Currently Listening – March 2010

My A to Z listening project fell by the wayside last week. Not because I wasn’t trying — I assure you, I put my all into it. But I couldn’t make it through the E’s. I was pulling my hair out. I now agree with the commenters who thought it was an ill-conceived project. Glad I tried anyway. And I was able to delete about 20 or so albums that I didn’t even know I had that were just plain bad (how did Metallica’s Load get on my computer?!?)

So back to full album listening. Here are a few records, new and old, that I’ve been listening to recently. Please, pass on anything — again, new or old — that you have been digging (or not digging if you want) in the comments section here.


Gil Scott-HeronI’m New Here [XL]
What a voice. With spoken word and grainy singing, interesting percussion and production elements, I keep coming back to this record for more. And the title track is a cover of a Bill Callahan tune masterfully done here.

Joanna NewsomHave One On Me [Drag City]
The long-awaited — well, at least by some — new album from the folk pixie turned sophisticate long-form songwriter. A sprawling 3 LP (or 3CD) collection of beautifully arranged tunes. My highest of recommendations.

Nels Cline SingersInitiate [forthcoming Cryptogramophone]
Details on this forthcoming double-disc and an advance track preview of “Grow Closer” at Crypto’s website. The release date can’t come soon enough.

CitayDream Get Together [Dead Oceans]
I got turned onto this label last year when Chicago-stalwarts Califone released their last one, and the Gray/Kotche duo On Fillmore did the same. One of their first releases this year was from this band. One thing I love about the album is the guitarist unapologetically goes guitar-hero on the best tracks. Check out the free downloads at the links above.


Abercrombie/Holland/DeJohnetteGateway I
Getting my hands on that $1 set from the new Dave Holland site last month got me going back through his catalog. One of my faves is this one. Still have some of those guitar riffs from “Backwoods Song” written out in my old college notebook somewhere.

Picked this LP up at Laurie’s Planet of Sound in Lincoln Square for $3.99. A steal. Anytime I see Paul Bley’s name on anything, I buy it. Hasn’t failed me yet.

Fleetwood MacThen Play On
Also grabbed this one at the same shop. It’s quickly rising up on my Desert Island list. Don’t let the band name fool you. Quite a different band when Peter Green was leading the troupe.

Also, I’ve have been checking out In The Soul Kitchen from DJ Harry D at 90.3 FM KUSF. Trying to school myself a bit more in R&B. These playlists have been a great start. Keep ’em coming Harry!