1. ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER “Heaven” (from Last Summer 2011). This album has grown on me. Interesting lyrics. Now I must seek out the FIERY FURNACES, of which Eleanor was one half of.
2. SAMANTHA SHELTON “Over You” (from Sea Legs (EP) 2011). SAMANTHA SHELTON is also an actress, recognize her from the previous video?
3. JILL ANDREWS “Blue Sky” (from The Mirror 2011) This song is from her first solo album, which is a bit more pop than the sparse country and bluegrass of her former band, THE EVERYBODYFIELDS.
4. TIM FINN “Going, Going, Gone” (from The View is Worth the Climb 2012). TIM FINN continues his recent run of strong records. He seems to have settled into his role as an elder song craftsman quite nicely, and unlike his early career, he has become quite consistent.
5. RUFUS WAINWRIGHT “Welcome to the Ball” (from Out of the Game 2012). Produced by MARK RONSON, this album is much more poppy than recent Rufus fare. Of course the arrangements are jam packed and overflowing, but I have long since given up hope for a stripped down Rufus album. That is not happening. RONSON, though, adds some muscle to the meandering.
6. MARK RONSON featuring LILY ALLEN “Oh My God” (from Version 2008).
7. METRIC “Youth without Youth” (from Synthetica 2012). New METRIC album is just the like the last METRIC album. It’s like Sweet Tarts. I can’t stop eating them. The video below is an acoustic version of the single that I actually prefer to the album version.
8. BATTLES “Atlas” (from Mirrored 2007). I can’t describe this.
9. THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS “Standing Next to Me” (from The Age of the Understatement 2008). Featuring my future son in law.
10. ELBOW AND RICHARD HAWLEY “The Fix” (from The Seldom Seen Kid 2008). As I have mentioned before, all the ELBOW albums are excellent. You should get them if you don’t have them.
11. GEORGE HARRISON “Run Of The Mill” (from Early Takes Vol. 1 2012). Having recently seen the MARTIN SCORSESE film about George, I must mention a few things. The film does nothing but remind people how truly gifted these BEATLES were and helps clarify what a huge part of that George was. I am also amazed that after all this time, there is still so much out there to be discovered. Early Takes (which was released to accompany the movie’s video release in May) is an absolute gift. It takes the date stamp of production away from these songs so they can stand on their own, further inspiring to all those who come later. I am particularly sensitive to this subject, as this is some of the music that first caught my attention as a young pup and perhaps it’s a mid life thing. But I have seen my children and their friends latch onto it and that just confirms how important this stuff is. I am thrilled that this music is still so relevant that we get new versions of these songs and great film makers exploring the genius’ who created it.
12. GEORGE HARRISON “Awaiting On You All” (from Early Takes Vol. 1 2012) Another great version.
And how cool is this?
13. NICK LOWE “Changing All Those Changes” (from Rave On Buddy Holly 2011). How come I didn’t know about this? I must live under a rock (a-billy).
14. OLD 97’s “Singular Girl” (from Satellite Rides 2001). Came up on shuffle. I’ve lost touch with RHETT MILLER‘s band in recent years so perhaps I’ll have some new stuff to discuss next month.
15. BILLY BRAGG “Last Flight to Abu Dhabi” (from Fight Songs 2011) The Bard of Barking is coming here this weekend and I am very excited to finally see one of my only heros. Always a huge fan, he’s helped shape my opinion on the world and how we should treat each other. Equally as important, he’s taught me that an electric guitar and a voice can do anything! That’s all you need.
16. PAUL and LINDA MCCARTNEY “Dear Boy” (from RAM reissue 2012). Excellent re-issue of Paul and Linda’s RAM came out last month with lots of interesting extras.
17. PAUL MCCARTNEY “Another Day” (from RAM re-issue 2012). Extra track on the re-issue. Originally a single not included on RAM.
Happy 70th birthday to Macca!!
On this subject, I came across this link on BILLY BRAGG‘s website, a nice commentary about what makes British proud to be British. Of course, PAUL MCCARTNEY does. The London Olympics should make that clear. What ever you think of him, his music is a huge part of what defines our culture, allows us to pick and choose, and encourages us to be inspired.