Akron/Family - Meek Warrior
The latest from Young God Records, All Music gushes about this mini-album: "It's over 35 minutes, and includes the nine-plus-minute opus "Blessing Force" that moves from silence to rock-out mantra, to chant to intricate polyrhythmic interplay to free-form, improv, wig city back to guitar, bass, drums zone-out to skronk. All you can say for a brief second is "Oh yeah," before they enter with acoustic guitars, hand percussion and the paraphrased English translation of a Buddhist mantra on "Gone Beyond." There's melody and beauty and space and earth in sharp contrast to the fire of the previous cut. The vocals here are utterly beautiful and joyous and the spiritual vibe is set. Clocking in at only 3:22, it would have been interesting to hear what this might have been like at ten minutes." "Gone Beyond" will indeed chime and chant its way into your heart like old time freedom rock.
MP3: Akron/Family - Gone Beyond
Robyn Hitchcock - Ole! Tarantula
Featuring Soft Boys members, Ian McLagan, and most of the Minus 5, Hitchcock's new record is touted as a return to mid-80s form. Of the four new tracks streaming on his MySpace page, It's hard to resist "Adventure Rocket Ship", but I also really like dreamy, glammy "NY Doll". Also check out his musty ol' website, which is a museum! Coat check to your left fulla radio sessions.
Nina Nastasia - On Leaving
The Dirty Three's Jim White drums on Nina's first album in three years and first for Fat Cat. "Utterly and skeletally and hauntingly comely". One of the best things I've heard all year, "Why Don't You Stay Home" is clean and clear without being bloodless, Nastiasia's incredible voice and gentle guitar lulling you until piano notes drop in like anvils.
The Pernice Brothers - Live a Little
Definitely the best Pernice since The World Won't End - although this opinion is probably due to my dread of 80s britmope production that cropped up on the last two discs. Still, this is clean and shiny and deeply depressed as ever. Check out the killer chorus on "Somerville".
MP3: The Pernice Brothers - Somerville