by Billy DeFrain
What makes us hold on to some music from our youth, while sheepishly discarding the remainders? It’s difficult to articulate what makes some music still seem relevant or pleasurable after years, or decades, of repeated listening. Of course, nostalgia is part, if not all, of the appeal, but why do I still like Sloan’s Navy Blues 10 years after being introduced to it by a complete stranger, while very few people know that the first CD I ever bought was Sting’s Demolition Man Soundtrack, circa 1993?
Surely it’s at least partly the music itself. The Demolition Man soundtrack is: 1) undeniably crappy in retrospect and; 2) inextricably and forever linked to 1993. But Navy Blues is so heavily indebted to pre-psychedelic Beatles and pre-shitty Kinks that, even though it sounds older, it’s more detached for me from any specific calendar year or era of my youth. Also, I can listen to Navy Blues without crinnging constantly.
Fun fact: I held on to that one long after I stopped listening to it, because I was too embarrassed to take it to Homer’s to sell it along with my Collective Soul and Sheryl Crow CDs from my pre-adolescent music buying days.
The Antlers | Burst Apart | Frenchkiss Records
Full album is streaming here:
Africa Hitech | 93 Million Miles | Warp
I don’t understand the British obsession with club music, but then I also don’t understand going to clubs, or really, going out.
And One | Tanzomat | Metropolis Records
Hey, I have an excuse to post the ridiculous video for “Sex Drive” again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anvil | Juggernaut of Justice | The End
Anvil from Anvil: The Story of Anvil have a new album.
Black Label Society | The Song Remains Not the Same | E One
Ozzy Osbourne’s former touring guitarist makes an album of Alice in Chains-y yowling, grunge tropes and gooey ballads.
Blue October | Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October | Paris on Paper
People actually went to this concert, and you can hear them cheering.
Booker T & The MGs | McLemore Avenue | Stax
The old Stax house band covers about half of Abbey Road and some other Beatles tracks in this remastered reissue from 1970.
Connie Smith | Queen of Broken Smith | American Legends
This is basically Connie Smith re-recording her own greatest hits, which is unfortunate, because the original “Once a Day” is a flawless country jam:
Gardens | (s/t) | Alive Records
Hate Eternal | Phoenix Amongst the Ashes | Metal Blade
If you had to guess, would you guess … METAL?
Here We Go Magic |The January EP I Secretly Canadian
Joan of Arc | Life Like I Polyvinyl
I liked Cap’n Jazz better.
Man Man | Life Fantastic I Epitaph
I think they listen to a lot of Tom Waits.
Okkervil River | I Am Very Far | Jagjaguwar
Less bluegrassy than they used to be. Full stream here.
Sloan | The Double Cross | Yep Roc
These Canadians have been making gimmickless, unabashed power-pop for like 20 years. From the clips, it sounds most like 1998’s Navy Blues than a most of their albums since. Which is a good thing. Everybody should listen to Navy Blues.
Yep Roc disabled embedding on Sloan's videos, but you can watch them here and here.
The Lonely Island | Turtleneck & Chain | Universal Republic
It’s hard to make comedy music that doesn’t totally suck. Lonely Island does it pretty well.
Urge Overkill | Rock & Roll Submarine | UO Records
My first experience with Urge Overkill was a topic of Wesley Willis’ song, “Urge Overkill.” I could not find that song on YouTube.
Various Artists | Wicked 4 Kids | Water Music Kids
Start training your child to be an insufferable Theater major right this very minute. Also, taken out of context, this is easily the creepiest album name yet discovered in New Releases.
Various Artists | Mamma Mia! 4 Kids | Water Music Kids