Every once in a while a magical sort of album comes out. I guess what is magical to some people is not always magical to everyone else. I am also pretty sure not many people would even use the word magical when describing their new favorite album, but "magical" is exactly the word I feel that best describes the new album by Atlas Sound. It is a bit dreamy and ethereal and ambient. Just all around fantastic. The man behind this new Atlas Sound is Bradford Cox. He is the man behind the band Deerhunter as well. This new album Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel is out on the label Kranky, the same fantastic label that put out the Deerhunter album. I am not always in love with everything Kranky puts out, but every once in a while they put out a fantastic little album like this. I might just really like the label because I like seeing my name on albums and in liner notes. Kranky has put out albums by Labradford, which I have to admit that I bought one day at a record store simply because the band was named after me. The dude in Deerhunter also shares my first name, which is also what I think first intrigued me to pick up the Deerhunter album and give it a listen. These might be selfish reasons but at least they brought me to discover some great albums.
The Atlas Sound album opens up with a tape recording of a young boy telling a ghost story. It is a nice little introduction to this secretly beautiful album. I didn't really fall in love with it the first time that I listened to it. It was not until track 13 that I actually started paying attention. I then went back and started to really appreciate the entire album. I really like albums that take you on a journey. The album may not be full of big amazing powerful songs one after the other-- some of the songs take a while to build up into anything at all, and other songs just sort of fade into each other without any real transition. The album reminds me of Slowdive or Seefeel at times. It could easily fit in with some of the albums that came out of England in the early 90s. Some of the songs could easily lull you to sleep and put you in a nice little dreamland. But if the album is not working for you, just skip ahead to track 13. The song is called "Ativan." He could have easily opened up the album with this song, but it is kind of nice to have a little fantastic surprise saved up for you at the end of the album. Then you can really go back and appreciate the whole album more. The final song is also a great little ambient song to finish of the album for you. This album could easily slip through the year without very many people finding about it, but I think enough people will talk about it and share it with their friends. It could also easily charm its way into everyones music collection.
Atlas Sound will be performing near you soon. So check out their tour schedule. They are playing at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on March 8th, and I will be seeing them at the the Echo in LA on March 11th. I have not been to the Echo in about 5 years or so, but I still have fond memories of the place. I went to my first shows now that I am back in Hollywood this last weekend: I saw Siouxsie on Friday night at the Henry Fonda Theater. Let me just say that I am very glad that I have already seen enough awesome shows of The Banshees and The Creatures before this. This was not one of the best. I will always love Siouxsie and she is still an awesome presence to see up on that stage. She looks great and still sounds great, but things are just not the same without Budgie. With all she has done for me in my life, and with all the hundreds of times I have listened to her albums, it is really hard for her to ever do wrong in my eyes. She has meant too much to me to just turn my back on her. I love her, really a lot. Not to say I did not enjoy myself. It is always fun to go to a Siouxsie show if nothing else but to look at the audience and fellow Siouxsie fans. And even though it was a very cold night for L.A., I did really enjoy the outside lounging areas at the Fonda.
I did see an amazing sort of unexpected show on Sunday night at the Echo. Baby Dee performed and totally blew me away. The things that she does with her voice are sort of unbelievable. She is the kind of person that obviously has this crazy music living inside of her always, and performing for her fans is her way of releasing it before it explodes inside of her. At least that is what I kind of figured out from the show. Her band was amazing, and I was sort of thinking the whole time how wonderful it would have been to see Siouxsie perform at a place the size of the Echo with a band as fantastic as the one that Baby Dee got together.
Baby Dee has been around for a while, performing with Current 93 for years and putting out a bunch of albums, but I didn't really pay attention until her new album just came out on Drag City. Safe Inside the Day was produced by Matt Sweeney and Bonnie Prince Billy. I thought the album was interesting and weird, but it didn't really effect me until I saw it performed live. I am now for sure in the cult of Baby Dee. She has captured me now as one of her fans --there is no going back now. It really is the kind of album that you have to give a chance to. I have been listening to a lot of Antony & the Johnsons since I moved to L.A. for some reason, and this Baby Dee album definitely fits right along with Antony. The album sort of makes me feel like I am at some weird minstrel carnival comedy performance art sort of folk show-- normally a place that I would not really want to imagine myself at-- but I could not wait to go back to that place after the show. I was excited to go home and listen to the album again and let it work its way into my soul like the show had already done. I love me some Baby Dee. And so should you.
also out today...
The Sky Is Mine by Alpha
The Golden Age by American Music Club
For Emma Forever Ago by Bon Iver
Grand Archives by Grand Archives
Monstre Cosmique by Monade
Heretic Pride by The Mountain Goats
Lust Lust Lust by The Raveonettes