Archive for April, 2010

15 albums: 14 March – 3 April 2010.

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

It’s been another hectic 3 weeks here at the Autumnshades HQ, so we’re doing a mega-roundup. Three weeks in one post!

14 March – 20 March 2010
1) Red House Painters: Ocean Beach (4AD, 1995). I love Mark Kozelek, and I love RHP, but sometimes this music is just a little bit too sad.
2) Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (Matador, 2000). I’ll admit it: Painful is the last YLT album that really resonated with me (yes, apparently I am still stuck back in 1993). Every few months, I go back to one of their newer records in the hopes that it’ll click.
3) Emiliana Torrini: Fisherman’s Woman (Rough Trade, 2005). There are a few songs on this album that I quite like (“Sunny Road”, for one), but as a whole, this album doesn’t stand up quite as well as I’d hoped.
4) Tara Jane O’Neil: A Ways Away (K, 2009). I love both Rodan and the Sonora Pine, but I always seem to be the last to find out about new Tara Jane solo records.
5) Mastodon: Crack the Skye (Reprise, 2009). So this album might have been a little too conceptual– even for Mastodon. But despite the utterly absurd story behind it (y’know, a soul that escapes through a wormhole and ends up in an underground Russian Orthodox sect and then gets put in the body of Rasputin), this album still completely slays. Let it go! Let it go! Let it go! Let it go! Let it goooooooooo!, indeed.

21 March – 27 March 2010
1) Judee Sill: Heart Food (Asylum, 1973). Sill’s music is just so devastating. And maybe part of that devastation comes after-the-fact, since we know how her story ends. Either way, this album is still beautiful after almost 30 years.
2) PJ Harvey: To Bring You My Love (Island, 1995). In some ways, I react to PJ Harvey much in the same way as I do YLT (see above)– none of her later albums resonates with me quite as acutely as this one does.
3) Sigur Rós: () (MCA, 2002). For a long time, I didn’t think I ever needed another Sigur Rós album beyond the stunning Agætis byrjun. And I probably don’t. But I picked up () super-cheap at a certain record store’s going-out-of-business sale, and it’s a nice addition to the group’s beautiful, cinematic sound.
4) Joanna Newsom: the Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City, 2004). Love.
5) Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me (Drag City, 2010). Holy cow. Newsom kinda lost me with 2006’s Ys (which is a weird thing to admit, since I love prog, and I bet I’d love Ys if I revisited it now), but this new one– despite its 3xLP length– takes her prog inclinations and channels it into more distinct songs, a la her 2004 debut the Milk-Eyed Mender. I doubt I’ll ever sit and listen to all 3 LPs in a row again, but each one works on its own. Favorite track of the moment: “On a Good Day”.

28 March – 3 April 2010
1) and 2) Norah Jones: Come Away With Me (Blue Note Records, 2002) and Feels Like Home (Blue Note Records, 2004). I never jumped on the Norah Jones bandwagon back in the early ’00s, but these albums are quite pleasant.
3) Converge: No Heroes (Epitaph, 2006). I’m really not sure why it took me so long to embrace Converge.
4) Sade: Soldier of Love (Sony, 2010). By contrast to Norah Jones, Sade put forth a laid-back vibe that I can really get into– even more so here than their earlier albums.
5) Carrie Rodriguez: Love & Circumstance (Ninth Street Opus, 2009). It probably says a lot about Rodriguez’s aesthetic that I had completely forgotten this was a covers album until I got to her take on Lucinda Williams’s “Steal Your Love”.