Each month, I build a playlist of music that I’m mostly unfamiliar with. I usually get 2 or 3 albums from emusic, a couple from one of the soundsupply drops, and a few tracks from Daytrotter.
Having been at PCA/ACA in the last week of March and then taken a trip to Belize, I’m a bit behind in the normal monthly music stuff. But I know you’ve been waiting eagerly to hear what music I listened to last month and what I thought of it. So here you go.
- The Mountain Goats, All Hail West Texas – John Darneil has a strong storytelling style in his songwriting, and this early album has a DIY effect that’s great. I’m sure I’ll acquire more of these as we go along. This time around I especially like “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” and “Color in Your Cheeks.” I still like “This Year” an awfully lot.
- Paul and Storm, “Nun Fight,” “Frogger! The Musical,” “Live” – Three more fine songs from P&S. Frogger the musical is the funniest, as I already had Nun Fight live. Live (as in “you must live”) was the song Paul and Storm wrote in the Masters of Song-Fu contest in the style of Jonathan Coulton. JoCo produced, of course, the unstoppable “Big Dick Farts a Polka.”
- Pete Seeger, “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “America the Beautiful,” and “This Land is Your Land.” – good folkie versions of these classics. I particularly like Seeger’s “Frankie and Johnny,” which vibrates with pathos. because emusic accumulates the amount you spend on the album each month, I’m slowly working toward the full purchase price for the five disc set of Seeger’s work.
- Andrew Dost, Columbus – a strange mix of musical styles, best described as alt-pop, perhaps. The whole album is about Columbus’ journey from Europe to the Americas. It has the same wacky sense that I enjoy about Intercontinental Music Lab. I think it’s a musical about Columbus, now that I examine it closely. How strange.
- Pianos Become Teeth, The Lack Long After – Not my taste at all. This Soundsupply album features music laced with a shouty singing style that doesn’t work at all, with many songs too overwhelmed with noisy guitar to sound good at all. Ugh.
- Gobotron, On Your Mark, Get Set… – Straightforward alt rock. I like the meditative quality of “I Don’t Forgive,” and the straight-up rockin of “Never Turn Around” works well. My favorite song on the album, though, is “I Lied,” which has a strong melody.
- Tall Ships, Ep + There is Nothing But Chemistry Here. – The heavy electronic sound of this band reminds me of Passion Pit, with similar anthem stylings and layers of music. The songs all have strong melodies, but for some reason very few of them have vocals. The ones that do have a mourning quality that I like. Not bad.
- Cover Lay Down: New Folk – Zella Day’s “Seven Nation Army” is great; Radical Face does a meditative cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U”;
- Daytrotter, 17 more songs from the best of the year list 2012: I like The Kernal’s jaunty evocation of Buddy Holly, “Mind Control”; “Call Girl Blues” by Diamond Rugs has a good groove, with a hint of 1970s soul music in it; ;but Bhi Bhiman’s “Equal in my Tea” stands out as the most distinctive.