Monday, June 27, 2011

Listening Booth: grade round-up.

Really poor week, writing wise. In particular, I've been stuck on an article that should've been a piece of cake, but is now overdue and needs finishing. Posted another mix tape on the 1984 page (see the sidebar), and did get through a good few records, but somehow never wrote any notes worth posting here. I figure it's best to just throw them out there and move on. Note that more than the regular Listening Booth, which normally include notes, these grades are particularly tentative, and are probably only useful to me as, say, a means to "cross out" records on my "new(-ish) records" shelf. Nevertheless ...

  • JD Allen Trio: Victory! (Sunnyside) - They've become a tight group, focusing on short, rough and bluesy tunes. There are shades of post-Coltrane in Allen's music and saxophone playing, always has been, but I like how they hold back length wise, and instead focus on blowing full steam for the ca. 3 minute they allow themselves. As if say "I've said my piece on the matter, now let's move on." 7
  • Art Brut: Brilliant! Tragic! (Cooking Vinyl) - Not as sharp as they used to be. Not as funny, either, and Eddie Argos is a better reader/shouter than he is a singer. 6
  • Hayes Carll: KMAG YOYO (And Other American Stories) (Lost Highway) 7
  • Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble: The Prairie Prophet (Delmark) 8
  • Let's Wrestle: Nursing Home (Merge) 7
  • Wadada Leo Smith's Organic: Heart's Reflections (Cuneiform, 2CD) - Pheeroan akLaff is as much the star of this as Wadada Leo Smith, who provides his customary trumpet stabs and echoes, or any of the other "Organics" for that matter. akLaff pushes the record along with a most solid, funky back-beat. Powerful and groovy stuff. 8
  • TV on the Radio: Nine Types of Light (Interscope) - Dear Science was snarly and punchy, this one's trudges along by comparison, though the musical scenery is nice enough. Prefer TVOTR snarling and punching, though. 7
  • The Weeknd: House of Balloons (mixtape/self released download) 8
  • Yuck: Yuck (Fat Possum) 7
I am holding back a few records, and may revisit a couple of the above if things improve in the coming week.

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