Monday, January 18, 2010

Beautiful Loser Society - The Long Slow decline

Following up their brilliant effort Aim Low, The Beautiful Loser Society delivers a somewhat lighter effort. Don't get me wrong the album is haunted by a similar cast of characters as the previous release. They even take you on a highway ride with Lucifer. That's right ol' scratch himself is on "Highway 666 South." Also on "The long slow decline 'Elvis is in the building.' The song is "Elvis, The King," which captures the King in his young cool style as well as sequined jumpsuit Elvis.

As I said, much of the characters are unchanged. Like the Honky Tonk anthem "Shade Tree Mechanic" (which could easily be about a particular uncle of mine), "Rich folks spend their time countin' money and the poor spend their time gettin' drunk. Whose to say what is worse what's a blessing what's a curse but old Billy is just shit out of luck." A dark character on the album is the "Suicide Trucker." One touching romantic ballad shows the beauty of the one relationship you can count on in "Good 'ol Dog." "Hot Rod Daddy" combines guitar work that could be mistaken for Dick Dale with a Rockabilly back beat.

Straight from Colorado to your ears "The Beautiful Loser Society" is a social club I want to join. The initiation fee is only a 12 pack and the will to drink it. Long Slow Decline is a more Country affair than its predecessor. So put the sawdust on the floor. I'm ready to go.


Monday, January 11, 2010

January 12 - Release Highlights

While not a complete list here a a couple of releases I am excited about:

Ray Wylie Hubbard - A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkment (Hint: There Is No C) (Bordello) Here is an excerpt from the press release. (I'm sure it will be the dark but entertaining effprt we expet from him.)

Ray Wylie Hubbard will release A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C) on January 12, 2010 on Bordello Records with marketing and distribution provided by Thirty Tigers/RED. The album was produced by Hubbard with help from George Reiff. With a keen eye for observation and a wise man's knowledge, Ray Wylie Hubbard composes and performs a dozen songs that couldn't spring from anywhere else but out of his fertile rock and roll bluesy poet-in-the-blistering-heat southern noggin. "I like to look at both enlightenment and endarkenment," he declares. "I feel comfortable observing each." A. Enlightenment
B. Endarkenment demonstrates the kind of talent that every great songwriter yearns for. Throughout the album, his focus remains on the song- constructing and performing stories set to music that resonate in a way that is completely his own.

Vampire Weekend - Contra - The best new indie band of 2008. This should have the quirkiness and understated World Music influences fo there previous release.


Monday, January 4, 2010

The Top Two

Though I put Band of Heathens number one, it was really a tie with Buddy andf Julie Miller. The tiebreaker was the addiction to BOH I developed this year. It was my heaviest rotation. The different styles nd tempo made it fresh no matter how much I listened to it.

Buddy and Julie put out an emotional portrait of simpler times and the pain of true love. It's power and outstanding songwriting are undenible. More importantly the arrangement and intrumentation of eac song underscore the emotion of the lyrics.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No. & M. Ward Hold Time

Since numbers 3-7 on my best of list have been covered previously, I am going to forgo posting on them. However, number 7, M. Ward - Hold Time, did not get the coverage it deserved here on AWT, even though it is high on my list. The album is simultaneously, Folk, Indie and Americana. The sound is wispy but not too ethereal. Just listen to the duet with Lucinda Williams, which is a cover of Hank Williams "Oh Lonesome Me." He captures all the pain of the original but makes it uniquely his own. The album is permeated with passion and exhibits clever lyricism.

Check out this ACL performance