So many good albums are released over the course of a calendar year that we don’t even pretend to be thorough in our coverage of current music. Its even harder for someone like me to absorb the amount of music I would like to, whereas Wes and Todd are human encyclopedias of all things past, present and future music. Wes in particular is usually able to listen to an album once and form an opinion I usually agree with, but would take me upwards of five or six listens to form.
Due to my mongoloid nature of absorbing new music, it often takes me weeks, or even months to decide that I like an album, sometimes putting it on the shelf for quite some time after a first listen, only to give it one more shot and come around on it. Due to my deficiency, I would like to bring to you a song from five albums that I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to review in whole, as a sign of respect that they are more than worthy of review. Some have been released this week, some are weeks old, and some months, but all these artists are worthy of note. Let these five tracks be your Friday Sizzurp.
Ohh, the nineties. How we all miss the “whatever, who cares” attitude you bestowed upon our generation. Baggy shirts, and even even baggier pants. The rebirth of “chucks” and a noisy, dirty, fuzzy new breadth of music that will never be forgotten. Not to mention other rarities in music that can never be replicated, and will always be legendary. Alanis Morissette may not have made the list, but her new release this week was the inspiration for it. Our criteria for the list was simple: nineties tunnel vision. This means that we had to block out any knowledge of anything that happened outside of 1990-1999. For example, the Beastie Boys were prevalent in the nineties, but how did their nineties material stack up against the rest? This list is for the bands that we felt left their strongest marks on the decade with no regard. As per usual, let us know if you agree.
Oh shit! Did I miss the memo that The Darkness wasn’t awesome anymore? Because it seems I may have. Since when did gnarly coked-out glam rock with face melting guitar solos, outrageous Radiohead covers, and the only voice left in rock ‘n’ roll somewhat comparable to that of THE Freddie Mercury become uncool? I understand music trends in phases and two-chord (sometimes three, if necessary) metalesque glam-rock isn’t exactly trending right now. But are we not due for a revival of sorts? Clearly not everyone could handle the 2005 One Way Ticket to Hell … and Back follow up to the ceaseless perpetual party that was 2003′s Permission to Land after only two years of attempting to sober up from it. I admittedly couldn’t. Neither could the original bassist, Frankie Poullain. Hell, even lead singer Justin Hawkins had to check into rehab after spending £150,000 on cocaine in three years as a result of the pure unadulterated badassery of Permission to Land. But now we are all back, including Frankie and the fresh out of rehab Justin. So crank the volume up to 11, strap yourself in (as to be able to handle the G’s), and “eeeeeeeverybody have a good time!”
Havoc & Bright Lights
For some reason 2012 has become the year of the powerful female singer-songwriter releasing an album after a long hiatus (Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Sinead O’Connor) or trying to come back from a disappointing effort (Regina Spektor, Norah Jones). Alanis Morissette is trying to capitalize on this trend with her first album in five years, Havoc and Bright Lights, and I fully expect Natalie Merchant and Sarah McLachlan to pile on as well. In all seriousness, I haven’t listened to an Alanis record since Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (her sophomore album), and was shocked to learn she has released three albums in the interim between Junkie and Havoc. Alanis recent work has literally been more of a part of my consciousness through her appearance on a couple of seasons of Weeds, than she has been through me listening to any of her recent music.
This is strange, because I’m not sure Alanis ever did anything to lose me as a fan. I still revisit Jagged Little Pill, and the magnificent “Uninvited” quite often. I think more than anything, her past three albums have not gotten any singles press, and she just kind of faded out of my view. That is all about to change, and I am going to lift my blinders to Alanis Morissette for better or for worse.
A Thing Called Divine Fits
Supergroups can often by surprisingly disappointing affairs, with the sum of their parts rarely if ever equaling their whole (only happening maybe twice with Cream and CSNY). We recently explored the best supergroups with our recent Top Ten Thursday list, and found that great super groups are truly in short supply. The ones that seemingly work the best is when there is one clear alpha dog (i.e. Jack White’s projects, A Perfect Circle, Wild Flag) or if each of the musicians have a history of collaborating (i.e. Eric Clapton’s projects, CSNY, Monsters of Folk). Divine Fits, the latest indie supergroup trio consisting of Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks, somewhat fits the alpha dog category with Britt Daniel of Spoon, but as seen on their debut, A Thing Called Divine Fits, Boeckner and Daniel pretty equally split lead duties for what is a tight well-produced 40 minute hybrid of new wave and rock ‘n’ roll; something both Spoon and Wolf Parade have explored masterfully.