It’s been a long time since I posted a music roundup. The idea of this post is to write a bit about the music I listened to this month. Sometime halfway through the month or so, I’ll do a catch-up post from a previous month.
“So Long Honeybee, Goodbye,” by Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three
Primus, Pork Soda
I recently shuffled my way into Sailing the Seas of Cheese, the only Primus album I had on CD (though I had several on tape), and it got me missing the bass-heavy weirdo band. So I downloaded Pork Soda this month and enjoyed it immensely. Of course, because I knew the album already, old favorites like “My Name is Mud” and “Pork Soda” were great. But I found myself most intrigued by “Bob,” a seemingly goofy song that, as soon as you listen to the lyrics, is downright tragic. Also intriguing is the ethereal and odd “Wounded Knee,” which has no lyrics but also feels surprisingly cheery given its title.
J. Mascis, Tied to a Star
The Dinosaur Jr lead singer has long been a favorite of mine, especially his solo albums. I like his acoustic music a lot, if nothing else it’s because I think his singing voice (with its strong touch of vocal fry). While all the songs hold up to his usual quality, I particularly like “Every Morning,” “Wide Awake,” and “Trailing Off.”
Compilation, Now Hear This! – The Independent Music Awards 11th Annual Winners
It’s always hard to write about compilations, because the song styles are so diverse as to make any statement about the album itself pretty useless. That said, I liked this album alright. Highlights are:
- Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, “So Long Honeybee, Goodbye” – jazzy swing song
- Scott H. Biram, “Just Another River” – bluesy song with some audio fuzz. Good stuff.
- Charlie Hope, “One That I Love” – jaunty, cheery pop song
- Amanda Richards, “Undead In My Bed” – a country song by a woman who loves her zombie man
- Jon Bauer, “Chasing After Me” – cute alt-rock song about finding love
- Amy Correia, “Powder Blue Trans Am” – soul song with good blues lines in the guitar
- Company of Thieves, “Look Both Ways” – hoppy pop band similar in sound to Rodeo Ruby Love
Welcome to Night Vale (three songs from early in the series) – The WtNV folks do a great job of picking Weather music that has audible similarities to music styles. This month, I pulled three songs to listen to – “Last Song” by Jason Webley, a Tom Waits-style tale; “This Too Shall Pass” by Danny Schmidt, a driving tale that reminds me a bit of Leonard Cohen; “Jerusalem” by Dan Bern, an early Bob Dylan parody that’s pretty good in its own right.
Garfunkel and Oates (four songs from Music Songs) – My favorite is “I Would Never,” which seems like a good riposte to the obnoxious meme of the “Friend-zone.”
Pete Seeger (four songs from American Favorite Ballads) – You Are My Sunshine is almost perfect in his light banjo version.
Spike Jones (four songs from (Not) Your Standard Spike Jones Collection – Nothing really stands out in this sequence, except maybe “Horsey, Keep Your Tail Up,” which is weird but not as memorable as many other songs from SJ. On the upside, nothing notably racist or sexist in this batch of songs.
The Wayfarers (nine songs from Music from Around the World – Australia) – Nothing much stands out from this set of songs, though “Santa Never Made It Into Darwin” is a fucking depressing song about a town destroyed by a big storm on Christmas Eve.
Modern Jazz Stylings of Blue Canue Records – four songs that are about what you’d expect. Makes me thing of my friend John Chapman, who played jazz bass in Florida, and whom I went out to hear play once or twice.
Buke and Gass, “Seam Esteem,” a leak from the new album of weird and wonderful music. Great stuff.