New Music Playlist

July 25, 2012

Lots of great new recorded music available in the Arts Division this summer! Here’s a sampling:

Sixteen Saltines/Jack White

Jack White leaves such an indelible stamp on any project he touches that a solo album from him almost seems unnecessary: nobody has ever told him what to do. He’s a rock & roll auteur, bending other artists to fit his will, leading bands even when he’s purportedly no more than a drummer, always enjoying dictating the fashion by placing restrictions on himself. And so it is on Blunderbuss, his first official solo album, arriving five years after the White Stripes’ last but seeming much sooner given White’s constant flurry of activity with the Raconteurs, Dead Weather, Third Man Records, and countless productions. -All Music Guide

Bloody Mary (nerve endings)/ Silversun Pickups

Building upon Silversun Pickup’s Swoon’s layered melodicism and once again showcasing lead singer/songwriter Brian Aubert’s  knack for evocative, introspective lyrics and fiery, multi-dubbed guitar parts, Neck of the Woods is an even more infectious and nuanced affair. In that sense, not much has really changed for the band since 2009.  Slow-burning lead single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings),” with its atmospheric soundscape backdrop via keyboardist Joe Lester, and the driving, grungy “Mean Spirits” are, as with all of the cuts on Neck of the Woods, perfect pop songs that still make room for Aubert’s raging and cinematic guitar parts. – All Music Guide

No Reflection/ Marilyn Manson

The eighth-studio album from alt-rock firebrand Marilyn Manson, Born Villain is the follow-up to the band’s 2009 effort The High End of Low. Described as having a heavier sound than its predecessor, this is also purported to be a concept album of sorts, in the vein of similar works by longtime Manson influence David Bowie. As Manson parted ways with Interscope Records in 2009, he was set to release Born Villain via his own imprint Hell, as well as his new parent label, Cooking Vinyl. A promotional film in support of the album directed by actor Shia LaBeouf premiered in Los Angeles in 2011. Included on Born Villain is the lead-off single “No Reflection.” – All Music Guide

We are Young/ Glee: The Music- The Graduation

One of Glee‘s biggest (perhaps only) concessions to the realities of being a high-school student was the graduation of several cast members entering their final year at William McKinley High School at the end of the show’s third season; many shows starring teen characters put off that fateful moment when high school ends for as long as possible. As with many later albums in the Glee series, the cast’s performances are decent but somewhat bland, as are the song choices, although fun.’s “We Are Young” and the New Radicals’  “You Get What You Give” are too quirky to have all their personality removed by Glee’s gloss. – All Music Guide

Changing of the guards /The Gaslight Anthem

Designed as a celebration for Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary, Chimes of Freedom is the mother of all tribute albums: a four-disc salute to Bob Dylan that runs some 76 songs performed by singers from all corners of the globe. From the very start of his career, Dylan saw his songs covered by all manners of artists, ranging from colleagues and peers to longhair rock bands, easy listening outfits, and weirdos like William Shatner, so the absurd abundance of Chimes of Freedom in a way fits into the grand pattern of history: his songs were always up for grabs, they’ve survived terrible misguided covers, they’ve been performed with loving faith, they’ve been reinvented once and again. – All Music Guide

Do to Me/ Trombone Shorty

New Orleans’ Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews knows the music biz inside out. Hounded for years by friends and music business types to jump into the game, he understood the lessons of his lineage elders: too many had been been ripped off and discarded. He took his time, assembling, rehearsing, and touring Orleans Avenue, a band steeped in brass band history, jazz improv, funk, soul, rock, and hip hop. He finally signed to Verve Forecast and released Backatown in April of 2010. Entering at number one on the jazz charts, it stayed there for nine straight weeks, and was in the Top Ten for over six months. For True hits while Backatown is climbing again. Chock-full of cameos — in the manner of modern hip-hop recordings — it is an extension of Backatown but not necessarily in sound. – All Music Guide

High Tide or Low Tide/ Jack John feat. Ben Harper

This is the most overt display of deference onJack Johnson & Friends: The Best of Kokua Festival but it’s hardly the only moment where Johnson is clearly the Big Kahuna. Eddie Vedder stops by, along with many other rockers and guitar strummers of all stripes, and there is a sense of communal good times that’s palpable and often ingratiating, even to those who don’t quite cotton to Johnson’s notion of surf-n-sun good times. Even here, where he is quite clearly the ringleader, Johnson remains an affable but not forceful presence on record: Jackson Brown, Eddie Vedder, Willie Nelson, even Dave Matthews and Ben Harper, all easily overpower him. – All Music Guide

 

Hypno music/ Danny Elfman

The cult classic supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows has a rich musical history, including the show’s Grammy-nominated “Quentin’s Theme,” part of Robert Cobert’s groundbreaking score, which remains one of the best-selling TV soundtracks. While Tim Burton’s 2012 film adaptation of the series was much more intentionally campy, Danny Elfman’s score remains more or less true to the original’s gothic grandeur while adding his own distinctive touches. Elfman also nods to Cobert’s score with tracks such as “Hypno Music” and “Deadly Handshake,” which boasts a melody that recalls the original Dark Shadows theme song, replete with suspenseful vibraphone and murky, lingering woodwinds. – All Music Guide

Advertisements

WBER DJ David’s Goth Playlist

June 4, 2012

“There’s a lot of misconception over what Goth music is.  This is due in large part because there is also a Goth sub-culture, and many people that are part of it don’t necessarily listen to Goth music, but perhaps a related genre like EBM, Industrial, Future-pop, or Metal.  Goth tends to be slower, has it’s roots in the post punk scene of the late 1970s, and often times has dealing with depression as a central theme.”- DJ David

Prayers for Rain/ The Cure

Arguably the most extreme song on an extreme album, “Prayers for Rain” more than anything is the heart of Disintegration, an evocative, wounding portrayal of emotional desolation as gripping as any the Cure ever created. Indeed, in some ways it’s the flip side of “The Drowning Man” from Faith or the song that immediately follows “Prayers for Rain,” “The Same Deep Water as You.” There, where the overriding metaphors were being crushed in watery depths, here the absence of water becomes the chief image.- All Music Guide

Too Much 21st Century/ Bauhaus

It’s perhaps appropriate that Bauhaus’ first new studio album in 25 years is also, apparently and finally, the last. After following their 1998 reunion tour with a second in 2005 and after that eventually led to the band debuting a full range of new songs on the road, the signs for a possible new future seemed strong, but in a weird echo of the past the quartet once again disbanded before an album release. However, perhaps the best and most surprising thing about Go Away White is that it doesn’t resemble any other Bauhaus album — rather than trying to recapture the past, the four members sought to meet in the middle where they had ended up, at least in part.- All Music Guide

Love Will Tear Us Apart/ Joy Division

A chilling tale of love set adrift with an equally cool, precise accompaniment, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” was the last single recorded by Joy Division, mere months before doomed front man Ian Curtis committed suicide in May 1980. It’s presumed — perhaps rather hastily — that the lyrics are autobiographical, an insight into Curtis’ fragmenting marriage and his growing relationship with a Belgian girl who followed the band. Whatever the nature of the material, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” functions as an insight into what made Joy Division the most unique band during the era of punk aggression and extremism. -All Music Guide

Tear You Apart/ She Wants Revenge

Los Angeles Joy Division -obsessed duo She Wants Revenge blend electronic beats with goth pop misery on their self-titled Geffen debut. DJs Justin Warfield andAdam “Adam 12” Bravin may have crafted the post-punk equivalent of XTC alter-egos Dukes of Stratosphear’s psychedelic rock tribute Chips from the Chocolate Fireball, but there is suspicion as to whether or not it was intentional.-All Music Guide

Temple of Love/ The Sisters of Mercy

One of England’s leading goth bands of the 1980s, the Sisters of Mercyplay a slow, gloomy, ponderous hybrid of metal and psychedelia, often incorporating dance beats; the one constant in the band’s career has been deep-voiced singer Andrew Eldritch. -All Music Guide

Rats/ Rasputina

Rasputina’s supernatural approach in making music is impressive, because it’s independent of the goth rock that came before the band and especially alone in the current mainstream. It’s practically primitive, but positively so. Cabin Fever, Rasputina’s third studio album, casts a dark dream-scape of lush string arrangements and grating cellos, and Melora Craeger’s sinister scowl is at its best.-All Music Guide

Metal/Gary Numan

The most popular of all the Gary Numanalbums is undeniably 1979’s The Pleasure Principle. The reasons are simple — there is not a single weak moment on the disc, it contains his sole U.S. (number one worldwide) hit, “Cars,” and new drummer Cedric Sharpley adds a whole new dimension with his powerful percussion work. The Pleasure Principle is also one of the first Gary Numan albums to feature true ensemble playing, especially heard within the airtight, killer groove of “Metal” (one of Numan’s all-time best tracks). – All Music Guide

Cuts you Up/ Peter Murphy

“Cuts You Up” ranks as both an unexpected American pop hit – doubtless few people who saw Murphy delivering personal exorcisms ten years earlier with Bauhaus’s “Stigmata Martyr” could have guessed this might happen – and a perfectly logical radio-friendly winner. The brighter, less storm-cloud-ridden visions of Murphy solo had already been clear to those following his career, and “Cuts You Up” manages the fine trick of translating that new spirit into a truly accessible way without once sounding pandering. Benefiting from a crisp, straightforward slice of shimmering eighties pop-rock arranging, topped off with Paul Statham’s simple but lovely synth-violin part, “Cuts You Up” starts off strong and doesn’t stop, Simon Rogers’ production being especially lovely on the sparkling, whooshing chorus.-All Music Guide

Spellbound/Siouxsie And The Banshees

The charging, acoustic guitar-led “Spellbound” was a pivotal single in Siouxsie and the Banshees’ career. After early, clangorous singles like “Hong Kong Garden” and “Metal Postcard,” personnel instability and a changing musical climate made Siouxsie and the Banshees seem kind of tired and beside the point. However, “Spellbound” leads off 1981’s revitalized Juju with a new, cleaner sounding and much more direct ? even poppy! ? melodic bent.  Kinetic, memorable and exciting, “Spellbound” gives notice that Siouxsie and the Banshees had outgrown their dreary post-punk past.-All Music Guide

Ghosts 28/ Nine Inch Nails

Roughly a year after Year Zero  — a year marked by lots of sniping with his record company first about their clueless promotion then devolving into a tirade about their general uselessness — Trent Reznor broke free of Interscope/Universal and became a free agent, releasing music where and when he wanted. To celebrate his freedom he released the four-part Ghosts, a clearinghouse of 36 instrumentals all created during the years he crafted Year Zero. It should come as no great surprise that Ghosts then plays like a sketchbook, a place whereReznor jotted down sounds and textures that flitted across his mind and then either took them no further, or decided to spin them into something entirely new for the full album.-All Music Guide

The Host Of Seraphim/ Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance combine elements of European folk music — particularly music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance — with ambient pop and worldbeat flourishes. Their songs are of lost beauty, regret and sorrow, inspiration and nobility, and of the everlasting human goal of attaining a meaningful existence.-All Music Guide