On the playlist, or from where did all this listening come?

A few weeks back, it seemed I hit a dry spell with finding new listening. So indulged in a little catch-up with catalog releases and a lot of Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn.

Now I’ve got a playlist crossing the full work-week threshold, which pretty much means I really ought to start clearing some stuff up.

I’m hoping a relatively bare August will allow that to happen.

  • Ann-Sally, Brand-New Orleans Ann-Sally has a phone book/grocery list voice, but put her in a room with some New Orleans musicians, singing New Orleans music, and hot damn!
  • BLEACH, Kien After the relative sprawl of the last album, Kien clocks in at a compact 32 minutes, which is just enough for the intensity of this music.
  • BUGY CRAXONE, Hello, Punk Lovers So soon after Good morning, Punk Lovers?
  • CHARA, honey Ever since leaving Sony, CHARA has sounded a lot more upbeat.
  • Gang of Four, "Second Life" Wow. I think I’m actually looking forward to that forthcoming self-released album, if this single is any indication.
  • Guided By Voices, Mag Earwhig! More research.
  • Hajime Chitose, "Hotaru Boshi" and Cassini This album seems to have fewer dead spots than the last two, but a few more listens will determine whether it’s up to par with her debut. Her version of "Siúil A Rún" turns out to be a lot better than I expected. It still might make purists cringe.
  • Joan Jeanrenaud, Strange Toys Got it, but haven’t had much time to give it very many spins. Yet.
  • Jonathan Mendelsohn, SNOCAP tracks I like these tracks far more than a self-respecting rockist should.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Trios, Op. 70, Nos. 1 & 2 (Stuttgart Piano Trio) With my eMusic subscription, I intend to download the full pieces featured in the films Amadeus and Immortal Beloved — none of this one-movement except stuff for me anymore, no sir …
  • Michael Hersch, Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 / Fracta / Arraché I confess — I downloaded this album from eMusic because Hersch is … kinda cute.
  • Shiina Ringo, Watashi to Houden I don’t think I really ought to write a review of this compilation because I can get really fanboy with it.
  • Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust After the grand ambition of the last three albums, this one is something Sigur Rós needed to record. In other words, don’t expect Takk …
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois That really is a nice cover of Music for 18 Musicians at the end.
  • The Dead Betties, This Is My Brain on Drugs Not the brutal sonic assault of the last two albums, but surprisingly melodic nonetheless.
  • U2, Boy and October (Deluxe Edition), War (remastered) I’ve so far only heard the extra tracks from Boy, and boy (ha!) is it refreshing to hear U2 barely able to play. I didn’t opt to get the deluxe edition of War because it’s as bloated and tuneless as I remember it to be.
  • Van Tomiko, "Tokyo Biyori" Owatari Ryo ga irimasu yo.


  • Kevin says:

    There’s also a new Yukawa Shione album, “haiiro to watashi”, released in July – haven’t really listened to much of it, though, but it’s a lot more folksy in feel than her eponymous debut.
    And sadly, with the passing of Ueda Gen, I think Hajime Chitose’s music will only go downwards from now on – none of her current creators crafted as intrinsic and as ingenious a sound as he did for her. At least there’s still Mamiya Takumi, but.

  • NemesisVex says:

    I tried to listen to Yukawa Shione, but I think I could get into her a lot more if she were just slightly weirder. I think she would sound terrific if she could gank the sound of Kicell’s earlier albums.
    Ueda produced the title track of Cassini, and the complexity of that track is stark next to everything that comes after. It’s still a decent album, but man, Ueda will be missed. I’m almost tempted to check out some LAPPISCH because of it.

  • Kevin says:

    Yeah, “CASSINI” is the best track on the album, no doubt there – the age of the song really doesn’t show. (It was written in 2004 when Hajime was first pregnant, from what I remember.)
    I’m almost tempted myself to ask my friend to help me get a copy of the re-issue of his “15-byou-go no sekai” album just to listen to his self-cover of “WADATSUMI no ki”.