Mini-Beats – August 2009

Agent RibbonsYour Love Is The Smallest Doll (2009, Acuarela) ♥♥♥
-quirky, cutesy pop RIYL The Last Splash-era Breeders-
MC LarsThe Laptop EP (2004, SideCho) ♥♥♥½
-entertaining nerdcore-‘rap’ with surprisingly capable old-school beats RIYL MC Chris-
Drag The RiverChicken Demos (2004, Suburban Home) ♥♥♥½
-alt-country from former lead singers of punk bands ALL and Armchair Martian; album’s worth of leftovers and outtakes that still need to be in your collection-
Paul SimonSongs From The Capeman (1997, Warner Bros.) ♥♥♥½
-album of extreme high’s and low’s; absolutely loved the tracks peppered with doo-wop and salsa roots-
Kristeen YoungEnemy (2007, self-released) ♥♥
-imagine if Sleater-Kinney banged out noise on keyboards instead of guitars; however, don’t expect the same quality of songwriting-
Black Moth Super RainbowEating Us (2009, Graveface) ♥♥♥½
-sugary-sweet psyche-pop; considerably better than the horribly overrated Dandelion Gum-
worriedaboutsatanArrivals (2009, Gizeh) ♥♥♥♥
-a solidly mesmerizing ambient experience from a promising record label-
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic ZerosUp From Below (2009, Vagrant) ♥♥♥½
-very interesting take on the backporch revolution focused on melodic, gospel-tinged folk and soul; how exactly did this find its way on Vagrant….-
God Help The GirlGod Help The Girl ♥♥½
-not the highest point in Stuart’s career by any means; a few pretty moments-
LiechtensteinSurvival Strategies In A Modern World (2009, Slumberland) ♥♥½
-a mix of female-fronted twee and dream-pop; suffered a little from sameness syndrome-
Summer CatsSongs For Tuesdays (2009, Slumberland) ♥♥♥
-short, quick bursts of Beach Boys influenced agit-pop-
Pushmi-Pullyu/The Enright HouseTogether Split EP (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
-awesome ambient, post-rock split; each band covers the other; available as a free download-
There Will Be FireworksThere Will Be Fireworks (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
-this band of Scots is making a push for best new artist of ’09; obviously reminds a good bit of Frightened Rabbit and not just in the vocals-
We Were Promised JetpacksThese Four Walls (2009, FatCat) ♥♥½
-another new group on thee Scottish scene but much less memorable; some of their yelps seem a bit out of place-
The DodosTime To Die (2009, Wichita) ♥♥♥
-sadly nothing like their first few albums but worth a listen; i’m betting it’s a grower-
The Lovely EggsIf You Were Fruit (2009, HHBTM) ♥♥♥
-schizo indie-pop with a somewhat discordant female vocalist; best compared to Cars Can Be Blue-
Jenny Owen YoungsTransmitter Failure (2009, Nettwerk) ♥♥½
-Jenny has a sweet voice but these songs sadly didn’t do much for me-
Jack Rose & The Black Twig PickersJack Rose & The Black Twig Pickers (2009, Klang) ♥♥♥
-this is looking at Jack in a much different setting than I am used to; a capable bunch of old-timey renditions with the occasional vocals-
MegafaunGather, Form and Fly (2009, Hometapes) ♥♥½
-a lot of blog hype and potential but something is missing from this brew of creepy Americana-
SuperchunkLeaves In The Gutter EP (2009, Merge) ♥♥♥½
-expect Foolish-era energy from these old-school indie stalwarts-
Cindy Lee BerryhillBeloved Stranger (2007, Populuxe) ♥♥♥
-girl has pipes like Dolly; mostly folk-ish songs in support of love and the working class-
MewNo More Stories Are Told Today (2009, Columbia) ♥♥♥
-at this point you pretty much know what you’re getting with Mew; this one could be a grower-
HussaloniaMarsupial Garamond Hussalonia (2006, self-released) ♥♥½
-not the ideal starting place for the prospective fan but a must for completists-
Fruit BatsRuminant Band (2009, Sub Pop) ♥♥½
-this oddly reminded me of something Page and Plant would record together in 2009-
Telekinesis!Telekinesis! (2009, Merge) ♥♥½
-capable but understimulating mellow guitar-pop; an oddly irrelevant Merge release-
MC LarsThis Gigantic Robot Kills (2009, Oglio) ♥♥♥½
-more pop-punk and less hiphop influenced beats than in the past; song topics are still amusing-
Mount EerieWind’s Poem (2009, P.W. Elverum & Sun) ♥♥
-somewhere in here is a nice story about something important; i couldn’t pick it out-
Lisa MitchellWonder (2009, Sony) ♥♥♥
-mega-cute Australian songstress has occasional moments of exceptional pop song glory (did I just say ‘mega-cute’ in a mini-review?)-
J TillmanA Year In The Kingdom (2009, Western Vinyl) ♥♥♥
-9 reflective tracks that should appeal to fans of Oldham or Will Johnson; he may be contributing his best chops to Fleet Foxes now-
Bad VeinsBad Veins (2009, Dangerbird) ♥♥♥½
-what might seem like ho-hum off-key indie rock at first gets exponentially better after 2nd and 3rd listens-
Dirty ProjectorsBitte Orca (2009, Domino) ♥♥♥
-for the first time ever I found myself humming along to DP songs though you shouldn’t expect to see these noodly morsels of oddness peppered with godawful falsettos plastered all over TRL billboards any time soon-
Patrick WolfThe Bachelor (2009, Bloody Chamber) ♥♥♥
-interesting amalgam of Antony and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy) with more electronic elements; liked this more than the 2 previous efforts I have heard thus far-
CalibosAnd The Days We Spent Went On And On (2001, self-released) ♥♥♥
-a combination of Jawbox and Sebadoh; would have fit well somewhere in the Shrimper catalog-
Paul SimonThe Essential Paul Simon (2CD) (2007, Warner Bros.) ♥♥♥♥
-I’ve always enjoyed Paul’s early stuff and Latin/World/Afrikaan influenced efforts more than the slower tempo smooth jazz AOR numbers-
Sonic YouthThe Eternal (2009, Matador) ♥♥
-very few memorable moments, if any at all; their halcyon days are clearly behind them-
Pink MountaintopsOutside Love (2009, Jagjaguwar) ♥♥♥½
-I was not a believer at first and then it hit me…-
SnowglobeMe and You (2007, St. Ives) ♥♥
-a collection of rarities and unreleased tracks; diehard SG fans only-
Rose ParadeRelationshifts (2002, self-released) ♥½
-extremely flat AOR; downloaded this thinking I was getting something else…-
OST – Moon Soundtrack (Clint Mansell) (2009, Universal) ♥♥♥½
-rare situation where a soundtrack befits the mood of the movie; listenable on its own merit-
The BicyclesOh No, It’s Love (2008, Fuzzy Logic) ♥♥½
-high energy indie-pop; reminded me of Oh No! Oh My! or Los Campesinos!-
Joe PugIn The Meantime EP (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-see upcoming post-

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