Friday, February 3, 2012

Best faves through january

So I think I'm going to do this once a month or so, just to remind myself about what I was liking a few weeks ago and how it compares to what I'm liking now...also I'd love to hear what everyone else is into early on in 2012, if there's anyone out there anymore. Anyway, here are my favorite records through January.

Shearwater, Animal Joy (Sub Pop)...way out in front, more visceral than you'd imagine Shearwater could be, but also incredibly fragile, spiritual, delicate. I've got a PopMatters feature in the works on this (by which I mean, it's all done and god knows when they'll decide to run it...June would be about par for the course).

Sharon Van Etten, Tramp, (Jagjaguwar)...wrote about this one for Dusted, an almost ideal consolidation of her beautifully vulnerable, spare debut and her lusher, guttier Epic.

Damien Jurado, Maraqopa, (Secretly Canadian)...Jurado's second collaboration with producer Richard Smith is warmer and more immediate than Saint Bartlett, marginally more rocking, but still has a core of unknowability and mystery...the songs sort of glow in the dark. (I've got a slightly more coherent review in the pipe at Dusted on this.)

The Twilight Sad, No One Can Ever Know (Fat Cat)...Just finished my review of this one, and kind of too exhausted to try to find another way to say that this one is chillier, dryer, more rhythmically intense than previous outings, but with a really intriguing overlay of synthesizers.

Mark Lanegan Band, Blues Funeral (4AD)...I've barely started on this, but what can you say...that voice...chills. (also, did you ever think you'd hear gated snare on a Lanegan record? Me neither.)


Maxwell Cassavetes said...

Just found your blog by accident the other day after being a long-time admirer of your honest, no-bull reviews on Dusted. Mucho respect. A bit behind on anything 2012 yet but I'd definitely recommend checking out the Sound Ceremony re-issue on One Kind Favor (they've also just re-released Kenneth Higney's Attic Demonstration demos). Great outsider DIY record originally released in '79 that's totally got that ... something x-factor (and with that, I'm not referring to anything involving Simon Cowell's overly-elevated waistband). Good pop songwriting from one odd dude residing beneath the boot heel of an iron lady I'd guess.. Even does a count-off all the way to seventeen on one number! Freakin' brilliant. Anyways, keep up the great work Jennifer.

jenniferpkelly said...

Hi, Max, thanks...what nice stuff to say. I will have to check yours out now. Is your name really Cassavetes, or are you a fan? (I love him, the filmmaker, that is.)

Jean-Luc Garbo said...

I'm even more excited to hear SVE, Twilight Sad, and Shearwater now. Especially the last as I didn't know whether to give them a shot or not. I'm glad you like the new Twilight Sad as they're a big favorite of mine. I look forward to that review.

Rob Pierce - 2 Verbs said...

Hey Jenny, I've heard none of these, haven't been following blogs and just want to stay in touch with you every time something reminds me oh yeah, me and that kelly gal, we used to talk on line a lot. What's up, Jen? Hope you and yours are great, all sorts of shit going on here but it's the bright side of life, talk to ya.

jenniferpkelly said...

Hi, Andrew. I guess I've liked Shearwater since Winged Life, but this is the first one to crack my top ten (if it does, but I think it will).

And hello, Rob, good to hear from you. It seems like I hardly ever hear from any of the old MOG crew anymore.

Maxwell Cassavetes said...

Ha, it's just a pseudonym I'm afraid :) (a kind of play off on, you guessed it, the inimitable John Cassavetes - love his angle on people/life - and also well, Maxell C90 cassette tapes - my brand of choice for mixtapes back in the day.) I thought it had a nice ring to it. Here, that'd be sweet; be sure to check out the blog if you get the opportunity (it's private/non-Googleable, just for myself and close friends who kept suggesting I do so). Although I know how saturated the Internet is these days with keeping up with the blogses' and the release schedules are getting crazier. It's getting harder all the time to keep a steady rein on music & writing worth the effort. My bookmarks need bookmarks. Personally though, I've found having a blog also helps add a bit of clarity to my own obsessive listening habits :)! And, to be honest, if even one person likes or feels inspired by one thing on my own, then it's completely surpassed any expectations I have of it really.