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I buy a lot of CDs. And I live under the misconception that people care about my opinions. And I like to catalog things. Therefore I've decided to keep track of all the CDs I buy and what I think of them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 :::

The Eraser by Thom Yorke

Why I bought it: It's basically Radiohead, silly.

What I think about it: Thom Yorke exorcises his techno demons (and hopefully gets all the blips and twitches out of his system before the next proper Radiohead epic) in this interesting, danceable, and wholly satisfying solo collection of dark-edged techno pop songs. It satisfying to learn from this album that Radiohead isn't just Thom Yorke with a backing band, since the actual Radiohead releases are much more developed and mature, yet at the same time you get to hear what a monumental talent Yorke truly is. There's more depth, power, insight, and originality in these simple techno tunes than you'd expect, and that's a testament to Thom's musical integrity. Each songs plays out as a gradual build of beats and textures, rather than with the typical verse-chorus-verse construction, but that doesn't really take anything away from the final effect. In fact, most of the songs are extremely addictive. The only drawback is that this solo CD release seems to have delayed the latest Radiohead effort, which isn't good for anybody. Still, I guess it was worth it in the long run.

Song(s) worth a listen: The Eraser ; Black Swan ; And It Rained All Night ; Skip Divided

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 1:48 PM :: #

Impeach My Bush by Peaches

Why I bought it: Peaches is impossible to describe.

What I think about it: Some of her lyrics might be juvenile, and some of her music might sound minimal and underdeveloped, and some of her tunes might even seem lifted from bad 80's new wave techno, but Peaches delivers her smut-filled techno rock pop with such bravado and chutzpah that you just can't resist it. It's explicit in ways that would've made 2 Live Crew blush in their day, and yet if it doesn't get you in the mood to grind and dance then you might as toss out your CD player for good, because you are obviously dead inside. There's something charming in her one-track-minded simplicity, such as when she snarls "Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty" in a song called Rock the Shocker, you know there isn't a deeper meaning to sift for. It's right there in your face. There's definitely no one on earth like Peaches.

Song(s) worth a listen: Tent In Your Pants ; Give 'Er ; Do Ya ; Hit It Hard

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 1:37 PM :: #

The Avalanche by Sufjan Stevens

Why I bought it: I know the backlash is coming, but Sufjan is still a genius.

What I think about it: You'd think a guy who is planning on writing a CD dedicated to every single state in the union would save a few tunes for future releases, especially when he's only on state number two so far, but this CD gathers 21(!) b-sides and remixes from his previously released Illinois album and the result is indeed a little overwhelming. Some of tunes are obvious throw-aways. Some are more experimental sounding that he was probably not confident enough to release the first time around. A few are just space-sucking instrumentals. But a good 8 or 9 of these tunes are as good as, if not better than, some of the material on the original CD that inspired them. Some are so good, in fact, that it only helps to bolster the theory that there is not a more prolific and inspired musician working in the industry today. It boggles my mind that someone can write so many brilliant songs in just a few short years, especially ones as touching as "The Mistress Witch from McClure", and then toss them off as "b-sides". It's intimidating.

Song(s) worth a listen: The Avalanche ; Adlai Stevenson ; The Henney Buggy Band ; The Mistress Witch from McClure ; Pittsfield

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 1:27 PM :: #

The Loon by Tapes 'n' Tapes

Why I bought it: Internet buzzz and hometown pride.

What I think about it: Tapes 'n' Tapes is next in the long line of Internet buzz bands. They are all over the web, and have recently inherited the "most bloggable band" throne from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, which in turn inherited the title from Wolf Parade, which in turn inherited the title from Arcade Fire, and so on and so on and so on. It all sounds rather trite and forced, but bands usually get good buzz for a reason and Tapes 'n' Tapes is no exception. In spite of their horrible name, they play catchy, hooky, avant garde pop songs inspired by the likes of Modest Mouse and the previously mentioned Wolf Parade, but they still have their own distinct sound. All in all, I look forward to seeing what they can do with the record deal they earned out of this publicity, because they have a lot of promise. Some people might call the music "quirky", but if I were them I would find that description to be as obnoxious as hell.

Song(s) worth a listen: The Iliad, In Houston, Just Drums, Insistor

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 1:17 PM :: #


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