Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Music Library: Britt Daniel, Broken Social Scene, The Brokerdealer, Bruce Springsteen, and brute.

Britt Daniel and Connor Oberst - "You Get Yours." After the tepid soup of Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake It's Morning last week, I wasn't expecting much of this song, but Britt Daniel brings his Spoon-ish rock and it works.

Broken Social Scene - Feel Good Lost, You Forgot It In People, "Lover's Spit," and Broken Social Scene. Broken Social Scene is a band that I was very excited about when I first heard them, but they have diminishing returns several years later. Feel Good Lost is mostly instrumental and kinda forgettable, like decent-enough soundtrack music for a movie you've never seen. You Forgot It In People is pretty good for what it is, with actual songs instead of the same old atmospheric soundscapes, but I don't love it like I used to. "Lover's Spit" is a download from eMusic promising one of Leslie Feist's best performances with the band, but it's only-ok mopey chanteuse stuff. Broken Social Scene is more pop psychedelia, and I actually like it better than You Forgot It In People, because I think BSS is best when playing real songs with real hooks, which the self-titled album has in spades.

The Brokerdealer - "Sophomore Slump." From Hold Steady/Lifter Puller lead guy Craig Finn's electronica project. Pretty decent stuff, actually.

Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run, The River, and Nebraska. I'm not a big fan of The Boss. These records have more or less been forced on me over time, and I don't dislike them, but I don't see what's so great about them, either. I realize it's funny to say something like this just after talking about how I like Craig Finn, but there's something about Bruce's street poetry that just leaves me cold. Born To Run is my favorite of these, but they are all equal parts appealing and overblown to my ears. I guess I have yet to get over having the guy shoved down my throat when I was busy rejecting radio music for punk as a teenager. Not fair to him or me.

brute. - Nine High A Pallet. Vic Chesnutt's side-project with the jam-band Widespread Panic. Best when the Chesnutt aesthetic dominates the Widespread Panic aesthetic. A little regrettable when it tips the other way. Not too many of these songs are among Chesnutt's best (in the year 2073, when I get to the Vs, you'll see how much I like Vic Chesnutt), but most are solid B songs for the man.


Peter G. Byrne 9:19 AM, April 11, 2009  

Your take on Springsteen struck me as dead-on. I’ve come to believe that much of the adulation is generational, and my being seventy-one years old means that The Boss had little relevance to my own coming of age.

Despite my “what’s all the fuss about” response to Springsteen, I believe that his two contributions to the1988 CD, “A Vision Shared – A Tribute To Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly,” top even his “Nebraska” and “Tom Joad” efforts. The songs are Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man” and “I Ain’t Got No Home.” When I hear either of those two songs, I’m left wondering what might have been had Springsteen concentrated primarily on his Americana impulses and worked the “E Street” business as a side project?


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