Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quick Hits

Another long expanse of time has passed. One of these day's I'll be more diligent, but until then I'll keep coming back with more and more music that is currently of interest to me.

The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground
One of my favorite quirky bands from the U.K. If you missed their first album The Best Party Ever (2005) it's not to late. They return after a few delays to deliver their follow-up filled with the same childish glee, humor, and kiddie instrumentation to the delight of all. I think one of their best traits is being childish and "adult" at the same time.

When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade

...And You'll Know Us By the Trail of Dead - The Century of Self
For anyone that knows me, you may be surprised to find out that I really, really like Trail of Dead. Don't let the name scare you away from one of the few bands to have recorded an album that has received a perfect 10/10 from Pitchfork (Source Tags & Codes) in 2002. This is their first album since ST&C to see them free of a click track (and overlord label Interscope); returning to their ambling, free-flowing epic rock roots. You can feel the freedom, even if it's missing the element of nuance. Nevertheless, it's great to be listening to a solid album from the group once again.

Halcyon Days

Mavis Staples - Live: Hope At The Hideout
Mavis Staples is admittedly "before my time" but this live album captures a timeless performer that has lost little, if anything. I'm also a big fan of R&B when it's heavy on juicy blues licks, and that is exactly what Mavis delivers here. Her powerful voice gives me chills at one point in pretty much every song. The backing band featuring guitarist Rick Holmstrom, drummer Stephen Hodges and bassist Jeff Turmes along with a trio of backing vocalists also proceed to kill it.

Will The Circle Be Unbroken

The Dodos - Visiter
Already named one of the best albums of 2008 I somehow missed the boat on this. But, I like to think it's never too late to enjoy great music. Their first official release sees The Dodos harnessing all of their eclectic influences (and there a lot on the album) into an album that is both liberated and joyful to the point you can't help but be swept off your feet.