The Gaslight Anthem - The ‘59 Sound - Last years “Sink or Swim” was an outstanding cross of a younger Springsteen with Against Me! as a backing band. This time around the song-writing is better and Brian Fallon and the rest of the band seems to have come into their own.
Chuck Ragan and Austin Lucas - Bristle Ridge - It’s Chuck Ragan, what else do I need to say?
James - Hey Ma - Best known, if known at all for their single “Laid” in 1994, James’ first album in 7 years is equally catchy, heartfelt, and political.
Squarepusher - Just a Souvenir
Koushik - Out My Window
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Sunday at Devil Dirt - Lanegan’s second collaboration this year is with Belle and Sebastian’s, Isobel Campbell. Campbell left the group around 2002, but her second record with Lanegan is thing of beauty that most B&S fans would enjoy.
Good Old War - Only Way to Be Alone
Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life - How can I not like a band whose name describes the current state of my life? Oh, the album is really good too.
Foxboro Hot Tubs - Stop Drop and Roll!!! - It’s nice to see Green Day go loose on this (though I think they still had plenty of fun with American Idiot).
The Grand Archives - The Grand Archives - I know everyone went apes hit over Band of Horses a few years back. Admit it, you did, lol. Guitarist Mat Brooke left after their first album, and formed TGA. Personally, I am preferring TGA, but don’t mind BOH.
The Drones - Havilah - Some reviewer, I think it was on sputnikmusic, described them as a mix of Neil Young, Black Flag, and Tom Waits. Better than I could do. That, along with excellent lyrics make for a nice little combination.
Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees - Damien’s new album is very good. I have yet to find the “Denton, TX” for this album (I.e. - something I put on repeat and play again and again), but I like the open band arrangements as a nice counter to the more sparse stuff of the past.
Calexico - Carried to Dust - Introduced but still not gotten by many thanks to their split with Iron and Wine. This still garners a response from many of “Didn’t they do that one thing with Iron and Wine?” Calexico are definitely an acquired taste, but one worth acquiring.
Asher Roth - Don Cannon and DJ DRAMA present The GreenHouse Effect Vol. 1
Aimee Mann - @#%&*! Smilers
Dear and the Headlights - Drunk Like Bible Times - Though I’m not quite understanding the tours with bands like Jimmy and Paramore (other than possibly trying to extend their audience), every about this band's second album resonated with me. Plus, who doesn’t want to get drunk like Bible times?
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid - Kinda slow, Britpop stuff I guess you could call it. Always been a fan and the new album doesn’t disappoint.
Dillinger Four - CIVILWAR - Compared to Portishead, I only had to wait 6+ years on this one. However, in the punk community with generally tiny attention spans, that is a lifetime. Some have complained that they are following more of punks new trends and that they are singing about being middle-age. Hmmm. Last time I checked they are hitting middle-age and frankly, I don’t like a lot of punk’s new trends.
Butch Walker - Sycamore Meadows - You may disdain him for previously being the front man of the Marvelous 3, but this guy’s songwriting ability is pretty amazing (to me). And the fact that he is top-notch producer doesn’t hurt either. This shit just sounds great.
Ray Lamontagne - Gossip in the Grain
The Notwist - The Devil You and Me
Paul Baribeau - Grand Ledge - In the vain of folk punk like Andrew Jackson Jihad, only its actually better, and those guys are pretty good.
Portishead - Third - Hmmm…let’s see, how long did we have to wait for this? 11 years? Is it as good as that? Of course not. But is it still pretty damn good and yet different from the first two as well? Yes.
Right Away, Great Captain! - The Eventually Home
Son Lux - At War with Walls and Mazes - It feels like this should only be background music, but somehow manages to transcend that.
Steinski - What Does it All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective - It means the best of this turntable genius.
Tom Gabel - Heart Burns - Against Me! front man doesn’t take a break in the year following “New Wave”.
Torche - Meanderthal - Doom metal with pop sensibilities played to perfection. Incredibly catchy.
Various Artists - The Wire: And All the Pieces Matter - Five Years of Music from The Wire - Various music selections from the what is possibly the greatest and least rewarded television drama in history. Plus its got some nice snippets of memorable lines from episodes, plus Tom Waits’ theme song from season one, plus 3 other versions from ensuing years (why Steve Earle’s from season 5 was used on his own album and not this is beyond me - but it‘s worth checking out as well).
The Wood Brothers - Loaded - Like it wasn’t good enough for Chris Wood to be playing in Medeski, Martin and Wood. He had to go create this nice little folk act with his brother Oliver.
The Bug - London Zoo
Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006 - Well, first of all, it’s Bob Dylan. But seriously, there is some really good shit on this, and to think that this stuff didn’t make the albums. Plus it has two versions of “Dignity”, one of my favorite Dylan tunes of all-time.
Bears - Simple Machinery - Indie-pop from Cleveland, OH that resonates very well with me.
The Bad Plus - For All I Care - Favorites from Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Wilco and others jazzed-up in the best ways possible.