Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
I’m really loving this record, but Tom’s suggestion that it’s the best thing Lewis has ever done gives me pause.
Rilo Kiley had some pretty solid records… The Execution of All Things especially. That thing is a stone-cold classic in my opinion. It’s not as shimmery as The Voyager (Rilo Kiley didn’t shimmer that much until Under The Blacklight) – but every observation you made about Jenny’s lyrical prowess was already in full display on that record, right from the opening lines of “The Good That Won’t Come Out” and right on through to the (absolutely shredding in the old-school sense) “Spectacular Views”. And for my money, there is not a better lyrical/musical description of what depression feels like than “A Better Son/Daughter” – that song destroys me every time, even with its wind-up-toy-waltz conceit.
The Voyager is still really really good. I’m just saying, you gotta go do some homework.
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
It’s All Too Much
My favorite varies from day-to-day… but right now it’s pretty much between:
Josh Ritter – The Beast In Its Tracks
The National – Trouble Will Find Me
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
I also really love the new records from Frightened Rabbit (I haven’t seen much love for that one so far – it’s so good you guys!), Rilo Kiley (I’m really loving Rkives A LOT), Mikal Cronin and Low. Oh and Daft Punk is kind of melting my brain.
Tame Impala’s technical mishap reminds me of Sasquatch 2008, when The National were scheduled to play the main stage, but their van broke down en route. Since they were the single biggest reason I’d made the 10 hour drive, I was pretty heartbroken.
Fleet Foxes (who had played the very first set of the day) got to play a second set in the National’s place (and killed it btw), and when The National finally rolled in they were set up on the much-too-small Yeti stage (just like TI). They backed their van right up behind the stage and unloaded right there while Modest Mouse were playing the main stage.
Just like you described for Tame Impala, a huge crowd crushed up against that tiny stage and Matt Berninger & co. were visibly appreciative of the show of support. They played an incredibly moving set, and we were even able to get them out for an encore performance of “About Today” (pretty amazing for a festival set). That still is to this day one of my favorite ever concert experiences.
So yeah, sometimes delays and screw-ups can totally work in your favor.
It’s kind of a testament to the National that even though my list is significantly different, I can still get behind just about every song on this list. It’s just apparent that the writer REALLY likes HIgh Violet. Which is a really great record.
Here’s my list I put together in about 2 minutes before I read Stereogum’s:
10. Wake Up Your Saints
8. Murder Me Rachael
7. So Far Around The Bend
6. All The Wine
5. Bloodbuzz Ohio
4. Slow Show
3. Secret Meeting
2. Mr. November
1. Fake Empire
(All The Wine should make every National list ever for this line alone:
“I’m put together beautifully
Big wet bottle in my fist, big wet rose in my teeth
I’m perfect piece of ass”
The way The National layer and layer and layer again when recording, it’s no wonder that their guests’ contributions start to sound sort of impressionistic at most… it’s all just part of the primordial goo that eventually becomes the recorded song.
That said, their two previous forays with Annie Clark and Sharon Van Etten (the Crooked Fingers cover “Sleep All Summer” and the gorgeous High Violet b-side “Think You Can Wait”, respectively) are both pretty straight-forward collaborations of the most traditional order. And they’re both pretty brilliant. So I’m excited to hear what else they’ve done with these two.
I really enjoyed this write-up. While I think you’d be pushing it to connect the direct-influence dots between PM Dawn and today’s hip-hop, it’s pretty awesome to hear how much of their sound has bled into and diffused through the genre over 20 years.