Sacred & Profane – Art, Beauty & stuff that doesn't suck

"Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your poetry" -Oscar Wilde

Stuff that isn’t Christmassy or crappy October 7, 2009

I am particularly excited for my New Release Tuesday post today. “Why?” you ask. “Is it because of the new Backstreet Boys CD or the Creed re-release?” Well, I can honestly so that it is not. It is however the first week of October which means the official beginning of the Christmas season for record labels and movie distributors, thus kicking off the nauseating three month frenzy of crap being dumped into the marketplace. Sweet!

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CD’s

The-RaveonettesThe Raveonettes – In and Out of Control

Emily Haines

Emily Haines

For those unfamiliar, The Raveonettes are a brilliant band from Denmark by way of Brooklyn consisting of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo who I am in love with. Sharin shares a special place in my heart with Metric’s Emily Haines. I indeed have a weakness for waify non-American blonde indie rock chicks who play guitar. Anyway…on to the music.
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The Raveonettes’ last album Lust Lust Lust was my absolute favorite of 2008 and I’ve since been patiently anticipating its follow-up. Their music is like pre-Beatles pop songs recorded by the Velvet Underground and then covered by a Psychocandy era Jesus and Mary Chain who sent the tracks back to the future through a time warp to be mixed by a pre-felony/incarceration era Phil Spector. Helpful? After three attentive listens I’m prepared to say that In and Out of Control isn’t quite on par with Lust Lust Lust, but I didn’t expect it to be. The same seamless harmonies and efficient songwriting, just much less adventurous sonically.
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Here is their incredibly catchy new single “Last Dance”

GoslingDead Man’s Bones – Dead Man’s Bones

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling

Two things can be expected from actors who become bored with acting and decide they want to be rock stars: A) Their album will suck. B) No matter how bad it sucks some label will take a gamble and release it. For this reason I was terrified upon hearing Ryan Gosling, one of my very favorite actors and man crush objects, started a band with his neighborhood’s hipster children’s choir and they were releasing an album. Initially I feared that best case scenario it would be dismissed as an indulgent novelty and forgotten before doing any permanent damage. Well, sorry I doubted you Ryan.
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I am relieved to say that after listening, my respect for Gosling as an artist has only deepened. Dead Man’s Bones can’t easily be summed with comparisons so I’ll just recommend listening to it. The best I can do is say that it’s eclectic, charming in a creepy sort of way and best experienced with a fake life-sized doll.

hope sandovalHope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Through the Devil Softly

Best known as the former singer of mid 90’s shoegaze folk duo Mazzy Star whose song “Fade Into You” still finds its way onto soundtracks and TV shows. Hope could sing through a phone book and make it haunting and rich, (though I hope she never does because that would make for the worst album ever), and to me that’s why this album as a whole doesn’t grab me. Too much gets stripped down and cleared away to make room for her vocals and as a result sometimes the songs either run into one another or just don’t go anywhere. Through the Devil Softly was produced by former My Bloody Valentine guitarist Colm O’Coisoig who I wish would have brought some of his former band’s sonic adventure with him to this one. Click here for more good times (more…)

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New Release Tuesday January 20, 2009

What’s happenin’ everyone? Awesome…I’m going to start a new ongoing weekly category of the notable CD’s & DVD’s that are released every Tuesday.

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And if there are any that I overlook I’d love for people to post others…Thanks for reading! Peace

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CD’s – Greatest day ever! Several great new album releases and a new president all before lunch!!! (I had lunch at 1pm ET so I did eat it under the new and current administration…If you had lunch at say-11:45 am then that statement was not true for you. Sorry…It may also not be the “greatest day ever” if you don’t share my political affiliations in which case I am also sorry and would recommend finding someone and requesting a hug or perhaps a frozen treat such as a milkshake or a banana that has been left in the freezer. Hugs and frozen treats usually brighten my day.) Anywho…Here you go:

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blood-bank-epBon Iver – Blood Bank e.p.

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I am ridiculously excited about this one and am listening to it right now. For those unfamiliar, Bon Iver (pronounced – Bonnie Vare…French for “good winter”) is the brain child of Wisconsin’s Justin Vernon. He recorded his stunning 2008 debut For Emma, Forever Ago alone in a secluded cabin over the course of 3 months and in the midst of a breakup and serious illness. He released it independently in late 2007 and was re-released to a wider audience by indie label Jagjaguwar several months later.

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There has been some concern among fans that new recordings produced in a polished environment won’t produce the same raw magic and emotion of Emma. I had the same hesitation, but even though Blood Bank is fuller and more polished, it in no way detracts from the quality or power of the songs and performances. I will warn that there will be an initial knee jerk reaction to the Imogen Heap, Hide & Seek inspired vocoder and auto-tune drenched track Woods. Great start for 2009. Hope we see a full length later in the year.

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noble-beastAndrew Bird – Noble Beast

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This is Bird’s follow-up to his 2007 excellent Armchair Apocrypha album. He stated in an interview that “the record I want to make here and now – the one I wish I could find in my local record store, is a gentle, lulling, polyrhythmic, minimalist yet warm tapestry of acoustic instruments. No solos, just interlocking parts.” If he’s looking for that album I would recommend he go purchase his previous release that accomplished that objective quite well. I’m looking forward to hear how well he’s able to build on his past successes.

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Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Challenging, experimental set from Baltimore-based Indie rock super group.

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antonyaAntony & the Johnsons – The Crying Light

One of the most unique and intimate singers around today.

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getguilty1A.C. Newman – Get Guilty

Pop rock craftsman behind The New Pornographers

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athomyorkeremixessingle

aThom Yorke – The Eraser Remixes

Remixes of Thom Yorke’s- as good as it needs to be- solo record

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Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band – The Mountain

Reissue of 1999’s classic collaboration between two country music legends.

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DVD’s
Nothing too exciting that struck me for this week with the possible exception of The Express which is the story of Ernie Davis-the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner for those of you into inspirational sports movies. Several great DVD releases the next several weeks.