Listening To…

  • David Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete. Oh, how this pains me. Their first record as the D.R.M. took a good while to really click with me. I wasn’t quite sure I dug the sillier tunes, and the slower tunes seemed too slow. But over time I came to like it quite a bit. And while their live shows are always fantastic, I’ve been hoping they’d put out a new record so they can have some new material to play. Now they have a new record! And it’s full of stuff they’ve been playing for years. And, most of these songs are and slow and long – and not in the hypnotic style of Gillian Welch’s “I Dream A Highway”, just, sigh, plodding. Of the seven songs on this, only one comes in under four minutes. One is nearly 11 minutes long, one takes 8 minutes, two are six minutes. And 30 minutes go by before you get to a song with a tempo approaching toe-tapping speed. And, there are strings: not fiddles, but violins and cellos! Of all the things to put next to simple acoustic guitars and vocals, a string section would be pretty far from my first choice. I find it totally distracting. I still love the band, but, sadly, this doesn’t satisfy.
  • Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Going Down. Have you ever wondered what a cross between The Meat Puppets, Iron And Wine and the slower side of Modest Mouse would sound like?


9 thoughts on “Listening To…

  1. russell

    i’ve been digging into the stax catalog lately. a friend of mine has a great soul voice, i’m trying to spin up a project with her. ann peebles, carla thomas, mavis.

    it’s good for what ails ya.

    as always, you are a reliable source for what’s worth listening to nowadays.

    thanks cleek!

  2. The Modesto Kid

    I’m going back and forth on Nashville Obsolete. First time I listened to it I did not like it, second time I did,… etc. I am glad to have it in my record collection but if I want to listen to Gillian and Dave I will put on A Friend of a Friend or more likely Time (the revelator).

  3. Rob Caldecott

    The new Lana Del Ray album is pretty fine: sounds like a collection of Bond themes. I don’t normally dig her but she is definitely getting better with each album and few modern artists do sultry like she does.

    The latest New Order album is quite possibly their best record in 25 years.

    Radiohead’s Kid A is fifteen years old this month so I’ve been listening to it more than usual (as I type this in fact!)

    This months guilt pleasure is “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift. My 11 daughter does not know what to make of my love for this pop treasure. I also rather like Meghan Trainor. Got to stay current and down with the kids!

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