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Thread: New Music: 2009 Releases!

  1. #1
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    Default New Music: 2009 Releases!

    I don't know how you all felt about the 2008 thread, but I loved it, and it was really helpful at the end of the year when it was time for me to make my best-of list.

    So let's do it again. Scheduled to put out new stuff this year (and of interest to me) are U2, Beastie Boys, Alice in Chains, Cyprus Hill, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Ratt, and Stone Temple Pilots. Don't know if Bruce Cockburn's got something in the works, but he's about due!

    Just a reminder to keep it (in this thread) limited to music released during this calendar year.
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    I'm not quite finished with the 2008 thread, but I liked it just as much as anyone. I have not bought anything "new" with 2009 imprinted on it.... but then we're only on the 3rd day of the new year. One thing I notice is that CD sections at BestBuy, Border's and WalMart seem to be shrinking.
    I'm still here. Are you?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    There are a few things from 2008 that I'm still hoping to get, so I'm not quite done with that one either! Here's to a good year in music in 2009, though.
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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  4. #4

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Releases were kind of slow to trickle out this first quarter of 2009, so only now do I really have enough to bump this thread.

    CDs:
    • ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, The Century of Self So far my favorite release of 2009.
    • Antony & the Johnsons, The Crying Light Doesn't stay with me as well as I Am a Bird Now
    • detroit7, detroit7 Compiled from two different EPs, and it sounds like it.
    • MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS, World Is Yours Not as diverse as the band's debut mini-album from last year
    • mono, Hymn to the Immortal Wind mono albums are getting a bit predictable, but the larger orchestra seems to work on this one.
    • Morrissey, Years of Refusal This album sounds a lot harder than Ringleader of the Tormentors
    • U2, No Line on the Horizon I like the new sound of this album. I just wish the band wrote songs to go with it.


    MP3
    • The Bad Plus joined by Wendy Lewis, For All I Care I played this for the first time yesterday, and hot damn!
    • Tommy Keene, In the Late Bright Feels a lot more ambitious than 2006's Crashing the Ether
    • Office, Mecca I can't believe this album is free -- it's my second favorite of 2009 so far.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    The tentative release date is June, hopefully of this year, but Neil Young's long awaited Archives box set will be out. This will be released as a CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray box set, and while I don't have Blu-Ray yet, it would be a great reason to buy a player.

    I also want the Mono box set coming out on 09/09/09 by The Beatles.

    The new album by The Roots is due out in June as well.

  6. #6

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    For prog-rock fans, the domestic release of Keith Emerson Band should appeal to you. This is the closest thing to the old E-L-P sound that Emerson has done in a very long time. He's teamed up with guitarist/vocalist Marc Bonilla (last year, I heard some of Bonilla's work with Full Circle, a band featuring Chicago's original drummer, Danny Seraphine); the drummer is Gregg Bissonette, and on bass is Bob Birch (though the touring band features two other players in the rhythm section). Emerson's keyboard work throughout has that old classical influence from the '70s, but this is the first time in a while that it's sounded like he's having fun again.

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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    ...the drummer is Gregg Bissonette...
    Aaah. I love Gregg. That guy pops up everywhere. His stuff with Ty Tabor (and brother Matt Bissonette) in Jughead was killer, and I've got his solo album, Submarine. Will have to check this one out!
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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  8. #8

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    Will have to check this one out!
    Yes - and I never thanked you for the lead on Asia's latest disc - as you noted, very much in the style of their first albums.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Picked up the soundtrack for the Star Trek movie from iTunes late last night.

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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    The new album by Black Moth Super Rainbow comes out in two weeks, had a chance to listen to it last week and it is really good, definitely something for fans of The Flaming Lips (whom they opened up for in the last few years).

    Fans of funk will also love the new one by Georgia Anne Muldrow, my review of which can be found here:
    http://www.okayplayer.com/reviews/ma...-200905047933/

    It's available through iTunes now, then CD in two weeks. I guess she's coming out with two or three more albums this year.

    If you're a fan of stoner metal and just all out heaviness, Elder and Cough are coming out with new albums soon:
    http://www.electric-earth.com/

    Lots of great stuff coming up.

  11. #11

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    I'm not sure if these were 2009 releases, but they might be. I recently downloaded Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavillion". It's had great critical acclaim, but sounded weak at first. After several repeat listenings, I think I'm starting to uncover what the commotion is all about. Also got Paul McCartney's "Firemen". It's another that recieved pretty solid acclaim. It's likeable enough right away, but I've only listened to it once so far. Last is King's of Leon's most recent. Haven't heard it yet, but their first one was classic so I have high hopes.

  12. #12

    Default Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton @ MSG

    A 2 CD release from the recent shows reviving the Blind Faith era tunes and some basic blues numbers that show Eric and Stevie in fine guitar shape. Eric as usual tends to go on during his solos, but is overall focused and gives the songs some real zest.

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    Default Re: Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton @ MSG

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Whitfield View Post
    A 2 CD release from the recent shows reviving the Blind Faith era tunes and some basic blues numbers that show Eric and Stevie in fine guitar shape. Eric as usual tends to go on during his solos, but is overall focused and gives the songs some real zest.
    There's a DVD counterpart for this, and I didn't know they were doing the Blind Faith stuff too. That's incredible.

  14. #14

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Thanx for that info! I shoulda figured...
    I see the CD has 1 song more than the DVD, Low Down.
    They also do some Traffic material, and some Hendrix.
    Last edited by Ron Whitfield; May 27th, 2009 at 03:17 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    CDs:
    • Bob Mould, Life and Times A lot harder than last years's District Line. Very brisk at 35 minutes.
    • Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest I think I need some time with this one. Still prefer Department of Eagles' In Ear Park.
    • Kronos Quartet, Floodplain Kronos has always seemed drawn to the music of Central Asia and the Middle East. Great performances, but I think David Harrington ought to let someone else take the production reigns for these kinds of collections.
    • Utada, This Is the One This album suffers the exact opposite of Utada's 2004 English-language debut -- it's under-produced, which is a shame because her writing has vastly matured since 2006.


    MP3s:
    • BoA, BoA This English-language debut by Korean J-Pop singer BoA is heavy on the AutoTune and loud as hell.
    • Gentleman Reg, Jet Black Solid indie songwriting, although Reg's voice can be something of an acquired taste.
    • Royal Wood, The Lost and Found EP I downloaded this one because the guy knows how to work a suit, but his songs are really good. Heavy on the piano and strings, perfect for Rufus Wainwright fans.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    The year is half over and I haven't added anything to this thread. I haven't been pursuing new music with as much fervor as I did in 2008, when I was trying to be as current as possible with artists I liked. However, while I've been trying to fill some holes in my collection (especially in the metal and bluegrass genres), I have managed to pick up a few new things.

    Elvis Perkins in Deerland
    Elvis Perkins in Deerland
    Perkins is the son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins. I saw him perform "While You Were Sleeping" on Letterman a couple of years ago and was blown away by the excellent songwriting. This new album is more of the same, a moody, jangly, country-tinged rock album. I hate to compare him to Jakob Dylan and James McMurtry 'cause it looks like I'm just drawing parallels between musicians with famous dads, but he really does sound like a cross between them, including the super-literate lyrics. This new album has a kind of retro sound I can't put my finger on; I suspect it's in the way it was recorded. Anyway, if you don't know Elvis, check out "While Were You Were Sleeping" first, but from this album I really dig "Shampoo," "Hours Last Stand," and "Send My Fond Regards to Lonelyville."


    Willie Nelson with Asleep at the Wheel
    Willie and the Wheel
    I am no fan of young Willie Nelson, but I am crazy about old Willie Nelson. Talk about a musician who's aged well. I'm not sure what to call this brand of old-timey country music. It's country, complete with tinny piano, but it's got elements of swing (lots of 40s-sounding clarinet) and Dixieland (in the form of very cool trombone and trumpet). I have a feeling this music has a name, but I'm really a country newbie and don't know my genres outside of bluegrass. All I can say is that this is some fun, happy music. Willie sounds like he's having a ball, and the musicians of Asleep at the Wheel (whom I'd only known by name before this album) are just killer. I love the sweet Hawaiian-sounding steel guitar and the don't-shoot-me piano playing. This is a great album. If these guys recorded a live performance DVD to accompany this album's release, I'm probably getting it.


    Saxon
    Into the Labyrinth
    The trouble with Saxon is that if the band isn't playing with as much sincerity as possible, it sounds like a parody of this kind of music; in fact, the guys in Spinal Tap based a lot of their stuff on stories they got from the guys in Saxon. Here, it is played sincerely, but I've had trouble listening to it lately. This was my first purchase this calendar year, and at first I really really liked it, but I've spent a lot of time this summer listening to some KILLER metal by Shadows Fall and now when I listen to Saxon, it seems I can no longer listen sincerely, because a band like Saxon just can't compare to a band like Shadows Fall, either in musicianship or in interestingness. Still, it is the band's best effort in a long, long time. I don't think fans will be disappointed, but if you're not a fan, I'd stay away from this.


    Sometymes Why
    Your Heart is a Glorious Machine
    I discovered this three-member all-female group in my pursuit of neo-bluegrass (a genre title I still don't get). Aoife O'Donovan, the lead singer of Crooked Still, is in this group, as is Kristin Andreassen, a member of Uncle Earl. It's cello-bass-violin-banjo music but it is so different from Crooked Still and Uncle Earl. This is haunting, pretty, dramatic, serious music, as if these Americana musicians spent a few weeks listening to Alice in Chains and Concrete Blonde. In fact, they do the sweetest cover of a Concrete Blonde song I've ever heard ("Joey"). This is a great album, but it makes me wanna lock myself in my house, lie upon my floor, and not come out for a month. Highly recommended!


    Basia
    It's That Girl Again
    It sure is. If you like Basia, you'll like this. I do, and I do.


    Alison Brown
    The Company You Keep
    Brown was a banjo player in Union Station but about fifteen years ago left to pursue a solo career. She's often tagged as a jazz musician, and I can hear a lot of that, but this is a lot closer to bluegrass if you ask me. Her banjo-playing has a unique sound first because she plays a nylon-stringed banjo, giving the instrument a much softer, mellower feel but second because it interacts with the other instruments in a very GRP-like manner. I don't know who her supporting musicians are on this album, but I almost wanna guess it's guys like David Benoit, or because of its almost improvised sound, maybe Bruce Hornsby. This is so far my favorite album of the year.


    Abigail Washburn and the Shanghai Restoration Project
    Afterquake
    Washburn, a banjo player with Uncle Earl and with her Sparrow Quartet (one of whom is Bela Fleck) has recorded some amazing music. She was also a Chinese studies major in college and is fluent in (at least) one of the Chinese languages and writes some of her songs with Chinese lyrics. I don't know the story on this recording, but it was released after the China earthquake this year, and it sounds very Chinese. The instrumentation and song-structure is much more Chinese-sounding than American. An interesting seven-song album. I like it.


    Isis
    Wavering Radiant
    It's tough to describe this intense, brutal metal band, because people without their metal ears on are mostly going to hear unintelligible, gutteral vocals, but Isis is a band that makes soundscapes, kind of like Friends of Dean Martinez. Their songs don't so much have beginnings, middles, and ends as they have foregrounds, backgrounds, and areas of light and shadow. If you can imagine department-store music played by metal-heads, you might have the right idea here. There's no verse-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus thing going on here. It's more like looking at a Japanese screen painting from one end to another. But with vocals that sound like someone's in agony.

    Gutteral vocals are not my cup of tea since I can't understand the lyrics, but I was thinking a lot about this one night and I realized that I enjoy opera without understanding the lyrics either, and I enjoy a lot of Hawaiian music whose lyrics I don't understand. Approached this way, the vocals are more like one of the instruments, especially the way a band like Isis seems to compose its songs, which on this album are mostly in the eight-minute range. This is really not going to be a lot of people's idea of nice music, but I find it meditative and thoughtful.


    I've got a few more to summarize, but this laptop's about out of juice, so I'll get to them later today.
    Last edited by scrivener; June 22nd, 2009 at 12:45 AM. Reason: "it's fun to stay at the..."
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  17. #17

    Default Dispite conspiracists that claim it never really happened...

    One of my favorite subjects, Woodstock, is celebrating it's 40th anni of the event with a Special edition mini-box that includes over an hour and a half of new footage, mostly music, which gives us portions of sets by future legendary groups that (incredibly) weren't included in the original movie like Mountain, The Dead, and Creedence. Thankfully, no Incredible String Band yet to see official release...
    http://mog.com/blog_post/content/265/1331210

  18. #18

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    Basia
    It's That Girl Again
    It sure is. If you like Basia, you'll like this. I do, and I do.
    As do I, and I have it.

    Other recent acquisitions include -

    Katie Melua: "Pictures" - with each album, I hear improvement in her vocals, in her musicianship, in her compositions, and less of what first drew me to her ... the involvement of producer/songwriter Mike Batt. Not quite folk, not quite jazz vocals, not quite singer-songwriter, but all of the above with a great sense of pop.

    Gary Burton/Pat Metheny/Steve Swallow/Antonio Sanchez: "Quartet Live" - it was Burton who first got people to pay attention to Metheny, and the latter fits comfortably as a sideman (with a few of his own shining moments) on this new recording. These guys remained friends, but hadn't been able to work together for many years, so this is a joyful reunion. Swallow is a strong bassist who played on many, many ECM sessions back in the '70s & '80s, and Sanchez has been Metheny's drummer for several years - the man is perfectly metronomic in his playing, and live performace just shows off how tight he is.

    Tori Amos: "Abnormally Attracted To Sin" - ... okay, I admit, I haven't gotten around to listening to it yet ...

  19. #19

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    I am a fan of creatives who re-frame something familiar, so when I saw that Welsh harpist Catrin Finch had released a recording of her arrangement (for harp, duh) of Bach's "Goldberg Variations," I went for it today. I was not disappointed; it's a gorgeous take.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3nhBXD1Fbs

  20. #20

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    CD:
    • LEO Imai, LASER RAIN I was thinking this one would be a sophomore slump, but it's actually better than his debut album.
    • Shiina Ringo, Sanmon Gossip Pretty much a Tokyo Jihen album with a lot more players.


    MP3:
    • Girl in a Coma, Trio B.C. For some reason, I thought this band was like Sleater-Kinney, but they're not as brash. Can't place who the singer reminds me of.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Didn't keep up this year as well as last, but I'm still sorting through all the 2009 music I listened to. I think I'll spend the next few days recapping.

    Sarah Jarosz, Song up in Her Head
    Jarosz is a bluegrass prodigy who just turned 18 this year. I discovered her on The Sixty One and immediately purchased her album. Stylistically it reminds me most of Crooked Still, but she ventures into blues and folk too. Strong candidate for my album of the year. Check out "Edge of a Dream," "Mansinneedof," and "Long Journey" for starters.

    Ricky Skaggs, Ricky Skaggs Solo: Songs My Dad Loved
    Skaggs without Kentucky Thunder plays all the instruments on this, a very old-timey, gospel-sounding album of bluegrass loveliness. With an emphasis on vocals and melodies, the virtuosic mandolin-playing I'm used to hearing from a Ricky Skaggs album is largely absent, but he does some nice fiddle work on "Colonel Prentiss," and some sweet banjo-picking on "Little Maggie" and "Pickin' in Caroline."

    Pink Martini, Splendor in the Grass
    What a tough band to describe. I guess I think of Pink Martini as a loungey "little orchestra" (that's Wikipedia's description) with the kind of stylistic, multi-ethnic flexibility you'd hear from the old NBC Orchestra with Doc Severinsen, only instead of a trumpet-playing, purple-suit-wearing Doc at the front of the orchestra, picture an attractive, doe-eyed, sultry female singer in a cocktail gown. On first listen, I wasn't as turned on as with their recent album Hey Eugene! mostly because there isn't a song on here that's nearly as catchy as "Hey Eugene," but repeated listens have me thinking this is a better first-track-to-last-track album. Check out "Splendour in the Grass," "Sunday Table," and "Sing." Yes, that "Sing." Highly recommended.

    The Lovell Sisters, Time to Grow
    Think of the Dixie Chicks with vocals not quiet as nice, but with much cooler, much grassier stringed instrumentation. That's the Lovell Sisters, one of my favorite discoveries this year. Of course, as soon as I get turned on to them, one of the sisters leaves the group. Boo. Anyway, if a bluegrassy Dixie Chicks appeals to you, check out "In My Time of Dyin'," "Take One Moment," and "Ichetucknee Chutney." Beautiful stuff!

    More later!
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  22. #22

    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    Pink Martini, Splendor in the Grass
    What a tough band to describe. I guess I think of Pink Martini as a loungey "little orchestra" (that's Wikipedia's description) with the kind of stylistic, multi-ethnic flexibility you'd hear from the old NBC Orchestra with Doc Severinsen, only instead of a trumpet-playing, purple-suit-wearing Doc at the front of the orchestra, picture an attractive, doe-eyed, sultry female singer in a cocktail gown. On first listen, I wasn't as turned on as with their recent album Hey Eugene! mostly because there isn't a song on here that's nearly as catchy as "Hey Eugene," but repeated listens have me thinking this is a better first-track-to-last-track album. Check out "Splendour in the Grass," "Sunday Table," and "Sing." Yes, that "Sing." Highly recommended.
    If you are a regular NPR listener, note the guest vocalist on "But Now I'm Back" - correspondent Ari Shapiro, who has known these folks since college days. As they are from Portland (Oregon), we get to see them in concert regularly, and they will be backed up by the Seattle Symphony in a concert this spring.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Iíve been frustrated by my inability to put a cap on 2009 by compiling and writing up my best albums of the year. I stare at my list and for some reason donít know where to begin. I suspect itís because I havenít written about enough of the albums to kind of affix them in my mind a certain way.

    So Iím going to remedy that over the next week or so, filling in the gaps of my 2009 listens.

    I keep asking my metalhead friends and metalhead students if theyíve heard Between the Buried and Me yet, one of the best metal bands I heard last year. Their 2009 The Great Misdirect is a thing of mind-blowing beauty, in a kind of skull-crushing, scream-your-guts-out way.

    You can listen to the album here. I'd start with "Swim to the Moon," the nearly eighteen-minute closer. If this turns you on, I'd go next with ďDisease, Injury, MadnessĒ as a great example of what a brain-tickling experience this bandís music is. Itís definitely metal, but itís got elements of prog, jazz, and types of music I donít know the names of. There have been in recent years a lot of bands that run around in the space between progressive metal (one of my favorite forms) and a sort of deconstructed noise of the sort my friend Reid likes. Bands like Sun O))) are interesting, but they go a little too far in that noise direction for my tastes, at least for now. I find Between the Buried and Meís partial deconstruction a lot more appealing, but even I can see how this is possibly leading me down the path to Sun O))) and its ilk.

    Listening to this album is a lot like my early years listening to Rush: I find my brain turning to so many different foci while listening that itís like each spin of this album is a different experience from every other spin. I find it so stimulating that I sometimes listen to it instead of having a cup of coffee to get my brain awake.

    This is unlikely to appeal to anyone reading this space, but you know. Itís worth a shot.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    You can listen to the album here.
    Darn it. I forgot to link to the listenable album.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: New Music: 2009 Releases!

    Bearfoot (formerly Bearfoot Bluegrass) is made up of a bunch of twenty-somethings who met at bluegrass camps in Alaska when they were teens. Now on its fourth album, the band has lost one of its founding members, Annalisa Tornfelt, a fiddler and singer and kind of the visual centerpiece of the group (take a look at their videos on YouTube and youíll see what I mean). In her place is Odessa Jorgensen who assumes all lead vocals now that the band has decided to have a lead singer (on previous albums, all the bandís members took turns singing leads).

    Itís mostly bluegrass, but with lots of other American roots styles tossed in. Jorgensenís got a high, breathy, sultry vocal style that reminds me a little bit of Aoife OíDonovan (of Crooked Still). Jorgensen sometimes slides into a kind of lazy, downer vocal that reminds me a lot of Susie Suh. I like it.

    Itís mostly a very mellow album. Mellow and quiet, but with a few get-up-and-dance numbers too. What interests me here is that the band seems pretty content to support its songs without insisting on lots of instrumental showmanship. The band can definitely rock out, and one of the things I love about bluegrass is the exchange of solos within individual songs. However, I also appreciate this approach, which seems more focused on tight presentation. The vocals are mixed way up front, the more percussive strings way in back, and the twin fiddles coloring most of the spaces in between. Itís a very pretty album.
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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