Dave and I are both heading to Portland, OR on Wednesday for a friend’s wedding; I’m staying through the following Thursday and heading up to Seattle with my girlfriend, while Dave is flying home on Sunday (I think.) So, if we aren’t as responsive for a bit, you now know why. Anyway, let’s get back to the music, which is why you’re all here anyway. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done one of these, so if you’re new around here, catch yourself up on my first 118 picks over here.
I’ve done my share of heaping praise on White Denim’s 2009 album; it was Number 3 on my personal Best of 2009 list, and I talked about it over at my lone post at Virgin Music. (That will undoubtedly remain that way; I don’t have the time to write more than I already do.) Regardless of how much I talk about it, it doesn’t detract from the fact that the album is incredible.
“Radio Milk How Can You Stand It” is the nonsensical sounding opener, and it builds into everything that the rest of the album is. It works through stops and starts, incorporating widespread influences before devolving into an emphatic sing-along close. It’s frantic and frenetic and everything that a talented band should be – unafraid to experiment with various sounds and textures. This one is a scorching example of how good that type of experimentation can be.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from White Denim is the easygoing folk of the former lead singer of Red House Painters, and current lead singer of Sun Kil Moon – Mark Kozelek.
I talked about this track back in October when I was reminded of it, and in that post I remarked that it felt like “weekends around the house.” In addition to that particular sentiment, it feels like blue skies, wide highways and time to kill. With my impending trip west, I’m feeling more like that. There’s something uniquely American about Kozelek’s songs – and I’ll be flying over a vast portion of it to parts I haven’t been to before. I’m excited.