After a few dry months of very little new music, I have been on a binge for a while, gathering new songs, new/ used cds and checking into anything I can to update my music palette.
I have found obscure bands, which I find fascinating and much hyped bands which I find less than impressive. I have found much use for my iPod and podcasting (my favorite being NPR's "All Songs Considered"- i wonder if fox news does a fair and balanced music review so i am not inundated with such left wing anti-american sentiment from my music podcasting) during this time.
A few of the interesting things I have been spending time with include...
Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah- good songs, pretty derivative of the same 80's bands I grew up on and everyone is imitating. overrated but better than most of the stuff out there. link to site
Okkervil River- through in the same vein as The Decemberists and Bright Eyes, much deeper and less gimmicky (and much less pretentious). They have a good new EP, but their Down the River of Golden Dreams from 2003 is my favorite so far.
The more I listen to everything else, the better Get Behind Me, Satan by the White Stripes continues to get.
Mat Pond PA is a nice CD, but I wish I had downloaded it and not bought the CD (saved a few bucks), while Sufjan's Illinoise will hit my top 3. My Morning Jacket's Z has surprised me. I was a big fan of it still moves, but this is a huge improvement and I love the Relacements and BoDeans flourishes.
I have nothing but kind things to say about Preston School of Industry, the latest BRMC (Howl), influenced greatly by their family connection to the Call, Dan Russell and a new found interest in Americana and TV on the Radio. Last year, a friend told me to check out Secret Machines, and I finally bought their CD last month. I highly recommend it for fans of atmospheric, slightly anthemetic Brit-Rock.
An obscure instrumental metal band called Pelican is a reminder that there is some absolute beauty in the symphonic orchestration of metal. It also reminds me how stupid metal lyrics can be (it has none). The latest Broken Social Scene caught my ear, even though I was not a fan of their last (over-hyped) CD.
In the hip hop world, the newest Blackalicious (The Craft), while not as mind boggling as Broken Arrow, is the best of the year by a man not named Kanye and the Perceptionists reminds me why Boston's own Mr. Lif is the smartest rapper out there.
Those are just a few of the assorted bands that impressed me in the past few months.