Town Burned Down is the long lost proto Drive-By Truckers album featuring Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. This was recorded in 1990. As a reminder, that’s before Nirvana’s Nevermind. The Adam’s House Cat album has sat unreleased until last week. The album has a sound informed by The Replacements, The Rolling Stones, and some R.E.M. (maybe a touch of early Clash) and was definitely ahead of its time. Hard to imagine if this album hadn’t been shelved that Patterson and Cooley wouldn’t be even more central to the Alt-Country genre. One they’d eventually become such a central part.
Instead, Uncle Tupelo, for many, have become the first chapter to that scene. No Depression, a music magazine that specializes in covering the genre was named after Uncle Tupelo’s first album, which was also released in 1990. So Town Burned Down is more than scrappy demos, but rather proof of an alternate music history that could have been, but wasn’t. But how does it sound? Continue reading “Adam’s House Cat – Town Burned Down”
Richard Reed Parry is an extraordinarily gifted musician. His main gig is with Arcade Fire, but he has collaborated with a who’s who of indie acts of the last decade: The National, Sufjan Stevens, The Unicorns, and Islands. On this release, he invited Peter Gabriel, members of Yes, Jim O’Rourke, and The Flaming Lips. I like all of these groups, so I was very interested in what this album would have to offer.
Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1 doesn’t disappoint, not even close. The results of the collaboration is a complex, atmospheric soundscape with enough melody to tie it into something not quite ambient, not quite pop (indie or otherwise). This is a bold release designed mostly for listeners who have heard it all. Continue reading “Richard Reed Parry – Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1”
Be the Cowboy is Mitski’s third full length, and it is a departure from Puberty 2, the album that gained her enough attention to share the stage with Pixies and Lorde. Instead of the confessional approach of that album, here she wears one or more personas as she sorts through their hurtful pasts.
One of Mitski’s strong points has been bobbing where listeners expect a weave. Throwing in a gutsy chord that doesn’t resolve as expected, or a measure that’s shorter than the ones around it, or a melody note that’s unsettling against the underlying chord (or all three at the same time). She truly exceeds all expectations on Be the Cowboy with her freewheeling approach. One only gets one chance to hear an album like this for the first time. Set time aside to let it toss you around like a rodeo bull. In other words, be the cowboy. Continue reading “Mitski – Be the Cowboy”