...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Shit That's Been On My Turntable Lately

1. Godspeed You Black Emperor: This is some damn good spooky shit. Songs are typically no shorter than 10 minutes. Some are spoken word, some are just instrumental. All make you feel as though you are stumbling through apocalyptic landscapes--take a listen to a clip of "The Dead Flag Blues" sometime and/or read the lyrics here. And what's even scarier is that some of them make you recognize that wading through the politics and current events of today is an even bleaker and more apocalyptic landscape (listen to a clip of "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III," another notable favorite of mine).

2. Le Tigre's This Island--This has been getting a lot of airtime in my car as of late. It's the kind of music that makes you wanna throw punches and howl. On a first listen, I wasn't too bowled over. But being the lazy shit that I am, I left it in my car's cd player and failed to take it out for a couple weeks, so it quickly grew on me. It's got a crazy good energy and it revs me up in the morning, singing to it at the top of my lungs on the way to work. The only weak point on this album is the cover of the Pointers Sisters song "I'm So Excited." However, the not-too-shabby anti-war song on this album called "New Kicks" makes up for it. (Notables: "Don't Drink Poison" and "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo")

3. Mike Doughty's new album, Haughty Melodic--Based on this album and some of it's more obvious lyrics (like those to "His Truth is Marching On"--They say that God is great / They say that God is love / And I believe them"), I've come to the conclusion that Mike Doughty has found Jesus. And finding Jesus doesn't make for the best of songs, at least in this case. What used to have a bit of bite to it, a bit of edginess, is now a bit nauseatingly upbeat at times, in that pro-Jesusy kinda way (minus a couple songs about loneliness). Doughty's newest album is a bit weak and flabby in places. Many of the songs were already on his live album, Smofe & Smang. And they had much more energy and weren't weighted down (and cheesed up) by too many instruments and harmonizing voices like they are on this album. *AND YET* the man has a knack for writing catchy songs--what can I say. After one listen, I couldn't get American Car outta my head for about 24 hours the next day. So despite the fact that it's not his BEST album perhaps, it's worth checking out.

4. The Books'--This is some certifiably weird-ass music, like being trapped with Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka in a large derigible while on acid and eating cotton candy and talking to a large pink horse. Download and listen to "The Lemon of Pink" here and you'll see what I mean. It's good shit. But it scares me a little.

5. Elliott Smith--The boy makes my heart ache. I heard "Everything Reminds Me of Her" on the radio last week and I finally whipped my ass into shape and went and ordered XO and Figure 8 from the library to listen to again. My favorite Elliott Smith song to unexpectedly catch on the radio is "Waltz #2 (XO)." If you've never listened to him before, check him out. Once you hear him, you'll realize why and how he's influenced so many different musicians. I now go cry.



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