Easy Street Blog
POSTED BY Rod ON Tue Sep 2, 10:59 AM
Earth - Primitive And Deadly
"No band can defy the weight of expectation quite as spectacularly as Earth. Since Dylan Carlson's triumphantly melodic return after a nine-year hiatus with 2005's Hex, one can never quite be sure what to expect when pressing that play button on a new Earth recording for the first time - yet every time it's calmly stunned. Every note emanating from the colossus of this latest incarnation is imbued with insurmountable feeling, total and utter restraint, and the strangest and strongest possible beauty. This isn't music you hear; this is most definitely music you feel. ... From a distance, Primitive and Deadly seems just that: a gentle return to the band's deadly primordial rock roots, inevitably emerging from their recent diversions to the dust-bowl Americana of Hex and the spiritual riffage of the Angels of Darkness albums, ready to rule from their throne as the world's greatest instrumental rock band. The heart-wrenching restraint of Carlson's compositions remains intact though, and Adrienne Davies' drumming is as minimal, contemplative and egoless as ever. ... Having removed Lori Goldston's cello (a defining feature of both Angels of Darkness records) in pursuit of that rock and roll sunset, Earth have actually elected to include vocals in the mix for the first time since Carlson himself sang on Pentastar back in 1996. Mark Lanegan, who contributes to two cuts, is a natural choice for Earth. His barstool growl of a voice is as rough and world weary as it is imbued with the gentillesse and wisdom of a wandering guru. ... Primitive and Deadly is the latest in a recent suite of triumphs – by this point Earth are masters of their game, making music that's bigger and more powerful than anything mere mortals should be able to create." - Tristan Bath, Drowned In Sound
Maroon 5 - V
"'Going so high, we fuck the sky!' Adam Levine sings on Maroon 5's fifth album – and he and the band make good on their promise. The 11 songs here are precision-tuned and lustrously polished, jammed with hooks and choruses that build a man cave in your brain. In terms of stylistic seamlessness and fluid forward motion, V might even be sharper than their 2012 blockbuster, Overexposed, which gave us 'Payphone,' a dazzling spectacle of 21st-century Top 40 self-assurance." - Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone
Counting Crows - Somewhere Under Wonderland
"Despite a long period of upheaval and heavy changes, the nine songs that make up Somewhere Under Wonderland find the band sounding relaxed, optimistic, and even somewhat giddy at times. The record eases into being with the eight-minute long first single 'Palisades Park,' a suite that glides through different atmospheres, lingering with the same dreamlike fluidity and colorful observational storytelling that Joni Mitchell displayed on The Hissing of Summer Lawns. The lengthy tune breezes by, shifting through Beatles-esqe organ tones, tempo changes, and [singer Adam] Durvitz's signature characters and poetic scenes. The largely acoustic 'Earthquake Driver' sounds stuck somewhere between Thin Lizzy's energetic juvenilia and Paul Simon's soul-searching wordplay circa Graceland. The band doesn't stick with one mood for too long over the course of the album, offering Neil Young-inspired guitar rootsiness on standout track 'Scarecrow,' gentle acoustic meandering and folksy vocal harmonies on 'God of Ocean Tides,' and an upbeat country-rock ramble on 'Cover Up the Sun.' All these stylistic detours fall under a very wide umbrella that makes Somewhere Under Wonderland distinctively Counting Crows. Durvitz's raspy voice and lucid, lyrical stories always hold just a hint of desperation, and even decades into a staggered career, these new tunes can't help but feel like part of a larger narrative that began during the band's '90s glory days but finds further, greater refinement here." - Fred Thomas, All Music
Jeezy - Seen It All
"Why does Jeezy sound so energized on Seen It All? At this point in a rapper's career a new record is supposed to be almost an afterthought, a brief bit of face time with the CEO when he's in the office instead of on his yacht. But there's Jeezy, bobbing and weaving through a rhyme scheme for two minutes straight on 'Black Eskimo.' There he is dropping a career-quality hook on 'Holy Ghost.' ('Ain't nobody gave us nothing so we drug dealing / You know we cop them Louis loafers just to thug in 'em') There he is laying into the effervescent title track, and laying in even harder on the murky throwback single 'Me OK.' Old Jeezy, it turns out—he dropped the Young in the run-up to this record—raps hard. Young Jeezy never really bothered. The 2005 trap-hop pacesetter would grab a sprightly Shawty Redd beat and sorta bounce around on it for a few minutes. Rap nerds griped about a paucity of 'lyricism' at the time, but when everything clicked into place, the results were irresistible. That he was able to maintain this for 18 out of 18 tracks on 2008's The Recession remains one of the great statistical anomalies in post-millennial hip-hop. And that's sort of the problem with Seen It All, his first record in three years. Fans have come to expect a certain level of showmanship and emotional variety from rappers, especially since Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and as Jeezy tries to gamely deliver he finds himself constantly out of pocket. His voice remains a powerful, if inexpressive, instrument—like a gong, or something—but it feels out of place in the fraught electric guitars of '1-4 Block,' or the Mike Will Made It psychedelia of '4 Zones.' Jeezy's career is built on the heartfelt banger, and, after a decade, it's understandable that he's trying to place his unearthly voice in other settings. The fact that those settings don't work turns Seen It All into the very thing it had hoped to avoid becoming: a fussy major-label rap album." - Clayton Purdom, The AV Club
Blonde Redhead - Barrigan
"Within the framework of its gentlest album yet, Blonde Redhead still finds room to sprawl and play, and for all three members — singer Kazu Makino, guitarist Amadeo Pace and his twin brother, drummer Simone — to assert their individuality. Makino remains the band's strongest presence, but Blonde Redhead still lets the spotlight move around: 'Mine to Be Had' putters and chugs amiably for more than three minutes before Simone Pace pops up with the song's first verse. It's as if Blonde Redhead wrote a more conventionally catchy pop-rock song and opted to stretch it as far as it would go — in this case, for nearly nine minutes. Plenty of bands are weirder than Blonde Redhead 21 years into its career, but you'll have a tough time finding one that's subtler about it. As a result, on both Barragán and its 2010 predecessor Penny Sparkle, the band makes music that's both peaceful and endlessly adventurous — a rare combination worth emulating, both in music and in life." - Stephen Thompson, NPR
POSTED BY Rod ON Tue Sep 2, 09:31 AM
POSTED BY Rod ON Fri Aug 29, 02:57 PM
Aussie indie-rockers The Griswolds REALLY want you to buy their debut album, Be Impressive! So much, in fact, that they've personally designed a stylish suitcase turntable for you to spin it! Enter to win it by e-mailing us with the subject line "Be Impressive," and please include first & last name with entry. Winner must be able to pick up prize at our West Seattle store. Good luck!
POSTED BY Rod ON Fri Aug 29, 11:19 AM
You know that our staff lives, eats and breathes music, right? They listen to more music in a day than most folks would in a week. So, for the next few weeks we're gonna let them tell you what their favorite albums are at this moment - and we'll use this opportunity to introduce you to some of our most recent hires, starting with our new vinyl guy, Andy Nelson! Andy comes to us via Lost Highway Records, where he worked in Artist Marketing & Development. Welcome aboard, Andy!
Andy's Top 5
Boris - Noise
My wife won't let me play it around the house which is one of the many reasons I love coming to work. Sorry I missed the show at the Crocodile.
Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
I wasn't sure the first couple of times I heard it, but the third time did the trick in a BIG way. Now I think it might be a modern classic.
Posies - Failure (reissue)
This pure pop confection back in print with 8 bonus tracks & on green wax. In-store here this Saturday, 8/30 @ 6:00 pm.
J Mascis - Tied To A Star
WOW! Loser edition vinyl still in stock...at the time of this writing.
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
Rawer than previous (also phenomenal) outings, Brill Bruisers is for power popsters that aren't afraid of crunch.
POSTED BY Rod ON Fri Aug 29, 07:59 AM
The King Of Pop (RIP) would've turned 56 today. Who else was born on this date?
POSTED BY Rod ON Fri Aug 29, 07:59 AM
The first Aphex Twin album in 13 years, Syro, is due out September 23rd and we are now taking pre-orders in-store only for both CD ($12.99) and vinyl ($31.99). Customers who pre-order from us will receive the collectible Aphex Twin dropcard pictured above (limited to 5,000 worldwide)!
POSTED BY Rod ON Thu Aug 28, 08:15 AM
Happy 28th Birthday to Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine! Who else was born on this day?