Friday, March 29, 2013

Early year favorites

Not much going on today either music or workwise, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to recap my favorite records of 2013 so far...don't hold me to the order, BTW.  I haven't thought about it that hard yet.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away...Not anywhere near as loud and funny and entertaining as the Grinderman records, but I don't know how to say this and make it sounds positive...insidious. It just sort of seeps into your consciousness and takes up a dark slippery residence there. Bleak, gorgeous, doomed, desolate...wonderful stuff.  I like "Water's Edge" the best, but it's all pretty wonderful.

Waxahatchee, Cerulean Blue This year's amazing new female voice belongs to Katie Crutchfield...I went to a certain amount of trouble trying to describe it in my Dusted review, so it's just crib from there:

Katie Crutchfield’s voice is the kind of thing you love for its flaws, for the gusts of breath that blow in when she reaches for a high note, for the earnest crack when she goes for volume, for the catch in her throat that sounds like it hurts a little, though not enough to stop her from confiding, whispering urgently about life and love and obstacles. Even here, on a second album amped and distorted with rock instruments, Crutchfield sounds casual, private and unstudied. You feel like you’re eavesdropping on a phone call to a sister (maybe Crutchfield’s twin, Allison, of the also excellent Swearin’), as she mutters, rasps and croons. Her observations are poetic, but also rawly specific, like ideas she’s jotted down, worked on but not fussed over, after a fight with her parents or a slightly-off connection with a boyfriend.

Also loved Purling Hiss' Water on Mars, a surprisingly dead on, third-time's the charm iteration of Mike Polizze's blown-out yet tuneful aesthetic. I said:

Public Service Announcement looked at first like an identity crisis, like the work of a guy who couldn’t figure out what he wanted to be or do. Now, with Water on Mars it seems more like a jumping-off point, maybe even a straw man argument to help Polizze sharpen his evolving vision. Look at Polizze’s progression as thesis (Purling Hiss), anti-thesis (Public Service Announcement), and synthesis (Water on Mars). Polizze is making a powerful case for balancing guitar chaos with songs.

That just leaves Kinski's weirdly titled, awesome new album Cosy Moments, which I have played the crap out of and still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE...let's see if there's a video.  No, dammit, no video, so you'll have to listen to "Conflict Free Diamonds" again.; It could be worse..

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