Thursday, April 10, 2008

Casual Listening 4-11-08

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

April 11, 2008

! Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (rock)

Sinister and smart, this album rolls up noise, attitude, and libido into one explosive package. Nick Cave hasn’t lost the jagged edge that makes good rock & roll dangerous art.

Colin Meloy – Colin Meloy Sings Live! (folk)

Shards of poetry presented solo and acoustic in front of an enthusiastic audience. The Decemberists frontman’s hip, melancholy songwriting shines in this stripped-down performance.

RoseyLuckiest Girl (jazz)

Rosey has a dulcet voice that works surprisingly well with this jazz-inspired set. She’s steady through an appealing range of torch, cabaret, Bossa Nova, and Broadway styles. No jazz standards, but in this case, none required.

Hayes Carll – Trouble in Mind (country)

This is country music that hasn’t sold its soul to Nashville. Beer-soaked debauchery with a laid-back soundtrack. Mandolin and banjo offer occasional accents to rolling electric guitars.

Steve Reich – The Daniel Variations (classical)

It is difficult to imagine what art can say in the wake of terrorism. Reich makes the attempt in this tribute to Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal correspondent gruesomely murdered in Iraq. Reich’s perpetually ordered minimalism is here dashed across rocks of dissonance. An ensemble of voices and strings seems caught between a loss for words and the unbearable consequences of silence. An affecting and unusual piece.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Pershing (rock)

When I come across a band with a name this cool, I desperately want the music to be good enough so I can put it in print. Fortunately, this band delivers amiable jangle-pop that’s worth a listen. Nice hooks, breezy tunes. Fun stuff.

In the blog this week: Jackie Green

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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