Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The ITunes Bump

I listen to a lot of music. Unfortunately I don't always have time to give every album the attention it deserves, especially when I'm sucked in by a recent obsession (see: In Rainbows). Today I'm giving props to albums I've discovered or rediscovered lately, thanks to a little phenomenon I'll call the I-Tunes bump. Sometimes, when an album ends and a new one begins, something magical happens.

1. Camera Obscura - Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi (2002) - Bumped via Califone's Roots & Crowns

Although later albums see Camera Obscura moving into a 60s pop mold, their debut was produced by Stuart Murdoch and is pure BS. (Make that Belle & Sebastian -- when abbreviations go wrong...) Check out final track "Anti-Western," which wooed this listener during a live performance at the Record Bar last year. A phenomenal oldie from one of our favorite artists of 2006.

2. Cat Power - The Greatest (2006) - Bumped via Caribou's Andorra

I was a fan of You Are Free and Moon Pix, but for some reason never fell for The Greatest (partially, I admit, because I absolutely despised the album art, and for the longest time thought it was a Greatest Hits album. Don't kill me, Chan fans). Maybe it's just this late-autumn mood I'm in, but the album's rich vocals and bluesy/folky turn have won me over.

3. Iron & Wine - Woman King EP (2004) - Bumped via I&W's Shepherd's Dog

Here's one that gets better every time I hear it, and proves an oh-so-nice follow-up to Sam Beam's recent masterpiece. In just six tracks Beam explores the range of his sound, from sweet ballads like "Jezebel" to Southern staples like "Freedom Hangs Like Heaven" to rockers like "Evening on the Ground," one of my favorite Iron & Wine songs ever.

4. Modest Mouse - Building Nothing Out of Something (1999) - Bumped via Menomena's I Am the Fun Blame Monster

This summer I fawned over Menomena's impressive debut, and in the process stumbled upon this collection of Modest Mouse B-sides. Perhaps it was this discovery that made getting into We Were Dead... even harder for this MM fan. Here was an entire album of B-sides that, in my opinion, easily outshines the band's last two releases.

5. The Beta Band - The Three EPs (1997) - Bumped via Besnard Lakes' Are the Dark Horse

Here's an old favorite that's been getting some extra attention lately. The Three EPs is the quintessential "chill" album. "Dry the Rain" sets the tone with layers of acoustic guitars, distant drums, and trumpets swelling toward one of the most satisfying climaxes you'll ever hear in a stoner song. If you're not convinced, listen to "Dog's Got a Bone" or "Inner Meet Me" and bow down to the late great Beta Band.


Anonymous said...

What the hell is an iTunes bump???

You know it's funny... I have an iMac and I don't even use iTunes...

SonicRyan said...

Its like when you've been partying and need a "bump" to keep yourself flying high, right? Naw, just kidding.

Jerod said...

Hey Nicole, remember when we saw The Beta Band live? All I can remember is wanting them to hurry the fuck up because I was there for some goddamn Radiohead, not some boner with a trumpet.

Femme Fatale said...

He was wearing a dress... but I'm too in love with Deerhunter to think that's anything weird these days.

The Moon said...

*walks by everyone wearing a dress*

"...what, huh?"