Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Month In Tunes Administration: I Will Admit I Almost Always Underestimate It

In "Month In Tunes Administration," World's Biggest Corporation loads music onto USB sticks to be dropped in bulk upon villages in the developing world. Great for whittling, boiling, or experimental nutrition.

March 2008

As the year goes on, it gets slightly more exciting to have middle-of-the-road-to-mildly-odd white-guy indie-rock tastes. In all sincerity.

DeVotchKa, A Mad And Faithful Telling (Anti-): "Transliterator" wins song of the month, the blustery high point of this disc, and one where DeVotchKa gets so on top of its sounds that it gets harder to pick out the different bits. Gypsy, mariachi, romantic old movie scores may all figure in, but it's all swept together by Nick Urata, a much more powerful songwriter than I'd noticed before.

Retribution Gospel Choir, s/t (Caldo Verde): It's the band Alan Sparhawk uses to get away from Low and rock out, but the best moments are still the frail and quiet ones, the gaps in the wonderful sludge. That said, watching him wrangle a huge, messy guitar sound was pretty much the best part of a month full of awesome shows.

Sun Kil Moon, April (Caldo Verde): Maybe the best set of Mark Kozelek songs I've heard yet. But I feel like the jury will always be out on that, because his stuff has a way of blurring together, in a good way. For whatever reason, these songs do more to bring out the definition that's always under the lilt of his voice and pleasant haze of his guitar.

Jim White, Transnormal Skiperoo (Luaka Bop): Jim White comes back to that bizarre, spirit-twisting intrigue, refreshed with a blast of serenity. Instead of just getting old, he captures the feeling of a new start with the benefit of hindsight.

Make A Rising, Infinite Ellipse And Head With Open Fontanel (High Two): When you unfold the CD booklet, it expands into the most obvious candidate for album cover of the month:

During their show here, those two fish got stabbed by another fish. You could probably take it for granted now that more bands are layering on more instruments, opening up their song structures, and blending pop sweetness with weird abstraction, yet Make A Rising fills it with all these eerie crawlspaces, making for complicated music that never quite crowds out the wondrous and stretched-out hooks.

Destroyer, Trouble In Dreams (Merge): Less like Rubies, more like Streethawk, no complaints.

Random-ass discovery: Of all things The New York Times has a songwriting blog called Measure for Measure. Because songwriters are a breed of people who need yet more excuses to dwell on their own problems. At any rate, Andrew Bird's contribution is already pretty intriguing.

Shows of the month: Circles with El Valiente and The Cemetery Improvment Society; Colony Of Watts with Zebras; Jonathan Richman; The Runners-Up; The Magnetic Fields; Ladyhawk; Make A Rising; X; Retribution Gospel Choir; Black Mountain; Jens Lekman; The Weakerthans; Black Moth Super Rainbow; Phosphorescent with A Catapult Western and Vid Libert.