Like I promised you, new year, new Drake. I have it on good authority that since the writers’s strike started, Drake’s been living on steady diet of Cheetos and back episodes of The Wire, but in between all that (and taking care of his two rugrats), he’s found the time to round up this week’s imported and Soundtrack-y new releases. -ed.
Drake’s Take: New Releases 01.08.08
New releases of note include the latest from Marah, Kate Nash, and Sia. This week also sees the physical release of one of my top soundtracks of the year Juno – Music From The Motion Picture, but we wrote about that upon it’s digital release a month ago.
Playlist: New Releases 01.08.07
Album: …all the pieces matter: 5 Years of Music from The Wire
Album: Beyond Hamsterdam: Baltimore Tracks from The Wire
Ok, so five years of The Wire is a bit misleading. We only get the four previous theme songs (current one featuring Steve Earle you can find on his album Washington Square Serenade,) with the only season 5 tracks being a couple dialogue pieces. But that’s a minor quibble. Here’s one album I beseech you to not bother downloading and instead by the physical copy. For one, there’s the great liner notes from Jeff Chang (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,) and then there’s the David Simon interview with Nick Hornby (for Believer Magazine). But there’s also the sequencing and flow into each track — including 12 great dialogue snippets — done with great care. Of course downloaded versions sometimes mess that shit up. Of the 23 songs, the finds for me are a couple songs that were featured in the rare montages for season one (Jesse Winchester’s bluesy “Step by Step”) and two (Stelios Kazantzidis’ touching Greek tragedy of “Efuge Efuge”).
Beyond Hamsterdam, unfortunately, serves very little other than to collect all the Baltimore tracks from …and all the pieces matter together, with only one other track added to the mix (The Get’ Em Mamis’ “When You See Us”).
I suppose if you’re only interested in the Body-More Murderland music, it’s the way to go, but haven’t you already picked up Dark Productions Hamsterdam Mixtape?
Album: Marah – Angels of Destruction!
This Philly band has kept the Springsteen/E Street Band torch lit for the past decade while remaining unknown to most music fans — yet a fave to Nick Hornby and Stephen King. Now with the minor blowup of The Hold Steady, Marah‘s rootsy beer-soaked bar band sound has a better chance of getting noticed. Angels of Destruction is just the self-assured follow up to 2005’s If You Didn’t Laugh You’d Cry that the band needs to get over the hump, but releasing it in early January might not be doing them any favors. There’s nothing here that’s hip or cool, so I’m sure critic appeal will be mixed, but
indie kids will still find themselves unconsciously toe-tapping to “Santos De Madera” and “Can’t Take it With You” is the kind of drunken ragtime that the Replacements and Scott McCaughey’s The Minus Five have both excelled at.
Album: Kate Nash – Made of Bricks
Based on the prior single and EP release, I had high hopes for Kate Nash. Her “Merry Happy” is already an Eli-approved favorite in our household, ala Lily Allen a couple years ago — but Lily she ain’t. I blame it on the production, which is smoothed over nearly every worthwhile rough edge that Nash seemed to have. Of course, she still swears and it’s cute to hear her sing-songy voice and thick accent make with filth and all, but aside from the couple great songs we’ve already heard (“Merry Happy” and “Foundations,”) this collection starts to sound the same, in it’s ubiquitous production.
Nash made her US television debut on Conan Wednesday, January 9.
More going (or already in) the Sansa
Music From the Motion Picture Juno
Sia – Some People Have REAL Problems / Free album stream from AOL
Reverend Organdrum (Horton Heat) – Hi-Fi Stereo
Medeski Martin & Wood – Let’s Go Everywhere
Amanda Shaw – Pretty Runs Out
Wisely – Wisely
Frank Turner – Campfire Punk Rock