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New (To Me) Music – August 2011

August 18, 2011

A quick run through of a few things I’ve been playing a lot recently.

Mirror Traffic, the new album from Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, comes out on Tuesday, but it’s streaming on NPR’s site right now. You may have heard “Senator” or “Tigers” already (or his live version of “Tigers” and “No One Is (As I Are Be)), and you might have heard that Beck produced the LP (and I don’t have much to add to that yet aside from the overall crispness of the sound reminding me of the sound of the last couple of Beck LPs). I’ve told people who asked (and some who haven’t) that this is an album covered in highly melodic, expertly played electric guitar, but the album also shows off Malkmus’ range as songwriter in addition to his (and the Jicks’) virtuosity. I’m looking forward to catching them at Royale in Boston on September 24.

Spin has “Off-Screen,” a song from Kevin Devine‘s forthcoming Between the Concrete and the Clouds, out September 13 on Favorite Gentlemen. The jangly guitar and Devine’s promise that Between the Concrete and the Clouds heavily features his collaborators The Goddamn Band, has me especially excited to hear the entire album. The album is available to pre-order and offers another song from the record for immediate download, and Devine is on tour this fall (coming to Boston October 20th to Royale as well)

I’m a little late to the party here, but I finally listened to all of Beyonce’s newest album 4 the other night and immediately succumbed to the one-two punch of Beyonce’s killer voice and her overwhelming personality. This is the sound of a pop star sounding confident, creative, and uninhibited, and it certainly seems like we’re watching an artist approaching her creative prime. She’s finishing a run of “intimate” shows in New York City this week playing 4 in its entirety, and I can only wish she was doing the same in Boston.

Finally, the solo debut from the Fiery Furnaces’ Eleanor Freidberger Last Summer is on sale today only at Amazon MP3 for $3.99, a bargain for an album full of summery tunes. Go get it while it’s a deal! (Friedberger opens up for Wild Flag at the Paradise in Boston on October 14).

(I also listened to Watch the Throne a bunch the last couple weeks, but plenty have already spilled enough words about that record).

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