Album Picks: David Bowie, Jaill, No Parents

Posted by Billy Gil, January 8, 2016 11:40am | Post a Comment

David BowieBlackstar

David Bowie’s 25th studio album shows the nearly 70-year-old artist is showing no signs of slowing down. Far from it — Blackstar is one of the most adventurous albums of his career. That’s saying something, given Bowie’s remarkable history, from his Ziggy Stardust days to his hallowed Berlin trilogy to his days as an unlikely ’80s pop star and subsequent movements thereafter. The epic-length title track combines a shuffling jazz beat and electronic throb with strings, horns and Bowie’s eerie doubled vocals. The whole thing moves creepily, a little like Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song,” but breaks into a typically gorgeous yet still intense second portion — it’s hard not to get goosebumps when Bowie sings “how many times does an angel fall?” over floating guitar lines. “Lazarus’” languid jazz-inflected atmosphere calls to mind the aforementioned Berlin albums and reminds us he was the original post-rocker. The previously released “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)” plays the album’s jazz-noir theme most strongly; its horns trill fabulously while Bowie turns the suburban dream into a waking nightmare. Comparisons to Scott Walker’s later albums or Tom Waits are sure to abound, but Blackstar is still Bowie at the core. While some late-era Bowie albums have seen him try on ill-fitting guises or attempt to recapture past glory, Blackstar finds him maturing gracefully without losing an ounce of his creative mojo and finding something new, even revelatory, once again. Check out the creepy new video to “Lazarus” below. And celebrate D-Bizzle's 69th b-day and album release with a listening party at Amoeba Hollywood tonight at 6 p.m.!


JaillWherever It Be

Milwaukee power-pop band Jaill have mellowed out since their days paling around with Ryan Adams on Sub Pop. Now signed to Burger, they’re producing twee garage-pop that asks very little of you and rewards with intricate, whimsical little earworms with memorable details — the a cappella opening to “Flight Risks,” casio synth throb of “Augmented 5th” and ramshackle charm of “Helen You Sure Do Smell Bad For a Girl.” Pretty adorable stuff. Stream the whole thing below. Check out last year’s Brain Cream, too.


No Parents May the Thirst Be With You

Another Burger signee, No Parents’ lo-fi punk-pop fury is sick (“You Got Snaked”), silly (“I’m a Dildo) and utterly irresistible. You can smell the piss on the basement wall with this one. Scrappy and irresistible, with zero fucks given. Follow them to “Dick City.”

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No Parents (1), Album Picks (146), New Albums (213), New Releases (214), David Bowie (83), Jaill (2)