Shearwater has partially re-recorded their (and my) best-of-2006 album Palo Santo, which might strike some as tinkering with something that ain't broke. From these two tracks, I can't really tell what their aims are (within the re-recording - the idea of doing it was Matador's, and prob because now the Misra version won't be sold or easily bought) maybe something more akin to their live sound, certainly something more accessible, like Overkill River, and less expansive and moody like Talk Talk's final two albums. Meiburg explores a wider range of pitch and octaves here, and while he's successful, his falsetto-soprano is much more enjoyable than his tenor rage. Just sayin'. I'll still be using this new version to hold me over before their next effort.
Kudos to Matador for stealing them away from the now-Universal distro-ed Misra, or kudos to Shearwater for jumping ship because there's better chance of their records getting into the right stores via Matador. Universal makes no sense for them (or Misra, but that's another matter, and I hope the label owners/heads make some cash, because they put out good stuff.)
Ps - all my tracks expire after 3 days. Buy the goddamn record April 10.
Shearwater - Hail Mary (from Palo Santo: Expanded Edition)
Bright Eyes' new album Cassadaga deserves the hype surrounding the cd version's artwork. Copies come with (or at least this promo did) a wicked-accurate facsimile of a low-quality church bulletin, a yellow paper brochure promoting the "Bright Eyes Spiritualist Lyceum" with the "Rev Conrad Oberman, Founder" including a poorly re-produced black and white photo of a 1920s dude (relation?) complete with a bullshit "Map of the Vibrations" and meaningless text spouting all sorts of pseudo-science. You can see the lines where they hand-pasted the text and xeroxed copies. Although the photos suggest pre-copy-machine era. ("Ha-ha" -Nelson)
I'm still not crazy about the music, but I always try.
Expect the last gasps of the CD to continue to produce a spurt of wonderful art work and creative packaging (like recent Menomena, Beck, Low) that will be one of the few fringe benefits of the ultimate sovereignty of digital downloads.
Rats leaving sinking ships always sing the most beautiful songs. The ecstasy of tortured saints, etc.