Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 2009

I wrote something a couple weeks ago to put up here, but it no longer seems relevant. It was something about listening to too many types of music and feeling unfocused and restless as a result. I've since contented myself with a lot of downbeat, electro, and jazz. A guy who epitomizes this sleepy cross-section of musical realms is electro composer Lusine, whose new full-length, A Certain Distance is a breath of fresh air for lounge fans. The album is at once glitchy and airy. Most hear the descriptor "glitchy" and think of dark, wacked-out shit. But there is a peaceful, night-time mellowness that coats this Lusine stuff. You can tell he finds beauty and possibility in the chirping away of technology, not paranoia like some of his contemporaries. If you like the idea of an ambient electro album, this is a great one to pick up.

With the end of the year approaching we've seen Best of 2009 lists popping up all over the place (don't worry, I'll have one next month). But where's the love for 2008?? Oh, right... they got the love last year. But what's held up since then? That is, what are we still listening to that was the hot 'ish last year? Or maybe it wasn't even the hotness last year, somehow slipping our radar.

Dr. Dog's 2008 LP, Fate, dominated
my iPod this year. Equal parts Grateful Dead, the Band, and the Beatles (and my Dad says Supertramp), the Philadelphia fivesome perfected their craft on this their third full-length. With comparisons to all the aforementioned classic bands, it's easy to think Dr. Dog's sound would probably be quite derivative - it's not. The songs and the band are original - blue collar, but immensely thoughtful and caring. Some big themes seem to be life, history, and family. They went with a more polished sound on this release, over the lo-fi aesthetic of their previous recordings, but the grainy authenticity remains. Here's Fate's final two, "The Beach" and "My Friend."

Fleet Foxes' self-titled album from last year is, like Dr. Dog's, a modern classic. It's unadulterated, pristine, backwoods bliss. If you've been wondering where all the extremely smart, tasteful, and talented folk musicians have been hiding out for the past couple years, the answer is the state of Washington. These boys call Seattle home, but you get the feeling this music was created deeper in the recesses of a Pacific Northwest forest. With production value that rivals the Beach Boys and vocal harmonies that do the same, this is an album that keeps on giving. Here's a link to one of the "Take Away Shows" Fleet Foxes did for the French blog, La Blogotheque... pretty amazing.

the magic starts around 2:30...,4532

I also planned to write here about the fantastic funkfest that is Chin Chin's
The Flashi
ng, The Fancing, but in doing some checking I realized the album came out this year, and not last. So, more on that next month. So, what 2008 albums have continued to keep you interested and entertained in 2009?

With no further ado, this month's listening selections...

Track List
1) Atlas Sound - Quick Canal (featuring Laetitia Sadier)
2) Grooms - Acid King of Hell (Guitar Feelings)
3) Lindstrom & Christabelle - Baby Can't Stop (Aeroplane remix)
4) Yo La Tengo - Periodically Double or Triple
5) Javelin - Tell Me, What Will It Be?
6) Monsters of Folk - Dear God (Sincerely, M.O.F.)
7) Grant Green - Go Down Moses
8) Warpaint - Billie Holiday
9) Neil Young - Winterlong
10) Future Islands - Little Dreamer (Jones remix)
11) Beach House - Norway
12) Wilco - Magazine Called Sunset


  1. I'm so happy that you included Fleet Foxes on here. I have listened to that album hundreds of times and it never gets old. The entire album has this aura about it that creates a peaceful and nostalgic mood that seems to wrap itself completely around you. When listening to this album, if I close my eyes, images of Bilbo Baggins and and Middle Earth swim through my head. It's truly a fantastic album. Definitely a must have.

    -Nick Whetzel

  2. Oh and I'm ashamed to say that I've been sleepin on Dr. Dog, but thanks for the enlightenment. Wow, these guys are amazing.

    -Nick Whetzel

  3. Haha yea Nick, Bilbo Baggins, log cabins, fog, and beards. And that Dr. Dog album is definitely right up your alley - one of my favorites in years.