Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mandolin Orange - Such Jubilee (Yep Roc, 2015)

Mandolin Orange
Such Jubilee
Yep Roc

Rating: 7.5 torpedo skies out of 10

Even though Mandolin Orange are a local band for me, I feel like I never hear anything about them.  I suppose that's more a sign of the tastes of my friends more than anything, but this is a duo, much like Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, that should be able to cross multiple boundaries and appeal to nearly everyone - country fans. bluegrass fans, folk fans, country rock fans, etc.  The music is fantastically performed, and the vocals are excellent.  They also don't seem to play out very often, at least around here, which also probably plays into the feeling that they aren't part of the local scene.  Anyways, "Such Jubilee" is a great follow-up to 2013's fantastic "This Side of Jordan," a record I really got into about a year ago and played nearly constantly for a few weeks.  I wouldn't put this one on that level yet, but these past few listens are very promising. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dick Diver - Melbourne, Florida (Trouble in Mind, 2015)

Dick Diver
Melbourne, Florida
Trouble in Mind

Rating: 8 liver souvenirs out of 10

I think I read somewhere that Dick Diver doesn't consider The Clean and their Kiwi pop brethren to be influences, but anyone with even a passing knowledge of that New Zealand scene is going to have a really hard time believing that after listening to "Melbourne, Florida.".  Regardless of influences, this is a damn fine pop record, one of the best of the year to be sure.  There is a maturity here that far exceeds the actual age of the band members, with moments reminding me of other great pop acts running the gamut from Yo La Tengo to the Stone Roses to Sea & Cake.  This could have easily come out in 1985, but doesn't sound dated at all.  I suppose that makes it timeless, and I won't argue.

As a side note, I wonder if "Dick Diver" is some sort of Australian slang phrase, god knows they keep things colorful down there.  Or maybe it's about a diver who is a dick.  Or a dick that can dive.  Who knows. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Spoon - Anticipation 7'' (Mag Wheel, 2005)

Anticipation 7''
Mag Wheel

Rating: 8 bowing letters out of 10

Surprised to find this Spoon record in the bargain bin.  Even more surprised that despite it's limited run, it's not particularly valuable.  And lastly, most surprised that "Anticipation" was never on any of their full-lengths, it's a great song that should be heard more widely.  This is actually the second pressing - these songs (title track plus b-side "Headz") actually first came out in 1998 circa their amazing "A Series of Sneaks" album.  On red vinyl.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Screaming Females - Rose Mountain (Don Giovanni, 2015)

Screaming Females
Rose Mountain
Don Giovanni

Rating: 5.5 carbonated birds out of 10

I wish I liked the recordings of Screaming Females as much as I've enjoyed seeing them play live.  I'm not sure the songs are their strong point though, it's all about singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster...the way she plays, you half expect smoke to be rising from the strings at the end of every song.  Everyone should see them live at least once.  The recordings...they're fine I guess...I certainly don't jones to listen to them often.  When they hit a local stage though, chances are I'm there.