by: Paul McEldowney
Cass McCombs - Humor Risk – (Domino)
His second album in 2011! His first of the year was Wit's End a slow moody chamber folk, and his newest is more upbeat, focused, and consciously and appropriately arrogant. Like all of McCombs' work, Humor Risk is unmoved-by-the-current classic craftsmanship in song structure and lyricism. Moving beyond and mocking the sentiment captured in those cheesy Whitmanian faux independence Levi's ads, listening to McCombs requires no romanticism or nostalgia. It is no-nonsense, refreshing and timeless proto-punk-folk.
James Ferraro - Far Side Virtual – (Hippos In Tanks)
If you try to think of distinguishing features of the New Age movements of the 20th century, It's going to be tough to come up with a good list. It's all New Age this and New Age that because it's always been attitudes trying to catch up with the technology. Catching up is tiring and often disillusioning. Don't get me wrong, Gmail chat is one of the greatest technological achievements as is satellite TV and DJVU to PDF convertors. James Ferraro, formerly of The Skaters, exploits technological-economic confusion in his music, producing alternative MIDI meets Phil Collins influenced muzak universes via minimal self-awaringly 'artificial' symphonies. Logical space is his template as it were, giving him the creative power to do whatever he wants.
David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time – (Sunday Best)
So I feel pretty lame about not having seen a David Lynch movie. I hear Blue Velvet is amazing and it's on da flix so I really don't have any excuse. There are just so many movies out there that should be seen and not enough time in the world. Not meant to be a complaint, being finite has its perks and I suppose imagining anything beyond that is (onto?)-logically futile. Anyway, regardless of the dude's filmography, this album is vocoder-based wacky and spacey new-wavey cowboy pop.
Dntel - Life Is Full Of Possibilities – (Sub Pop)
Downtempo ideal of its type of glitch-based melancholic electro bleep-pop gets a nice deluxe reissue!
Spectrals - Bad Penny)
Melancholic sparkley and warbly clean-as-glass guitar based garage pop with sassitudey teen dream too-cool-for-school vocals.
Pterodactyl - Spills Out – (Brah)
Spastic and technical and ultimately relentlessly positive math-rock meets pop-punk
Adanowsky - Amador – (Everloving)
Son of filmmaker/supreme leader Alejandro Jodorowsky makes some pretty dreamy cabaret style prog-folk. Amador indeed!
Peggy Sue - Acrobats – (Yeprock)
Dark from the heart gritty country-tinged grunge-folk with vocal harmonies that'll make you melt.
Korallreven - An Album By Koralleven – (Acephale)
Tropical dreamy synth-based meditative yoga-time chill out electro-pop featuring a member of Radio Dept. Things floating everywhere.
Brite Futures - Dark Past – (Turnout)
Formerly called Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, I'm still wondering why they changed their band name. On their newest, the continue their obnoxious fun dancey brand of high adreneline electro-pop.
Owen - Ghost Town – (Polyvinyl)
Melancholic diary type cinematic minimal sad-folk by the dude who brought you the seminal American Football.
Touch People - Sound Expression – (Illegal Art)
Grimey abstract anti-disco groove pop party via gmail chat. Highly filtered, warm, and its like if you scratched the bottom of your Daft Punk CDs to death.
Strange Rivals - Strange Rivals – (Self-released)
Super lo-fi garagey old-school shoegaze type stuff. Minimal, dark, murky because you're too lazy to clean all of the leaves out.