Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pod packing

Trying to decide what to put into the little silver device is always a dilemma before a trip. With upwards of 98G of songs on one external hard drive which I'm sure will eventually be one of several music only drives, it's a hard task. Besides usual catalogs of Mahler, Mozart, Debussy, Poulenc, Nina Simone, I've decided on at least two additions this week.

Anjani Thomas' Blue Alert has quickly become a favorite that fittingly comes close on the heels of the 20th anniversary re-issue of Jennifer Warnes' The Famous Blue Raincoat. I never cared for Jennifer's mid- to late 1980s pop duets/movie themes. But I immediately connected with her as a kiddo when I saw her singing Easy to Be Hard on the Smothers Brothers back when she was in the L.A. cast of Hair.

The real surprise is Jens Lekman's Night Falls on Kortedala. I've loved Jens from when I first heard him six to seven years ago with Maple Leaves, and he gets better with each release. Besides being so adorable and a great ukulele player, he is seriously improving as a vocalist, or at least growing. He's never had a bad voice, but it's easy to dismiss him with his often silly lyrics that fool many people into pegging him as a Jonathan Richman for the New Millennium. Kortedala (the name of a hideously ugly planned community in his native Sweden shown below) shows that he may have more in common with Scott Walker (who'll also be featured heavily on my iPod as usual) than anyone imagined. There are several string intensive, lush ballads, such as the stunning opener And I Remember Every Kiss, a gorgeous tune without an ounce of whimsy or irony. But, as usual, there's just the right of whimsy. Regardless, Jens is quickly advancing on my scale of 50 favorite male singers, and certainly tops my list of Swedish pop artists. Kortedala is just an gorgeous, near perfect album that is so now yet also so rooted in the best of the past. And though there are tinges of sadness and silliness around the edges, it makes me feel so happy listening to it.

I've yet to get the new Roisin Murphy release but it will probably join Jens and Anjani. Sadly the new Annie Lennox album leaves me cold. And, what, no Madonna? Uh, no. Madonna-fre home and iPod here.

In the meantime, I'm seriously considering becoming a completely Apple-free home once my current iPod croaks. Want a guess on when yours will bite the dust? There is now a handy iPod death watch calculator. My favorite response to smug Apple enthusiasts who look at me with shock when I reveal that I don't share their enthusiasm is: "Think different!"

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At 8:20 PM, Blogger kimy said...

I'm such a luddite....don't have an ipod!

thanks for the head's up re anjani thomas' cd (where have I been??) years ago I fell in love with warnes famous blue raincoat, but then anyone who can decently cover leonard (A GENIUS) will be a favorite of mine. (I agree with your review of jennifer's other releases)

anjani - what a voice.

speaking of voices, are you familiar with june tabor? in particular her record (cd) airs and graces.... if you've never had the privilege of getting to know june, let me know I make up a mix for you on a cd..... of course you won't get it in time to load it on your pod (!!!!! - I admit I do have a case of vicarious excitement)

jens sounds like someone I'd like.... silly lyrics.... right up my alley!

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Kimy - Sometimes I curse mine.

Hope you enjoy Anjani. Being half Jewish/half French Canadian, Cohen clearly speaks to my soul. His grandfather was a prominent rabbi in Montreal. He seems to grain more insights as a writer with the years, albeit certainly not better looking!

I do know June Tabor but don't have any of her on disc/mp3. Thanks for the reminder.

The new Jens album is pretty amazing, actually. He has a typical tune about a drive-in bingo parlour but opens with a sweeping ballad called "And I Remember Every Kiss" that is one of the most poetic, majestic love songs I've heard in years. No irony, just beautiful, gallant sincerity.

At 3:39 AM, Blogger Pod said...

i almost bought the new roisin the other day, but i didn't really like her last that much....

i trust you are well

or swell even?

At 3:41 AM, Blogger Pod said...

and i hope your title doesn't extend to me....?

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Pod - I'd pack you only if you wanted to have a holiday in Catalonia. What I've heard so far of the new Roisin seems good. When will Sarah Cracknell get back with a new solo effort?

At 9:17 AM, Blogger WAT said...

Hmmm, I didn't see Beethoven there on yer list.

Yeah, that's quite funny, I too am always anticipating when my iPod is going to finally croak. I actually thoguht it'd be this weekend, when the damn device worked and all, but did not turn off!

Alas, false alarm! He's still kicking after some 3 years!

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

WAT - Beethoven does speak to me that often. My iPod frequently locks up. Often just a couple of songs after charging up, it will stay stuck at a certain point in a song, won't turn off, won't advance, and I have to wait until the battery runs down and I recharge it to go back to normal.

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Huntington said...

I don't have an iPod only because I don't like headphone-based music at all. But iTunes has revolutionized the way I organize and listen to music.

I love Sarah Cracknell, with or without her bandmates. Do you have anything against Saint Etienne as a whole that you require Sarah solo?

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Huntington - I tire of headphones and consider them to be a necessary evil.

I enjoy Sarah in any form and have nothing against her band mates.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger hughman said...

the new roisin murphy is good but i liked the last one better. but maybe that's just me.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger T$ said...

the new roisin murphy album is hyper-addictive. it's straight-forward dance - and much more straight-forward than her last album - but, personally, I can't shake the shit.


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