by: Kyle Olson, KUCI Music Director
Welcome, tiny warriors of justice and love.
I trust you all had lovely weekends. I did OK, seeing both Kimya Dawson last night (anti-folk love) and Lightning Bolt on Friday (there in ur eardrumz destoyin ur brain.) Friday also gained points as being a mission of diplomacy and goodwill towards our sister station at UCSD. I’m sure you recognize “mission of diplomacy and goodwill” to mean “I totally drank beers with them at the pub before we kicked ass at a rock and roll show.” Kofi Annan would be proud. But, at any rate, they are now part of our gang, and we are part of theirs. If they ever get into a fight at monster truck rally, we are to get their back. They will, of course, return the favor. Good kids, all.
Enough of my rambling old man horseploopy.
Calvin Johnson & The Sons of the Soil - Calvin Johnson & The Sons of the Soil (K)
Shock of shocks: Kyle makes a K Records CD his #1 pick of the week. In case you failed “Rock and Roll History one-oh-AWESOME”, Calvin Johnson is the lead singer of Beat Happening and co-singer in the Halo Benders with Built to Spill’s Doug Matrsch. He also founded K Records (it was nice of him to release his own album). This release is a collection of past solo songs as recorded with a full band (including members of Little Wings, Yume Bitsu, and Jason Anderson). If you can’t get passed his voice, you’re listening to music wrong. There. I said it.
Joanna Newsom – Joanna Newsom & the Ys Street Band (Drag City)
Dude. “Ys Street Band” wins for most ridiculous/genius title of the year. I don’t suspect I will need to sell this one very hard for you to play it. Again, this is another solo artist releasing past music recorded with a full band. This EP has one new track, one track from “Ys” with a full band (Cosmia), and one from Milk-Eyed Mender (Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie). More intensely epic harp-folk from everyone’s favorite woodland songstress. (You probably already know, but it’s pronounced “ease”, not “wise”. Just want to make it sound like you know what you’re talking about on the air.)
Charlotte Gainsbourg – 5:55 (Vice)
So, I think that when your dad is a musical legend like Serg Gainsbourg, you sort of HAVE to record some albums too, right? Like Jacob Dylan before her, sweet baby Jesus knows that this doesn’t approach the dad’s greatness. Though, unlike Jacob Dylan, this CD doesn’t make me want to slam my dick in a car door. Oh God. I just actually imagined that. Normally I can say things like that without thinking about them, thereby sparing me from any consequences but that was just awful. Jesus. Anyway. The music isn’t especially FRENCH (though some songs are in French), but rather a sort of low-key pop affair. The band Air collaborated on music, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker assisted with lyrics, and Nigel Godrich produced it (he also produces all the Radiohead albums, for the record). Seems a bit difficult to fail with that pedigree, don’t it?
Various Arists – Bridging the Distance (Arena Rock Recording Company)
Easy: A bunch of Portland, OR bands recording coversongs with the proceeds going to P:EAR, a non-profit dedicated to assisting “transitional youth” with education, art, and recreation programs. You get the Decemberists covering Fleetwood Mac, Thermals covering Led Zep, Vice Voce covering the Alan Parsons Project, Minders covering ELO. Holy shit. There’s a NIGHT RANGER cover on here. Did you feel that? That’s the power of TED NUGENT.
The Oh Sees – Sucks Blood (Castle Face)
So, Sam of Wonderful Rainbow got all super pants-pissy over this album. I knew that meant that it was either a band with 3,000 drummers that was just balls-out crazy, or totally trashy garage-rock, possibly involving the dude from Coachwhips. Turned out to be the second one. Super not my thing but if you want lo-fi trashy garage music, I got a cure for what ails you, baby.
McCarthy Trenching – McCarthy Trenching (Team Love)
Conor Oberst’s Team Love label puts out an alt-country album that is more “alt” than “country”. Enough so that it ends up in the rock section of the KUCI library, where I rule with a cotton candy fist. But, if a twangy album that Mr. Bright Eyes gave his blessing to sounds like your thing, I’d say check it out. Good songwriting, rural feel, etc. Give it a shot. Cusrive’s Tim Kasher pops up on two tracks playing accordion. Go figure.
Mando Diao – Ode to Ochrasy (Mute)
This totally sounds like the Strokes to me.
The Veils – Nux Vomica (Rough Trade)
These dudes come from the land down under. I think they sound like the Divine Comedy if it were darker/less poppy and grew up listening to Joy Division or something. But don’t take my word for it... (READING RAINBOW, DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDES!!!!!) Uh oh. We’ve reached the point in the blurbs where I totally stop giving a shit.
Johnny and the Moon – Johnny and the Moon (Kill Devil Hills)
This band is from Canada. They sound like Sunset Rubdown/Swan Lake but FAR less histrionic (see? I’m smart. I can use fancy words sometimes. It’s not all dick jokes.) A little more Okkervil River, a little less Frog Eyes. You know? That’s indie kid math! This one should probably be higher on the list because it sounds pretty dang good. But, as we all know, I have a strict “no editing” policy with this crap.
Small Sails – Similar Anniversaries (Other Electricities)
The promo company describes it as “stop-motion-stuttering aural hopscotch”, and compares them to Album Leaf, the Books, Caribou, and Animal Collective. Thanks, Nice Promotion. My job’s a lot easier when you suckers do it for me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go obtain cheap sandwhiches, and then convince the new training class that I’m “dope”.