by Billy DeFrain
One thing I will miss about the decline of physical music releases are the easter eggs in album art and packaging. As a recovering Pearl Jam fan, I recall the excitement of discovering that, when you unfolded the panels of the cover to No Code and observed it from a distance, it resembled the little pyramid-logo thing that was part of the promo material for that album.
I also remember removing the CD tray from a Radiohead album to find a whole new pamphlet hidden inside. It made me feel like Nic Cage in National Treasure 4, only I wasn't saving Martin Van Buren's hook-hands.*
That stuff is awesome, and it's really too bad no one does it anymore. There's just no decent analog for those kind of secrets with digital releases. Oh well.
All 4 Hym | Faith & Family | Metropolis Records
Christian bluegrass that I didn’t actually listen to, but chose for its cover art. There’s just something about that speaks to me. You know what? Let’s get a closer look. Enhance.
Zoom in on the guy on the left.
Now isolate his eyes. There’s something about his eyes…
And zoom in again.
Blackfield | Welcome to My DNA I Kscope
The worst possible thing to say to someone you’ve just had sex with.
Brian Setzer | Setzer Goes Instru-METNAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! | Surfdog Records**
Sounds pretty much exactly as you think it would sound.
Cam’ron | Gunz N’ Butta | E1 Music
Gunz are nice, but I’d like to see you make grilled cheese with ‘em.
CY | High Wire Act | Much Luvv Records
Christian Rap! You know else used to do that? Carman! Watch this inexplicable video!
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien | Golden Era | The Council
Three-disc set from frequent collaborator with Gorillaz and Dan the Automator.
Gorillaz | The Fall | Gorillaz
Speaking of Del, Gorillaz and Dan the Automator, here’s the physical release of last year’s The Fall, recorded on an IPad.
Haeresiarchs of Dis | In Obsecration of the Seven Darks | Moribund Records
I had to look up what “Haeresiarch” meant, and it’s actually “Heresiarch,” which means someone who’s founded a heresy. So yeah, they’re metal, but — here’s the twist — they’re into Satan!
The High Llamas | Talahomi Way | Drag City
More Brian Wilson fetishizing from the Llamas. This is what Of Montreal would sound like if they went pop instead of dance.
Loudness | Live Loudest at the Budokan ‘91 | Wounded Bird Records
Live album from Japanese hair metal band. You know who else was Japanese and played loudly? Guitar Wolf!
The Middle East | I Want That You Are Always Happy I Spunk Records
Sounds like: Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, but sadder and quieter.
Mike Tramp | Stand Your Ground I Dead Line Music
Speaking of hair metal, here’s a new solo album from a guy from White Lion. So let’s watch White Lion!
Serph | Heartstrings I Noble Japan
Not really my thing, but this video has some cool animation:
Steve Miller Band | Let Your Hair Down | Roadrunner Records
More music for Dads!
Various Artists | Piano Tribute to 3 Doors Down | Rural Rhythm Christian
There’s never been a better reason to not practice piano!
Winds of Plague | Against the World | Century Media
*Our 8th president did not, in fact, have hooks for hands.
**Superfluous exclamation points may have been added by the writer.