Drake’s Take: New Releases 08.23.11

This week, Drake is all about Malkmus (with a little bit of Beck.) -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 08.23.11

Summer is nearly over, so that means we’re quickly approaching a time when we’ll be showered with great new releases. Hinting at that, but never quite reaching the plateau, is the fifth post-Pavement release from Stephen Malkmus. Elsewhere, there’s the latest from Active Child, CSS, Ganglians, I Break Horses, Anna Egge, Zee Avi, a compilation of rarities from Magnetic Fields’ Stephen Merritt, a collection of Muppet songs performed by indie rock artists and the soundtrack debut from Fruit Bats’ frontman Eric Johnson.

Playlist: New Releases 08.23.11

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Mirror Traffic

When hopes were dashed of there being new Pavement material, there was at least some consolation that Stephen Malkmus’ fifth solo release, Mirror Traffic, was on its way, and would have to suffice. Now that it’s here, it does the suffice, but only in the reality that we’ll likely never have another Pavement joint. Since Malkmus’ stellar debut, the slack king frontman has veered back and forth so much between Pavement pop romps and unfocused prog noodling, that it’s often hard to get through a release. There’s always been just enough brilliant moments within to carry one through, and Mirror Traffic is no different in that regard. Where it’s an improvement over it’s three predecessors is in it’s better focus, and we may owe much of that to the new producer king of alt dinosaurs, Beck Hansen. Earlier this year, Beck coaxed some of the best solo work from Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and while he doesn’t eclipse Malkmus’ solo debut, there’s a lot to love here. “Tigers” opens the album strong and the country-tinged follow up, “No One Is (As I Are Be)” is “Range Life” all grown up. We could do without the trite ‘blow job’ of “Senator,” but give SM a leash as long as his storied career.

Free Download: “Tigers” [mp3]
Free Download: “Senator” [mp3]

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Active Child – You Are All I See / Free AOL Album Stream
CSS – La Liberacion / Free AOL Album Stream
Stephin Merritt – Obscurities / Free AOL Album Stream / “Forever and a Day” [mp3]
Ganglians – Still Living / “Sleep” [mp3] / “Drop the Act” [mp3] / “Jungle” [mp3]
I Break Horses – Hearts / “Hearts” [mp3]
Ana Egge – Bad Blood / Free AOL Album Stream
Zee Avi – Ghostbird / Free AOL Album Stream / “Swell Window” [mp3]
We Are Augustines – Rise Ye Sunken Ships / Free AOL Album Stream
Sonic Youth – Hits are for Squares
Patti Smith – Outside Society> / Free AOL Album Stream
Our Idiot Brother
Muppets: The Green Album

Rockpile – Live at Montreux 1980