Today’s Playlist

So, again … Friday will have come and gone, and I won’t make it up to my favorite CD shop. Boo hoo for me.

Anyway, here’s what’s played on my iphone so far today, in reverse order (current to latest).

  • Metric – Wet Blanket
  • Over The Rhine – Jesus in New Orleans
  • Scarlett Johannson – Summertime (Sublime cover)
  • Animal Collective – Turn into Something
  • Nouvelle Vague – O Pamela
  • Metallica – Fade to Black
  • The Cult – Automatic Blues
  • Swans – Telepathy
  • Lunatica – World under Ice
  • Dido – Slide
  • Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johannson – Clean
  • Joanna Newsom – Does Not Sufice
  • Sigur Ros –  Myrkur
  • Hungry Lucy – Open Window (Chandeen mix)
  • Belle & Sebastian – Photo Jenny
  • Collide – Spaces In Between

Not a bad mix. Old school Metallica mixed with the new version of The Breeders in Metric.

Well, *I* think that Metric sounds like The Breeders.

I skipped ahead to She Wants Revenge’s “Sleep.” Justin Warfield has such a unique voice. Hard to mistake it. He has a lot of earlier projects that I want to check out too.

New Music Friday

A couple of things today. One, I went to the local Graywhale up near the University yesterday. Great guys in there. Really knowledgable. They know their stuff! I went up there looking for some Hungry Lucy CDs, but alas, I completely forgot to ask. Surprise to me: I didn’t know they had 4 full-length CDs. I thought they just had a smattering of recorded songs that I just happened to stumble across several years ago, probably due to the fact that every internet search yielded the exact same results: nothing except some information about Christa Belle living in NYC. At least, I think that’s what it was about. Just for kicks, I googled the name again the other day … this time with stunning results. Wiki article. Official site. Discography. The whole 9 yards.

Anyway, with that in mind, I went to Gray Whale to see if they had any of their CDs. Completely forgot. However, I did walk out with some great new stuff.

  • Bluebrain – Soft Power
  • Q Stands for Q (QsfQ) – In Dreams Awake
  • Cazals – What of Our Future
  • Sam Champion – Slow Rewind
  • The Court and Spark – Witch Season
  • Elf Power – Creatures
  • Gentlemen Reg – Little Buildings
  • Silversun Pickups – Pikul

I find it odd that Pikul was still in its original plastic with the original security seal. People … THIS IS SILVERSUN PICKUPS. You know … Lazy Eye? Checkered Floor? Panic Switch? Yah. I’m just saying.

Interestingly enough, none of the band members are actually named “Sam Champion.” Gonna have to find out the reason behind the name.

It’s pretty cool when you go to the counter and the guy behind the counter says, “Nice stack of music! You have some really good taste.”

“Okay, yah … but here’s the thing: I know one of those bands.”

*blank stare*

“You mean you’ve never heard of most of these bands? You’re just buying them?”

“Yup.”

“Wow. Umm … why?”

Then I spell out my criteria for buying CDs: insert and CD art can’t suck and song titles can’t suck. As a general rule, I try to avoid CDs with the artist’s face covering the whole CD (read: a la Diane Birch). However, there are times when I let that go and take a gamble (i.e. Diane Birch). For the most part, it’s always paid off.

These CDs all have that asthetic that I require. It doesn’t have to be the second coming of Picaso or Michaelangelo, just not stupid looking. The Sam Champion CD utilizes a minimalist approach to the cover art, employing a single color on a white background, but it works.

Anyway, I swear I covered this in another post, but I can’t find it. Oh well.

So that’s the new music for now. From Gray Whale, anyway.

Next up: Review of the new Hungry Lucy CD.

Hungry Lucy – Pulse of the Earth

I wasn’t even aware that Hungry Lucy even had a discography, much less a new CD. I immediately looked for stuff on iTunes. They have everything, including a live CD. Interesting.

Hungry Lucy is the musical child of Christa Belle and War-N Harrison. Together since 1998, they have provided some amazingly haunting songs. Christa handles the vocals, music and lyrics; War-N handles the music writing and sound loop programming.

Being that I’ve enjoyed their music for a number of years with what scant sampling of their work that I have (all of which seems to be from Apparitions), I thought it appropriate to buy their most recent offering and give it a whirl. I like dark electronica (She Wants Revenge with a LOT more layering) … I had no reason to think that this CD would be a let-down. Think Depeche Mode meets the Sundays with their foot on the break.

To be sure, this CD is far from a let-down. Hints of some Celtic influences on “Hill.” Nods to “The Empire Strikes Back” on “The Standing Ones” (there is no way, they didn’t throw that in on purpose; it is note for note, if not right on pitch, the opening to Darth Vader’s theme), rich layering on each and every track. Even on such “stripped down” songs such as “Sunday Smiled,” where there are parts piano, cello, accordian, very light synth, and some sound sampling,

Sound sampling, drum loops, instruments, shuddering bass … and then there are Christa’s vocals, adding the icing to the richly layered cake. She uses her voice in a very subdued and emotional way, eschewing her capabilities to add to the feel and composition. Her voice has a breathy sort of quality, like you would expect from Alison Shaw of Cranes fame, except not nearly as high or child-like. There are moments, such as the end of “Simone,” where she shows that she can add a much stronger dynamic to her vocals … she just opts to keep it toned down. For the overall feel to the CD, it totally works. The melancholy she evokes blends perfectly with the atmostphere of her and War-N’s art.

Dark. Brooding. Lush. Sonic landscapes of gray and mood. This would be a great CD to listen to while driving in a PNW or east coast rain storm, or while you’re watching it out your bedroom window.

If you’re fans of dark wave and sullen electronica, I would highly recommend them.

Official website: http://www.hungrylucy.com

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