Hot off the presses: new music! Better said, new music that is worth your time.
Nothing this week made me want to shout from the rooftops, but there is quite a nice pile of releases with a few nuggets worth exploring.
Bob Dylan – Traveling Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15
There are some really fun moments on the Spotify 15-song sampler version, including a solo Dylan “I Am A Lonesome Hobo” take and rehearsal or alternate versions of several of the songs that would appear on Nashville Skyline. His duets with Johnny Cash are the highlight here as far as I am concerned, particularly “Big River” and “Guess Things Happen That Way”. Most of this is for hard-core Dylan disciples only.
Foo Fighters – 02050525
Yet another release from their stash of rarities including demos, covers, live versions, and B-sides. “I’m In Love with a German Film Star” is a mellowed out, psych-lounge Passions cover. Their take on CCR’s “Born on the Bayou” didn’t stick for me, but the long-awaited studio version of “Skin and Bones” is fantastic. “Spill” is the epitome of what a Foo B-side should be, which is to say a good time that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Cold War Kids – New Age Norms I
There is no question that this band has embraced a more pop-oriented sound as of late, and that doesn’t change on this 8-song first installment of their New Age Norms. It may not rock like some of their earlier work, but there are some excellent songs, such as “Beyond the Pale” which finds Nathan emotionally pledging his loyalty over a lovely piano. “Complainer” is a catchy number and a nice directive to take control of what you can most (yourself) instead of complaining about the things that are wrong in your life or the world.
White Denim – In Person
This live recording is fast and full of jangly energy and psych-rock riffs over bouncing drumbeats. While it doesn’t floor me as an album, it does have me very much looking forward to the Austin rockers’ Boise appearance this April at Neurolux. Check out “STRIKE GOLD” for a prime example- or my favorite album of theirs, Corsicana Lemonade.
Vetiver – Up on High
The title track and “Filigree” at the finest moments on a subdued but pretty recording.
Jeff Goldblum & the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra – I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This
No, Jeff doesn’t sing on this album at all, which is a bummer. This is nice background music for your parents’ cocktail party, and it is well done. Sharon Van Etten shines on “Let’s Face the Music and Dance”.