the jump.
Taylor - Army Navy, The Last Place (2011)
I have loved Army Navy since college, because it's just ridiculously hard to not have a smile on your face when they send their shimmery guitar riffs down your ear drums. And no matter what the lyrics, frontman Justin Kennedy's boyish voice is infectiously peppy. I can't get enough of this band's second album, a unique collection of tunes that cull from the sing-along energy of the early 1980s. Pop never sounded so fun.
Deborah - Kishi Bashi, Room for Dream EP (2011)
This brief yet beautiful EP from Kishi Bashi is the type of baroque pop I go crazy for. He's primarily known for his involvement with of Montreal, creating the delicious string arrangements heard on False Priest. On this EP, Kevin Barnes makes an appearance on "Evalyn, Summer Has Arrived," but it's "Bright Whites" that steals the show. The huge sound and looping violins are nothing like those of Owen Pallet, recalling instead a mix of Andrew Bird and Gorillaz. It's dreamy, dramatic, and absolutely gorgeous, leaving me anxiously waiting for a full-length release. Listen below.
Leilani - Reggie Watts, "Fuck Shit Stack" (2011)
Seattle-based Watts is a weirdo intelligent comedian, poet and songwriter-musician who's been all over late night (Conan and Jimmy Fallon have him on frequently). This homage to cursing, hip hop, and the use of the English language — which I fell in love with upon first listen last week — is on his live DVD special, Why Shit So Crazy?!" directed by Duncan Skiles of Waverly Films and produced by Looseworld. Check out the hilarious video below. Warning: if you couldn't tell by the song's title, it's not safe for work. Or rather, the audio isn't (put on some headphones)...
Ray - Holiday Shores, Columbus’d The Whim (2009)
A trip to BandCamp was in order after hearing two tracks ("Spells" and "Threepeat Got Old") from Holiday Shores’ upcoming LP – New Masses for Squaw Peak. The digital journey unearthed a three-track tour-only cassette and the Tallahassee-based outfit’s debut LP. Columbus’d opens with "Reruns," which is apropos as this 10-track effort has been on repeat ever since I hit play on Saturday evening. It’s "beach music" in the vein of Surfer Blood, but the way the boys layer organs and twinkling guitars around ethereal vocals that sound like a mellow cruise through the clouds make for a sound all their own. They play Summer Jam 7 on August 27, which makes it that much better.
Kate - Incubus, If Not Now, When? (2011)
I have been an Incubus fan for quite some time now. So when the album came out last Tuesday, I immediately went into iTunes and downloaded myself a copy. Of course, I'd already heard their single "Adolescents" on 97x, so I had high hopes for another great album from the California alternative rock band. I admit, I was disappointed upon first listen. It just seems so... reserved for Incubus. Where is all the angst and power chords and outrageous high notes? Most of the songs are pretty slow. Luckily, Brandon Boyd's lyrics are still interesting and worth paying attention to, and the melodies get stuck in my head pretty easily. It usually takes me a couple listens to get into an album, so I plan on giving it a chance, and can't wait for their upcoming show in Tampa. I will always love them!
elawgrrl - Alkaline Trio, Damnesia (2011)
Happy 15th Anniversary to Alkaline Trio! As a longtime Alkaline Trio fan, I was initially a bit nervous about this record, in which the band approaches their hit parade from a new angle (along with two new songs and a Violent Femmes cover, "I Held Her In My Arms"). As it turns out, no need to be nervous as they are are great new twists on solid old favorites. I have been listening all week and am even more excited about catching one of their anniversary shows!
Julie - Ben Kweller, Sha Sha (2002)
Hard to believe he started working on this a decade ago, but Ben Kweller's solo debut is refreshingly unpretentious, honest and intelligently home-hitting. A perfect folk-pop album. By the way, anyone remember Kweller's energetic show at the Crowbar a few years ago? Still one of my all-time favorites, and this CD will always be in my "Family Tree."