This afternoon, I had a (rare) day off from BBV, and I didn't have to come into work until 10:30 tonight, so I took the opportunity to catch up with new music. I fired up Tony La Russa Baseball 3 and plugged Tony II.V into my amp and enjoyed a quality afternoon of baseball and music.
- The new Thom Yorke is growing on me, slowly but steadily. Initially, a few songs jumped out at me, like "Analyse" (which is up there with the best of Hail to the Thief) and the appropriately harrowing "Harrowdown Hill." Yorke is fantastic with electronic countermelodies, the effectiveness of which makes the songs even more haunting. Little touches like these make songs like "Analyse" echo in my head for hours afterwards. Also, it is quite weird playing a computer game from 1995 while listening to "Atoms for Peace."
- Get Lonely, the latest Mountain Goats release, is actually a lot like The Sunset Tree in that while it is high-caliber work, it's also tough going. Regardless of the quality of the songs, I found it difficult to say to myself, "Yay! Time to sit down with the domestic abuse concept album!" But I suppose John Darnielle is not concerned with our pop sensibilities (except for a few choice numbers) and is focused on baring his soul instead. Get Lonely is stunning, although, like Oh, Inverted World, at first listen it runs together into a single song. After first listen, the standouts are "Wild Sage", "Woke Up New", the strangely catchy "Half Dead" and the closing track, "In Corolla." Seemingly throwaway lines about watching a flying pelican seem like life-affirming observations.
- OK, I am on the air at 89.3 The Current right now, playing the Dandy Warhols' "Smoke It". I realize now that yes, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars is as terrible an album as I'd remembered. I listened to it for the first time driving back from Morris in August 2005 (taking a break between listenings to Twin Cinema for the first times) and I couldn't believe the drop-off in quality. Courtney Taylor-Taylor needs to stop taking bong hits and just quit, either that or he & Pete Doherty and Craig Nicholls can start a band together. Watch the egos fly!!!
- Joseph Arthur's new album, Nuclear Daydream, is indeed his most song-based. I don't have enough observations at the moment, but it's on par with his best work.