Thursday, May 01, 2008

April's music

Overall, I would have to say that I had a great month musically. I discovered some good shoegazers, found rare eps, and two great bands return,- sums up my month.

REM Accelerate REM returns in a big way with this great album, but it was a predictable return. REM took a lot of crap over their last couple of albums especially 2005's Around the Sun. While I found the album enjoyable, their fans and critics didn't care for it . Most everyone complained it just didn't rock like their best material. REM decided to give it one more go by trying to make a straight forward rock album. They hired on one of my favorite producers- "Jackknife" Lee (U2, Snow Patrol, Editors, Bloc Party) and came up with their strongest and most politically charged album to date. I wasn't too impressed with the first single, "Supernatural, Superserious", but the rest of the album is spectacular. So far, album of the year.

Foxglove Hunt Stop Heartbeat I first saw Foxglove last year in a coffee shop with Joy Electric. With Ronnie Martin teaming up with Rob Witham (Fine China), it's impossible to go wrong. I remember when they played their set, their sound was terrible, and you can tell they didn't rehearse that much. However, I could hear the songs that came through, and they were pretty impressive. Later, I got a chance to tell Rob that I thought he was a great songwriter. I like the album and it reminds me of Fine China's first album. You can really hear the synth 80's influence here as well, making the album sound a little like it is in the wrong decade.

Fleeting Joys Despondent Transponder A great recommendation from itunes to any fan of shoegazing. Ethereal female vocals, walls of sound- everything a shoegazer loves. I can't wait for their next release, that is if My Bloody Valentine doesn't sue them for copyright. This album sounds an awful like MBV's shoegazer masterpiece- Loveless. I couldn't find this album anywhere except for itunes. The band is sold out of it. I suppose it maybe in a small little indie store somewhere. If it is, and you appreciate a good shoegazer album- buy it.

James Hey Ma Like all bands that break up, James got back together again this year after a seven year break. In that time, lead singer Tim Booth did a terrible solo album (proving he needs his band). I doubt this album will ever be released in the states. James is more of a British thing. The original album cover was banned in the UK, due to the picture. The band says that it is a take on a real life story of a baby being mistakenly issued a gun licence by the NRA. But to appease some critics, a orange cap was added to the gun on the cover. Musically, it is another great album by this band (their song "Laid" is featured in every "American Pie" movie). James gets a little political on this album and brings back their trumpet, ditching their "euro-techno" sound on their last couple of albums.

My Bloody Valentine Ecstasy and Wine A pretty rare fine indeed. I can't tell you how long I've been looking for some back catalog from the greatest shoegazers of all time. This particular album is a compilation of sorts, combining two of their early eps. It is interesting to hear how MBV evolved to the band that made Loveless. Here, vocals aren't entirely blended to the guitars like on Loveless. Guitars are not distorted as much either. I would describe them sounding like the Primitives with a jangly guitar and male and female swapping songs. Another band that is regrouped after over a decade of silence. Fans have been promised new material someday.

Air Formation Daylight Storms Another great recommendation by itunes, I had to download it after my first preview. Another great shoegazer album I found this month. More atmospheric and dreamy than raw energy, this is a great album to get lost in. I can't stop listening to it. One of the best albums of it's kind. I will have to check out more of their catalog.

My Bloody Valentine You Made Me Realise EP This rare and out of print EP, is a real treasure if you are into collecting MBV. Only five songs, but beautiful as MBV continue to develop their sound on the way to making Loveless.

My Bloody Valentine Feed Me With Your Kiss EP Another rare and out of print EP from MBV. It would be nice if these were rereleased in a box set or something. It's beautiful like all of MBV's back catalog.

James B-Sides Ultra Like all great British bands, James does pretty good b-sides. This a collection of some of them they released after they broke up seven years ago. It's good, but I've been listening to too much shoegazing music to care about it.


Portland wawa said...

Is the James and REM the one you put on my ipod? They are pretty good. My bloody valentine just sounds scary, why such a graphic name?

f o r r e s t said...

The name My Bloody Valentine was taken from low-budget Canadian horror flick.

REM - album of the year- really? Hmm - maybe because it is the first good ablum that has been released this year.

Man, I like James and I don't have any on my iPod. Can you burn all your files onto a disc for me and bring them to KC?

Lots of new Shoegaze bands out right now. I will have to check out the ones you got. I am afraid that the style will oversaturate and then the sounds will become formulaic.

f o r r e s t said...

oh, I forgot to comment on MBV. I have heard talks of Kevin Shields putting together a remasterd box set of those early e.p.s along with some live tracks. I will wait for those.

I remember a friend of mine aquiring those rare ep's and said they weren't really good. So, I am not going to spend $$$ on those until they are cheap.

Did you get the real thing or do you have mp3's?

Foxglove Hunt - great album.

Roaming Writer said...

We see James videos on the video channel we get here! Surprise I knew one (besides REM).