Matt Blake's blog

Album of the Week for March 14th: The Specials self-titled debut release from 1979

Enjoy first wave Brittish ska? Me too. Join me and my co-hosts for a listen of The Specials 'The Specials' from 2 Tone records, produced by Elvis Costello. You'll think "isn't this a greatest hits album?" and I'll say "No! Unless you consider that it was The Specials' first album and every song is a hit." They're all here:

Album of the Week for 01/31/2018 is "Offerings" by Typhoon

Listen: of all the things you're about to lose, this will be the most painful.



And so begins Typhoon's "Offerings," a sprawling 2-LP journey into a man's loss of memory, self, and indentity. It's dense. It's dark. I like it and I hope you will, too. My only current issue is that it's just over an hour, so I'm either going to have to skip a track or talk over it or something similar. Tune in to find out how I handle this very real problem as I spin "Offerings" in its entirety... even though such a feat is literally impossible. 

Album of the Week for 11/29/2017 is "Nebraska" by Bruce Springsteen

Do you like loney? Do you like spare? 

Join me as we listen to an album of what were recorded as demos at home by Bruce on a 4 track. It's just acoustic guitar, harmonica, and Bruce singing about the evil in this world. It is the perfect mid-winter album, but I'm doing it early because, well, it's getting dark far too early every day. And at least one person dies in almost every song; eleven in the opening track!

We'll be listening to a reissued vinyl that was released specifically for Record Store Day a couple of years ago that I picked-up at Armadillo. I look forward to you joining me.

Album of the week for June 8, 2017 is Soaked by Hot Flash Heat Wave

Soaked dropped last Friday and is the sophmore album by Davis favorites Hot Flash Heat Wave. It's 38 minutes of awesome. HFHW will be closing out Davis Music Fest (June 16-18) on Father's Day, playing the final set at 9pm at G St Wunderbar. By the time they hit the stage, downtown Davis will have seen 39 other bands across three days and eight venues. We'll probably all feel, well, soaked.

Album of the Week for 03/09/17: "The Lion's Roar" by First Aid Kit

The conversation went like this:

Me: What do you guys want to play on Album of the Week this week?

C&D: (always the first request) Taylor Swift?

Me: No.

C&D: Can we do Lily and Madeline again, or do they have anything new?

Me: No. (Without checking. They had an album come out in February 2016 that flew way, way under my radar. I only checked after the rest of this post already happened) Would you be willing to do something by Neil Diamond?

C&D: No. We want some melodies. How about First Aid Kit?

Me: Done.

Album of the Week for 11/17/2016 : "Songs of Leonard Cohen" by Leonard Cohen

Songs of Leonard Cohen was Leonard Cohen's debut album in 1967. Join me and my mother-in-law as we listen to it and remember the life and career of the poet, singer, novelist, songwriter who died last Monday. If you've never listened to the whole album, you are in for a treat... so many greatest hits compilations are available for Leonard Cohen's work that you can go a long time without revisiting the source. Join us on Thursday!


Album of the Week for 09/29/2016 : "Heads Up" by Warpaint

I have only heard the first single released a couple of weeks ago for this album: "New Song." I do not like this song (yet), mainly because it's more disco than I want from what I've come to love about Warpaint. They planted an earworm in me about five years ago with "Undertow," which I was certain was a Nirvana cover (it's not, but the band claims it is an homage to "Polly"), and I like various of their songs. So, join me and the gang for a first listen of Heads Up on this week's Album of the Week. We bought the vinyl and it's a two-disc set; however, both discs feature the same music and tracks. The difference? One pink vinyl and one black. Which will we play in studio? You'll need to tune in to find out.

Album of the Week for 06/02/2016 : "Masterpiece" by Big Thief

This week's album is "Masterpiece" by the band Big Thief. It just came out on Saddle Creek on 5/27, and we will be spinning the red vinyl album this Thursday 6/2. I heard the title track and loved it so much, it went on my April roadtrip playlist... I must have listened to that song about 25 times since then. It is, well, a masterpiece. Having only listened to the whole album once so far while eating dinner, I haven't formed a full opinion, but perhaps you can help me do so. Join me, C & D for a listen and some discussion. Per usual and due to Memorial Day, I'm running behind, so here's a link to the Saddle Creek description and the NPR review by Bob Boilen (both links have live tracks you can screen). See you Thursday!