Last week I did up a guest post for one of my favorite music blogs, the also-Boston-based Clicky Clicky. While Jay was away, he asked me to fill in for a day, and I was more than happy to do so. Given how infrequently I pull together a non-live-mp3 post here on the 'Nac, I thought I'd cross-post my thoughts on albums that I'm looking forward to in the remainder of 2006 (and a bit beyond).
As we hit the end of June, the halfway point of aught-six, we brace ourselves for the imminent deluge of "Best Albums Of The Year So Far" lists. If music blogs love one thing, it's little lists of favorite discs. The top-tens and top-twenties of 2005 started popping up so early (and so often) last year that I burned out on 'em before '06 even started. By the time I started to prepare my own, I realized I just didn't care anymore... for the first time in five years, I didn't do it. The early-birds sucked out all the fun, some coming even far before Thanksgiving, as if they used the appearance of Christmas decorations as a starting gun.
So in advance of all the 'Best So Far' lists you'll soon see, I thought I'd do something a little different for my Clicky Clicky guest-post, and talk about some albums that I'm most looking forward to in the second six months of 2006 (and in some cases, beyond). Some have solid release dates, others don't, and still others may wait until next year. Whatever the case, all give me high hopes...
Sparklehorse | "Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain" | September 25th, 2006
Yo La Tengo | "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass" | September 12th, 2006
When James McNew joked that 'IANAOYAIWBYA' could be the title, who thought it would stick? Not me, but I love that it did. As they said "fifteen new songs, no covers", and one of them is the already shared MP3 'Beanbag'.
Given that I've loved everything AL mastermind Jimmy Lavalle has put out, I expect the next full length to treat me no differently. Judging from the first preview track, 'Red Eye' (stream it on MySpace), my expectations are quite safe.
Kristin Hersh | "Learn to Sing Like a Star" (tentative title) | Late '06 / Early '07
In Kristin's words, it's been mixed and mastered, and should now be in the hands of 4AD for a fall/winter release. Drums by her Throwing Muses bandmate (and one of my rhythmic heroes) David Narcizo, sure-to-be-beautiful string arrangements by the brilliant McCarricks. I absolutely can't wait for this one. The Muses will reunite this summer for a couple shows, and Kristin's current rock-vessel, 50 Foot Wave, will be opening up. After that gift, I'm looking forward to some solo K shows, and whenever the album arrives, I expect it will be a big part of my winter soundtrack.
Yup, the latest news from Pernice headquarters is the title and a release month now that the tracks are mixed. More words from the latest update: "The lineup this time around included Peyton Pinkerton, James Walbourne, Patrick Berkery and Bob Pernice on their usual instruments, with Joe Pernice playing bass in addition to the stuff he usually does. Kara Pernice Coyne and Anne Pinkerton make vocal appearances. And Mike Deming did the string and horn arrangements. That�s right, strings. And horns." Sounds good to me.
Secret Shine | "Beyond Sea and Sky" EP (tenative title) | September 2006
The surprise return of these self-proclaimed shoegazers was a welcome one, and I was happy to see the quick release of the 'Elemental' EP in February. I thought we might see an eventual album, but since the band is self-financed, EPs are what we're going to get until someone else foots the bill. You can hear samples from that first EP right here, and the next one arrives in September.
According to Mary herself, in a recent update at the Kill Rock Stars site, "We are recording basic tracks in the in the beginning of July at Jay Robbins' studio in Baltimore. Then we are doing overdubs at home, and we'll mix in August. Brendan Canty is producing the record." Aces all around.
The ex-Karate frontman will take a break from his softer solo side for his next release, according to this news item: "I've started recording some new band-oriented music at Andy Hong's studio (Kimchee) this month, with Luther Gray playing drums. I can't really say much about it until it becomes more definite, but I'm hoping to have a band-oriented recording out sometime early next year."
Buffalo Tom are finishing up their not-yet-titled 7th disc, and Bill Janovitz promises "a song or two to post up on the web soon". No news on who will be putting it out, so obviously a release date is up in the air. They've been playing a bunch of the songs live for quite awhile, and the album has some great guests: Mission of Burma's Clint Conley contributes some vocals, Chris Toppin and Hilken Mancini sing together, just as they did back in their Fuzzy days. Hope we hear about a release date sometime soon.
I was pretty well impressed with all the new stuff Radiohead debuted during their just-ended North American tour, even without the eventual studio-wizardy that will soon be cast over it. According to a supposed band-issued apparently debunked MySpace announcement, the eventual album could very well be their last.
Also in the works, with very tenative release info...
At last, the 41 track, 2-disc set has release dates: July 10th in the UK and August 8th in the US. I lost the jewel case to my original copy many years ago, so I'll be happy to replace it. A bunch of unheard songs and 4-track demos is a hell of a bonus.
Tortoise | "A Lazarus Taxon" Box Set | August 22nd, 2006
This 3xCD/DVD set collects a ton of material, including singles, B-sides, Japanese releases, compilations, and other random rarities. For a complete track-by-track rundown from Tortoise's John McEntire, head to Brainwashed.
The reissue of the entire Cure catalog continues with what some fans would call a serious transitionary period. Robert Smith's more upbeat collaboration with Siouxsie & the Banshees' Steve Severin as The Glove didn't reveal its influence until 'The Head On The Door', when the Cure's poppier side resurfaced led to some poppier, more radio-friendly songs. 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me' was a more schizophrenic double-disc (and actually the album that brought me fully into the Cure-fan fold), parts of which hinted at the brilliance that was to follow on 'Disintegration'. All these reissues are packed with bonus tracks, and you'll find the full tracklistings over here.