Mini-Beats – April 2010 – Edition 17

Laura Gibson & Ethan Rose – Bridge Carols (2010, Hush) ♥♥
-mostly mood music with a lot of empty spaces and ambience; seems like a waste of Laura’s talents as a vocalist-
Matt Pond PAThe Dark Leaves (2010, Altitude) ♥♥½
-things have really started to tumble downhill since Emblems and Several Arrows Later
Piano MagicArtists’ Rifles (2000, Rocket Girl) ♥♥♥
-engaging dream-pop that can be simple and powerful or cheesy (see Password’s lyrics)-
Nils ØklandStraum (2000, Rune Grammofon) ♥♥♥
-traditional Norweigan folk with strings-
Starling ElectricClouded Staircase (2008, Bar/None) ♥♥♥½
-jangly, sunshine-pop that channels the ghost of Robert Pollard circa mid 90’s-
The TransmissionsBurning The Winner (2007, self-released) ♥½
-with a name like The Transmissions I expected something a lot more intriguing and worthwhile-
MilhavenMilhaven (2010, 12rec) ♥♥♥½
My Father, My King style post-rock with samples and crescendos; quite competent and lovely and available as a free download here
ShackTime Machine: The Best Of Shack (2007, Sour Mash) ♥♥♥
-this is highly competent Brit-pop; these guys are quite heralded in some circles but this really isn’t my Cup Of Tea….-
MonzanoBy This Time Last Year Everything Will Seem Younger (2010, Spoon Train) ♥♥½
-effeminate indie-pop/twee that can be extremely flat at times-
HussaloniaAttention Deficit Disorder EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
-Hussalonia turns your pop world upside-down with 20 songs in 8 minutes…thus the title of the EP; available as a free download here
The Get Up KidsSimple Science EP (2010, Hassle) ♥♥♥
-they’re back and it feels like they never left-
FanfarloYou Are One 7″ (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥½
-2 tracks recorded just for this Record Store Day release; features a Fleetwood Mac cover-
Cloud CultRunning With The Wolves EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-released to coincide with Earth Day 2010; one new track and 3 b-sides that have appeared elsewhere on ‘leftover’ compilations-
Beach HouseZebra EP (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥½
Zebra is already universally loved, 2 new tracks aren’t all that memorable and the 10 Mile Stereo remix is infinitely better than the original-
Holler, Wild RoseYarn EP (2009, DDM) ♥♥½
-a stopgap 4-song EP that features a live version of the excellent Color That Sky but not much else of note-
DevoFresh 12″ (2010, Warner) ♥♥♥
-this modern take of Devo has me thinking Violent Femmes; I can get behind this even if it seems comical in theory-
Menomena/The Helio SequenceRecord Store Day Split 7″ (2010, Barsuk) ♥♥♥½
HS take the cake here; the Menomena track actually sounds more like recent Lackthereof or Ramona Falls
Takka TakkaMigration (2008, Ernest Jenning) ♥♥♥
-an eclectic offering of mellow psyche-pop; would have made a smashing EP, there were some dull moments to be had-
Nada SurfIf I Had A Hi-Fi (2010, Barsuk) ♥♥♥½
-tasteful batch of covers that’s ironically miles better than anything they’ve recorded themselves since Proximity Effect
SenryuInkling (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-the band seemed a little subdued this time around; I’m all about melody but it doesn’t suit these guys well-
Titus AndronicusThe Monitor (2010, XL) ♥♥♥½
-believe the hype; this is intense, beautiful and scandalous; RIYL Bright Eyes, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Man/MiracleThe Shape Of Things (2010, Third Culture) ♥♥♥½
-high-energy freneticore from Oakland; currently on tour with Rogue Wave…and probably kicking Zach’s ass all over the stage-
Campfires / Cloud NothingsSplit Cassette (2010, Bathetic) ♥♥♥½
-this is a serious fuzz-fest from both attending parties; Cloud Nothings’ lo-fi gems are starting to near brilliance-
Youth Pictures Of Florence HendersonYouth Pictures Of Florence Henderson (2010, How Is Annie) ♥♥♥
-an hour of hazy post-rock from Norway; doesn’t live up to its predecessor but its still worth a spin-
Electric Love MuffinPlaydoh Meathook (1987, Buy Our) ♥♥♥½
-melodic thrash punk that could have fit snugly into the SST catalog; the guitarist happens to also double as my electrician…-
Karen O and The KidsWhere The Wild Things Are OST (2009, Interscope) ♥♥♥
-i was a latecomer to both the movie and soundtrack but this is the most impactful OST since O Brother, Where Art Thou
The Tallest Man On EarthShallow Grave (2008, Gravitation) ♥♥♥
-the Swedish Bob Dylan creates an excellent backporch folk album with more than a nod to Jeff Mangum
CoolrunningsBuffalo EP (2010, Arcade Sounds Ltd.) ♥♥♥½
-the band re-worked these tracks for an official release on the up-and-coming Arcade Sounds label; these versions are more compact and focused-
Ted Leo & The PharmacistsThe Brutalist Bricks (2010, Matador)
-as always a few rowdy tunes for mixtapes but ultimately this might as well be Pearl Jam for the pretend hip crowd-

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