What I’ve Been Listening To Lately: 5/27 - 6/2
Tom Waits - Closing Time
My dad being a big fan of Tom Waits, I pretty much grew up listening to this man’s voice. But it was usually the magnificent rumble of recent years; not the relatively normal singing you hear on Closing Time. Tom Waits has a different appeal on here, which is as a straightforward singer-songwriter, and I was surprised at how much I liked it.
Liars - WIXIW
Liars are back. WIXIW is very electronic, although there is a good amount of variation, including some acoustic numbers. Much better than Houseclouds.
Public Image Ltd. - Flowers Of Romance
This is my favorite PiL album I’ve heard. A successful fusion of post-punk and dub reggae, despite its lack of bass guitar that was one of the keys to PiL’s success. Bass has been replaced by synth. It’s astounding to me that John Lydon went from fronting the Sex Pistols, who were kind of shitty (if important) IMO, to leading PiL, whose music is infinitely more complex, but don’t even get half as much attention.
The Cribs - In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull
Read my review of this over at Beats Per Minute.
Maps & Atlases - Beware And Be Grateful
I saw Maps & Atlases at Crowbar and reviewed the show for Beats Per Minute. Their new album, Beware And Be Grateful, scales back on the math rock trickery in favor of more traditional pop song structures. It’s not nearly as cool as Perch Patchwork, but it’s still decent.
Big K.R.I.T. - Live From The Underground
Favorite southern rap album I’ve heard in a while, although I’m just now getting back into this stuff after being out of it for a few years. Yeah, it’s dirty. Yeah, it’s nothing new. It’s just a strong southern rap album.
King Tuff - King Tuff
Really good garage rock album. I listened to these dudes completely randomly, with no context at all, and it turned out to be really good. This is what I’m hoping Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse sounds like, except hopefully Slaughterhouse will be a little heavier.
Billy Bragg - Talking With The Taxman About Poetry
I was told that this was the best Billy Bragg album so I gave it a listen. Sounds like the same kind of British singer-songwriter stuff that I’ve heard from Bragg elsewhere, but well done. Lyrics are sharp, as always for him.
Hundred Waters - Hundred Waters
I’ve been hearing a decent amount of hype for these FL guys lately. I didn’t find the album mind-blowing, but it was still good to hear another FL band I wasn’t familiar with doing good things. I’m not sure what to compare it to, but it’s folky with a lot of electronic augmentation.
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Here
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are kind of light listening for me. They’re pleasant, catchy, and they have good personality, but they don’t do that much else for me. Here was a pleasant listen; it’s a little on the softer side, but it’s good for what it is.
Grass Widow - Internal Logic
I don’t have much to say about this Grass Widow album. It’s good, jangly, lo-fi guitar pop. It would stand out more if that wasn’t such a common thing right now. I’m simplifying things but that’s what I generally got out of this. It doesn’t appear to be a Captured Tracks release but it sounds like one. That’s a compliment, by the way.