What are you listening to this week?

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Bobby “Blue” Bland (Picture: Skip Bolen/Getty Photographs)

Bobby “Blue” Bland, “Little Boy Blue”

For causes that don’t actually transcend pure serendipity, I’ve been spending plenty of time again inside Two Steps From The Blues, the important debut album of legendary bluesman Bobby Bland. Like plenty of data from that interval, it’s principally a set of singles, and each observe is an absolute belter, showcasing Bland’s voice and trumpeter-producer Joe Scott’s influential preparations, which melded components of gospel and soul with conventional electrical blues. Whereas it hasn’t gone down with the legacy of larger hits like “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “I Pity The Idiot,” and “Don’t Cry No Extra,” I’ve at all times gravitated to “Little Boy Blue,” one in all Bland’s earlier singles that was repurposed for Two Steps. Right here, a regretful Bland falls into full anguish as he recollects the methods he mistreated a former lover who, rightfully, dumped his ungrateful ass. The music goes from humdrum to hair-raising when Bland remembers the best way she used to name him “Bobby” and begins to belt with a deep, electrifying sense of sorrow and self-pity. The entire thing is launched with a guitar as brash and emotive as Bland himself, nevertheless it rapidly shrinks into the background, taking its place alongside the simmering horns and drums that wouldn’t dare step to the bluesman’s primal howls.

[Matt Gerardi]


Violent Femmes, “Gone Daddy Gone” (Dwell)

I’ve had a extremely nice music summer season, and probably the greatest reveals I’ve seen thus far was the Violent Femmes at Northerly Island, which has a short lived stage in Chicago’s museum campus and normally has crap sound. However the Femmes surpassed their out of doors environment, sounding higher than they did the primary time I noticed them again of their heyday. So I assume it’s not too shocking that recently I’ve been hooked on the band’s new dwell album 2 Mics & The Reality: Unplugged & Unhinged In America, which does a formidable job of recreating the dwell expertise by stringing collectively numerous Femmes appearances on varied radio stations, so you may hear the guitar strings squeak and the delighted exclamations from the small in-studio audiences. Just like the dwell present I noticed, the Femmes carry out not solely their now-standards like “Blister In The Solar” and “American Music,” however showcase their appreciable vary, from the terrifying “Nation Demise Music” to the blues of “You Transfer Me” to the somber “Breaking Up” and the defiantly apolitical “I’m Nothing.” My favourite observe might be “Gone Daddy Gone,” because the xylophone and a large number of handheld percussion and strings duke it out for dominance. It’s virtually like being there.

[Gwen Ihnat]


The Monorchid, “X Marks The Spot (One thing Boring Occurred Right here)”

One of many drawbacks of getting a document assortment composed primarily of burned, Magic Marker-labeled CD-Rs—as my very own was, from the years 1997 to about 2005—is how simply you may simply fully neglect about an album or band you want as soon as it slides endlessly into the tomb of a uncared for Case Logic. I used to be reminded of that lately after discovering a used vinyl copy of The Monorchid’s Who Put Out The Hearth?, a 1998 album I as soon as performed the shit out of however haven’t heard in years, because of its being buried in a again closet the place a chilly wind at present blows. Irrespective of; I’m glad to be reunited with it now. The swan music of the short-lived D.C. band shaped out of the ashes of Circus Lupus, launched a full 9 months after it broke up, it’s a document that also bursts with the form of acerbic, scratchy, springy, ’70s-post-punk depth that might grow to be all the trend only a few years later. Listening to opener “X Marks The Spot (One thing Boring Occurred Right here)” once more in spite of everything this time, Chris Thomson’s wry, Mark E. Smith sneer nonetheless lots biting over these knotty, syncopated guitar tangles, it’s a marvel that the group couldn’t hold on just a bit longer till each band was attempting to sound like this, when it will have completely demolished them. And it makes me marvel concerning the different sleepers I’ve misplaced. I ought to in all probability dig these instances out.

[Sean O’Neal]


The World Is A Lovely Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, “Dillon And Her Son”

The World Is A Lovely Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die’s final album, Harmlessness, was one in all my favorites of 2015, so it ought to have come as no shock that the lead single from the band’s newest EP, At all times International, would additionally fall into favor with me. However alas, “Dillon And Her Son” finds the band eschewing the sluggish construct emo of that final outing with one thing approximating the urgency of New Jersey pop-punk stalwarts Latterman smashed along with the synth wizardry of James Dewees of The Get Up Youngsters and Reggie And The Full Impact. Why the shift? “Once we began writing we have been contemporary off Trump being elected, so there’s an anger to the album that’s completely different from what we’ve executed up to now,” stated vocalist David Bello. That sentiment is sensible, particularly when Bello asks, “Is that this our actual life? / Is that this a film?” sounding like so many people did post-November, a complete era of David After Dentists questioning whether or not the hell we’ve wrought is endlessly.

Utterly unrelated, however that is fantastically executed.

[Leonardo Adrian Garcia]


Shellac, “Didn’t We Deserve A Look At The Manner You Actually Are”

The time has come for my annual foray into outdated Steve Albini data, throughout which I emerge with some revelatory new favourite or deep reduce to obsess over briefly, till I cease listening to solely Steve Albini. This time I didn’t get far: My journey by means of the premillennial Shellac data yielded the 12-minute opener to Shellac’s Terraform, “Didn’t We Deserve A Look At The Manner You Actually Are,” a easy two-note bass line performed obstinately for a 3rd of the album’s runtime. Virtually the one variation to the observe is the insistence of the drums, with interval intonations from Albini, till, lastly, comes a couple of lilting, baleful guitar traces, a drum fill, and 20 seconds of car-crash shriek guitars. You could anticipate change, catharsis, denouement from a observe like this, however what you get as a substitute is immaculately recorded drums, and also you prefer it.

[Clayton Purdom]

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