marble stature The Offense we trust! Rural bullshit from the heart of Fox Point, Providence, RI 02906

Wednesday, August 30, 2006



3 from the Listening Station, 2006 so far...

The more I make these nerdy Best of the year lists, the more I realize that every year is a good year for records... the variables for how I feel about the year are really all about me: what i happen to hear, what moods i happen to be in, what albums are recommended to me, what albums i "find". No matter what, I'm always going back and grabbing something from the recent passed that i "missed". This is one of those years where my major transitions in life have encouraged my ear to search for the familiar, the accessible and the reliable. Here's three of the many albums consistently spinning in the philmobile:

Fortunately for me: Touch & Go's brooding yet romantic indie rock outfit The Black Heart Procession released their 5th studio album, The Spell this year. Like clockwork- The BHP deliver winding and eerie piano driven tales of love and loss on this one. The production and instrumentation are extremely consistent with those of their previous album, Amore Del Tropico, and executes the kind of sweeping and enticing melancholy one often finds in bands like Mercury Rev or even Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Solid.

And then there is Morrissey's Ringleader of the Tormentors. Now don't get me wrong folks.... I'm not one of those people you'd be likely to find front row at a Moz show throwing his shirt at the last of the famous international playboys- but we're gonna have to face the fact that we're very lucky this man continues to enlighten us with his witty and tortured songwriting. ...Tormentors is no exception to this man's consistently amazing output. His single- "You Have Killed Me" is another heartstopping heartbreaker. Oh Morrissey how I hope you retain your angst and continue your solo work and refrain from lending your talent to the highest bidding indie rock band (see: Johnny Marr joins Modest Mouse). There really is no such thing in life as normal...

If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for most things Thrill Jockey. Besides the obvious Tortoise Box Set that is well worth the cash... the interesting and worthy yet somewhat lacking Extra Golden...and the always incredible Howe Gelb... favorite of the last few years, CALIFONE, are soon to release Roots and Crowns. Since this album has yet to be released, I'll put it simply: this is the Califone every Califone fan wants to hear. A mature combination of the sensibilites of their last two Thrill Jockey releases: Heron King Blues and Quicksand/Cradlesnakes- Production by Boxhead Ensemble conductor Michael Krassner... Americana mutations by way of Tim Rutili & Co.- this one is so close to perfect...If you like that sort of thing that is.

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