Danny's blog

Album of the Week (7/25) Courtney Barnett ~ Tell Me How You Really Feel

Sophomore albums are always intriguing to me when an artist's debut was well received. Seems like the pressure is on to do even better on (often) a shorter amount of time. 

Courtney Barnett delivered with Tell Me How You Really Feel (May 2018) especially when so many garage-rock-slack-style outfits are putting stuff out there. She's from Australia, where many other cool rock bands are from. Maybe that and her collaboration with Kurt Vile in between releases helped. 

Hope you tune in, you nameless, faceless listener, you.


Album of the Week (3/02) José González ~ In Our Nature

Sure, the song Heartbeats has 160M plays on Spotify even though it's 10 years old and Veneer is the album everyone first heard José González and his overdubbed crooning... well, except for me. I discovered In Our Nature (2007) first and whether that's the reason or not, it's still my favorite lp by this man. Swedish, you say? 

Thanks to a Facebook ad for the Mondavi Center in Davis, I will be seeing him perform with a 20-piece orchestra tomorrow night. Can't wait! 

Hope you join the warmup listen with me tonight for this episode of Album of the Week.


Album of the Week (12/8) Akron/Family ~ Love Is Simple

As 2016 comes to a close, I've found myself singing some of the lyrics to the 2007 release by Akron/Family; primarily the words sung in the opener "go out and love, love, love everyone..." which is repeated throughout the bookend tracks (and apparently the recipe for getting through tough times in the world). Or the three words of the album title, which stretch longingly in the 3rd song, Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead.

Love Is Simple ~ chaos, rock action, tribal bongo-banging, sentimental sing-alongs and pop gems galore. A cast of thousands live and breed inside... (from the sticker on my shrinkwrap). "The most beautiful thing about the Akron/Family is that they are virtually unclassifiable. Is it rock? Post-rock? Acid folk? Freak folk? Free improvisation? Ultimately, who cares what it is, that it IS is what matters most..." ~ All Music Guide 

Album of the Week (10/27) Wand ~ 1000 Days

Wand is a band that I discovered because my friend Kaz Mirblouk posted a link to their KEXP live performance and I was floored. Over the course of a few weeks, I found myself gravitating to one of their three studio albums on a daily basis. 

This trio has a lot of history with L.A. and Bay Area garage pyschedelic rock artists, such as Mikal Cronin and Ty Segal; performing with, supporting tours and recording with similar producers, such as local legend, Chris Woodhouse. 

1000 Days is their most recent lp (2015) so I'll start with it, but there will be time to jump into the other two. As a pround owner of all three on vinyl, I'll be happy to share Wand with you today. [Then again, Kaz has his own awesome record, so maybe I'll fill the time with a few from it. If not, click here: https://kazmirblouk.bandcamp.com]

Wikipedia suggests that they're taking their time with the next album. I hope you'll come away from this episode with eager anticipation of that release. And of course, a TOUR! 


Album of the Week (02/11) Tame Impala ~ Currents

Stealing a line from this Pitchfork review, "Nearly every proper song on Currents is a revelatory statement of Parker’s range and increasing expertise as a producer, arranger, songwriter, and vocalist while maintaining the essence of Tame Impala: Parker is just as irreverent working in soul and R&B as he is with psych-rock."

I'm not one to rely heavily on P4K, but when they rate an lp 9.3 out of 10, I may give it a try. Currents ended up in their Top 5 for 2015, (Top 3 Reader's Poll) and in my list of fifteen favorite discoveries for the year.

Let It Happen and The Moment drew me in to this solo project and the rest grew on me shortly afterward. I recently picked up the double-lp from Armadillo Music and am pleased to share it during my turn of AoTW. Mr. Parker will be touring (with a full band) at the Greek in Berkeley early September. One of the two nights still has tickets remaining as of this post.

Album of the Week (10/29) The Walkmen ~ You & Me

Stolen from a review in NY Magazine when You & Me was released in 2008. I love these opening remarks:

The Walkmen have just made a gem of a rock album, but should anyone care about such a thing? You & Me is an album in the long-format sense of the word. It plays for about an hour, fourteen songs meant to be listened to one after another with undivided attention. It rewards that attention with small pleasures: guitar and organ playing off each other’s reverb, bass and drum dancing in and out of step, horns and vocals collapsing into a single bellow. In essence, it offers that luxuriant buzz that made rock and roll one of the great narcotics of the last half-century.

Settle into this one and hopefully, buy, enjoy, repeat many times over.

Album of the Week (9/17) - The National ~ Trouble Will Find Me

Have you seen the Sunday lineup for Treasure Island Music Fest? Wowzers!

The National are headlining, which is really great for them and everyone who gets to experience their set (jealous). Then again, it won't top the time I saw them at Bimbo's 365 for the Boxer tour (braggart). 

Trouble Will Find Me is their 6th lp, released in 2013. It was Album of the Year that year as far as I'm concerned. 

I look forward to spinning the double vinyl tonight! 


Album of the Week (8/6) Thee Oh Sees ~ Mutilator Defeated At Last

San Francisco garage rock outfit Thee Oh Sees released their latest album, Mutilator Defeated At Last, on May 18th via Castle Face Records.

Although Thee Oh Sees initially announced a hiatus in late 2013, this will be the band’s sixth album in the past five years. Mutilator serves as the follow-up to Drop in April 2014.

A press release describes Mutilator as “made to be played loudly and demands bodily sacrifice,” adding, “Despite the plutonium heavy feel, Thee Oh Sees continue to be omnivorous. Synths and acoustic guitars wind throughout the album like veins of gold through granite.”

"One of the best live bands of the new millennium." ~ Danny