This is one of those weeks that I look forward to. There are tons of great albums out today. Not everybody is going to like all these albums, but there are seriously tons of records out today that make me happy. It makes me happy to still work in a record store. It reminds me of those days before I worked in a record store when I would go out searching for those new albums. It is much easier to find out about albums these days. It was all about the magazines back then and also just trusting your local record store to promote the good albums. It was also all about getting and giving recommendations to all your friends. That is sort of what I think I'm doing with my blog. I just get so excited sometimes to talk about all the things that I love and make me happy. Back when I was just a slightly obsessive record shopper, it seems like there would be nothing out for weeks and then all of a sudden there would be like 10 albums out on one day and I would need to buy them all. Today is one of those days.
This album has totally grown on me in the last couple of days -- I really didn't think that I was going to like it, but I am just suddenly in love with it. I can't control it. The album is called Volume One by the new band She & Him. Also known as Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I am a sort of big fan of her work with her other career as an actress, but I had no idea how addictive this album would be. It sort of sounds like a mix of some Neko Case and Loretta Lynn with M. Ward playing along. I am also a big fan of the biopic docudrama, music biography type of movie, and two of the movies I am looking forward to are the Janis Joplin story and the Dusty Springfield story. I was also excited about the Etta James movie but I am not really sure how I feel about Beyonce playing Etta. But Kristin Chenoweth as Dusty is perfect, and Zooey as Janis is also perfect.
The first song on the album is close to perfect. "Sentimental Heart" is one of those songs that is just a perfect little tragic sort of pop song. It is almost a little too cute-- but her voice and the arrangement make a fantastic little song that really got me hooked on the album. I only had to listen to it twice before I was addicted to She & Him. They also cover "You've Really Got A Hold On Me," the 1962 song by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. The song has been covered a bunch by everyone from Cher to Cyndi Lauper. The version that I am most familiar with is the version heard on an episode of Roseanne. Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie played one of Roseanne's coworkers at the diner she worked at in the mall. Her name on the show was Bonnie. She sang the song in a little backyard picnic scene and the whole cast is just in shock when she starts singing the song. She totally blows them away with her rendition of the song. I really love those scenes in sitcoms that stand out because they don't really fit. The whole album by She & Him is really great. They also cover "I Should Have Known Better" by the Beatles.
My other favorite new band of the moment is The Teenagers. Their debut album comes out today. It is called Reality Check. I feel like I say this a lot, but I really can't get enough of it-- like Jack Penate last month. And like Jens Lekman last year. I really love this record. It sound nothing like those guys. It is more close to Franz Ferdinand or maybe Jamie T. Brilliant and fun. They are from France and this is their first album. A lot of the album is sort of like spoken word and slow singing. It reminds me of times of the great album out last year by No Bra, just much more accessible. It has the fun of a record like the first Arctic Monkeys or Franz Ferdinand. It even reminds me a bit of The Klaxons from last year. The album is the first really great dancey pop album of the year. I just hope their new fans find them. I know they are out there. The band deserves to be popular just for making such a fun album. It is not meant to be a serious rock album. It is made for good times. There are also great albums out by Crystal Castles, Be Your Own Pet, and The Kills. There really is a lot to choose from today. Also some excellent deluxe sort of reissues from Mission Of Burma, and a reissue of one of my old favorites Replicas by Gary Numan. And I am excited to hear the new project by Jarboe and Justin K. Broadrick from Jesu and Godflesh. I have not heard it yet but I am sure that it will be fantastic. A very exciting day it is.
Here is a video for "Homecoming" by The Teenagers...
also out today...
"Get Awkward" by Be Your Own Pet
"Only as the Day Is Long" by Sera Cahoone
"Turning Dragon" by Clark
"Crystal Castles" by Crystal Castles
"Trouble in Dreams" by Destroyer
"A Mad & Beautiful Telling" by Devotchka
"Sixes & Sevens" by Adam Green
"J2" by Jarboe & Justin K. Broadrick
"Midnight Boom" by The Kills
"Horrible Truth" reissue by Mission of Burma
"Signals, Calls & Marches" reissue by Mission of Burma
"VS." reissue by Mission of Burma
"Yael Naim" by Yael Naim
"Stainless Style" by Neon Neon
"Replicas 2008 Tour Edition" by Gary Numan & the Tubeway Army
"Beat Pyramid" by These New Puritans
"Paralyzed" by Witch