The most useless lists for the week 22 aka the things I’ve loved during the week.
Top 5 Albums:
1. Iron & Wine: Around The Well
– I just bought it friday and started listening to it today, but I instantly fell in love with it. I’m a long time fan, but I didn’t rate his latest studio album Shepherd’s Dog as highly as the earlier ones. This rarities collection on the other hand is right up my alley. I would have bought it just because of The Trapeze Singer (eventhough I love the song, I never bothered to buy In Good Company soundtrack just because of it), but there’s a lot of treasures in here. This is the kind of Iron & Wine I love. All you need Sam is an acoustic guitar and your voice. Don’t let it grow too big. It’s this down-to-earth beauty and warmness that makes these carefully crafted songs reach our hearts. A bigger sound can destroy part of that magic.
2. Blue: S/T
– A stunning pop album from the seventies. I love it to bits and last.fm reveals that I listened to 197 Blue songs during the week.
3. Puumaja: Meriselityksiä
– Finally out and available and sounds excellent. Great to have those great songs like Täydelliset kasvot finally on an album.
4. Leevi & The Leavings: Suuteleminen Kielletty
– I picked up a few old albums from Anttila (shame on me that I bought from Anttila). I loved them when I was something like 10-15 years old. Had most of the albums on cassettes and I took songs like Sopivasti Lihava and Unelmia ja Toimistohommia to these levyraati things we had at ala-aste. Well actually the teacher didn’t let me play the latter one, because she remembered that the first one had some inappropriate lyrics. Anyway, nowadays I only had one collection on vinyl, so I thought I fill some holes and bought some of their early albums. Great stuff obviously.
5. Steve Earle: Townes
– I’m not into tribute albums, but this was too interesting to miss completely. Steve Earle covering his friend the late great Townes Van Zandt. I do think it’s a rather good album. Mostly because it contains some of the best songs ever written. The problem just is that Townes was so extraordinady talent and one of the greatest artists that ever lived that no-one can come even close to his original versions and therefore I really can’t see why I would pick this album from the shelf instead of those Townes Van Zandt masterpieces after the first few weeks. Still this is by no means a bad album and I hope it will forward people to the real things. By this I mean not just Townes Van Zandt’s albums, but also Steve Earle’s own music which is mostly great as well.
Top 5 Songs:
1. Blue: Look Around
2. Iron & Wine: The Trapeze Swinger
3. Blue: Timi’s Black Arrow
4. Puumaja: Täydelliset Kasvot
5. First Aid Kit: You’re Not Coming Home Tonight
Despite having all kinds of other music addictions, power pop is the place I come from. Despite spending a lot of time exploring things like country music or twee pop whenever I come back to power pop it feels like coming back to home. This time it was Cheap Star, Tinted Windows and especially scottish Blue from the seventies that brought me back to these sounds that I love the most. This is now continued by a band called Radio City (hmm..where did they pick that name from) whose long lost power pop gem has been recently released by a label called Radio Heartbeat. I have listened to them at myspace before and when that name jumped to my face on Not Lame’s email, I went and ordered a copy asap. Since then I’ve been listening to them at myspace and I’ve been feeling happy and congratulating myself for such a fine decision. I think it’s excellent 70’s power pop. if you are into Big Star, Badfinger, The Raspberries, Dwight Twilley, Blue Ash etc, check them out.
Radio City at myspace
Oh. And Blue. I mentioned them a while ago. Now I’ve bought their debut album and L.A Sessions. I haven’t even properly started with L.A Sessions yet, because I’ve gotten stuck into the greatness of the debut. Now that’s a truly wonderful pop album.
Les Yper Sound is an excellent pop club that brings foreign (mostly swedish) indie pop acts to Turku. The next event takes place this friday 29.05.2009 at Dynamo and the star performer of the evening is Strawberry Fair. It’s the stage name of swedish pop musician Jenny Franzén and her music takes you back to the golden ages of girl groups and 60’s pop music. I did not know her beforehand, but the myspace songs are very convincing and I’m now sure I want to see that concert.
Strawberry Fair at myspace
Les Yper Sound at myspace
It’s been a long time coming, but now the wait is over and Puumaja’s debut album Meriselityksiä hits the stores today. It’s released by Quiet Life Records and it contains 9 great songs. Okay, if I’m honest I should say that it contains 8 great songs, because after a few spins I haven’t learned to love the song Punaiset Seinät. But it could be just me and probably is. And even in my case, if 8 out of 9 songs hits my heart, I have to say that it’s rather excellent accuracy. Well done. Watch the video of Meren Kutsu below and check out more samples on their website and/or myspace.
Puumaja at myspace
The rumours were true and Hip-O Select released this beauty last friday. Unfortunately for some unknown reason the label doesn’t ship to Finland and so far I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else. Hopefully it will end up in some other online store in the future. Otherwise it would be a huge kick in the teeth to know that Emitt Rhodes’ material is finally available, but I’m just not able to buy it. So if you come across a place that does sell it and does ship to Finland, let me know.
Hip-O Selects info page for this beautiful release
Top 5 albums:
1. Cheap Star: Speaking Like An Elephant
2. The Broken Family Band: Please and Thank You
3. Tinted Windows: S/T
4. Camera Obscura: My Maudlin Career
5. The Decemberists: Hazards Of Love
Top 5 songs:
1. Olento: Jill Nissinen (youtube video)
2. Cheap Star: You Got It All
3. Heartjet: All these 5 songs on their myspace
4. Koria Kitten Riot: Every Time We Had To Say Goodbye
5. Paleface: Traveling From North Carolina
– This is obviously not the finnish Paleface. Not that I have anything against him, but just thought I point it out that this is the american folk artist Paleface.
Top 1 most useless lists:
1. Those two above
Don’t take these too seriously. It’s just albums and songs I’ve enjoeyd during the given week. They are not necessarily in the order I would rate them as a whole. It’s just this weeks best of in my heart. And all the albums that feature on these lists might not be my biggest favourites all things considered. For example I still have major doubts concerning that The Decemberists album. Some of it is absolutely stunning, but some of it is just way too ambitious and simply boring to me. But because I’ve listened to it a lot during the week and adore the finest moments of it, it deserves the spot on this weeks list instead of several much better albums which I have only spinned a few times during the week.