Friday, April 17, 2009

For Friday, A List.

Some Favorite Music Recently Purchased, In No Particular Order:

Telekinesis!. Telekinesis! (Merge, 2009)

First-class power pop in the Big Star/Badfinger/Sloan tradition, full of crunchy chords and tart melodies that resonate for days. Produced by Death Cab's Chris Walla, who also lends a hand to the instrumentation. Excitable, as the exclamation point ably implies.

Coast Of Carolina - Telekinesis

The Thermals. Now We Can See (Kill Rock Stars, 2009)

The follow-up to 2006's phenomenal The Body, The Blood, The Machine, Now We Can See finds Portland's premier agit-poppers The Thermals embracing a cleaner sound and dialing down the righteous rage, but only a little. There's still plenty of aggression hanging from the massive hooks.

Now We Can See - The Thermals

Tenement Halls. Knitting Needles & Bicycle Bells (Merge, 2006)

Shaggy, hand crafted indie rock, reminiscent of -- but not as cloying as -- the Decemberists and the Arcade Fire. Small-scale music with large-scale ambitions from a former Rock*a*Teen.

Young Widows. Old Wounds (Temporary Residence, 2009)

A brilliantly terrifying record of power trio mayhem. Bad mannered and so effing heavy. Fans of the Melvins, Drive Like Jehu, and Hot Snakes, rejoice.

AC Newman. Get Guilty (Matador, 2009)

Chief New Pornographer strikes again with another LP of sterling, expertly constructed chamber pop masterpieces. Newman writes unforgettable melodies like he's taking a walk in the park, and we all benefit mightily. Thanks, Carl.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. Beware (Drag City, 2009)

If you like Will Oldham's brand of creaky indie Americana and haunted retro-hillbilly, then you're in for a treat. Beware is Oldham's latest masterwork, tender and sinister and touching, as powerful as anything he's put out in the last decade.

Beware Your Only Friend - Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Mott the Hoople. All The Young Dudes (Columbia, 1972)

I apparently made it to this point without ever actually owning this glam milestone, but I don't know how. It's pretty great (you heard it here first, folks!), showing off Ian Hunter's considerable songwriting chops: though the title track is Bowie's, "Sucker" and "Jerkin' Crocus" belong to Mott and Mott alone, and stand out as some of the best sounds the glam era had to offer.

Marnie Stern. This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That (Kill Rock Stars, 2008)

Stern shreds. Eddie Van Halen should watch his back.

Transformer - Marnie Stern

The Gaslight Anthem. Sink or Swim (XOXO, 2007)

Jersey boys with a Springsteen fixation and Strummer chops, The Gaslight Anthem sing about dead end towns and the beautiful losers trapped in them, filtering the sorrow through joyous hardcore energy and defiant volume. Awesome more often than not.