Months! Job stress, an impending move from NYC to Chicago, a heat stroke, a broken ipod, two or three netflixed seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, three parts coffee to one part whiskey to half a teaspoon of simple syrup from last night, etc. Hey there.
So it’s been a few months where I’ve been enjoying a lot of new albums (Thanks Bill Callahan, Chris Bathgate, Mogwai, The Dodos, Random Axe, Wye Oak, PJ Harvey, Tune Yards), and have been muddled, miffed, migrained and mostly mixed-feeling about a few others (Really Low? C’mon White Denim! Is that it, Get Up Kids?), but I guess I’d rather come back swinging with an album from four years ago than anything new.
So I got my first Elvis album a few months back. It’s his first album too, the self titled one with the garish cover that the Clash stole later on. What surprised me most about it, besides how much I love it (and not in the relic sense. Not in the way I love Jimmy Stewart movies because Jimmy Stewart is what a movie star used to be and no longer is and never will be again), is how close to the ledge Elvis gets. Some songs on the album sound so blood-muckily creepy that you think he’s about to push someone off that ledge with all his pearly whites chasing them down to the concrete and making sure they stay there. Other songs seem so desperate that you can just seem him hanging out on the roof of Sun Studios, and realizing in a moment where the conversation stopped that you’d have to try really, really hard to kill yourself by jumping off a one-story building. Except for two or three songs, the ones which explicitly command dancing, happy is not a word I’d use to describe this album.
The songs on Elvis Presley are loud and rawkous or they are trembly and filled with disquiet. They are not the kind of songs I can picture teenagers rebelling to, or teenagers even liking. These are songs that I can picture parents saying to their teenagers, “Don’t listen to that garbage,” and the teenagers responding, “You think I’d listen to THIS? You don’t even know me!” But I guess I don’t know teenagers that well any more, and I guess I never knew teenagers from March, 1956 when the album came out.
On to Elliott Brood. I discovered Elliott Brood when I was looking for info on the new Christine Fellows album (By the way, Christine Fellows has a new album. I’ll tell you about it when I buy it. Which will be soon.) on her label’s site, and one of the bands’ songs came up on the player they have on their page. And immediately, I thought Elliott Brood stomp in the same that Elvis stomped. These guys aren’t Elvis, no military haircuts, no fender-wax vocals, no screaming teenage fans, and hopefully no coke-fueled vegas burn-out. But, and read a bit more into this than just this, they stomp their feet the same way, and to the same effect. Sometimes I’m just a sucker for loud drums.
They’ve got a new one coming out in september.
And one song from Bill Callahan, because both he and the song and today are beautiful and as bold as sunlight.
And, I can’t stop, here’s a song from the new Wye Oak album, which is just so great i want to go to back to middle school so i can improve my penmanship and then I want to go back to highschool and hang with the wrong crowd so I know how to tag the sides of buildings, and then I want to go to college and actually use the rock wall, and then I want to scale one penn plaza and write “Today is a day to listen to Wye Oak” and hope it stays up there for at least 364 more days so people would realize that, yes, every day is a day for Wye Oak.
Ok. Whew. That’s it for now. No more multi-month breaks. Unless heat stroke comes back.