Friday, February 27, 2009

Shuffling IV

On your marks.

Get set.


1) Freddie Freeloader by Miles Davis: Even though I really like jazz and I'm so far from an expert on the subject I don't have the credibility to say this, I'm going to say it anyway: if you own Kind Of Blue you already should understand everything that's enjoyable and interesting about jazz. It really is the quintessential jazz album, an album of incredible perfection but recorded mostly in single takes, giving every track a fresh, searching feel. 'Freddie Freeloader' is the most traditional track on it, a classy mid-tempo piece that's neither a fast scorcher nor a slow chill-out ballad. All the solos are focused and excellent and...well, if you like music enough to be reading this you probably already own this album. If not, you are an incomplete human being. I'm just going to sit here and enjoy the rest of the song because I have nothing else to say.

2) Saturday by Yo La Tengo: I think that the album this song comes from is one of the most perfect mood setting pieces you could hope for. 'Saturday' is a prime example of the calm, druggy tone And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out has, a late night "I can't sleep"/"we can't sleep" soundtrack for solitary insomnia or romantic insomnia. Plus I love the way Georgia and Ira's voices sound together.

3) Cicadas by Deerhunter: The dual release of Microcastle and Weird Era Continued was one of 2008's best moments, but the one thing I forget to mention about it is the excellent instrumentals they have. Deerhunter could make a completely instrumental release and it would be every bit as striking as their albums so far.

4) Baby Genius by Eels: This is my least favorite track on Electro-Shock Blues. I find the vocal samples irritating and it doesn't fit the mood/concept of the album, in my opinion.

5) Little Debbie by Fugazi: I need to do a Primer on Fugazi some day because I keep meaning to listen to their albums in order and finally get a grip on their discography. Every time a track like this pops up on my shuffle I have to look to see who it is and then I'm all like "oh, it's Fugazi...awesome!!" 'Little Debbie' is quite aggressive and angry. For a band known for their angular guitar playing and border-line reggae/funk bass and percussion work, they could be surprisingly loud and noisy when they wanted to be. Even their 'mature' final album The Argument has lots of thorns to it.

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