:: Saturday, September 10, 2005 ::

Now playing
It's been awhile since I've updated my media list of what I'm reading and listening to. It's been even longer since I've blogged about my current playlists. (I have, however, blogged a bit about my most recent reads -- Through Painted Deserts, by Donald "Kerouac for Christians" Miller, and Room Full of Mirrors, the Jimi Hendrix bio, by Charles R. Cross. You can read my review of Through Painted Deserts in the current issue of Next Wave, and I'll probably post a review of the Hendrix bio one of these days.)

Anyway, I've been playing the bejeezus out of three particular CDs that I think are among the best of the year so far. Each of these records is a four-star effort, and, if you prefer your music digitized, each can be downloaded on the cheap at eMusic:

Spoon, Gimme FictionSpoon, Gimme Fiction. This is one of those CDs that will have you tapping your feet before you know it. Gimme Fiction brings together a mix of influences -- the Beatles, the Who, Bowie and ELO, to name a few -- and builds on the shoulders of these giants to create one of the most original sounds in indie rock.

One blogger claims that Spoon is the new Wilco, but I think not. Spoon eats Wilco for lunch. Stick a Spoon in Wilco; they're done. This is one of the best indie bands that I've heard in a while.

The New Pornographers, Twin CinemaThe New Pornographers, Twin Cinema. I first discovered the New Pornographers a couple of years ago, when they released Electric Version. I thought that was a fine power-pop recording. But Twin Cinema, released just last month, is better. This is a stronger, tighter effort, even though New Porn is more of a collective or loose confederation of musicians than a band. Twin Cinema boasts more power and less sugary pop. It's hard to define what it is about this Vancouver group that draws me in. I suppose it's the mixing up of the vocals of this Vancouver group. From one song to the next, you never know who's going to take the lead. The guest appearance of alt-country singer Neko Case adds a new dimension to this effort. If there's any filler in this recording, I can't find it.

Original SinnersOriginal Sinners, Original Sinners. As the lead singer of X, Exene Cervenka was one of L.A. punk's icons. Now, as leader of a little side project called the Original Sinners, Exene pulls together that amazing X sound and knits it all together with influences from her other post-X band, the Knitters, and some alt-country twang. Exene's vocals are as powerful as ever, albeit tinged a bit with some world-weariness. But she's still at the top of her game as a lyricist -- better, even, in some songs, such as "Birds and Bees," "River City" and "One Too Many Lies." And Sam Soto, the Sinners' guitarist, is every bit as hot as Billy Zoom. To Exene and her band, I say, Go, and sin some more.

, , ,

:: Andrew 11:47 + ::

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In rotation

What I've been listening to lately. Click album cover or hyperlink to hear track samples and learn more.

Sermon on Exposition Boulevard Rickie Lee Jones, Sermon on Exposition Boulevard

Children Running Through Patty Griffin, Children Running Through

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Tones of Town Field Music, Tones of Town

The Girl Collection De Bossen, The Girl Collection

Robbers & Cowards Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards

Carinvore Simon Dawes, Carnivore

Until Death Comes Frida Hyvonen, Until Death Comes

Tratore Basics 2: New Brazilian Rock Tratore Basics Vol. 2, Novo Rock Brazil

Modern Times Yusuf: An Other Cup

Modern Times The Beatles: Love

Two Thousand The French Kicks: Two Thousand

Paper Television The Blow: Paper Television

Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler, Vol. 1 Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler

Beast Moans Swan Lake: Beast Moans

Prototypes Prototypes: Prototypes

Violence Is Golden Scanners: Violence Is Golden

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives Voxtrot: Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives

Your Biggest Fan Voxtrot: Your Biggest Fan

Translate Macon Greyson: Translate

Get Evens The Evens: Get Evens

Veruca Salt IV Veruca Salt: Veruca Salt IV

Modern Times Bob Dylan: Modern Times

Look Your Best Pink Tuscadero: Look Your Best

Blue On Blue Leigh Nash: Blue on Blue

I Am  Not Afraid Of  You And I Will Beat Your Ass Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America

The Longest Meow Bobby Bare Jr.: The Longest Meow"

Hello Love The Be Good Tanyas: Hello Love

The Lemonheads The Lemonheads: The Lemonheads

Ben Kweller Ben Kweller: Ben Kweller

We Are The Pipettes The Pipettes: We Are the Pipettes

Surprise Paul Simon: Surprise

Sev7en Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners: Sev7en

A Hundred Highways Johnny Cash: American V: A Hundred Highways

For the Best of Us The John Doe Thing: For the Best of Us

Runaway Bombshell The Fondas: Runaway Bombshell

Flat-Pack Philosophy Buzzcocks: Flat Pack Philosophy

Citrus Asobi Seksu: Citrus

The Loon Tapes 'n Tapes: The Loon

2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler Various Artists: 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler (24 free tracks)

News and Tributes The Futureheads: News and Tributes

Zoysia The Bottle Rockets: Zoysia

Let's Get Out of This Country Camera Obscura: Let's Get Out of This Country

Bang Bang Rock & Roll Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock & Roll

A Blessing and a Curse Drive By Truckers: A Blessing and a Curse

Broken Boy Soldiers The Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers

The Life Pursuit Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit

The Greatest Cat Power: The Greatest

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