I’m not the biggest Kanye West fan, to the point now, where I’m not sure if I’m a fan at all. I liked his first album, and the next two each a little less than the one before, and didn’t even listen to his last album at all. So when I heard he had a new album coming out, I wondered what I had missed in the few years I spent away from him. This new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was greeted with some early praises, and I had been seeing a slew of people give it praises I could tell were hyperbolic before I even listened to it. There was no way this could be the best album of the decade. Unless you were starting a new decade from the day you heard it. Maybe then. I don’t want to knock Kanye too much, because I think he’s a decently skilled lyricist and his samples are usually interesting, and this album really isn’t bad, but I will say I think he’s way past his prime, and also a jackass.
Nonetheless, in thinking about him more than I have in a long time, I realized that everything about his persona, and his iconic personality, would make for a great poster. So this idea came to me and I went with it.
Also noteworthy is Good Old War’s self titled album. I’m actually happy that this album feels like a continuation of their last. They’re clearly good at what they do, and that’s what I want to hear them doing. Some bands need to realize this and accept it, Good Old War seems to have done both.
Broken Social Scene was laying it on thick this week in part of their new album Friendship Rock Record. Now I can’t say I’m the biggest listener of BSS, partially because I forget about them a lot. I feel like I’m hearing mixed reactions to this record, but I think it’s actually really strong and I’ve been giving it all the listens it deserves. If you liked them before, this is another little gift. If you haven’t listened….where have you been?
I was having such a Bob Dylan week. And I can tell you why! I’ve been blowing through Mad Men this past week, and at the end of one episode (which I wish I could remember more exactly) it ends with Don sitting on the stairs and “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” playing the show out. It was such a perfect scene that reminded me how much I love that song. I listened to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan a few times in a row right after that.
I had my first experience (aside from a few Smog songs) with Bill Callahan. And now I’m a believer. His baritone voice can go toe to toe with Josh Dean anyday. A compliment to both. Too Many Birds is one of the best songs I’ve heard recently.
I was part of a time warp video for a little bit as I listened to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah this week. I loved their self titled in 2005, didn’t care for their follow up in 2007, and feel pretty much the same way about both in 2010. Their self titled also still reminds me of driving to Kirby’s house when I first started dating her. Apparently this band isn’t doing much these days, but if they do nothing else again, that first record will always be something I’ll go back to at some point or another.
Paul Simon is a king. And his self-titled debut album is one of the finest examples of a group of songs I can think of. Check that out if you don’t have it already.
Nick Drake can put me at ease on the tensest of days. Bryter Layter into Pink Moon is also one of the strongest succession of albums I can think of.
Townes Van Zandt popped up this week because I had a hankering for Flyin’ Shoes. Speaking of, that’s a great album to start on for those who know nothing of his and want to get into it. He’s probably the most underrated and under appreciated folk singer I can think of.
Let’s talk about She & Him for a minute. Right before Volume Two came out I started to realize that She & Him is bad music in a sheep’s costume. You may be in disagreement because we are told that Zooey Deschanel can do no wrong. But the truth of the matter is that she shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing. She’s kind of inserted herself into everyone’s heart with an image of herself that she created in order to do so. And I’m not buying it anymore. She’s not even that good looking. It’s all in how she’s styling herself. Ayway M. Ward is leagues better alone than he is with her on any account. I agree with my friend Jeff who said that I hope I never see a Volume Three.
Last.fm friends dude.