Sunday, January 30, 2011

KORT but sweet

Country is not really my thing, but a new collaboration between Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner and Nashville recording heiress/singer Courtney Tidwell is pretty extraordinary. Tidwell’s grandfather Slim Williamson ran the historic Nashville label Chart Records, her dad did A&R for the label and her mother sang for it. Their new record, “Invariable Heartache” cherry-picks 11 songs from the Chart Records catalog, arranges them minimally and warmly, and pairs Wagner and Tidwell in singing them. It’s an extraordinarily beautiful record, even if you’re generally put off by twang (I am), and I particularly like "Incredibly Lonely" and a Tidwell sung track called “A Special Day.”

This "Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries" is okay, too.

BTW, I’m putting together another mix fairly soon and will probably not post it publicly. So if you want it, send me an email at jenpkelly AT gmail DOT com and tell me who you are. I’ll send a link to anyone who seems legit. If I already send you stuff all the time, even when you don’t want it or ask for it, you’ll probably get it anyway. Sorry about that.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday…new music from Sidi Touré

If you’ve been into Malian guitar blues a la Tinawarin, Salif Keita and Ali Farka Toure, check out Sahel Folk from Sidi Touré. It’s out this week on Thrill Jockey and just beautiful. My Blurt review says:

A swiveling, downward guitar lick begins "Bon Koum" from Sahel Folk, the second disc from Songhai bluesman Sidi Tour. Its contours are geometrically precise and sharply delineated against deep silence. Yet listen harder and the contours begin to bend and shimmer in the desert heat. Open spaces appear amid carefully plotted phrases, and antic falsetto runs skitter across the free spaces. Touré's voice, quietly resonant and full of shadows, booms up out of the picking, a counterpart that rises where the guitar riff falls. The music is full of taut contradictions, disciplined rhythms and wild flights of fancy, deep serenity and palpable longing, the heat of rapid picking alongside unhurried, contemplative cool.


There's another video at Thrill Jockey, which I don't know how to embed. Go here.

TGIF, right? What a week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I’ve been really liking this new Beans album End It All, which is out next month on Anticon. It’s the Anti-Pop Consortium MC’s second solo album, lyrically incisive and musically fascinating. As I think everyone knows, I’m no expert on hip hop, but there are a ton of guest producers with artists I do know and like a whole lot…I am particularly enamored of the Nobody-produced “Deathsweater.” Among other things, it describes buying socks at NYC’s upscale Paul Smith. Which I’ve done, actually, for my husband, but only because I couldn’t afford anything else in the store.

You can download the song – and read an interview with Christopher Weingarten – at the Village Voice’s blog here.

You could also check "Mellow You Out” (via Pitchfork) with TVOTR’s Tunde Adibempe, who is a big star now, but I interviewed him once, right after TVOTR’s first big show with the Fall … of all people.)

End It All is out February 15 on Anticon records.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two in one day…Apex Manor and No Joy

I’ve got two out of Dusted’s three reviews for day, writing about the gritty power pop of Apex Manor and the shoegazing languor of No Joy. They’re both really good. Both also fall under the rubric of “indie rock”, I suppose, though you’d have a hard time mistaking one for the other.

Here’s a bit about Apex Manor (which is an offshoot of The Broken West).

Apex Manor’s Ross Flournoy [was] the main songwriter behind the Broken West, who, after that band’s demise spent about a year adrift, carless in suburbia, drinking amiably with his neighbor’s yard workers and unable to write a line. He roused himself, finally, in response to an online songwriting contest. He wrote “Under the Gun” in a hurry, to meet a deadline, and it’s a rough piece of work in the best possible way. A big brawling song, full of walloping drums and brash, aggression-jacked guitars, it sounds like The Replacements on a good night, just before they pass out. And yet, even at its fuzziest, who-wants-to-fight aggression, the song is smarter than it needs to be. As far as I know, the Mats never rhymed “solipsize” with “apologize,” or anything else.

The rest of the review.

A video for “My, My Mind”

No Joy is way cooler, dreamier and more female-centric…and though it technically came out in 2010, it’s one of my favorites for the year so far.

No Joy’s approach, I said, recalls both My Bloody Valentine and Jesus & Mary Chain (especially female-assisted cuts like “Just Like Honey”), except for one critical factor. The effected guitars that swath fragile melodies are played not by male don’t-look-behind-that-curtain impresarios, but by the women themselves. Both Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz are primarily guitar players, not vocal window dressing, and if they want to cover up girlish charms under washes of feedback and distortion…well, it’s their voice, isn’t it? Er, their voices…right. Illiteracy, it’s a constant battle.

The rest of the review.

Here's "Hawaii," by my count, the second best song on the album.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coupla more good ones…Drunken Barn Dance and Beep

I missed the boat on Drunken Barn Dance, the full-band, psychedelic country pop side project of David Dondero, whose Grey Buried LP came out last fall on Quite Scientific. Which is to say that I was too late to review it, go to a show or interview the band, at least on this album, but I’ve been listening for the last couple of weeks and liking it. It’s a strummy, jangly, high energy take on alt.americana, with big fuzz-heavy guitars. It’s not as wordy as the Decemberists, but maybe in the same family, on some tracks, on others much meatier and more rock.

Here’s the opening cut, performed live:

Beep, on the other hand, is anything but rock, and by anything, I include categories like electronic music, dance, noise and jazz. Like so many weird and wonderful outfits, they’re from San Francisco and apparently share members or at least personal ties with Tune-Yards. Merrill Garbus from Tune-Yards guests on “Wolftone Pantalones”, which you can download here.

That’s fine, but what I love about this record is the stand-up bass, which figures very prominently on “Today Is Your Birthday.”

City of the Future has been out since last week on Third Culture Records.

Sic Alps

I’ve got a review of the two-disc, 22-song Napa Asylum from Sic Alps today at Blurt. I said:

Like U.S. EZ, Napa Asylum feels raw and unfinished, its songs sketched in broad magic marker strokes, rather than carefully shaded and cross-hatched. There's a liminal quality to many of these tracks, as if we are catching them in the act of turning into songs rather than as finished works. That makes prolonged listening somewhat difficult and tiring, as you are continually asked to fill in the blanks between what's on the disc and what a given track might become. However, it also opens up a limitless sense of possibility. These songs are portals into a freakishly lighted, semi-surreal experience that never quite accords with what you expect.


“Do You Want to Give $$$”
Also, I did speak with Cave Singers’ drummer last night, and given that it’s only 250 words, I think it will be okay. I should, perhaps, not have lost my shit in public. Sorry.

I’ve got a couple more records that I’ve been listening to and probably can’t review. I’m going to try to write about at least briefly about them later today, if I can get some stuff done.

So cold, yikes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm fucked

So, I'm doing a very tight deadline piece on the Cave Singers for Blurt's spring print issue and just learned that the member of the band that I'm interviewing is the drummer, Marty Lund.

when I wrote for Splendid, we had a catch phrase "interviewing the drummer," which meant doing something so pointless and so unlikely to be meaningful that it didn't really matter whether you did it well or not. There are, obviously, a few drummers that anyone would interview (Chris Brokaw, Steve Shelley, Kid Millions), but mostly, they are not involved in songwriting, do not know what the songs mean, are not that involved in, say, switching from Matador to Jagjaguwar, and have very little to say about anything. The press piece for the current Cave Singers album, I notice, only mentions Marty Lund once, in a throwaway about his "no-nonsense rhythms." i guess we can talk about what he's got against nonsense rhythms for a minute or two, anyway.

It's too late to do anything about this. The story's due on Friday. However, if I don't write about any Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans bands for a while -- six months to a year seems about right -- you'll know why.

Meanwhile if anyone has any good drummer questions, like what's a paradiddle, which cymbal is your favorite, etc., send them over.

Sonny Smith makes up a crapload of bands

This is an interesting project from Sonny and the Sunsets’ Sonny Smith…like there aren’t enough garage bands around, he’s invented 100 new ones. I reviewed 100 Record for Blurt and said:

For his 100 Records collection, Smith invented a hundred bands, each with its own name and aesthetic. Then he wrote them each a two-sided single, recorded these songs, occasionally with help from other Bay Area rockers, and created art for them. In a project that is part conceptual art, part San Francisco garage smackdown, he curated a collection of 200 songs and boxed them into a five-volume vinyl collection. This single disc CD compilation collects the cream of Smith's 100 records, ten songs in ten styles with Sonny and the Sunsets compadre Kelley Stoltz on drums, and guest shots from Ty Segall, the Fresh & Only's Tim Cohen, Skygreen Leopards' Donovan Quinn and the Sandwitches Heidi Alexander.


Here’s Sonny at the record launch party/gallery exhibition sponsored by KQED

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coleman again…this time with a formal review

I mentioned John Wesley Coleman’s late 2010 record Bad Lady Goes to Jail a couple of weeks ago, liking it a lot and thinking that I wasn’t going to get a chance to review it. But, you know, things change, and a few days after that Otis said I could go ahead and write about it for Dusted. Which I did, and it runs today. I conclude:

Coleman attacks even the oddest subject with a crazy glee, a “yi-yi-yi-ing” abandon that is as hard to resist as it is unsettling. There’s a vertiginous vibe to his bashed-out chords, his careening edge-of-control singing, his manic, pounding rhythms that makes you feel like you’re not on the firmest of ground, that perhaps you and Coleman are pumping your legs wildly, Roadrunner-cartoon-style, in the instant before you plummet down. And yet, you don’t fall. Bad Lady Goes to Jail is a giddy, exuberant, crazily appealing ride from one end to another, and a rickety tour de force that seems like it could blow apart at any minute, but never does.

The rest of the review is here.

You can still get those live mp3s, recorded at WFMU, at the Free Music Archive.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Wow, been writing a lot of reviews lately. Here's my take on Dolorean's Unfazed, out yesterday on Partisan Records.

Four years after their last album, You Can't Win, an eon in the blog cycle, Dolorean returns with a quiet triumph. The Unfazed is unassumingly beautiful, doggedly self-assured, as weathered and comfortable as an old pair of jeans. In an age of "ooh shiny!" distraction, Dolorean has honed in on essentials and allowed them to speak for themselves.


There are no giveaway MP3s, but if you go now, Spinner is streaming the whole thing.

Live performance of the title track

For context, John Schact’s two part interview with Dolorean songwriter Al James
Part one

Part two

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Was a King

Have to say that I started off the week eh-ing about I Was a King, the Norwegian pop band whose Old Friends album is coming out this week on Sounds Familyre. It was a little too sugary, Beatles-y pop for me the first couple of times through, and Frode Strømstad’s voice is about as high and cute and ingratiatingly melodic as anything this side of Robert Schneider. But listen long enough and all sorts of weird bits start to emerge, the musical/saw and banjo duel that ushers in “Learn to Fly,” the slanted rock aggression at the start of “The Wylde Boys” and, even on tightly harmonized, hooky “Nightwalking,” a bizarre eruption of orchestral dissonance in the midst of well constructed verses and choruses. So, maybe Old Friends is not quite as stultifyingly familiar as it seems on first listen and maybe it’s worth a second and a third.

Here’s “Nightwalking” via Stereogum, so you can decide for yourself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Incoming…Fergus & Geronimo

Hardly Art, which is Sub Pop’s little brother label, has a new smart alecky, lo-fi-and-proud-of-it band from Texas called Fergus & Geronimo. The band is essentially two guys, Jason Kelly and Andrew Savage, and their debut is all over the indie map, with the common factor seeming to be a certain wry, sarcastic intelligence, a general dissatisfaction with the world the way it is. Hardly Art has selected Spector-influenced “Powerful Lovin’” as the free mp3, but really, the reason I’m writing about this band is their pissed off tour de force, “Wanna Know What I Would Do?”. For me, it’s the highlight of Unlearn, if only because it lands so hard on the posers and free-riders that are somehow still squeezing money out of an otherwise unremunerative music business (cos you know the bands aren’t getting any)…yeah, wonder who they’re talking about?

Here’s my favorite verse:
“Wanna know what I would do?/I’d buy a round of drinks for someone new/I’d promise lots of pussy/to somebody that cared/and drop the names of bands who impressed chicks downstairs.”

And also,
“Wanna know what I would do?/I’d recognize that culture evolves and isn’t forced/by people without brains who think that art can be co-erced.”

But of course it can...that's why we care about Best Coast.

Take that, industry weasels.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Careful…or you’ll miss it

I had a review of Careful, a really beautiful solo acoustic-electronic project from a musician named Eric Lindley, up at Dusted last week. It’s been out for a while, since late spring last year, and was intended for Dusted “Discs We Missed” series early in January, but got bumped from that and ended up as a regular (really tardy) review. It’s really good, though, and well worth checking out if any of these names appeal to you:

Careful sounds, at times, like Sam Amidon’s chopped and re-arranged Americana, at others like Grizzly Bear’s chorally arranged romantic pop, yet maybe the soundest comparison is to self-taught British self-recorder Songs of Green Pheasant. Like Lindley, he manages to make his tunes sound misty and indefinite, while at the same time right next to your ear. It’s this combination of eerie spirituality and intimacy that makes Oh, Light so transfixing.


He’s a Dartmouth guy, too.

Friday, January 14, 2011

White Fence

Also, holy shit, there's new White Fence and no one told me.

(Thanks Forcefield, you jackasses.)

Here's an MP3 of "Lillian (Won't You Play Drums)"

The Beets...I'm so far behind I'm ahead now

I've been listening to the Beets first album Spit in the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool for the last couple of weeks, part of my listen to everything that's blocking my floor path to the bathroom initiative...and god-damn, it's a helluva a fun record. It makes people like Ty Segall and early Jay Reatard sound positively hi-fi, but get beneath the fuzz and there some great little pop songs below, block simple, unpretentious and absolutely a good time. So, anyway, I am about a year late (this is how long I've been letting records spill out of the two giant bins and take up residence on the floor), but that actually puts me slightly ahead of the curve, because the Beets have a new record out. It's called Stay Home and Dusted's Evan Hanlon liked it a lot.

I don't have the new album, and it's too late to review it, so who would send it to me? But here's a video from the first one, which is somewhere at the fulcrum that balances brilliant and really stupid.

IT's called "Why Should I Live If I DOn't Fit?"

They also did Daytrotter this summer, which you can check out here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Timmy’s Organism

At Blurt today, I’ve got a brief review of Rise of the Green Gorilla, the new-ish record by Clone Defects/Human Eye guy Timmy Vulgar, which, after some colorful language (if I do say so myself), I rated as “kind of brilliant - abrasive, unconventional and absolutely unconcerned with what you make of it.”

Here’s the rest of the review

“Pretty Stare”

"Give It To Me, Babe"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You can listen to East River Pipe on your shitty computer speakers now

I'm not sure this is a good idea, because East River Pipe's new album We Live in Rented Rooms is not the kind of record you glom onto all at once, and certainly not while you're updating your Facebook page/checking your email/trying to figure out your fourth quarter estimated taxes. It requires, even more than most albums, a dark, quiet, patient kind of listening, preferably on headphones, or at least until you get the gist. But in any case, you can listen to it in a very compromised, computer-sound-system, multi-tasking sort of way, right now at the Merge Records website. Have a go here.

Big Tree

Another serendipitous find from the general region on the floor in front of my bookcase...this three song EP, called Home (Here) and out since June, has sharp, intricately arranged counterpoints in various shades of folk-influenced styles. I'm hearing similarities to early Casey Dienel (the piano-bar stage before she went all White Hinterland), weird folk outfits like Big Blood and Fire on Fire and even a bit of the jazzy sophistication of Starless & Bible Black. The band is from the Bay area, and includes Kaila McIntyre-Bader (vocals and piano), Morgan Heringer (vocals), Tom Tierney (guitar), Luke Bace (bass), and Colin Fahrner (drums).

I like "The Concurrence of All Things" the best.

and here they are playing "The Weight" (a non-EP track) live and in pitch darkness.

You can download the whole mp3 for $2.97 (or possibly less, there’s a ‘pay what you want’ option’ for each song) here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

District Attorneys

These guys should really be from California, down the block, maybe, from Beachwood Sparks, or a few exits away from Skygreen Leopards. They’re not. They’re from Atlanta, but the sound is all sunny, trippy, country-tinged, psychedelically reverbed pop. I’ve been liking the new EP Orders From… quite a lot…it’s a self-release, out February 8th, one of those no-name, low expectation kind of mailers that turns out to be pretty damned good.

Here’s “Splitsville,” which is a little more country-boogie-ish than the ones I like the best (“Going to Carolina” and “Jerry Ten”), but it’s the free mp3, so what do you want?

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Bardo Pond

My first review of new material for the year is up today at Dusted, a consideration of Bardo Pond’s really quite impressive and beautiful self-titled CD…took them long enough to name one after themselves, don’t you think? Maybe they ran out of drug references?

Anyway, here’s a bit:
Bardo Pond’s single “Don’t Know About You” is a fair, though incomplete, introduction to this sprawling two-vinyl-disc recording, encapsulating the band’s essence without exploring any of its divergences. Except for the length -- relatively short at just under four and a half minutes --it gives a representative taste of the band’s swirl and dirge. Here are the obliteratingly heavy guitars twining around ethereal vocals, the two tones melding in an intoxicatingly off-centered way that makes you continually wonder if you are listening to the primary idea or being distracted by peripherals. And here are the spreading pools of organic sound that seep, like a thick liquid, across boundaries of meter, genre and key. There are drums, of course, bashing out ritually slow tempos, but the main sense is not of forward motion but of timelessness. The end of this song sounds much like the beginning; the middle like either end. It feels shapeless like the universe feels shapeless -- unbounded and curving back in on itself.

The rest

“Don’t Know About You”

Friday, January 7, 2011

John Wesley Coleman III

Another great one from Goner, Bad Lady Goes to Jail, the new album from John Wesley Coleman III. Coleman is an Austinian garage rocker, a scruffy renaissance man who paints and sings and is perhaps best known for leading Golden Boys. Coleman fits quite well into the laid-back, country garage ethos of the Goner label…he’s a natural complement to bands like Limes and Ty Segall. I like fuzzy, buzzy, slouch-riffed “Fields of Love” best, but how can you resist the high wistful longing of sports mash note “Oh Basketball” or the stop-start, we-fucked-up-but-let’s-go-ahead-anyway mayhem of “Christians Drive Like Shit.”? Well, maybe you can, but I can’t.

Here’s the title track, courtesy of Austin Town Hall

And some free cuts from his live show on WFMU last year

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Akron Family

Akron/Family's got a new record coming out early this year, which is, I think, going to be one of my favorites, and maybe I'll write something more intelligent about it later, but for now, here's the free mp3.

"So It Goes"


Kind of forgot about this one, which I must have written three months ago about the Chilean post-punk outfit Panico, whose latest album is called Kick and which came out late last year on Chemikal Underground. My review ran yesterday at Blurt.

Panico recorded this sixth and latest album at Franz Ferdinand's Glasgow studio, and for the first couple of tracks, you might almost be fooled into thinking they are run-of-the-mill post-punk revivalists, prone to the same sharp edges, the same jittery romanticism as Franz and the legions they've spawned. There's nothing wrong with album opener "Illumination"'s bass-led, stutter-stepped, robot-funk, or with the briskly ominous, patent-leather alienation of second song "Icon," just nothing remarkable. None of us are heartily sick of post-punk now, in 2010, as we might have been half a decade ago, so it goes down fairly easily, its clipped guitars and vaguely menacing vocals eliding into a not-bad experience of late-1970s-referencing dance-punk. Yet as things move along, Panico, who are from Chile, allow more and more of their South American eccentricities to show through, and it is this, not the color-by-numbers Gang of Four homage, that makes Kick such a pleasure.


Here’s “Icon”.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another one from the piles…Gigi’s Maintenant

This one had been sitting in a pile next to my hard drive for months, a neglected pop gem that borrows from 60s girlgroup, Brit pop and indie in a remarkably fresh, interesting and unaffected way. I probably would never have listened to it, except for the recycling project and the fact that my fellow Dusted writer Benjamin Ewing called Maintenant “the great, underappreciated record of my 2010.”

He described it like this: “A collaborative effort out of Vancouver from songwriter Nick Krgovich, producer Colin Stewart, and their collective of singers and musicians, Maintenant is probably too clean-cut and wide-eyed for contemporary “importance” — even in the always largely backward-looking realm of indie pop. But among the many new records bathed in reverence for pop’s past, it’s Maintenant that has worn best. Marked neither by ironic distance nor simple mimicry, the record sweeps and swoons with the class of Tin Pan Alley rebranded as the Great American Songbook, and the exuberance of 1619 Broadway’s youth-infused professional pop. Maintenant was just right for another year of listening chock-full of nostalgia, and appropriately half-hearted wishing it weren’t so.”

You can read the rest of Benjamin’s 2010 wrap here

“Alone at the Pier”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Max Richter's Infra

So, I'm seriously going through the piles these days, listening to albums that I whiffed on when they came out, and if they are at all interesting, ripping them to my rapidly swelling external hard drive. (And if not, disassembling them for recycling, also oddly satisfying.) It's kind of fun, and it makes me realize that however much music I listen to, I'm missing a lot more, some of it pretty incredible.

Case in point: Max Richter's Infra, which came out on Fat Cat last summer. Originally written as a score for a Ballet, the album contains 13 pieces, eight of them "Infra"s and five of them "Journey"s. All are rather sparely instrumented, mostly piano and strings, with some electronic buzz and hum, all quietly, minimally beautiful. I knew next to nothing about Richter, only that he had arranged Vashti Bunyan's Lookaftering and that he was highly regarded in certain classical-into-electronic circles that, sadly, are outside my knowledge base. (And you wonder why i never attempted to review it?) Still it's worth checking out, perfect thinking and dreaming music that takes you away so gently that you hardly even notice your leaving.

This is kind of a home-made, non-video for "Infra 3"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Parting Gifts

I'm a little late on this, but one of the best Christmas gifts I got this year was the self-titled CD by the Parting Gifts who are, essentially, Greg Cartwright from the Reigning Sound/Oblivians/Compulsive Gamblers etc. and Coco from the Ettes. The CD is, oddly, both rough and polished, the roughness in the extreme liveness of the sound and Cartwright's great, wounded bear of a voice, the polish in the really exquisite construction of these rock-into-country-into-classic-pop songs. Anyway, the Parting Gifts did a show on Terre T's Cherry Blossom Clinic, and you can download it via the Free Music Archive.

And then go buy the album, which is better.

Also picked up a used copy of the Reigning Sound's Time Bomb High School over the holidays...great stuff.

Oh, yeah, and check out the New York Times' Jon Pareles listening to the most superficial, candy-assed music possible and then whining about how simple it is.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolution #1 and #2

I'm going to try to clean up my act a little this year in two ways that are, I think, doable and will be really positive.

#1 no more computer games. huge time suck. major factor in depression and feeling of worthlessness (often justified). enough.

By the way, part of this is because I have dial-up and have to wait five-ten minutes for every web pages to load and I get bored. I'm bringing a book downstairs to my office. We cannot get any form of broadband here -- not cable, not satellite, not 4G, not DSL -- and it doesn't look like that's ever going to change. (We're apparently on some sort of five-year plan with our phone provider, but they're in bankruptcy, so I wouldn't hold my breath.)

#2 i'm going to get my unsaleable promos out of my office. the plan is to rip everything that looks even vaguely interesting to the hard disc, which will take forever, then separate all the components (discs, paper, cardbord, jewel boxes) and recycle them. I found this CD recycling center...check it out if you, too, are buried in promos. The used stores aren't buying them anymore, and if you just do nothing, you'll end up living in chaos.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy new year

I was really sick all day yesterday, hardly got out of bed until about 3 p.m. and we ended up watching a whole bunch of Friday Night Lights episodes instead of going out. Feeling a lot better today and even a tiny bit hopeful about the new year...I'm sure that'll get pummeled out of me by the end of the week latest, but it's nice now. Things to feel good about.

I'm working again, not exactly to the wall but more than half capacity, for the first time in ages.

Sean got a really good part in My Fair Lady. He's going to play Alfred Doolittle, clearly the best male part after Higgins, with two great songs ("A Little Bit of Luck" and "Get Me to the Church on Time.")

There's a ton of good music coming out early in 2011...very excited about Mogwai, Akron/Family, Sidi Toure, Bardo Pond and Skull Defekts.

I have a bunch of interesting books in the "to read" pile...especially psyched about biographies of Keith Richards and Cleopatra.

The sun is shining.

and one of my very favorite records came up on album shuffle this morning.

Here's a bit of it: