Thursday, May 21, 2009

New-Release Tuesday

Yeah, I know it's not Tuesday, but this is my first week blogging and there are some kinks to work out, OK? The plan forthwith is to have an entry on Tuesdays discussing what "officially" came out that day. It will be releases I think are interesting (good or bad). Sometimes I'll just mention a record is out. Sometimes I'll give a full-blown review. Some weeks there might not be anything that catches my fancy, and I'll just skip the whole thing.

Before I delve into this week's picks, I have to ask: Are you old enough to remember how exciting new-release Tuesdays used to be? Pre-Internet and file sharing, Tuesdays were the day to hit the record store. I can recall the giddiness of picking up everything from 'The Queen Is Dead' (Apple Tree Records, Normal, Illinois) to 'Trompe Le Monde' (Chicago Compact Disc, Evanston, Illinois) on the day it came out. Heck, even when I worked at a record store in the early '90s we used to stay open on Monday nights until after midnight to hawk the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana. Talk about ancient history.

Truth is, I miss the relevance of new-release Tuesday, but the primary outcome was always getting my hands on the music first. Now most of us get the music weeks before the official release date, and I still get awfully excited when I snag a new song or record online. Now on with this week's new releases:

Au Revoir Simone's 'Still Night, Still Light' is this week's best of the bunch. The Brooklyn trio still reminds me a bit of Julee Cruise. Airy synths and drum machines seem to be swirling through wind chimes, and the angst-ridden vocals are beautiful. I don't feel like there is any one song here as strong as the previously released "Fallen Snow", but this is the strongest overall record these gals have put out so far. Pee Wee would be proud.

Ex-Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has put out his second solo work, 'Further Complications'. I love Pulp's 'Different Class' (who didn't?), but it is the only Cocker work that I think is strong from beginning to end. Sorry, mate. Many bloggers, including the respected Aquarium Drunkard, think 'Further Complications' is his best work. It's early, but so far it hasn't grabbed me.

The blogosphere has had the hots for Passion Pit for quite a while now. Thus, I want to hate them. Alas, I cannot. I'm a popster and don't usually fall for this brand of dance indie. I'm the unhip white guy whose back is glued to the wall when Saint Etienne is on the stereo. If you looked closely, I swear Passion Pit made my big toe go up and down for a brief moment. It must be good. Finally, you can pick up 'Manners', their full-length debut. I feel like this one came out years ago.

Au Revoir Simone - All or Nothing (mp3)
Jarvis Cocker - Angela (mp3)
Passion Pit - Make Light (mp3)

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