Wow, what a horrendously bad week for me and music. First, the cassette player in my Infiniti inexplicably stopped working, and the cassette player was how I hooked up my iPod to my speakers. Since then, I've been using an old FM Transmitter that works well, as long as you like a hearty handful of static with your music, which I... don't. Anyone have any suggestions? I hadn't been planning to buy a new car due to the troubling financial state of affairs over the past year, but this may have pushed me past a tipping point. I have a new FM Transmitter and a cassette head cleaner on order, but yeah, if I can't listen to my iPod in my car, really, I can't live.
And then second, I find out that Sordo is dead. Sordo, for all you illegal downloaders out there, was an all-in-one database of just about every indie rock album ever released, typically weeks or months before the actual release. I've only been using it for the past year or so, but I can't remember what I did to get full albums before (torrents?). Again, any suggestions are welcome. I did spend $10 on the Kestrels album from iTunes, sight unseen, which I haven't been doing all year (I've been only buying albums that were pre-approved by my listening ears). So maybe it's a good thing that I go back to purchasing music sight unseen. Maybe I'll get more pleasure instead of just the mass download action. But boy, Sordo was fucking great. Anyway, onto the music. As always, despite what I just said, I do implore you to financially support the artists you're downloading from here, if you like the songs. They need to make a living too. Enjoy!
It's been four years since Sufjan Stevens won my album of the year for Illinois, and he has yet to release a proper follow-up, and while we're still waiting, he is releasing a soundtrack album to a film that he himself directed. But don't get too excited, the music isn't exactly vintage Sufjan, it's more like movie soundtrack music, which is good in its own right but there's likely not to be a "Chicago" on this release. Of course, thanks to the owner of the Sordo website deciding to close shop, I haven't actually heard the entire album. Or seen the movie either. I feel so naked. I also don't have time to actually search for it, unfortunately. So my blogging about new music is probably going to suffer. I still get the occasional advance release for new albums (thank you Warner Brothers -- of all people -- for the leak of the new Built to Spill -- great, by the way, review coming soon!) but yeah, I could really use a replacement Sordo as a time saver. Anyway, where was I? This has been a devastating week. Bring me some joy, Sufjan!
Land of Talk is a Canadian band from Montreal, or currently residing in Montreal, and they've already had a much talked about (see the pun there!) debut album Some Are Lakes, released last year. Lead singer Liz Powell has spent time singing with Broken Social Scene and the influence is a little more obvious on their first single from a forthcoming EP, but in a good way. This is a catchy, cool, wonderful track.
Keeping things Canadian and female, one of my breakout artists from 2008 was Basia Bulat, a stunning singer and beauty, and her second album is due in January on Rough Trade/Secret City, titled Heart of My Own. The first track is just glorious. I'm expecting huge things from the album, although unless I find a new secret aggregator site, I'll have to wait until 2010 to listen to it! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!
And last but certainly not least... not even close...
It was only 4 months ago when I wrote an entire post about a potential Pavement reunion and how I wanted it more than anything because I was dying to see them in concert (I came to love them late to the party, long after their best stuff had been released), but also how maybe they were still one of my all-time favorite bands precisely because they went out near the top and that a reunion might not be a good thing. Well, as it turns out, a reunion is not such a good thing for my shaky finances, but hopefully it's a good thing for my ears, because I just plunked down $50 a ticket (including Ticketmaster fees -- yay, monopolies!) for the 4th show in a 4-show concert event on Central Park's Summer Stage next September. That's right, Pavement is back, after a decade of denying any rumors of a reunion, and they are planning on playing several concerts next year, probably including Coachella, but the only ones confirmed as of this writing, are a Summerstage series in September 2010. The first show sold out in 2 minutes, the second nearly as fast, so they've added a third and a fourth, September 23 and 24th (2010). I bought tickets to the fourth night (a Friday) on Friday, so I don't know if that's been sold out too. Not bad business if you can do it, selling out concerts a year in advance, but we've waited 10 years and I'm just happy to have the chance. The following are the first two songs Pavement ever released, way back in 1989 (or two decades ago!)
- Matador Site with the Official News
And here's a couple more tracks from the band, and a cover of "Box Elder" from a group that I never heard of but who fortuitously released it last week. Good timing, sirs.