Monday, May 09, 2011

Music Round Up

There are quite a few decent albums out right now. We've been listening to some great music at work and I brought some of the CD's home, so now I've been listening to them both at work and at home. Here's a few recent ones that stand out:

Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What. (A-) It seems like pretty much everything Paul Simon puts out is at least excellent. This CD is totally solid all the way through, but my only complaint is that a couple of the songs start to sound alike, and there's only one song that really jumps out and grabs me by the nut hairs.

The Fleet Foxes, Hopelessness Blues. (B+) This CD picks up right where their first album left off, and adds a few new sounds and instruments to keep the material sounding fresh. But really, this CD is great to listen to for the same reasons as the first: gorgeous harmonies, interesting song structures, and some interesting songwriting. The songs can start to sound the same a little bit and there's only a few standout tracks, though.

Robbie Robertson, How to Become Clairvoyant. (B-) This one's my least favorite of the bunch, but it's got a couple of nice songs on it. Robbie Robertson puts out a solo CD about once a decade, and the one from the 80's was hit-and-miss, the one from the 90's was pretty bad, but this one's definitely listenable. I like his voice a lot. If Tom Waits' voice is 50 grit sandpaper, Robbie Robertson's is about a 150 grit. Maybe 200.

k.d. lang, Sing it Loud. (A) This one is, surprisingly, my favorite one. I've only liked one other k.d. lang album before this one (Hymns of the 49th Parallel), and I think I only liked that one because she was covering some great songs. But I've liked a few of her other songs along the way, too. But this album is listenable all the way through (although one of the worst songs is the first one, which is just a bad idea), and there are a few songs on there that are pretty perfect. The album as a whole reminds me of Josh Rouse's Nashville, although there's definitely some differences, too. But I was not surprised today to read that Sing it Loud was recorded in Nashville. Really nice pedal steel all the way through, some nice banjo, and some low twangy tremolo guitar. The songs, though, are really pop songs but with country instrumentation. Anyway, here's one song off the CD that I think is just about perfect:

Anyway, so that's what I've been listening to for the last week or two. After work, Jeannie and I spent Saturday afternoon putting in the sub-flooring in the rear bedroom, and we listened to a mix of all of the cd's, so now in my head, the songs conjure images of working back there together. Which is not a bad thing. Here's the room with the floor in it, by the way:

The tricky part was getting the new floor to match up well to the edge of the old floor, but I think we did a good job. Anyway, the new floor at least keeps the mosquitoes out.

The Jeanners left for Birmingham yesterday. I don't know if it was because I had the bed to myself or because I was pretty tired, but I slept like a log last night. I was completely suprised when my alarm went off this morning. But anyway, I talked to the Jeanners last night when I got home from work and she said that somehow she managed to score a cushy hotel room while most of the other folks at the conference are staying on a church basement floor. Which is nice for her cause she has a hard time sleeping and staying asleep. Also nice for her because it's easier to bring dudes back to a hotel room than it is to a church basement floor. Trust me, I know.

That is all I got. I am going to take an hour nap and then I am going to go down in the basement and start tearing shit up.