Time Was...

...I actually had the time to post here several times a day. Now, what with having a job and all, I can't. And, to boot, I've gotten pretty lazy with my posting, relying heavily on mostly-excerpted posts from the blog mainstream. For that I also apologize; I kinda feel like this has become a derivative backwater, save for the occasional post on robots.

Which is too bad, as I was starting to get pretty comfortable with a voice and thematic vision for this blog when I went and got myself hired.

So - changes to come. I am going to make a concerted effort to keep content fresh here, and to keep it from being too inside-jokey and self-referential, not because I have any delusions of having or at any point acquiring a larger audience (okay, maybe a little with the latter...), but really because they make the content less good.

To that end, an old-school style post:

Great NEW Albums of Music!

-Cake's Pressure Chief is pretty much like every other Cake album...in that it's not really at all like any other Cake album, in that it rocks really hard, and in that it's far too short. Well, not too short, but you definitely could listen to it for another hour, were it to go on that long. Basically, Cake makes some of the most original music out there, and aspires to pretty much nothing RE: being rock stars. They are awesome, and you should buy this album.

-I just bought Ozomatli's new album. I haven't even listened to it yet (literally, just half an hour ago, bought it), but...eh, figure it's pretty good.

-Kylie. Why I didn't buy Body Language when it came out, I have no idea. Fever was just about one of the greatest albums ever made, so...I dunno, I'm probably stupid, is what I figure. This album is a lot different than Fever - where the first was pretty much an unimprovable synthesis of Euro beats and disco, creating perfect danceable pop gems, Body Language is a melding of Kylie's Kylieness with the best of modern ambient beats and low-key, quality, hip-hop. It's...just really, really good, so good that it ends up doing the same thing as Fever and transcends entirely whatever possible cheesiness might have awaited. Really, just...good. Very.

-Drive-By Truckers' The Dirty South - basically, if you've been an asshole and not listened to me yet and bought everything these guys have ever done, for God's sake, correct that now. They are, I'm convinced, one of the five best and most important bands currently working in rock music. I don't say that lightly, either; if you get a chance to see them (and hopefully Allison Moorer, who's opening on part of this tour) TAKE IT, because they might die in a plane crash or start playing stadiums or something. Really, I can't even begin to describe...every song on this record (and Decoration Day) is a total keeper, and they rocked my face off (read: 5.5 hour show) when I saw them.

-The best political album of the year, and one of the few really great (almost) wholly political albums of the last three years, is Steve Earle's latest, The Revolution Starts Now. Of the 10 tracks, only one is not overtly political (though it's a great track, "I Thought You Should Know"). The title track is great, as are the very affecting "Rich Man's War" and "The Gringo's Tale". The album is a real lesson in how to do political music, as Earle came to his politics honestly, though a hard-lived life (e.g., prison, drugs, etc.) and only now - with a lot of music made, his craft honed, and his positions razor-sharp - does he take on a political album, though he's been crusading for years on anti-death penatly action. But it's not all dour - there's the playful and hilarious "Condi, Condi" (listen to it twice, closely - it is hilarious) and the good ol' literal middle finger of a song, "F the CC." Good stuff, all.

-Also very good and highly worth getting:
  • Mark Knopfler's latest, "Shangri-La." Not his best solo work (that'd probably be "Sailing to Philadelphia"), but that's setting a pretty high standard. A solid effort, his typical guitar virtuousity and a different feel than any album, solo or Dire Straits.
  • Snow Patrol's album, "Final Straw." Delicious rollicking guitar rock and roll music. If you like songs that are good, you will like this.
  • R.E.M. finally has another album (it's been three years, I think?), "Around the Sun." It's very good, and goes further in the direction of discarding individually distinct instrumentation in favor of blended sound. I like it more every time I listen to it, and I like it a lot the first time; this is a pattern, it's been the same with every album post- "Automatic for the People," that they take longer to seep in. Not that they're not as good - on that point I'm not entirely sure - but they're not the jangly little pop songs that R.E.M. used to churn out. Which - just is. Still very good songs. Just different.
All for now.

IMHO, Cake is pretentious and annoying. I put them in the same category as the Eels and Beck (Odelay was good, though). I don't like my music too ironic and self-conscious. Kylie Minogue...eh. I haven't heard anything recently by R.E.M, but I'll have to check that album out.
Okay, so I'm going to follow JKD's advice and get at least Decoration Day. Cash flow being what it is...acquiring the entire catalogue may take a while.
Thanks for your comments, Anonymous! They're so...your opinion, in no context, signifying nothing.
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