I don't really know what happened to November, but all of a sudden I woke up and it was Thanksgiving and now it is December. I sincerely apologize for not updating this blog in the last couple of weeks. I had that cold that everyone seemed to get and there really has not been a whole lot out in the last few weeks of November. So I am combining a couple of street dates of new releases here. Way back on 11/18 we had that big R & B album that I know you were waiting for by Beyonce. Well, I know I was waiting for it. Destiny's Child and Beyonce have always been one of my guilty pleasures that I don't really feel that guilty about. I still don't think
that solo Beyonce has topped the brilliance that was Destiny's Child, but she has put out some good songs over the years. It really was the Saturday Night Live skit a couple of weeks ago that made me fall in love with the new album. They spoofed a video shoot for the single "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." The new album is called I Am..Sasha Fierce. She made the album a double album even though it really is the length of a normal album. She just wanted one side of the CD the be the slow ballady album and the other the dancey Beyonce album. It is her idea of a concept album. Most people probably like to go out dancing to Beyonce or maybe drive around in their car. I just really like to do the dishes and fold the laundry to Beyonce. It works for me.
Beyonce I Am...Sasha Fierce BUY NOW
Also out this week was a BBC Sessions album from the fantastic band Belle & Sebastian. We may have to wait a bit more for a new album from them, but this at least will help us to get through the end of the year. There is a 2CD deluxe version of the album and a single disc version. The first disc is BBC Sessions from 1996-2001. This is my favorite period for the band so I was excited to hear these never heard before sessions. I don't think I saw them live until 2002 or so, so this was a period in their career that I had never really head live before. I think they played in here maybe once during the 90s. The recordings sound fantastic. The second CD on the limited edition version is an entire live show from Belfast recorded in 2001. It contains four songs that you have probably never heard before. Here is the track listing of the 2 CDs.
1 The State I Am In
2 Like Dylan in the Movies
3 Judy and the Dream of Horses
4 The Stars of Track and Field
5 I Could Be Dreaming
6 Seymour Stein
7 Lazy Jane
8 Sleep the Clock Around
9 Slow Graffiti
10 Wrong Love
11 Shoot the Sexual Athlete
12 The Magic of a Kind Word
13 Nothing in the Silence
14 (My Girl's Got) Miraculous Technique
bonus disc two...
1 Here Comes the Sun
2 There's Too Much Love
3 The Magic of a Kind Word
4 Me and the Major
5 Wandering Alone
6 The Model
7 I'm Waiting for the Man
8 The Boy with the Arab Strap
9 The Wrong Girl
10 Dirty Dream #2
11 The Boys Are Back in Town
12 Legal Man
These songs all bring back fond memories for me. I really did love this band. I still do, but these were the songs that made me fall in love with them. And it is so very exciting to hear them in a new way that I had never heard before. It is like a little piece of history that has been hidden for 8 to 12 years and is now finally unearthed.
I am finally able to link up my reviews to the buy stuff portion of amoeba.com Changes are happening, so get yourself ready. I highly recommend this Belle & Sebastian CD for anybody who has ever loved Belle & Sebastian. You need to own this album if you call yourself a Belle & Sebastian fan. The deluxe version will be gone soon if you want to pick that one up.
Belle & Sebastian BBC Sessions BUY NOW
Belle & Sebastian BBC Sessions 2CD BUY NOW
Last week's new releases were all pushed up a day to a Monday street date. The big releases were Kanye West and The Killers. So Instead of Kanye West vs. 50 Cent, which is what happened last year, it was The Killers vs. Kanye West. I personally love this new Killers album and still have not decided how I feel about the new Kanye album. However, the Kanye album for sure sold more copies. Also out this week were the soundtrack/scores to two of my favorite films of the year. The soundtracks are great but the films are really amazing. Both Synecdoche New York and Milk came out this week. I really did love Synecdoche New York. The film is not for everybody, but it had a really intense effect on me and I am still recovering. I was just getting back to normal and then went and saw Milk, which was even better than I expected. I just did a little conversational kind of blog with Miss Ess, so check out her blog to read all about that. Coldplay also had a new EP of songs out and a new 2CD version of the album that includes the EP. There was also a great K7 compilation form The Rapture simply called Tapes.
I have never been ashamed of my love of The Killers. I loved that first album more than most albums that came out in 2004. I ended up liking the second album but there was not much love involved so I wasn't expecting to love this third album, but much like the new Bloc Party, I do love it. It has quickly become one of my favorites of the year. The Killers are much like the 80s new wave pop albums that I had fallen in love with two decades before. They are the Duran Duran of today. Maybe if Duran Duran were from Las Vegas and were born 20 years later this is exactly what they would sound like. I was not really loving the new single when I first heard it, but "Human" has grown on me. The songs that I can't get enough of are "Joyride" and "This Is Your Life." Like the Bloc Party, if you were not a fan of The Killers before, I doubt that you will become one after this album but they made a fantastic album for their fans. It more than makes up for any disappointment that you may have had with their second album, Sam's Town. I will be revisting that album soon though. It is what I recommend doing for that second Bloc Party album, Weekend in the City. You may have thought you didn't like it back when it came out, but you should revisit it because it really is still one of my favorite albums. This album is really all that I have been listening to the last two weeks. You can buy the CD on the Amoeba site right now for only $10.98. I highly recommend that you do so. It is easily one of the best of the year...if you like that kind of thing.
The Killers Day & Age BUY NOW
Another album that has been competing for my time lately is Hurricane by Grace Jones. It has been almost 20 years since Grace Jones has had an official album out. She recorded a couple of albums in the 90's but they were never released. I am so happy that she was finally put out another album! I have been a long time fan of Grace Jones and believe her to be one of the most amazing personalities. Seriously. Is there anybody that can compare to Grace Jones? I wasn't really around to appreiciate her disco period and first actually became a fan because of seeing her in movies. How can you not love her character Zula in Conan the Destroyer. A View To A Kill is not most people's favorite Bond Movie but it remains one of my favorites simply because of her performance as May Day. I was, after all, born on May Day. Simply amazing. Vamp and Boomerang are also essential movies in the Grace Jones catalog. But I have always loved her singles and albums from the 80s as well. This was obviously her most prolific and popular period. I never really thought that there would be another Grace Jones album worth listening to after the 80's. But I was wrong.
You may not be expecting much from this album but it will really suprise you. This is not some sad attempt to resurrect an icon -- this is the real deal, a fantastic album that should put anyone to shame who has ever doubted that Grace Jones could make another great album. You really just have to listen to it to believe it. Go here to check it out. The album is worth it alone for the fantastic photo shoot she did for the artwork. I really can't recommend this album enough. I assume it will come out domesticly early next year. It is still just an import. I imagine it will be on quite a few "best of 2008" lists though. It will most definitely be near the top of mine. This Grace Jones album will also make quite a nice Christmas or Hanukkah present. Who wouldn't want a Grace Jones album as a present!? I think I might just give this album to myself again as a Christmas present. I have not seen any vinyl available for this yet but you can bet that we will be carrying it over at Amoeba as soon as we can.
There is really nothing out this week worth me talking about. If you like yourself some Britney Spears than you might be interested in a new album called Circus. I am sure you have heard about it. Not a whole lot else out this week. It is time to go back and get those albums that you missed from earlier this year.
Grace Jones Hurricane BUY NOW
also out 11/18...
Sunday at Devil Dirt by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
Ladyhawke by Ladyhawke
A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night by Love Is All
Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust Deluxe Box by Sigur Ros
also out 11/24...
Synecdoche New York Soundtrack
808's & Heartbreak by Kanye West
Prospekt's March EP by Coldplay
Tapes by The Rapture
Perfect as Cats: A Tribute to The Cure