May's Criminally Underrated: Part 1
Scott Walker, THE DRIFT (4AD)
Former Walker Brothers frontman issues his first full-length in 11 years. I hadn't heard his stuff until this week, and let me tell you, it is enormously fucked up. I think I read something in NME about how this is the perfect music to lie on your floor in complete darkness and sodomize yourself to. Great comparison. Imagine Nick Cave fronting Glenn Branca's 100 guitar orchestra. For the avalanche of critical acclaim this record is getting (read: Independent, Observer, NY Times), it is very, very strange. And very, very powerful.
RIYL: Nick Cave, Glenn Branca, if Pulp was scarier
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Beirut, GULAG ORKESTAR (Badabing!)
Apparently there's this 19 year old kid playing with Jeremy Barnes of Neutral Milk Hotel on this one. It sounds like a fucking Balkan orchestra. The blogging world (especially Stereogum) have been pooping themselves over the possibility of this kid being the savior of indie rock. I'm not quite convinced of that, though his debut record is quite fun to listen and dance around to. I included a picture of Beirut because I couldn't find the album art.
RIYL: Neutral Milk Hotel, The Decemberists, Devotchka
Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid, THE EXCHANGE SESSIONS, VOLUMES 1 & 2 (Domino)
The live collaboration between Kieran Hebden (Four Tet, Fridge) and Steve Reid (Fela Kuti and Sun Ra's drummer before Tony Allen existed) has been generally rejected by the critical world. I don't like that. This stuff is damn near revolutionary! And even if you don't enjoy the music, you have to respect that these two have produced the first viable connection between electronics and live drum improvisation. Interesting tidbit: Steve Reid played drums on Martha & the Vandellas "Dancing in the Street." So cool.
RIYL: Four Tet, good drumwork, whatever Rashied Ali record this project is named after
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El Perro del Mar, EL PERRO DEL MAR (Memphis Industries)
For a record that garnered SO much pre-album hype, El Perro del Mar's sophomore album has been talked about very little. My guess is this: though there are a bunch of tracks on the album that are downright new classics ("Party", "God Knows"), there are too many that keep the album from moving forward. It appears slow. In any case, she is one of the front runners in the New Swedish Underground, and she deserves recognition! Plus, there aren't enough female artists out there.
RIYL: Saturday Looks Good to Me, 60s pop, Architecture in Helsinki
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Metallic Falcons, DESERT DOUGHNUTS (Voodoo-EROS)
I haven't really gotten through this whole record yet, but my guess is it's good. The duo consists of Sierra Casady (Coco Rosie) and some other girl. How could it possibly be bad?
RIYL: Coco Rosie, weird experimental pop
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