Monday, November 2, 2009

November New Music Tuesday

So today marks the one month anniversary of my wedding. *grins widely* This also means I better buy some thank you card and get them out... Crap, anyone know where I can get cute but reasonably priced thank you cards in bulk?

Anyway I've decided to mark this wonderful day with a new monthly blog feature. From now on (unless I space out), I'll take the first Tuesday of each month to talk about the music I'm excited about and collect music recommendations from my blog readers because everyone likes discovering new music, right?

I've chosen Tuesday since that is the day records tend to drop (it seems to be when books usually drop too. hmm. I think there is a shipping reason behind it that was explained to me once.) and yes, I am totally one of those people who goes to pick up the albums she is eagerly awaiting on the very first day of release.

One of the very first days of release I remember most clearly is when Hole's album Live Through This came out on April 12, 1994. I was so excited about that album. I'd gotten a hold of Pretty on the Inside a couple years before that and it spoke to me in ways few albums have. Of course there was a dark cloud over the release of Live Through This. Kurt Cobain was found dead four days before it came out. I was still incredibly depressed about it and walked to the record store three blocks from my house in a somber mood, hoping they would have the album because I knew listening to it would provide some kind of release from the sadness over Kurt. Fortunately they had it and I listened to it nonstop (with some Nirvana thrown in, but that was about it) for over a month. Some of the lyrics were so eerie given the circumstances, like the line from "Asking For It" that the albums title comes from: "If you live through this with me, I swear that I will die for you." (In one of Courtney's first interviews on MTV after Kurt died she'd say, "I'm not psychic but my lyrics are.") But eerie or not, that album just spoke to me. Even more so than Pretty on the Inside. It was like Courtney Love just knew my damaged teenage girl heart. It was the album that most represented my teen years and remains my second favorite album of all time. The biggest favorite being Nirvana's In Utero, which I also purchased on release day.

Today I'm headed to the record store to purchase the newly released, remastered version of Bleach, the album that turned me onto Nirvana back when I was 12 and exposed me to the world of punk. Even though it's not my favorite Nirvana album (though it's probably my second fave), it holds a very sacred place in my heart. It was The Album That Changed Everything. So when I heard (very belatedly because I am just not up on my music news as much anymore, another reason I am doing this blog in hopes that you guys will share music news and discoveries with me) that Bleach was being remastered and paired with a live album, I immediately emailed my local indie record store, The Old School Records and asked them to order me both the CD and vinyl. Cause I'm a nerd like that. But that's why I shop at Old School because they understand what it's like to be a music nerd. And they know that I prefer to get my stuff on vinyl with an MP3 download or CD to put it on my iPod (this is marketing genius, record companies. Vinyl + MP3 download is perfect for geeks like me who still want the physical package, still want to listen to vinyl at home, but want to bring the music around with them too.) And they let me put in orders by email and then go over and pick them up. As convenient as amazon and almost as convenient as iTunes, but with a human element. This is why I shop indie and you should too!

Okay, getting off the indie soapbox. And getting away from the Hole & Nirvana kick which was inspired by both the Halloween costumes but also these new Nirvana releases.

On New Music Tuesday it is my plan to share the album (or albums) I can't stop listening to as of late and my most recent musical discovery.

The album I can't stop listening to is another grunge band. I did not expect to buy this album or like it. It's the new Alice In Chains album, Black Gives Way To Blue. I was like Alice in Chains without Layne Staley is just wrong. If they want to continue on with a new singer it should be like how Joy Division became New Order. But then again, New Order sounds a lot different than Joy Division. This new Alice in Chains still sounds like Alice in Chains musically and that is because even though Layne was the voice of Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell really was the musical force. I miss Layne. I ache to hear his voice on this record. Sometimes it sorta sounds like him and creeps me out. But I'm glad I gave it a chance because it's damn good. I gave in because my friend Jenny who is a huge AIC fan told me it was and I trusted her. It's that perfect mixture of metal and grunge and a little bit of acoustic stuff. The ultimate Alice in Chains blend. And the lyrics are still dark and beautiful. I love the title track best as well as "Check My Brain," "Lesson Learned" and "A Looking In View." But man just the title alone conjures such imagery. The black of a bruise fading the blue, the healing. The black of darkest night fading to the blue of coming morning. As someone who is still working their way through some personal grief this album is a good outlet and a comfort.

The band I just discovered is The Loved Ones. Last week, I went to see the Gaslight Anthem (another band who I absolutely cannot stop listening to) and Murder By Death (who I also adore, they are self described whiskey and apocalypse music and really how can you go wrong with that) and it was one of those rare shows were all the bands including the openers are good. Usually you are stuck sitting through at least a thirty minute set of a band that bores you. The very first band, The Measure, had me bopping my head, but when The Loved Ones came on, I stood up. Like immediately. The music, the voice, it was perfect. Actually reminded me of a lot of what I love about The Gaslight Anthem, but with more of a hardcore edge or that folk punk older Against Me edge. I don't know. It's hard to explain, but you can listen to them on MySpace and I'll be picking up one of their albums along with my Nirvana stuff today.

Now it is your turn to share the wealth. What band have you recently discovered that you just love (and it can be an old band, my 12 year old "niece" just discovered the Beatles and I am enjoying rediscovering them with her) and what's the album that you just can't stop listening to lately?


Anonymous said...

Saw a great band called The Strangers open for Social D. They're hard to find online because there are a million bands called The Strangers. You can find their MySpace though if you cross-ref 'em with Social D on your search.

bunnybea said...

I too remember when I got that Hole album. Couldn't put it down. One of my favorites, that I scream along to in the car especially when i have a bad day. Always makes me feel better.

One of the albums I have been listening to non-stop lately is Crossing the Rubicon by The Sounds. I love every song on the album, and that's not what happens to me very often. But the reason I'm sharing it with you is that 2 of their songs remind me of your books sooo much! Check out Underground and Home Is Where Your Heart Is.

John Knowles said...

JD Salinger by The Wynona Riders is good. It sounds a bit like Jawbreaker and Greenday. The opening track is funny as fuck. Theres a small band on Myspace called Grim Dylan who's really good. Theres alot of good female fronted bands coming out of London right now.

The Emperor said...

l me your addy at, I have a present for you. Also, did you see the review is up?

Sarrrah said...

I really love nirvana. I was born in '94, and for the longest time I thought I was kurt reincarnated.

lately' my taste in music has grown, but I still love my punk. Minor Threat heen has always been one of my favorites.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks for all the recommendations everyone! Bunnybea, I am totally getting that Sounds album. I;ve been meaning to check them out, so thanks for the links and those songs do remind me of the stuff I write about, so I'll get that album for inspiration music :)

Michael said...

I am sorry, but whoever anonymous is, but i also saw the Strangers open for Social D, and i thought they were horrible! His voice was like nails on a chalk board, and their set dragged on and on, and their music seemed so uninspired.

but anyways, I am very excited about the re release of Bleach. That is by far my favorite Nirvana release.

I have trouble keeping up with new albums, but I have recently gotten into the band Embrace. It was Ian from Minor Threat's first band after they broke up. They are really early sounding Post Hardcore. I really really like them. Here is a live video of them:

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Hey to each their own. Some may love a band and some may hate them. The Embrace is totally awesome, Michael. I haven't listened to them in too long, will have to go listen again!

Modica said...

Good job on this post! It's nice to see somebody who knows what they're writing about.

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