rose melberg cast away the clouds: this is nice. beautiful voiced, intelligent woman doing acoustic galaxy 500-style sonnets. the delivery is as watercolor-y as the album cover. the lyrics are really arresting, and sly in a serious way. none of this sweater-wearing, belle and sebastian fan with a blackberry gesticulating. maybe you should download the title track for a buck somewhere and see what i mean.
background-wise, melberg is from the softies, and more generally from a wide, subsidiary area of collective conscience in and around k records in the booming 90s. i don’t know a damn thing about that scene except for that i seem to have overlooked/underestimated it, probably for parochial reasons or by mere chance. can anybody fill me in?
mission of burma obliterati: ha. i’ve mentioned my approval of the breadth and depth of the New Heavy Music thing that’s going on. but then you listen to old timers like shellac and bardo pond, let alone the American Northeast’s mission of burma.
let’s just say this: i like this record, as a record, more than any of its “classic” predecessors (and i love them, too). the roger miller/bob weston gtr/tapes interplay is as heady as anything conjured on those flabbergastingly urbane sonic youth records w/ o’rourke. oh, nonetheless the songs continue to have “hooks,” sometimes.
guided by voices power of suck: let me be honest and say that this band has effected my biological life and my own awkward attempts at songwriting as much as any other, bob dylan or neil young or anybody. so there’s that.
anyway, i’ve got to say that having an 18-year old around who’s becoming an enthusiast for early 90s lo fi stuff, i’m enjoying not having to be the custodian of gbv coolness. lately, even when i go back to my all-time arty faves like vampire on titus, a voice inside me says ‘not now.’ dan talks famously about having reached a point where he could no longer imagine wanting to hear gram parsons; au contrair, i’m just having a “not now” moment with gbv. that’s confirmed by acquiring and checking out this alb, which was never released as such but the songs ended up getting parsed and sprouting many legendary tributaries. objectively it’s great, but, well, ‘not now.’
it’s the second album i’ve heard that was reprocessed and ultimately spat out the fabulous under the bushes, under the stars elpee. kim deal on the production, albini on the knobs.
ryan adams follow the lights: maybe i listen to ryan adams too much. i spend too much time in my own head, making arguments for how he’s actually somehow cool. but in the end it may be a very personal thing: i identify with his self-indulgence, or his 1974 fm dreams, or his succession of personal failures that bely all outward successes, or his always falling short of feeling cool?
who knows why this ep was released? it features precious little new material, and a bunch of mostly deep cuts reworked in the newly-enshrined cardinals’ style. yet i still wonder if this ep – why was it released? – shouldn’t’ve been the one put in the starbucks kiosks. album rock for james blunt fans, but also good? i know it’s weird.