I have been patiently waiting for this new album by DIIV for the last couple of months. It is finally out this week! DIIV is the band formerly know as Dive. Dive released a couple of 7"s on Captured Tracks before deciding to change their name. DIIV is Zachary Cole Smith of Beach Fossils. I have loved almost everything Captured Tracks has released the last couple of years. However I didn't really fall for that Beach Fossils ablum like I did the others. I loved Craft Spells, Wild Nothing, Soft Moon & Blouse. Even though I did not love the Beach Fossils album I really do love this new DIIV album. I might need to go revisit the Beach Fossils. I am not alone I am sure in my love for DIIV. Billy already mentioned his love for it earlier this week on his blog.So I don't want to bore you too much with my endless love for all things Captured Tracks. But this new album does deserve your time. Any fan of all things jangly dream pop and shoe gaze will love this album. It came out on CD this week. The official regular LP will be out on 7/10. But at Amoeba Hollywood we just got some copies of the limited edition blue vinyl! We don't have that many left. So I suggest picking it up now if you want it. I do love that colored vinyl. I just like to take it home and stare at it.
Listen to "Doused" by DIIV from the new album Oshin...
We also just got the new reissue of Dopesmoker by Sleep on vinyl. This is a limited edition green vinyl 2LP reissue. If you are fan of stoner doom metal and Sleep then you need this album. It is on green vinyl! Our friends at Southern Lord have just put this fine album out on vinyl once again! This album was originally released in 2003. The album is basically one track and is about 63 minutes long. This 2LP reissue also includes "Holy Mountain" Live (11:54) and "Sonic Titan" Live (9:36).
I could really not get enough of the first Ladyhawke album. Ladyhawke came out in November of 2008. I got a bit obsessed with the album and I think only finally stopped listening to it sometime in 2011. It has been a while but Phillipa "Ladyhawke" Brown has finally given us her second album. She was actually one of those artists that I seriously knew nothing about. I just listened to the album on repeat but never really took the time to even find out anything about her. In my head she looked exactly like Kristy McNichol circa 1982. And she actually does not look that different than Kristy McNichol circa 1982! Post Family but Pre Empty Nest. Phillipa is from New Zealand. She has actually been playing in bands for a while but finally just got some recognition for her Ladyhawke project. And yes Ladyhawke is named after the 1985 film with the same title. This is probably what peaked my interest at first to discover the music of Ladyhawke. I think her voice actually reminds me of Kristy McNichol singing in The Pirate Movie. I was a bit obsessed with Krisy McNichol when I was a kid. I guess it only made sense that I ended up gay and then found out that she was a lesbian. We were meant for each other I guess. I barely remember Family since it was on the air when I was really young. But I do love that the show featured two of my favorite TV lesbians. Kristy McNichol and Meredith Baxter Birney! Kristy McNichol went on to star in Little Darlings in 1980, The Pirate Movie in 1982, Dream Lover in 1986 and various other movies along the way. She then of course was in Empty Nest in the late 80s and early 90s. Her shining moment for me was of course The Pirate Movie. This movie might be a bit over the top and dated at this point. But I loved it so much when it came out. It is worth revisiting if you remember watching it when you were younger. But it might not be the same watching it for the first time. It is the 80s version of The Pirates of Penzance. It still holds a special place in my heart. I actually could not remember the name of it for years until I stumbled across a VHS copy before I upgraded to DVD. It is currently out of print. But it is actually getting reissued on DVD on July 3rd! I have not heard any plans for Blu-ray yet!
It is hard to believe that it has been almost 3 years since the last Gossip album. Music For Men came out in the UK in July of 2009. It eventually came out domestic a couple of months later. I I talked a bit about that release already. So you can read about it here if you want. It really is not fair to make us wait that long for a new album. Music For Men was one of those albums that I think I listened to all summer and fall that year. It really takes me right back to that year when I think about it. I have been watching the career of Beth Ditto and the Gossip for so many years now. It has been really fun to watch their journey. And I have seriously been on that journey with them. The new album is called A Joyful Noise. And this has nothing do do with the latest movie of the same name starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. But "a joyful noise" is sort of the perfect description for the sound of the Gossip. Beth Ditto has one of those ridiculously amazing voices. So it really doesn't even matter what is going with the music behind it. I would listen no matter what. But of course it does matter with the Gossip. Back in their more punk days their music was still incredibly catchy and dancey. They have just embraced the dance and electro sound more and more as the years have gone by. They also now have a more polished and produced sound. But there ain't nothing wrong with that. This new album could seriously be a Donna Summer or Pointer Sisters album. It also makes me think of the Flashdance soundtrack. It is incredibly fun. I think I still will always love Standing In the Way of Control and Music For Men the most. But this album is growing on me more every day. And it might just become my album of the summer of 2012.
My favorite time period for music will always be the late 80s and early 90s. This was the era in which my high school and college years took place. I know I am not alone in loving this period of music. And I know that most people are sentimental about their high school and college years. These are the years when you really start making up your own mind about what you like. When you start buying your own music and making up your own mind about what albums to listen to and what shows to go see. I was of course very influenced by my friends during this period. But I also made my own informed decisions about what music that I wanted to listen to. I wasn't going to get obsessed with just what was on the radio and MTV. That is what I did throughout most of the 80s. I was searching for stuff that was different. Stuff that made me feel different. Or stuff that somehow made me feel normal. I got really into both shoegaze and dance music in the 90s. And two of the bands that I got most obsessed with both have reissues out in the last couple of weeks. Both My Bloody Valentine and Aphex Twin became a big part of my 90s and have had a huge influence on my life then and now. They are two of those bands that I can't really imagine my life without.
Selected Ambient Works Vol. II by Aphex Twin has finally gotten officially reissued on LP this week. MobyAmbient was probably the first album that got me obsessed with ambient music. It came out in 1993. Selected Ambient Works Vol. II came out in 1994. Two years after Selected Ambient Works 85-92. I got into both these albums eventually. But it was really Vol. II that got me obsessed with Aphex Twin. I am not really sure that I could have handled these albums in high school. But I was full on ready for them in my early 20s. I really couldn't even believe that music like this existed. I remember being so excited at the time to hear these albums for the first time. They really did change my life. They sort of became my thinking music. I spent countless hours listening to them on my headphones or listening to them before I went to sleep. Every time I listen to these early Aphex Twin recordings they take me right back to that point in my life. I can't even really describe the feeling. But I cherish these albums. I seriously have some crazy obsession with them. They helped me through some tough emotional times. So I sort of feel grateful to them. Like I owe them something in return. The label 1972 has just reissued Vol. II as a gatefold triple LP. And I hope that Selected Ambient Works 85-92 will soon get an official reissue as well. It looks fantastic and sounds just as amazing as it did the first time I listened to it. I only ever had this album on CD. So it was exciting to hear it on vinyl for the first time. This album is tragic and heartbreaking and beautiful and dreamy all at the same time. I can't get enough of it. Aphex Twin went into some different directions throughout the rest of the 90s. Some of it I liked and some of it I did not like. But these albums will always be close to my heart and near the top of my list of my favorite albums of all time.
I became a fan of Grouper a couple of years ago when I first heard Dragging A Dead Dear Up A Hill. That was Grouper's album from 2008. Grouper is Liz Harris. And Liz Harris is amazing. Her music is not for everyone. You really need to turn these albums up and probably be by yourself when you listen to them. This is not music really meant for the radio. And you for sure will not be hearing this in any bar or club. Grouper will not be playing over the speakers at your gym. She will most likely be playing in your house while you sit in the middle of your room crying. Or maybe just contemplating life. I live for albums like these. Luckily there are not that many people out there like Grouper. As much as I love these albums. I just could probably not take too many of them at a time. Grouper has released a couple of things over the last couple of years. She released two albums last year titled Dream Loss and Alien Observer. These were released only on LP. But they are now available together on one CD titled A I A. This is brought to us by the fantastic label Kranky. They also released another album called Mirrorring that came out a couple of months ago. More on that later.
A friend told me about Grouper a couple of years ago. I think I was hooked on Grouper before I even listened to the album. That cover of Dragging A Dead Dear Up A Hill is something else. I really could not stop staring at it. I had not really paid much attention to her in the last couple of years. But I am once again hooked on Grouper. The album took me a couple of listens to get into it. I listened to it as background music a couple of times. But then all of a sudden I just got super into it. The songs are haunting and super mellow. She falls somewhere between goth folk and ambient experimental. It is some beautiful stuff. It really just makes be happy to have albums like this in my life. They sort of mellow me out. It balances out all the other stuff I listen to. It grounds me somehow.