stretch out your legs & dance w/me
Apparently, I've still got some Ted Leo-on-the-brain, but I'll try to make this my final Ted-related post for a while. I don't know if his new LP Shake The Sheets is my favorite album of 2004 (thus far), but it certainly has gotten me more excited than any other disc I've come across this year. Perhaps it's because of the upcoming election, and how much of the album sports a strong activist tone. "Little Dawn" doesn't seem to be politically-motivated, which helps keep Shake The Sheets from taking itself too seriously. I've read that Leo purposely wrote shorter songs for this album, as last year's Hearts of Oak featured several "longer" songs than Leo's punk background is accustomed to. "Little Dawn" is one of the exceptions on Shake The Sheets, as it clocks in at a little over five & a half minutes & covers plenty of territory, from its intense bookending intro/outro sections to the joyful main verses & elation-filled chorus. Trust me, it's time well-spent.
Shake The Sheets will be in stores this coming Tuesday (10/19), but for those of you who are impatient, it is already available for purchase & download from Audio Lunchbox. Audio Lunchbox is a great digital download site that focuses on independent artists & labels. Unlike the iTunes music store, the files you download from Audio Lunchbox are not restricted by DRM (Digital Rights Management), and you also have the option of downloading high-quality OGG files instead of mp3's at no additional price.
Also available at Audio Lunchbox is A Tiger Dancing, the new album from Mpls hip-hop outfit Heiruspecs. I saw this live band-backed group open for Radio 4 back in April, and was definitely impressed. This title track from Heiruspecs' sophomore LP, which is currently rating a 77 over at Metacritic, includes references to Anna Kournikova's lack of "game" & Hulk Hogan's very rippable tank-tops. And it's got a good beat - ya know, to dance to!
New Roman Times, the new cd from Camper Van Beethoven, and the new Tom Waits album Real Gone are both available through Audio Lunchbox as well. I've heard good things about that CVB disc, btw.
don't save a thing for later
I've been neglecting the blog this week for several reasons. I didn't feel like I had much to write about, and I may still be a little shell-shocked from watching my hometown Twins end their season at the hands off the evil empire last weekend, blowing a four-run 8th inning lead to end up losing 6-5. I'm rooting for the BoSox all the way now, but they're already in the hole 0-2, with history decidedly against them. Oy vey.
I've also been trying to catch up on my e-mail, which I've been saying that I'd do for weeks now, despite continued inaction. I've been feeling increasingly guilty for keeping up with the blog while ignoring my growing inbox, so I sorta took a break from one to attend to the other. And I finally put a dent into some of that long-overdue correspondence yesterday, but I've still got plenty more work to do on that front.
I decided to come back to the blog before the end of the week so I could share some of the goodies I've run across lately, like these free mp3 downloads from the good folks over at Music For America, or this video from The Go! Team, courtesy of their UK label Memphis Industries:
MOV The Go! Team - "Ladyflash" video (7.2mb)
20 Jazz Funk Greats currently has the title track from the new TV on the Radio single, New Health Rock. The band will be appearing this morning on Air America's 9am-12pm ET show Unfiltered, hosted by Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead, Mpls alum Rachel Maddow & Chuck D (read his interview w/Mother Jones). The band will likely be on during the final half hour.
The emmy award-winning Arrested Development will see the release of its season one dvd on Tuesday (10/19), but for those of you who haven't already checked out the funniest show on tv, you've got an extended opportunity to preview it tomorrow. FX will be airing a mini-marathon on Saturday (10/16) from 12-5pm ET. Tune in & get your laugh on.
Finally, I did get around to seeing I ♥ Huckabees, which opened here in Mpls last week. And yeah, I was disappointed. The trailer got me a little too excited about, it I suppose. The film may be a little too wacky for its own good, but more importantly it's just poorly constructed & edited IMO. I don't know if writer/director David O. Russell was going for a frantic tone to complement the characters' "existential" crises, but I found it to just be kinda sloppy. I ♥ Huckabees is fun & strangely likeable, and I laughed a lot, but overall I think the movie tries too hard & unfortunately comes up a little short. I am thinking about picking up Jon Brion's score, though.