Neil Young – Hitchhiker
Sometime in the middle of August 1976, Neil Young and David Briggs went into the Indigo Ranch Recording Studio. The story goes that in this period Briggs and Young had a habit of going into the studio on full moon nights. One full moon night, Young poured forth 10 remarkable solo cuts that would go on to form the basis of work for years after. While the record was shelved by Young’s label all but two of the ten tracks saw release over the next four years. Here we have the original versions of “Pocahontas”, “Powderfinger” and “Ride My Lama” from the seminal Crazy Horse record Rust Never Sleeps. This album is a missing piece of our larger understanding of Young’s work. There is a stark honesty to the recording. There is an tense urgency that comes through. Clearly, Young feels the excellence that is pouring out of him at this moment but he cannot rush the delivery. He is poised at this peak of excellence for the full run of the record. What might initially sound like nothing more than a demo is a rather flawless moment in an outstanding career.
Zola Jesus – Okovi
For her fifth record Zola Jesus (Nika Roza Danilova) returned to the Sacred Bones label and has refocused her efforts away from broader pop aspirations. There is a darkness to Zola Jesus records. She turns her attention to the private agonies of the characters in her songs. Despite the forty minute runtime of the record, this album feels expansive. There is an epic quality to her work here that carries the listener on a journey through the various sonic scape she has created. Stream the track “Siphon” below.
LCD Soundsystem – american dream
Wow, so…a lot of people have been waiting a long time for this record and frankly it’s better than it has any business being. I wasn’t really worried about James Murphy and company releasing a bad record, but there are plenty of good records that drift by with relatively little attention these days. From the opening synths on “oh baby” you know this record. This is something intimately familiar and yet strikingly new. There is a healthy dose of Talking Heads style new wave here which is right up my alley. Despite wearing their influences on their sleeve the band is not looking back here. This is a triumphant return from an ensemble that everyone knew was far too restless to stay in retirement for very long. Stream the track “i used to” below.” This song is truly great.
To Do This Week
Tonight Beck opens for U2 at the Dome. Tomorrow check out Dave Jordan at d.b.a. Sunday Frankie Rose is at Gasa Gasa and Swervedriver is at Siberia. Monday check out Two Door Cinema Club at the Joy and follow it up with 2 Chainz at the Joy on Tuesday.
To Listen This Week
- St. Vincent has released the video for her new track “New York” via Youtube
- Watch The Tallest Man on Earth cover Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” via Brooklyn Vegan
- Ted Leo does a hilarious send up of 70s crooners in his new video via Youtube