Saturday, January 15, 2011

3 Dids / 3 Didn'ts

So while I did write about a bunch of music I loved (or at least recommended) as part of my year end extravaganza, I did not write about any albums that I listened to but was not necessarily impressed with or was ambivalent (since you know, I try to be positive here). However, there were a few.

For example, I was excited about the the new Jose Gonzalez trio, Junip, but their summer release ultimately didn't move me. I was hoping for a bit more richness from the accompanying musicians--particularly percussion. That happens on a track or two, but in the end, I would just as soon have heard a Gonzalez solo album since the added musicians really didn't change the feel of the songs and it took away from the solo acoustic guitar feeling.

Another album that didn't meet expectations (although I kind of saw this coming) was Jenny Lewis' new effort, Jenny and Johnny. Just too much self-indulgent psychoanalysis without music that could compensate. Anyone else besides me hoping for a Rilo Kiley reunion?

And then there was Josh Ritter's latest effort, So Runs the World Away. Now I had intended to write about Josh Ritter at more length since he as an artist I have been catching up with, but never got around to it. I had become quite taken with The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter thanks to Nelson and moved on to So Runs. Now this album is not necessarily a disappointment and I keep coming back to it so it has the best chance to be a turnaround album for me, but it is just not immediately an album I took to. There are some wonderful songs and I appreciate the darkness of the album, but we will have to see.

Now at the same time, a host of albums came out in 2010 that I did not get to, but still hope to. Some are just obvious that I will, but haven't. For instance, I didn't pick up the latest Spoon effort which I will-but that was in part because I was still diggin' all the older Spoon I had recently discovered. But stepping past the obvious--here are three artists I am planning to check out who are all relatively new.

First up is Mumford and Sons who were all over the year end lists and topped Paste's Best New Bands list of 2010.

Next up is young Sarah Jaffe from Texas who many are watching for both her voice and her songwriting.

And finally, The Head and the Heart who NPR picked as one of five bands you should have known in 2010.

Who else should I have listened to that I didn't and who can I not worry about?


  1. Nice suggestions. I keep thinking I thanked you for recommending Frontier Ruckus, but if I didn't I am thanking you now. I am suggesting: The Bad Plus, Never Stop; Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM; Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz (we need to discuss your attitude re Sufjan, unless you don't have one, in which case: carry on).

  2. You have. Where to start with The Bad Plus? And yes I do have what you would "describe" as an attitude about Sufjan which is to say I have never been motivated to explore--not sure why, but just a sense that it won't be my thang. But promise me that lunch in February will cover other topics as well!