super happy fun music post!

at the risk of sounding like a broken record, i feel the need to point out that for the third day in a row, it’s sunny and over 70 degrees outside! people of seattle rejoice! if you’re a little tired of me crowing about the (infrequent) sunny warm days we’re having, bite me. we’ve had the wettest spring on record, and the collective impression was that summer would NEVER arrive.

but the purpose of today’s post wasn’t to point out the clear blue sky that i can see out the window. no, i was going to point out yet another reason that the public library is a wonderful, amazing, and often underfunded and underappreciated institution: the music collection.

i used to, ahem, “sail the high seas” to obtain a large portion of my CDs. but as the BF pointed out, i can’t really afford a fine, and my budget doesn’t really stretch to new music either…especially when i get the album and find the only song on it that’s any good was the single from the radio. talk about lame. hence, the library. yes, sometimes the wait for the newest of the new can be quite long (i started out at #341 for eminem’s recovery) but it’s always been worth it…if only because i discover that i’d have wasted $12 if i’d just gone out and bought the sucker to begin with (hello, courtyard hounds?!?)

so what did i check out (and then rip to my mp3 player) recently? read on…

tao of the dead/worlds apart …and you will know us by the trail of dead –tao is trail of dead’s most recent release, but i personally think worlds apart was the better album. i must admit, i’d long heard of this group without having actually heard a single song by them. it was far more…melodic than i’d expected, and that’s a good thing. no, that’s a GREAT thing. these guys are tight, they know their shit (the BF pointed out one song on worlds apart that was in 5, and another that was in 7, and all i know about that is that it’s referring to the time signature it’s played in), and face it, they have a kick-ass name. by far my favorite track of either album was “caterwaul”.

swoon silversun pickups – “panic switch” is bordering on overplayed, but forget the song for a moment. swoon was a hell of a lot better than i expected it to be. sure, brian aubert sometimes sounds like he’s channeling billy corgan (and i bet he’s really tired of hearing that comparison) but i happen to like billy corgan, and this album is better than corgan’s more recent efforts. the first few tracks flow into one another quite nicely, to the point where you start thinking that maybe they were shooting for a concept album of sorts…except that after about the fourth track it stops sounding like one, and more like a good album. my favorite track? “the royal we”.

invented jimmy eat world – i found this album when i was doing an amazon search for some of my favorite artists (like the get up kids). given my less than warm fuzzy feelings for chase this light, the band’s previous effort, i didn’t really feel the need to cough up the $12 i would have normally been happy to fork over for one of their CDs. invented does slightly better than chase this light, but it’s still nowhere near as good as futures. the first couple of tracks were solid, but then it just got crappy and sappy, two very bad things. however, i will say that “invented”, the 11th track, is one of their best ballads ever. but my favorite track was “my best theory”.

bunkka paul oakenfold – this is an old one, at least compared to the others on the list. bunkka marks one of oakenfold’s first forays into…composer-ville? i think that’s what i’m thinking of. normally he’s content to simply remix other people’s songs (he’s the one of the guys behind perfecto) but this was his first studio album following his record deal with maverick. he got some heavy hitters to guest vocal (perry farrel, tricky, ice cube, even hunter s. thompson!) and the album turned out pretty well. unless you ask an actual dj, which i did, and his opinion was it was only so so. we did agree on the best track though: “the harder they come”, featuring tricky and nelly furtado.

house with no home horse feathers – ever since i got this out of the library, i’ve listened to it at least once a week, sometimes twice. and i haven’t done that with an album since POE’s haunted. horse feathers are classified as folk music, and i never thought i’d like it all that much. i gave it a shot, though, and i’m glad i did. it’s a pretty, spare, often haunting album, and it does a great job of making me feel like everything around me is quiet, especially when i’m at work and it’s definitely NOT quiet. my favorite track was, hands down, “heathen’s kiss”. which, coincidentally, was the reason i got the album out of the library in the first place.

recovery eminem – i love eminem. i always have. i don’t really know why, other than his rhymes often put others to shame. the critics raved about this album, but i missed the razor sharp wit that he used to use when he skewered his haters and lovers alike. despite referencing his time in rehab and how it’s made him a better person, eminem sounds a hell of a lot angrier now than he did in the past. his words still flow better than most of his peers, and the twisted mouthfuls that sometimes seem to just fall off his tongue are still often brilliant. it’s a solid album, but did he really need to use rihanna on not one, but two songs? i can’t stand that woman. favorite track: “cinderella man”.

*images via dangerbird records and maverick records

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