Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Brand New Toaster (or: There's Noel in Toaster)

We apologize for the delay. Of course, we blame it on our brand-new toaster, Brando (above). See how Brando makes everything bigger!

>> Featured Artist: Aimee (F'n) Mann

Some of us are enthralled with fast cars. Others like beer. Or chocolate. In that way, Aimee Mann could sing us the back of a Neosporin tube and make us swoon.

Of course, she just violated all that's right in the world to release a Christmas album(!). We aren't kidding. The songs we secured from unnamed sources took us to the edge, Aimee. So we're going to forget about this transgression and just pretend One More Drifter in the Snow is an album filled with different versions of Joni Mitchell's "River" (the best "Christmas song" of all time, which doesn't appear on the track list, but was covered by Aimee here).

>> Album Lookout: Born in the U.K.
Badly Drawn Boy - Released: October 17, 2006 Astralwerks

Somewhere an indie songwriter is shedding a single tear. Badly Drawn Boy is broken. Yeah, that's three underwhelming albums in a row, and he's officially on indie probation. Hell, Born in the U.K. makes Have You Fed the Fish? look like Rubber Soul.

The title track wouldn't be painful if all Damon Gough's intentions weren't so blatantly relayed to us in the form of a Doves/Strokes/Killers-like drum track. We want to say, "He's trying too hard," but all the evidence points to one of two conclusions: 1) he's not or 2) he's washed up.

"Degrees of Separation," thus far into our listening, is the only thing that comes even close to being a song of Gough's previous caliber. But even it wouldn't be a standout track on About a Boy or Badly Drawn Boy's stellar 2000 debut, The Hour of Bewilderbeast.

We hereby on this 25th day of October, 2006, are officially calling on Astralwerks to drop him like he's burning. Maybe then he can go back to his four track and nail out something more his speed.

>> Reverting to: 1971

As previously referred to, Blue's "River" is a Joni Mitchell masterpiece, not just the best "Christmas song" around, but it has got to be the best song that could hit your headphones during those long, cold walks home.

(By the way, we'd like to point out that this year the Toaster finally commemorates the coming Christian holiday before Starbucks and its damned red snowflaked to-go cups. Thank you.)

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