Monday, May 12, 2008

Music Library: Antony & The Johnsons, Any Trouble, Aphex Twin, Apollo Nove, Apples In Stereo, Arcade Fire, Archie Shepp, Archies

Antony & The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now. I also like most of Lou Reed's albums from the 70s, Roxy Music, Bowie, Eno's rock albums, and any number of other half-showtune glam tracks.

Any Trouble - "Dimming of the Day". Clive Gregson, who I mostly know as a Richard Thompson back-up singer, covering Richard & Linda Thompson's classic song with his pub-rock outfit. I've heard good things about this band, but this cover is pedestrian enough to discourage me from pursuing them further so far.

Aphex Twin - Richard D. James. Not my cup of tea. A friend gave me some Aphex Twin albums, and I've kept them to occasionally challenge my horizons. But while I like the melodies and noises pretty well, the over effect never really moves me.

Aphex Twin - 26 Mixes For Cash. Same deal, although I like what's happening on this album quite a lot. In small doses. But, Jesus, 26 in a row is a long time to put up with this sort of music.

Apollo Nove - Res Inexplicata Volans. A gift from the same friend, this is Brazil pop with strong tropicalista tendencies. I'm pretty sure that's Rita Lee from Os Mutantes singing on some of the tracks. The music isn't as wildly ambitious and dream-logical as Os Mutantes were, but I dig it, anyway.

Apples In Stereo - "Holiday Mood," "Stephen Stephen," and "Energy." My least-favorite of the Elephant Six bands. I dig Robert Schneider as a person and a producer, but his work does almost nothing for me. The first song is a Xmas track. The second is one he wrote for The Colbert Report green-screen showdown with the Decemberists. The last is off their most recent album. They all leave me cold.

Arcade Fire - Funeral. Everyone and their sister has heard of the Arcade Fire. I'm pretty ambivalent about them, though, and have been since I first bought this album. It sounds like a lot of 80s alterna-bands playing at once, which isn't a bad thing so much as an undistinguished thing. I hear U2, the Smiths, the Cure, and about a dozen others. All those anthemic bands that have heard of minor keys, basically. Sometimes it works on me (see The National), but usually I think it's good for a song or two, but nothing worth getting het up over.

Archie Shepp - "Attica Blues." I thought I had this whole album, but it appears that this is the only track I have. Must rectify soon.

The Archies - The Archies' Greatest Hits. I actually like bubblegum pop pretty well, but this is far too much Archies. I could cut this down to "Sugar Sugar" and "Jingle Jangle" and still have all the Archies I ever need.


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