|Art by: David Ellis|
It's August and like so many others I'm trying to navigate through the busiest summer ever. I know, it's my own damn fault. Regardless of why we over-inundate ourselves with hectic schedules, we hopefully find some time to tune out, or rather, tune in. So with the end of summer approaching, Labor Day is September 2nd, here's a quick list of the five or so albums that have grabbed my ear and held it. I will revisit this topic at the end of the year. Thanks to those artists that help us wade through the seasons. This list of fire spitters is in no particular order.
* Phosphorescent - Muchacho was released on the Dead Oceans label this year and has been one of those records that I cannot wear out. It continues to sooth again and again. Matthew Houck is the man behind the moniker. This southerner based in Brooklyn summons the stories he has endured.
* Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City dropped this year and within a few listens had won me over. This album has many great tracks, however I recommend just letting the record play.
* Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God was Mr. James' debut solo album. Having seen the corresponding tour I can confirm its legitimacy. Jim is one of the most active men in rock and roll today. After completing the initial leg of his solo tour he went into Americana mode touring with Wilco and Bob Dylan. Making a pit stop at Newport reinforced his unofficial title of ambassador to the folk festival. He'll be back on the road soon in support of Regions.
* Thao and the Get Down Stay Down - We the Common was an album that entered into my consciousness immediately. Thao and the Get Down were that something new I had been waiting for. With a kaleidoscope of sounds whirling into one coherent theme, her simplistic allure is deeper than the initial bliss she's created. Having seen her perform at the Buddy Holly tribute in San Francisco was a total treat. Not only did she cover the late great, she also lit up the audience with three original tracks, Kindness Be Confused, Holly Roller and We the Common.
Three other albums are vying for the fifth spot. They are, Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; the Foxygen release We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic; and Mosquito from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Have fun with the rest of summer.