Friday, February 25, 2011

February Listening Roundup

February is drawing to a close, so the time has come for another roundup.  I have talked about some of these albums in other posts, so I'm sure you have already formulated opinions on a few of them.  If you want a place to share those opinions, there is a discussion group attached to this blog over on Facebook called “Spinners.”  Some interesting bands have been brought to my attention over there.  Bringing obscure and mainstream music to light is the central point of this blog, but to be really successful it takes dialogue.  So……the prize!  One vintage concert t-shirt (Living Colour ‘88) is in the mail to the guy who suggested the Secret Chiefs 3.  Thanks for that one.

Here’s what’s been in play for February:

Scott Walker: “Tilt” – I saw the “30 Century Man” documentary last fall, and have been slowly getting into Walker’s limited solo ouvere.  He is the master of an ambience that I admit I don’t fully understand, but that I find fascinating.

Deerhoof: “Deerhoof vs. Evil” - I’ve blogged a lot about this one - I’m sure you can decide if it’s for you.  We’ll see if it ends up as 2011 top ten.

Ben Butler and Mousepad: “Formed for Fantasy” – This album is at its best when it avoids guest vocalists.  The instrumentals (which are in the majority) are friggin’ awesome.

Sean Lennon: “Friendly Fire” – Quite possibly a personal pop classic.  Engaging and heartbreaking.

Miike Snow – Can an album I bought last year be a favorite for 2011?  As Kinky Friedman would say, “Why the hell not?”

Astra: “The Weirding” – Again, I blogged at length about this retro-prog gem.  It’s really quite good at what it does. 

Budos Band III – Looking forward to seeing these muziqa afro-beaters in Austin soon, so they may come up again next month.  If this album is any indication, the show will be awesome.

Secret Chiefs 3: “Book M” – Noisy hard-rockin’ electronic sympho-funk with a deliberate Persian feel to it.  Last track is a cover of Muziqawi Silt by the Wallias band in the style of Parliament.

The Par Lindh Project: “Mundus Incompertus” – An early 90s retro-prog album that I thought I’d come back to.  Not sure why – I think maybe Par Lindh takes his reverence for Keith Emerson a little too far.

Ratatat: “Classics” – Another good one from these guys, but maybe not the best.  I am not sure I would have bought into them as much if I had started here - still simmering, though.

Jean-Michel Jarre: “Oxygene” – All of this electronica I have been checking out recently made me want to get back to the roots of my personal electronic music taste.  Considering it was made over thirty years ago, "Oxygene" is quite a magnificent piece of work (too bad it got lumped in the "new age" bin at the time).

Zorch: “Demo” – This has a concept and energy that I find appealing – and it comes with its own volume knob!  The EP format sometimes does not hold my attention, though, so we’ll see how long it keeps.

Coming up in March, I have Metric’s “Fantasies” and “Sezzions” by Mouse on the Keys ready to spin. 

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