Starflyer 59 Ghosts Of the Future For months, Jason Martin has been taunting some of his fans by releasing new songs on vinyl only. A fan must subscribe and get mailed a new song on vinyl every month. This doesn't do a lot of good if you don't have a record player. Fortunately, Forest gave me a secret code that you can use to download the songs digitally. The album I downloaded has got to be SF 59' s best. It's one of those albums that are flawless. I even like the way it breaks SF 59's usual format by offering 20 tracks instead of the usual 10 tracks Jason releases every year. Even a great Smiths cover is thrown into the mix.
Death Cab For Cutie Narrow Stairs I really liked DC's last album Plans. That was the album that broke them into the mainstream,yet they were able to maintain their indie credibility. Expectations were pretty high coming into this album. I got pretty excited when I read that Ben Gibbard was reading a lot of Jack Kerouac and writing in rustic Big Sur, California. Unfortunately, the album doesn't quite reach expectations in my opinion. It's not bad, but it is no Plans. Not a lot of brilliant melodies that made Plans the great album it was.
Garbage Special Collection I've always been a Shirley Manson fan since she was in Angelfish . She is one of my favorite female artists. This is a not a regular release, and in truth, I stumbled upon it on the Internet. It is a collection of B-sides through out Garbage's career. It is actually a pretty massive collection of about 30 songs never released. Garbage does do pretty good b-sides that are worth owning if you are a fan. Most notable on here, is Garbage's James Bond theme "The World Is Not Enough."
The National The Virginia EP Riding high on the success of their critically acclaimed masterpiece Boxer, The National released a EP of b-sides, demos, and live cuts. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying close enough attention and got just the audio tracks from itunes and didn't realize that there was a film that accompanied the disc. Well, I don't watch music movies that often anyway. The songs on the EP are pretty great and makes a great companion to Boxer.
M83 Summer=Youth When I was in KC, Forest was pushing this album pretty hard, so I decided to take a listen. I was sold after listening to a few snippets of it. M83 combines elements of shoegaze and techno into some pretty impressive pop songs. Unfortunately, the album kind of fizzles in the end with a rather long ending track that is so boring it puts you in a trance.
Portishead Third It literally took me 7 listens to this album before I started to like it. I've never been a big Portishead fan despite that they are one of those "Critically Acclaimed" bands that I usually like. I found their sound too icy with trip hop effects and a "spy theme" mood. No "spy theme" mood on this album, just eclectic music. This is one of those albums like Radiohead's Kid A, that at first listen, you don't know weather it is crap or genius. Albums like Kid A and Third make the listener work and think. The pay off is worth it when you begin to see the genius work of art that it is.
Foxtail Somersault Fault I've been really into shoegazer lately and been snatching up everything I can find that fits into the shoegazer genre. This 5 track EP fits into my current tastes. Promising band, can't wait to see what else they will do.
Trembling Blue Stars The Last Holy Writer Quite and melancholy, with airy evocative guitar soundscapes, Trembling Blue Stars are not exactly exciting, but not all good albums explode in excitement. Rather downbeat lyrics, but a occasional female ethereal voice makes it's way into some of the tunes, making it a nice "chill out" album.