Monday, June 01, 2009

on my pod

In no particular order, here's some fantastic music that's getting a lot of air time. Well...on my speakers anyway. The radio sucks.

The new Decemberists album, Hazards of Love. I just acquired this one, but I am already completely enamored. It has all these peaks and valleys and is enjoyable throughout.
The only other album of theirs I have is Picaresque, but with even that limited exposure I can say that they manage to be exquisite story tellers while simultaneously making fantastic music. Both albums play like a spectacular book that you just can't put down.
I also love when an artist/group manages to evolve in their music while still retaining their own unique sound (this is why I still listen to Ani Difranco even after a bajillion albums). And the Decemberists have absolutely done just that in Hazards of Love. There's nothing more tragic than when an artist has a successful album and then just continues to put out reincarnations of the same damn thing.

Abdulla sent me The Last Internationale as a belated birthday gift, and it was a pleasant surprise in more than one way. Half of the self proclaimed 'radical folk duo' is a good friend of ours from college, Edgey.
I think I was mostly expecting some politically conscious hip-hop because that's more in line with my musical association with Edgey. Instead I found myself listening to a well produced album of bluesy, protest music, that is remnicient of the 60's but with a distinguishable contemporary edge. I don't know Delilah (the other half of the duo) personally, but she's got a great voice with a Joni Mitchell vibe to it.
I listened to the whole thing twice on repeat during my rather long commute to my fourth job. And yes, I recognize the irony of listening to protest songs on my way to my fourth part-time job. It was a paradox that I couldn't reconcile, but I would imagine that's exactly the kind of response that Edgey would be happy with.
And last, but not least, Bon Iver. ::Le sigh::
Holy hell, I am loving this music. Wise old wikipedia is telling me that the album For Emma, Forever Ago was self released almost two years ago so I guess in some ways I'm late to this party. But when I tell you that it's been on near-constant repeat since I got it last week, it's no exaggeration. My favorite songs are "Skinny Love" and "Re:Stacks", but really just the whole album is excellent.
The front man, Justin Vernon (shown above), is exactly a year younger than me & while he's off recording incredible music in secluded cabins in the woods of Wisconsin to work through his depression, I am doing....well..far less cool things with any of my bouts of sadness. But I would happily embrace life's downfalls if they all yielded creativity like this.

Really, just stop reading my rants and go listen to these albums. And....go!