Drake’s Take: New Releases 11.03.09

This week Drake gets nostalgic with a couple of releases from hometown heroes Nirvana, and dismisses the Oscar Wilde inspired solo project from Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas. (I guess all that sunshine isn’t inspiring him to do his best work.) -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 11.03.09

We’ve officially moved into the gift-oriented release schedule, filled with deluxe reissues, box sets and other compilation/soundtracks to help (trick?) the average schmo get a gift for the music lover in their life. There’s a couple gift choices from the archives of Nirvana, soundtracks from Fantastic Mr Fox, Glee, NCIS and Aqua Teen Hunger Force — which is actually a X-mas album, and my fave of the bunch. Of the few new releases, there’s ones from Julian Casablancas, Weezer, Molina & Johnson and Girls in Trouble.

Playlist: New Releases 11.03.09

Nirvana – Bleach [Deluxe]
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
Nirvana – Live at Reading
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Nirvana - Bleach - Deluxe EditionIf the gussying up a deluxe edition of an album made for just $600 seems a bit like a gratuitous cash grab, nobody will blame you. But Bleach‘s place in the the canon of rock is unquestionable, namely as a blueprint for what was to come, but also as a raw document of Kurt Cobain’s talent, before Dave Grohl was added on drums. Remastering the album tracks added some punch, but the real jewel here are the live tracks, also pre-Grohl, from a performance in Portland in February of 1990, where the songs are brought to life.

Download: “Scoff” [mp3]
Download: “About a Girl” [mp3]

Nirvana - Live at ReadingSpeaking of live tracks, this document of their 1992 set (Live at Reading is Nirvana at their peak, and at their most jovial. The band headlined a lineup that included Nick Cave, The Beastie Boys, and NW friends Mudhoney, Screaming Trees & the Melvins. But it was Nirvana everyone came to see, and they didn’t disappoint, from the moment Cobain is wheeled out in a hospital gown, to the closing feedback, the entire set is electrifying, the way we all should try and remember them. (This is the Nirvana album to get of the two, by the way.)

Julian Casablancas – Phrazes For The Young
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the YoungIt’s been three years since The Strokes disappointing First Impressions of Earth, and this solo release from the band’s frontman does little to change our belief that the band’s best days are behind them.

I haven’t heard the album yet, but this quote seems like the weakest endorsement of a record I’ve heard in a long time:

Jason Bentley, the musical director of KCRW radio in California, said he was “a little surprised, but pleasantly so” by the album and would play the single, though he expected only hard-core Strokes fans to seek out the record. But, he added, “There is a chance that the pop appeal of these songs will establish a new fan base on its own merits.” [NYTimes.com] -ed.

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Weezer – Raditude
Molina And Johnson – Molina And Johnson / “Twenty Cycles to the Ground” [mp3]
Girls in Trouble – Girls in Trouble / “I Was a Desert” [mp3] / “Secrets/You’re Always Watching” [mp3]
Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Have Yourself a Meaty Little Christmas
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Original Soundtrack) / Free AOL Album Stream
Glee: The Music, Volume 1 / Free AOL Album Stream
Capgun Coup – Maudlin / Free AOL Album Stream / “Bad Bands” [mp3]
The Swimmers – People Are Soft / Free AOL Album Stream
Jookabox – Dead Zone Boys / “Phantom Don’t Go” [mp3]
Brilliant Colors – Introducing
Vitalic – Flashmob
Athlete – The Getaway EP (AOL STREAM)
Guided By Voices – Suitcase 3: Up We Go Now / “Janet Wait” [mp3]
Morrissey – Sword
Rickie Lee Jones – Balm in Gilead / Free AOL Album Stream

Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! [Deluxe Remastered Edition]
Devo – Freedom of Choice [Deluxe Remastered Edition]
Cold Cave – Love Comes Close [Deluxe Remastered Edition] / Free AOL Album Stream / “Life Magazine” [mp3]