Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New-Release Tuesday and Other News

This week's most-anticipated release (at least by the indie masses) is Sonic Youth's 'The Eternal'. It's difficult to admit this without losing massive indie cred, but I'm not, actually, um, a b-b-big fan of Sonic Youth. There, I said it. I think their sound, for the most part, is a little too avant-garde for my taste. There have been exceptions. 'Daydream Nation' is the band's best. There were some good moments on 'Goo' and 'Dirty'. That's about it for me, and that's out of 16 records. These were their most commercially successful moments. So, I guess this makes me a fan in a "best of" sort of way. Not surprisingly, 'The Eternal' didn't win me over. There's a lot of wandering about (although less than usual), and that's when I like Sonic Youth the least. Give me the straight-ahead rockers like "100%". After 16 years at Geffen, this one is out on Matador.

Sonic Youth - Walkin Blue (mp3)

British Sea Power is my favorite band on this week's list. They took an interesting turn this time out by providing the new soundtrack for the documentary 'Man of Aran'. This movie first came out in 1934, and the subject is explorer Robert Flaherty's look at the Aran islands and its people off the coast of Ireland. In all candor, I haven't seen the film. So, I cannot fairly judge the music without this visual context. I can say I respect the band for taking a big risk. It's not surprising that a band that wrote about a giant iceberg on their second album would want a challenge like this.

British Sea Power - Come Wander With Me (mp3)

Norman, Okla., psych-pop band Starlight Mints release their fourth album, 'Change Remains', via Barsuk Records. It's only available digitally today, but you can pick up a physical copy on June 21. I kind of lost track of these guys after 'Built on Squares' back in 2003, but they have an awesome rep as a live band. You're in luck. They are touring with fellow Normanites The Evangelicals right now.

Starlight Mints - Zoomba (mp3)

In Other News: That's it for interesting releases this week, but here's a heads up on some interesting box sets and deluxe editions coming up. Pavement already released 'Brighten the Corners' as a deluxe edition last year, but now comes word they are going to up the ante again. Try a four-LP edition with even more unreleased material. Check it out here. That's crazy. Mark your calendars for June 23.

Also out June 23, the Icelandic goddess Bjork releases a two-CD, two-DVD set called 'Voltaic'. There are live performances from the Volta tour, music videos, as well as remixes of fan favorites.

Rhino has gone Big Star crazy with 'Keep an Eye on the Sky'. Out September 15, the four-disc box set will be a collection of 98 tracks featuring singles, demos and live performances culled from 1968-75. Better start saving your shekels.

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