New Music Monday: Death Cab for Cutie, The Prodigy, Sufjan Stevens, Ringo Starr, and More!

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Happy Monday music maniacs! LIke new stuff? Great! You’ve come to the right place. Each week all sorts of audiolicious goodies are unleashed onto the masses and this is where they come to be judged. I’ll tell ya what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s a waste of your time. Thanks for stopping by!

The Big News!
Long awaited new stuff from alternative rock poster boys Death Cab for Cutie this week. Kintsugi, the band’s eighth record, is four years in the making and is their first without guitarist/producer Chris Walla (who contributed to the record, but did not produce it). It’s also the first since lead Cabber Benjamin Gibbard’s divorce from the succubus known as Zooey Daschenel. Much is being made of the title of the record, so I’ll go ahead and repeat it here: Kintsugi is Japanese art of restoring busted pottery with gold to highlight and celebrate it’s flaws. So, there’s that. The record is getting mixed reviews. I dig it, but I’m a Death Cab fan from way, way back, so I’m obligated, and my judgement is pretty clouded. And, yes, I realize that admitting that makes me a pussy and a wimp. This Consequence of Sound review, that I strongly disagree with, claims the record has “moments of radio-ready bliss” and “a few songs with lyrics that slowly become affecting” the rest is “a handful of forgettable diversions, and some expected trite, misguided nonsense”. Later the reviewer asserts that Kintsugi is “likely the worst album of their career”. Wow.

Solo Trippin’
Couple of BIG NAMES releasing solo stuff this week. Hootie, ex of “and the Blowfish”, is releasing his fourth solo country record this week. He told Radio.com that: “This was a fun record. I’m getting close to all those records that made me want to make country records. I’m trying to get closer and closer to them.”

Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr unveils his eighteenth solo record, and first since 2012, Postcards From Paradise. Todd Rundgren, Van Dyke Parks, Peter Frampton, Richard Marx all gave Starr a little help from his friends on this record. This review in The Daily Mail, which I read after I typed that previous sentence, I swear, claims “Postcards From Paradise is a likable, if hardly essential, album that veers amiably between traditional rock ’n’ roll, loping reggae and languid blues”.

One of rock and roll’s great troubadours, Boz Scaggs, returns with another solo set A Fool to Care.

Metalurgy

Endless Forms Most Beautiful, the eighth opus from Finnish metal masters, is the first to feature the vocal talents of new screamer Floor Jansen. According to Skull Banger Media, the record is “huge, robust, full of life, mystery and wonder… It is Nightwish in every form while also Nightwish in a new form…a most beautiful one”.

Folksy Wondering
The new Sufjan Stevens record is, um, quite the affair. I’m too hungover to write anything great about it so just read this little snippet from LiveinLimbo: “Carrie and Lowell is possibly Stevens’ biggest album yet. It’s one of his shorter releases (at about 45 minutes in length) and it is stripped down to merely a few instruments instead of his usual large arrangements. It’s his grandest release because of the distances it crosses into the human spirit and psyche. The album is based on the death of his mother, Carrie, and her relationship with his step father Lowell. He barely knew his mother. She left him when he was young and suffered from a variety of mental conditions (including schizophrenia) when he was older. Even when he came to try to know her, he never truly did.”

Punk picker William Elliott Whitmore’s eighth release, Radium Death, is “a general discussion of the demise of mortality”, according to Noisey. It’s also absolutely brilliant and a must hear. Strong contender for album of the year.

Sick Crazy Stuff
Canadian anarcho-post-rock dilemma Godspeed You! Black Emperor return with their second release since re-emerging from the fog in 2012. Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress “is an invigorating makeover of Godspeed’s firmly entrenched sound, and thus Asunder is both a thematic and musical awakening for the band”, according to Sputnik Music.

Original bitch smackers The Prodigy offer up their sixth release, the imposing The Day is My Enemy.

RIP

Looks like no one died this week. Good news!

My Recommendation
The masters return! If you don’t know The Sonics then it’s time you learned. The original garage rock madmen from the Pacific Northwest, The Sonics went boom in the 60’s, reemerged from time to time and now are back with a new album. Can’t wait to hear the whole thing!

For educational purposes only!!

Next Week
Tune in next week, same new music time, same new music channel, for new stuff from The Mountain Goats and Matt and Kim!!


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