Best Breezes: 2010/05/10 – 2010/05/16

Best Breezes brings you the most notable threads of the past week in great music…

Jason Noble Benefits Spell Reunions from Cerebellum, others…

This weekend saw several benefit shows in my hometown of Louisville, KY for Jason Noble of Rachel’s, Shipping News, and Rodan fame.  Not too far back, Jason was diagnosed with cancer, and the outpouring of support over the last few months serves as a better tribute to him than I can possibly do here.

The big name to reunite was of course Endpoint, who played together for the first time since 1994. Sunspring joined them on Friday night, also for the first time since 1994. The biggest deal for me though was Cerebellum, who played together for the first time since 1989. Cerebellum morphed into Crain, who were one of the greatest bands to come out of Louisville and recorded the classic album Speed.

Cerebellum were great in their own right, charged through with youthfulness and optimism. Their sole release, a self-titled cassette on Slamdek Records, has gotten the re-release treatment on Noise Pollution, with the added bonus of five newly recorded “oldies.” To give you some idea of how awesome this is, it is sort of like Minor Threat getting back together and recording some early, proto-Fugazi tracks.

Check out Cerebellum playing “Calm” here…



New Arcade Fire on the way…

All the music websites were abuzz with the possiblity of a new record from Arcade Fire. Nothing particularly concrete yet, but the band’s website definitely alludes to something big coming our way soon

Free Josh Ritter concert…

The Frontloader has a complete audio recording of Josh Ritter’s 5/8/2010 performance at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. Band sounds great, Josh sounds great, recording sounds great. Why don’t you have this yet?

Lala shutdown

Major bummerooski as Lala.com announces that it is closing its door for good. This was by far the most useful website to come along in, well, ever…I hope something comes along to take its place soon.

Wax Fang rising

Wax Fang are a sort of prog-punk from Louisville, featuring drummer Kevin Ratterman, formerly of Elliott. It sounds like they are making a huge buzz on the international scene right now, and they have just re-released their only full-length LP, La La Land, on Absolutely Kosher Records. Check them out here:

New Low Anthem track...

Brought to us by HearYa…live video of a new track from The Low Anthem, “I’ll Take Out Your Ashes.”

Is it just me, or is 2010 turning out to be the best year for music in recent memory?

Tracks of the Decade: “Water from the Same Source” by Rachel’s

“Water from the Same Source”
by Rachel’s
from SYSTEMS/LAYERS
Regardless of Rachel’s indie roots, they’ve always shined brightest when they let loose with their brand of unassuming melodicism. Tracks like “Rhine & Courtesan”, “Lloyd’s Register”, and the fullness of MUSIC FOR EGON SCHIELE demonstrate the age old truth that music is most of all about connection and communication of the otherwise inexpressible. That being said, “Water from the Same Source” stands as one of the decade’s great tracks because it is GORGEOUS. Do we need any other reason? The original Rachel’s novelty, indie-rock as high art, has passed away, and the band excels here by crafting a track that is both song and symphony. Epic in arc and graceful in execution, “Water from the Same Source” strikes the tone of a leisurely walk through the Louevre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That is to say, it’s a bit of bliss ignorant of the cynicism and irony of modern pop. These days, I’ll take all of that I can get.

rachelsphoto0S“Water from the Same Source”
by Rachel’s
from SYSTEMS/LAYERS

Regardless of Rachel’s indie roots, they’ve always shined brightest when they let loose with their brand of unassuming melodicism. Tracks like “Rhine & Courtesan”, “Lloyd’s Register”, and the fullness of MUSIC FOR EGON SCHIELE demonstrate the age old truth that music is most of all about connection and communication of the otherwise inexpressible. That being said, “Water from the Same Source” stands as one of the decade’s great tracks because it is GORGEOUS. Do we need any other reason? The original Rachel’s novelty, indie-rock as high art, has passed away, and the band excels here by crafting a track that is both song and symphony. Epic in arc and graceful in execution, “Water from the Same Source” strikes the tone of a leisurely walk through the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That is to say, it’s a bit of bliss ignorant of the cynicism and irony of modern pop. These days, I’ll take all of that I can get.

Breezes of the Week #1

BREEZES OF THE WEEK is the wrap-up post wherein I discuss my favorite music related items of the past week. Enjoy!

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Built to Spill’s latest, THERE IS NO ENEMY, is probably their most vital and consistent album since PERFECT FROM NOW ON.  I don’t like to cast judgments on records as soon as they are released, or even after a couple of listens, but I am very stoked about the direction BTS takes here. Which is to say that they haven’t changed a thing!

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NEW RADIOHEAD LP IN 2010:

Ed O’Brien told NME that with sessions planned this winter the band would “definitely” be releasing a full album physically next year. “We were misquoted,” claimed O’Brien of Yorke’s comments, loudly adding, “WE WILL BE MAKING AN ALBUM!”
(via ateaseweb.com)

This is great news. I really believe Radiohead is at their most vital right now, and let’s face it, the album format is integral to the DNA of pop music.  Individual tracks are like short stories and poems, great in one sitting, but the LP is the novel, the grandest statement of all. Radiohead is AOR, no matter how much they’d like to be different.

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TRAVIS GETS THEIR DUE:

I salute the music blog Aquarium Drunkard for naming Travis’ The Man Who as one of their favorite albums of the decade. Travis aren’t exactly the toast of indie-dom, but the lush melodies of their Nigel G.-produced second album had most of us thinking back in 2000 that they would be to this decade what Coldplay ended up being. True, they haven’t really made anything so great since, but for one shining moment they had a whole lot of folks’ heads spinning. THE MAN WHO is an undeniable classic.

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NORAH’S SOUNDING GOOD:

Go here to stream a fresh track from Norah Jones’ upcoming LP THE FALL. Nothing TOO revolutionary, but she’s definitely kicking up the groove factor and trying to incorporate heavier rhythms. All good things, since her last outing, NOT TOO LATE, was kind of a clunker. Looking forward to THE FALL. (heads-up via Stereogum)

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JASON NOBLE’S ILLNESS

When I was about about 15 years old, I heard Rodan’s RUSTY for the first time. All I can really say is that RUSTY shattered my previous conceptions of what music could be. That album was in large part the work of Louisville’s own Jason Noble, who went on to record countless other works (see Shipping News, Rachel’s, Per Mission) that have been a huge part of the last fifteen years of my life. It’s safe to say that Jason is one of my musical heroes, and a real inspiration to me. My prayers are with him as he battles cancer. God grant you peace and serenity in the face of it all sir, and may you continue to inspire us for decades to come.

As a glimpse of his genius, here’s the beautiful “Last Things Last” from the Rachel’s masterpiece SYSTEMS/LAYERS:

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Did I mention Rachel’s? While surfing for that video of “Last Things Last”, I also found this truly amazing guitar-based cover of the glorious “Water from the Same Source.” Wow:

Anyone know how to rip this to mp3?