We have to admit: Modern Times didn't wow us the first time. As DW described it, it seemed like "too much shuffle, not enough stomp." Sure, we all liked the video for "When the Deal Goes Down," but we weren't sure we could separate our affinity for that video from its star, Scarlett Johansson.
Taking a second spin around, as we figure the guy probably has earned it, we suddenly got it. Songs like "Workingman's Blues #2," our personal favorite, popped out among all the shuffle as seemingly inspired works from the master himself.
We might not be able to give Modern Times the stellar reviews it got in the mainstream music press, but there's little question it's yet another solid Dylan album.
The Toaster Talks is admittedly a little behind on the phenomenon that is Beirut.
Upon first hearing the first few songs from Gulag Orkestar, it became clear that the music sent the listener into some Eastern European carnival to do one of two things:
1) Revel in our carefree abandon and let the breeze spread the sweet smell of elephant ears and french fries into our eager nostrils.
2) Ride those fucking spin rides until we vomit.
Just as one should be when walking into a carnival, we were hesitant. Now that the 20-year-old Zach Condon and his band have an EP coming out in February, we can safely say that nobody has hurled and we're all still very happy about that smell.
"Elephant Gun," the first track from the forthcoming EP, doesn't stray from the Gulag formula and proves to be yet another winner, maybe the best song he's released aside from the masterpiece "Postcards from Italy."
And who can help but love an according-led coda?! Get on the merry-go-round, boys.
"And She Was" is a permanent fixture in the soundtrack that was Mister Toaster's upbringing. With a father who went to law school and worked as a manager at a local Toledo record store, the Toaster house was always filled with new music. Most of it stayed in rotation on the record player for no more than a few months, which meant that Mister Toaster's adolescence would be filled with rediscoveries. As you might imagine, these songs tend toward the poppy - even the uncool (ahem, Starship's "Sara"...yeah...).
But the Talking Heads were different. They were cool. David Byrne still is cool, having almost coined his own definition of the concept.
And so we submit yet another song toward the Toaster Hall of Fame collection.
Please note the first-ever meeting of the Toaster Talks Music Appreciation League will take place Saturday, Jan. 20, in Washington, D.C. Inquire within.