I’m still on vacation (holiday if you will), so you’re getting the Drake more or less straight up this week. Please listen responsibly. -ed.
Drake’s Take: New Releases 04.15.08
After last week’s riches, it’s hard not to feel a bit of a letdown. However, thanks to some early arrivals from The Black Angels, Lyrics Born and Make Believe along with the new releases from M83, Black Francis, The Child Ballads, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Kooks, it’s still a better than average week for releases.
Playlist: New Releases 04.15.08
The latest from Austin’s The Black Angels isn’t actually due in stores for another month, but through the ingenuity of Drake fave label Light in the Attic Records, you can go to participating stores and buy a pre-sale card for $12.99, which gives you a unique online code to download tracks from LITA. Then, once May 13th arrives, you can go back to the store and pick up your deluxe embossed CD digipak release, with bonus CD EP of 4 unreleased tracks. It’s a brilliant move on LITA’s part, even knowing that this is The Black Angels last release on the label (they’ve since signed on with Interscope imprint Suretone). Because the virtual purchase also also buys you the CD, Directions to See a Ghost should get a corresponding spike on Billboard it’s first week. Still won’t be top 40, mind you, but it’s bound to get LITA a heatseeker notice, which is a good way for the Angels to leave the label that gave them their start. Enough about the delivery of Directions — how does it sound? Is saying it’s Passover pt. 2 a bad thing? It might be pure laziness on my part, but if you liked their debut, you’re going to like this one as well. The hypnotic Velvet Underground-meets-13th Floor Elevators sound is still on full display, should be enough to go on. If the one-two punch of openers “You On The Run” and “Doves” doesn’t grab you, then try “Mission District,” which effortlessly transports you to the Bay Area’s pyschedelic past.
Listening to the Bay Area’s Lyrics Born won’t get you any street cred, but who needs the street when planning a party. LB’s funk grooves and good time party rap aren’t the kind of joints that speak of a hard-knock life, but the good natured funk grooves are too infectious to worry about being ‘authentic.’ He’s no Young MC, though, as LB’s got a full band behind him now, recalling some of the Gap Band grooves along with party beats not unlike those that Afrika Bambaataa employed during his heyday. Hot tracks like “Don’t Change,” “Hott 2 Deff” and “I Like It, I Love It” will make many mixes in the coming summer, each proof in their own way that there’s no shame in loving a little LB.
Album: M83 – Saturdays=Youth
Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez (aka M83) gives up some of the My Bloody Valentine layered guitars for an ode to 80’s synth acts like Cocteau Twins and early Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (who fittingly enough, this week see the reissue of their great 1983 album Dazzle Ships). The lush 80’s soundscapes explore the themes of youth, so you have to forgive the lyrics at times, which sometimes seem like the scratchings from a Pee-Chee. “Kim & Jessie” is pure 80’s brilliance, capturing young lovers who have a secret hiding place, and “Graveyard Girl” is a deliberate nod in the direction of the John Hughes’ film Pretty in Pink, even name dropping Molly Ringwald. Too bad this album wasn’t done two years ago, as it would’ve been perfect for Sofia Coppola’s re-imagined Marie Antoinette, with it’s rich new wave textures. It’s an album that hits a bullseye on the target it’s aiming for, but I can’t help feeling that in a month or so I won’t be as drawn to it’s charms, unlike, say, Pretty in Pink.
More on the radar this week:
Make Believe – Going to the Bone Church (in Rhapsody a week early)
Black Francis – Svn Fngers
The Child Ballads – Cheekbone Hollows (Pop. 1/2 Life) / “Cheekbone Hollows” [mp3]
The Kooks – Konk / Free album stream from AOL
The Brian Jonestown Massacre – My Bloody Underground
Joseph Arthur – Crazy Rain / “Nothin 2 Hide [mp3]
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into
Phantom Planet – Raise the Dead / Free album stream from AOL
Tristan Prettyman – Hello / Free album stream from AOL
James McMurtry – Just Us Kids
Jordan Zevon – Insides Out / Free album stream from AOL
Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
The Autumns – Fake Noise from a Box of Toys / “Boys” “Killer in Drag” [mp3]
The Plastic Constellations – We Appreciate You / “Stay That Way” [mp3]
Thrice – The Alchemy Index: Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth
The Gossip – Live In Liverpool / “Yr Mangled Heart (Live)” [mp3]
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) – Dazzle Ships