Friday, May 19, 2006

Music in May

Wow, its been a long time since I posted anything here. I blame most of that on the fact that work has been busy for me for the last couple weeks. But, the upside of actually working at work is that I spend a lot of time, while working, listening to new music and discovering new CDs. And there are two that have been on near perpetual rotation over the last couple weeks: Gnarls Barkley's "St. Elsewhere," and Beirut's "Gulag Orkestar."

The two CDs actually couldn't be farther from each other sonically, but I think both epitomize what makes good summer music. But, while "St. Elsewhere" provides track after track of danceable R&B laced with space-age techno; "Gulag Orkestar" is the type of music you want playig while sitting at a sidewalk cafe, just watching life go by.

Gnarls Barkley is the brainchild of DJ/producer Danger Mouse, and rapper/soul singer Cee-Lo. And it's at its strongest when the tempo is up and the chorus is catchy. But, upon repeat listens, it holds up as a result of surprisingly personal (and often dark) lyrics from Cee-Lo and quirky and varied production by Danger Mouse.

Beirut is an entirely different beast all together. Somehow, a 19 year old from Albuquerque is managing to channel a European-raised David Byrne, and found an Eastern European gypsy band to back him. All ballads and marches, with only the occasional Casio-style synth thrown in, Beirut manages to sound both completely timeless and while being the current It Band™ (I'm definitely not the only one waxing poetic about them on their blog).

Beyond that, its also worth mentioning that if you like Wolf Parade, you should also check out the new album by Sunset Rubdown which -beyond featuing the dumbest band name since "Wolf Parade"- also features one of their two singers.

Oh, and just as FYI, Beware of Pizzly Bears. (Thanks Thaddeus)

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