June 2003 Archives

Delerium - Chimera

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Delerium - Chimera (Nettwerk) [mp3]

Pre-Karma Delerium: Lush orchestration. Dark soundscapes. Deep beats. The occasional breathy female vocal thrown in with the instrumental tracks.

Post-Karma Delerium: Electro-pop hooks. Cloyingly sweet melodies. Bland beats. The occasional instrumental track thrown in with the breathy female vocals.

I miss the old Delerium.
The Thermals - More Parts Per Million (SubPop) [mp3] [upcoming shows]

Recorded for $60 in someone's house, this is 27 minutes of very raw, fuzzed-out, high-energy pop punk. They've been compared to GBV, but that must be due to the lo-fi thing 'cause I don't hear it. The nasally singer actually sounds like that Placebo guy. The songs are catchy as hell (just try not singing along to "No Culture Icons"), and the whole thing displays an endearingly messy charm. Some might wish for a bit more production, but there's no need for gloss if the tunes are there.

Uncle Tupelo - No Depression

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Uncle Tupelo - No Depression (re-release with bonus tracks)

It must have been the summer of '94 when I heard about the breakup of Uncle Tupelo. I read the bad news in some magazine while sitting on a Greyhound out of Nashville, headed home. I had only discovered the band about 6 months before, but they were one of my favorites at the time. Remastered with extra tracks, this collection is the perfect compliment to a six-pack of beer and a clear summer night. It wasn't until I listened to this that I realized how much I miss Uncle Tupelo.
Science Fiction - Walls Don't Exist (Third Earth Music) [audio] [upcoming shows]

Those searching for a bedroom-beat headphone masterpiece (or, the follow-up album DJ Shadow SHOULD have made), look no further than Nigerian-born Science Fiction's debut. Spacey, ambient electronics and almost Radiohead-like guitar loops intertwine with found sounds and spoken word samples to create a thoroughly un-claustrophobic meditation on the future; auspicious in every sense of the word, seek this one out.
Turbonegro - Scandanavian Leather (Epitaph) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

First off, Turbonegro : The Swedish garagerock scene :: The Melvins : Seattle's grunge scene. Like some weird gay version of AC/DC mixed with the Stooges and dressed like the Village People, Turbonegro is well practiced on making their audience pump their fists in the air and feel really uncomfortable while doing it. They return with a new record that's sure to be a hit in the right circles, cranking up the amps and shouting their trademark ambiguously gay lyrics. My Swedish friend Johan Åberg says "There's nothing I like more than smoking a fat bowl and throwing on some Turbonegro."

NY: The Next Wave

NY: The Next Wave (Kanine Records)

Wouldn't you know it - Long Island's My Favorite puts out a great album four years ago and here they are, stuck back on a CD with up-and-comers. But they're in good company on this buzzing compilation featuring other NY notables like Aerial Love Feed, stellastarr* and Mommy & Daddy. Like the Yes, New York album, NY: The Next Wave is a great sampler of Gotham's indie scene, and the collection gives you a good taste of what's going on. Unlike the major label release, however, there's a better chance that you won't recognize some of the names. And that's a good thing.
Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves - Drive It Like You Stole It (12XU) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

Multiply Exile In Guyville by Kill The Moonlight and you'd get something a hell of a lot like Drive It Like You Stole It. Loose, immediate, and fucking Rock, Sally Crewe brings it, ably backed by a couple of regular ol' blokes, one Mr. Britt Daniel and one Mr. Jim Eno. The wait is over; this is The Summer Album, and it'll sound totally great in your car, stolen or otherwise.

Deftones - Deftones

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Deftones - Deftones (Maverick/Warner)

The White Pony went and got herself knocked up and had a bunch of babies. The Deftones, startled and not knowing what to do, grabbed all of those babies and released them as this self-titled album. As with every "litter" you can't expect all of the li'l boogers to be as good lookin' as their mommy. Flashes of White Pony's power are visible, but horrible choruses (see: the first track) derail a couple of the tracks before they even get out of the station. I think I'll just keep waiting for that Team Sleep record...
Yes New York (Vice/Atlantic) [stream the album]

The cool kids might think this is old hat, but come on guys. It's a friend's mix CD, the one with the impeccable taste, and it has a ton of killer songs on it. They just happen to be New York rock bands. Groan if you will, but they picked the best songs by the ones you know (Walkmen, Interpol, Ted Leo), and you might even find a new favorite (The fever, The witnesses, perhaps?). Oh, and that sweet, acoustic version of "Our Time" by the YYYs (billed as "Unitard") is essential.
The New Pornographers - Electric Version (Matador) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

From The-Great-White-SARS-Incubator-Up-North comes the sophomore effort of "supergroup" The New Pornographers. Electric Version finds them in the same sunshiny, harmony-laden landscape we were introduced to on Mass Romantic.

Basically: Did you like Mass Romantic? OK. You'll like Electric Version.

And while that rumor about Neko posing for Playboy is true, I am sorry to report that the rumor of a Penthouse pictorial featuring Dan Bejar and Carl Newman, adorned with silvery body paints, cavorting on the hood of Bob Guccione's DeLorean, is, sadly, untrue.

Blur - Think Tank

Blur - Think Tank (Virgin)

At a show the other night, "Music is my Radar" came in between bands and my friends and I shook our booties. I listened to Think Tank the next day and shrugged my shoulders. This record was best described when someone told me "it's like an album of b-sides I'd make for myself." It's got some great shit (see Moroccan Peoples Revolutionary Bowls Club; Good Song) but it's sketchy overall.

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