Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Catching Up

Well, that sucked. (No, that really was a great season.) Anyway...we've missed so much.

>> Featured Artist:
Jens Lekman

A Slate writer called Jens Lekman the greatest Swedish musical export, which says a lot, given Slate's fixation with ABBA.

Not only did we miss the release of Jens' latest full-length in all this baseball hubbub, but we also have failed to properly prepare for his upcoming Black Cat show. A friend of mine - the friend who bought the tickets - is going to proposition Mr. Lekman to play at wedding. There are few thousand bucks on the table, I'm told.

What's to be said about Jens Lekman, other than that I think he's so incredibly overlooked - and yet so incredibly overrated. I mean, this is Jens Lekman. Everything about his music is about a lack of pretension and refrain from overthought.
(As you see in the Slate article, there are some folks who seem to be hoping he's the next coming of Christ/Lennon.) His music's greatness is based on the fact that it resembles something pure, I guess, if purity is something attainable through sampling and simplistic, straightfoward, honest lyrics.

There's something indescribably great about Jens - something that make

See here: "The Opposite of Hallelujah," a cut of the new album. I'm just hoping his live show lives up to the promises of his studio productions.

>> Album Lookout: Reunion Tour
The Weakerthans - Released: September 25, 2007 Epitaph

It has rarely occurred to me that the Weakerthans have become one of my favorite bands. And, to their credit, this has built entirely in the four-plus years since Reconstruction Site was released, never overly concerned about when the next material was coming out.

Well, while no one was paying attention, Canada's John K. Samson and Co. released their follow-up, the solid Reunion Tour. I've had the benefit of spending a few car rides taking this album in. Every time, "Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure" chokes me up a bit, which seems silly until you realize that Samson's songwriting taps into emotions and the everday importances that make our lives matter. Virtute the Cat, who was also featured in the first person on the last album (and whom I always read as "Virtue"), represents the perfect subject to illuminate the Weakerthans' songwriting prowess - emotion from an unlikely source. For a more typical Weakerthans song, though, check out "Night Windows."

Luckily, I'm also seeing this band in concert this Sunday at the 9:30 Club. Honestly, having seen them twice before (once, all by my lonesome on Oberlin College's campus), I can't wait.

>> Reverting to: 1984

I spent a little time on the road over the past two weeks (a LOT of time) and I ended up relistening to a lot of great music I haven't listened to in years. Bruce's greatest hits was one of those discs. "Born in the U.S.A." (video) sounds better every time I hear it.

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