10 February 2008

Sunday Spins: Recent Music Edition

Usually Sunday Spins is about digging out the old music that hasn't been heard in too long. But this week, I dug out a handful of releases from more recent years -- mostly last year -- that I wanted to spend a little more time with. Here goes:

* Iron & Wine, "The Sheperd's Dog": Something about them reminds me of Peter Gabriel -- the more accessible P.G., that is. The breathy vocals are akin to Joseph Arthur, but where Arthur's got a nasty habit of starting with a couple of great songs then drifting away, this disc is solid, start to finish.

* British Sea Power, "The Decline of British Sea Power": I actually just got this 2003 record. I tuned in partly because their new album got 4 stars in Spin and partly because it reminds me of a slightly poppier Joy Division. And I've been back on a J.D. kick since seeing "Control" a couple weeks back.

* Joe Henry, "Civilians": I loved Henry early on, but he kind took a left-field jazzy turn a record or two back and I couldn't get into it. Here he's back to his normal -- albeit still plenty weird -- tricks. He's got that spoken-word-style delivery that still sounds musical, akin to Tonio K. (He and Loudon Wainwright III created the incidental music in "Knocked Up," bytheway.)

* The Small Stars, "The Small Stars": Odd, funny (see photo, left), cabaret music from 2/3rds of Fastball.

* David Dondero, "Simple Love": Bright Eyes credits Dondero for his passive vocal style. Don't know if that's good or bad, but Dondero's twice as interesting to me. I'm not biased at all by the fact that I used to see him play all the time down in Pensacola. Best was when he opened for Jonathan Richman once and blew him away.

"When your heart breaks deep,
and the butterflies are bleeding in your guts,
And you say 'Hit me, dealer,'
and the card that you get makes you bust.
You know it's not so funny
when you can't even laugh at some stupid little joke.
And your eggs are runny,
'cause somebody came and broke up all the yolk."
-- David Dondero, "When the Heart Breaks Deep"

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