Easy Street Blog

The Fresh Sheet! New Releases 8/19

POSTED BY ON Tue Aug 19, 11:17 AM

Imogen Heap - Sparks

"Now that many album recording sessions involve little more than a bedroom and a laptop, it's hard not to admire the elaborate genesis of Imogen Heap's fourth solo record. Written and recorded variously in her local community garden, the Himalayas and the Chinese city of Hangzhou and featuring one deliberately unfinished track ('Listening Chair') that aims to condense her life into five minutes, it often feels more like a particularly ambitious performance art project than a collection of songs. But persevere and you'll be well rewarded; its feverish, idea-glutted electropop frequently resolves into something thrilling, as when the propulsive 'Run-Time' hits it stride." - Ally Carnwath, The Guardian

Kimbra - The Golden Echo

"As it comes back around, an echo distorts the qualities of a sound just enough to encourage you to hear it differently. Maybe it's just distance changing the plain into the transcendent, but there's a trace of magic in an echo. It's like Narcissus' reflection, only better — inexact, an impression with new fuzz and new dimension to it. No choice but to appreciate it differently. That's the way Kimbra's aptly titled second album The Golden Echo works. Inside its highly pressurized songs are evocations of, and direct references to, beloved iconic sounds from the big pop-music jukebox in the cloud. The 24-year-old New Zealand native, whose debut Vows was distinguished by mature songcraft and a vivid sense of narrative, has obviously devoured said archives. But she doesn't tap the past the way nerdy students usually do, by latching onto and fastidiously referencing details. Instead, she goes for larger and messier smashups, porting ideas from various eras along the pop timeline into disarmingly giddy, mismatched arrays. Lots of people are working this sound-as-mulch territory; Kimbra is the rare practitioner who can activate the nostalgia glands while making music that arrives delightfully fresh — and stays that way under scrutiny." - Tom Moon, NPR

Kimbra - "'90s Music"

Dr. John - Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit Of Satch

"Dr. John joined by a gaggle of guest trumpeters and vocalists paying tribute to jazz legend Louis Armstrong: what more could you ask for? What, indeed? Dr. John's Ske-Dat-De-Dat.The Spirit of Satch is an album that promises a lot, but more important, it delivers on that promise. Dr. John has put together a baker's dozen of songs, some closely identified with Satchmo, some less closely, that honor the great man's memory not through imitation, but by taking the Armstrong vibe into the new century. He and his cohort don't copy, they create-really the only way to truly honor a jazz great." - Jack Goodstein, Seattle PI

Download Dr. John's "Mack The Knife"

Electric Wurms - Musik Die Schwer Du Twerk

"Though frontman Wayne Coyne receives the bulk of attention when discussing The Flaming Lips, even the most cursory exploration of their catalog reveals the importance of multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd in their sound and their compositions. For more proof, look no further than The Terror's standout track, 'Turning Violent,' where Drozd takes lead and provides a whole new world of tension with his fragile, cracked vocals. Thus, a side project: Electric Würms, with Drozd taking lead, Coyne relegated to bass and four members of Nashville band Linear Downfall providing the backing for a Yes-influenced, prog-rock diversion that is hard to believe a major label delivered in 2014. But while the effort has little to no commercial hopes, this niche offering succeeds wonderfully at pleasing those more outside-the-box thinkers who are the core audience for druggy experiments still rooted (ever so loosely) in pop music (the band's bio mentions acid in the first sentence, so that gives you an idea of what they are going for). ... It's hard to make an argument for anything here being essential for the Flaming Lips' career arc, but, it is a side project, and as side projects go, this one is strong. Plus, it does allow the reflection of what a singular talent Drozd is, giving him the reins to explore something that represents his interests more than the band as a whole. Look no further than the all-in, fearless freakout 'Transform' to see the possibilities of Electric Würms as a fully realized entity. Apparently, the concept of the band name refers to LSD users that believed they could transport into space without a spaceship, but as pure energy, when high. As a soundtrack for that mindset, you couldn’t do much better." - Philip Cosores, Paste

The Electric Wurms - "Heart Of The Sunrise"

Ace Frehley - Space Invader

"With seven-plus years of sobriety under his belt, the original Kiss lead guitarist has recorded his best solo album since his groundbreaking self-titled album in 1978. With walls of wailing guitars, droning feedback and snarling solos, Ace Frehley launches an old-school, '70s-style hard rock jam fest on Space Invader. It kicks off with him talk-singing his way through the title track, about a well-intentioned extraterrestrial who comes to save the Earth, and it includes a sudden tempo change for the guitar solo just like he did on 'Snowblind' and 'I'm In Need of Love' on his first solo record. 'Gimme A Feelin'' is a timeless rocker, with thick guitar chords, and 'I Wanna Hold You' and 'What Every Girl Wants' could be melodic hits. On 'Change' and 'Inside the Vortex,' Frehley showcases some impressive growth as a songwriter and arranger, with complex chord progressions and melody lines. The only weak track is a vanilla remake of Steve Miller's 'The Joker' that adds nothing to the plodding original, but apparently was too much for Frehley to resist with its 'Space Cowboy' intro." - Associated Press

Ace Frehley - "Gimme A Feelin'"

Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker

"'Fucking up on a five-year bender,' Benjamin Booker growls on 'Violent Shiver,' a song that sounds something like the Strokes if they'd been suckled on moonshine in a juke joint. A New Orleans-based, Jack White-endorsed 25-year-old with an open sore of a voice and a love of distorted boogie-blues shredding, Booker is grafting new shoots into roots music. On the twisted ballad 'Spoon Out My Eyeballs,' he croaks, 'I would listen to the radio/If I liked songs produced by 40-year-olds in high-tech studios.' Then he proves his point with a seizure-inducing rave-up – a flashback to the days when wild-eyed young guitar-slingers made the most dangerous dance music around." - Will Hermes, Rolling Stone

Benjamin Booker - "Violent Shiver"

Bishop Allen - Lights Out

"Lights Out, Bishop Allen's uncharacteristically long-awaited new album, presents the band in impeccable form: Simultaneously sophisticated and playful, its 12 songs sound both easy and fussed-over, as if Bishop Allen had been recording four tracks a month all this time, only to select and fine-tune the very best for this record. From the first moments of the zippy, album-opening single 'Start Again,' Lights Out feels stacked with ringers. But some of its best moments are tucked into the deep cuts: The two songs that hand lead-vocal duties over to Darbie Nowatka, especially 'Black Hole,' suggest that Bishop Allen could spin off a Camera Obscura-esque sister project to tremendous effect. Summery but subtle, Lights Out is the sound of a band that's mastered the art of quality control, just in time to release an album that's all highlights." - Stephen Thompson, NPR

Bishop Allen - "Start Again"

 

 

Bobby Bare Jr. In-Store Tonight!

POSTED BY ON Tue Aug 19, 11:03 AM

Drop everything, change your plans, pay the babysitter double, and head down to Easy Street tonight to see the fabulous Bobby Bare Jr. perform an intimate acoustic set at 7pm! It's free, it's all-ages, and it's gonna be AWESOME!

Birthday Party! August 19th

POSTED BY ON Tue Aug 19, 09:24 AM

Win Tickets To How To Dress Well At Neumos!

POSTED BY ON Mon Aug 18, 04:02 PM

How To Dress Well is singer-songwriter Tom Krell, who began his career by offering free EPs via download. Indie label Lefse took noticed and released his first full length, Love Remains, which led to accolades from Pitchfork, Stereogum & other trend-setting music blogs. This led to a deal with Domino subsidiary label Weird World, and a sophomore album titled Total Loss, which also received raves from the indie blogosphere. His latest, What Is This Heart?, brought even more praise, including being named "Best New Music" by Pitchfork - his third such award in as many albums. How To Dress Well is coming to Neumos on August 27th (21+ show) and we have a pair of guest list spots that could be yours! Enter to win by e-mailing contests@easystreetonline.com with the subject line "What Is This Heart?" and please include first & last name with entry. We'll draw a winner on 8/25. Good luck!

Rather not leave it to chance? Buy tickets here!

Win Tickets To The SOLD OUT Jack White Show 8/25!

POSTED BY ON Mon Aug 18, 11:37 AM

Miss out on Jack White tickets? Well, you might be in luck! We're giving away a pair of tickets to one of the two long-sold-out shows at the Paramount that he's playing in support of his new album, Lazaretto! Enter to win tickets to the August 25th show by e-mailing contests@easystreetonline.com with the subject line "I Want Jack!" and please include first & last name with entry. Please note, these are actual tickets - not guest list spots - and must be picked up at our West Seattle store. We'll draw a winner on 8/23. Good luck!

Birthday Party! August 18

POSTED BY ON Mon Aug 18, 09:05 AM

Win Tickets To Beck At Marymoor Park!

POSTED BY ON Fri Aug 15, 12:31 PM

Beck is touring in support of his great new album Morning Phase and he'll be making a stop at Marymoor Park on August 20th with special guest opener Jenny Lewis! Don't be a loser baby...enter to win tickets to the show by e-mailing contests@easystreetonline.com with the subject line "Blackbird Chain" and please include first & last name with entry. We'll draw a winner on 8/18. Good luck!

Rather play it safe? Buy tickets here!

photos

Staff Picks

The Ultimate Gift
Rahsaan Patterson
The Ultimate Gift
Dreamin' Man '92
Neil Young
Dreamin' Man '92
My True Story
Aaron Neville
My True Story
Open Strings: 1920s Middle Eastern Virtuoso String Recordings
Various Artists
Open Strings: 1920s Middle Eastern Virtuoso String Recordings
High Violet
The National
High Violet
Stocking Stuffer
The Fleshtones
Stocking Stuffer
Afterhours In The Afterlife
Voyager One
Afterhours In The Afterlife
Black Sun
Light Bulbs
Fujiya & Miyagi
Light Bulbs
Dillanthology
Various Artists
Dillanthology