On the playlist, or I really blew a lot of cash in the last few weeks

Between the Austin Record Convention, the Waterloo Records storewide sale, an eMusic quota and a fall release schedule, I’ve got a lot of stuff on my playlist right now. If anything, these playlist entries are a bit misleading because a lot of titles from previous entries are still in rotation. I mentioned the complete Bartók string quartets a while back — it’s still on the playlist.

When the backlog accumulates, it’s tough to give everything a fair shake. It’s even tougher when nothing stands out so distinctly as to clarify where the cruft is. So I keep everything and let inertia determine what falls through the cracks. In other words, "Huh. Haven’t really listened to that in a long time, and I’m not feeling much of a compelling need to. Must not be very good."

Nothing has really reached that point either.

  • Café Tacvba, Sino I prefer the clearer, harder sound of Cuatros Caminos.
  • Deee-Lite, World Clique I often forget that good music doesn’t have be so fracking serious all the damn time.
  • Depeche Mode, Violator What possessed me to sell this album for cash a few years back anyway?
  • Duran Duran, Red Carpet Massacre I proclaimed this album TEH SUCK on the day it was released, but I’m actually glad Duran Duran thought better than to sound like an updated versions of their golden era. Man, does Astronaut suck.
  • i-dep, Fine tuning I’ve been in too serious a frame of mind to appreciate i-dep the way I have before.
  • Jean Sibelius, Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 Seven symphonies are easier to get through than nine, let alone 100 (hello, Franz Josef Haydn).
  • Jean Sibelius, Complete Symphonies 2 Includes Symphonies Nos. 3, 6, 7, plus Tapiola, Finlandia and a violin concerto …
  • Jean Sibelius, Voces Intimae: String Quartets, 1890-1910 … so yeah, I have a lot of Sibelius to get through.
  • Molotov, Eternamiente I didn’t know Molotov "broke up", and each member released an EP, all four of which are collected on this release. I was wondering why it sounded scattershot.
  • NAHT, In the beta city I don’t remember what NAHT sounded like from six years back, but I don’t remember them being so VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE. That is to say, they’re quite the Franz Ferdinand.
  • Nico Muhly, Speaks Volumes This album has a spot on my year-end favorite list. It reminds me a bit of Olivier Messiaen filtered through a Steve Reich lens.
  • OCEANLANE, Castle in the Air I don’t remember if the second album was anywhere near as interesting as this one.
  • Onitsuka Chihiro, LAS VEGAS Onitsuka really sounds raw on a few tracks, and the writing is all over the map. I like it — the time off has given her space to experiment.
  • Sacha Sacket, Lovers and Leaders What I really liked about Shadowed was the use of electronic effects. This album goes for a live sound, which is also welcome, but I’m not sure the material is as catchy as on Shadowed.
  • Sigur Rós, Hvarf/Heim Honestly, I haven’t had time to listen to this one yet.
  • Synapse/Elliot Cole, The Oracle Hysterical Alex Ross linked to this EP from his web site. Put a hip-hop beat behind avant-garde classical music, and it instantly sounds like avant-garde jazz. Available for free.
  • Shiratori Maika, Hikousen It’s no Gemini.
  • SPITZ, Sazanami I haven’t really paid attention to SPITZ since 2002.
  • The Manhattan Transfer, Extensions I keep forgetting how much of an ear worm "Birdland" is.
  • Throwing Muses, University I like this one, but I think I prefer the more cryptic writing of House Tornado.
  • Tokyo Jihen, Goraku (Variety) It took some adjustment, but I think Shiina made the right move making the guys step up to write. Variety lives up to its name.
  • Dawn Upshaw, The Girl with the Orange Lips I need to listen to this one a bit more as well.