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Week 5: the first time I bought CDs in a while, I think a month maybe. I bought 6 CDs, and one song from each is included, and the four others are some old stuff.
1) Glen Hansard – Gold
After watching Once, I bought the soundtrack, because I thought the movie was very well done: low-key, not melodramatic, and genuine. I like this particular song because of it is traditional-sounding, like an old folk song.
2) Max Roach – Tears for Johannesburg
I bought Max Roach’s We Insist! Freedom Now Suite album on a whim, because thus far, the only thing I’ve heard from Max Roach is his work as a side man to Sonny Rollins and Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. I wanted something of his own composition. And I was not let down, and once again reminded that you can, in fact, make good political music that can still resonate in contemporary times.
3) Explosions In The Sky – Six Days At the Bottom of the Ocean
In my never-ending quest to get my hands on as much good post-rock as I can, I picked up EITS’s second album up. Placing them in context, I’d say they are somewhere in between Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor: they are not as hard-rocking as Mogwai, also not as classical-oriented/texturally rich as GY!BE. If GY!BE music is the soundtrack to a nihilistic apocalypse of scorched earth and decay, then EITS music is like the soundtrack that would accompany a shot of a seed growing in the scorched earth. In other words, it is warmer, and dare I say it, even more triumphant? There’s always a place for bombast, but sometimes I get the feeling that EITS isn’t being ironic about it.
4) The Mountain Goats – Pale Green Things
I’ve been meaning to pick up a Mountain Goats album for ages now, mainly because of the reputation for great lyrics. And since listening to The Sunset Tree, I have to say that I am not misinformed. John Darnielle might not be a technically excellent singer, but damn, the dude can write! I think by now, everyone should know that you don’t need technical vocal excellence to make great music, cf. Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix.
5) A Tribe Called Quest – Verses From The Abstract
There is a reason why this album is called the Low End Theory: it’s because the bass is dope. Ron Carter rocks it hard on the upright bass, and the whole album in general has a very generous and healthy low-end foundation. You really need a subwoofer to appreciate the bass on this–those shitty iPod earphones just won’t do it.
6) Goldfrapp – Monster Love
I always liked Goldfrapp of Felt Mountain more than the Goldfrapp of Supernature–in other words, I like Goldfrapp more when they do more psychedelic/laid-back stuff rather than when they do their straight up electro-dance numbers. Therefore, I looked forward to Seventh Tree, Goldfrapp’s latest record, when I heard that it’s being called a return to their earlier days. This might have something to do with the fact that I can’t dance if my life depended on it. This is the last track on the album, and it is very warm and relaxing.
7) Boards of Canada – Zoetrope
This is from their EP titled In A Beautiful Place Out In the Country, and this song sounds, to use the same word, very warm and analog. It puts me in a calm state. Unfortunately the EP is out of print and now commands a pretty hefty price on the used market.
8) Nine Inch Nails – 31 Ghosts IV
After a week of listening to Ghosts I-IV, I am still very much liking the album. In my opinion, Ghosts IV is the best of the bunch, and I picked this song because it is a re-imagining of the guitar part in “Just Like You Imagined” from The Fragile, which is one of my all time favorite NIN songs.
9) Aimee Mann – Ghost World
This is from Bachelor No. 2, which in my opinion is Aimee Mann’s best studio work to date. This song got played a lot because of what it talks about: life after graduation, albeit a very pessimistic version of it, something which is on my mind a lot these days.
10) PJ Harvey – Working For The Man
This is from To Bring You My Love, which probably is my favorite PJ Harvey album thus far. This song picks up where “Verses From The Abstract” left off: prodigious bass. I simply love the bass in this song–it gives the song an extremely solid foundation. Again, you absolutely NEED a subwoofer to appreciate how good the bass is. This song is very simple, but it’s all the little touches that make it great: the repetitive guitar riff and the shaker in the chorus. Something about this song is very hypnotic.