This week brings a new My Morning Jacket album, an Eddie Vedder ukulele outing, the umpteenth Dave Matthews Band live collection, and Ozzy's past barks at the moon. We are just now hitting the busy summer release period, so these blogs in the next few weeks will be getting jam-packed.
In the next month we can expect albums from upcoming Summer Fest headliners Fucked Up and the Black Dahlia Murder, a Wild Moccasins re-release on New West Records, a new Arctic Monkeys set, and the highly lusted after Bon Iver sophomore album. Get out your hankies.
My Morning Jacket, Circuital: Pronounced "Secure It All," My Morning Jacket's latest is dividing fans, some who have been turned off by it's lead-off single, "Holdin On To Black Metal," leading some to believe the band was continuing with the wacked-vocals and Prince-repping of 2008's Evil Urges and away from the It Still Moves-style holy mountain jams that brought them to the table in the first place.
But Circuital is nothing like "Black Metal" would lead you to believe. Cuts like "Wonderful," "Outta My System," and the title track will wrap old fans up like a warm blanket on a cold Kentucky evening. Closer "Movin' Away" is a Jim James stunner in the vein of The Tennessee Fire's "I Will Be There When You Die."
Eddie Vedder, Ukulele Songs: A stark solo outing from the Pearl Jam front man, Ukulele Songs is a 16-track record of Vedder alone with a ukelele and songs about expanse and isolation. If you were a fan of his Into The Wild soundtrack, this is a worthy, stripped-down sequel.
The album ends with two covers, the Cat Power-assisted "Tonight You Belong to Me" and "Dream a Little Dream," the former you may know from Steve Martin's The Jerk. PJ fans shouldn't be worried about the 46-year old running off with that tiny guitar, he is currently tracking a new album with the band for this year's 20th anniversary, with a Cameron Crowe documentary to follow this fall.
Death Cab For Cutie, Codes & Keys: For some reason, we like new-style Death Cab more than the late-'90s/early-'00s one, probably because somewhere in the middle Ben Gibbard's balls dropped and he got into Can. Following 2008's Narrow Stairs, the new Codes brings more long-form Kraut-rock machinations from the onetime emo darlings. We supposed this all started with 2005's Plans, the first DCFC album that didn't make our skin crawl.
Flogging Molly, Speed of Darkness: The Celtic punks come back hard after a few years in the ballad doldrums with Speed Of Darkness, with the album being compared to the sound and fury of 2000's Swagger. You could use the whole version of "swag" back then and not look like an old fart. We fell off the Molly train long ago, but this album could bring us back. The crowd at its live shows isn't as fun as it was seeing them upstairs at Fitz in 2001, that's for damned sure.
Alex Turner, Submarine: The Arctic Monkeys' front man wrote this six-song soundtrack for the British film Submarine. Turner solo is lush and not too far removed from the work of the Davies brothers in the Kinks.
Dave Matthews Band, Live At Wrigley Field: Somewhere there is someone who knows the difference between the DMB's 15 live discs. Gonna be honest here, our favorite one is 1997's Live At Red Rocks 8.15.95 because it showed the band at its beginnings, before they were the monstrous touring and merch machine they are today. Plus the Paul Simon and Traffic comparisons still rang true in 1995.
Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard Of Ozz; Diary of a Madman : These newly mastered reissues of two of Osbourne's best post-Sabbath solo outings don't come with much extra, so unless you are buying a gift for the young metalhead in your life, stick with your vinyl or CD copies. But if you are willing to spend the extra bread, pick up the box set edition, filled with both albums plus photos, a DVD, and a booklet.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
Seapony, Go With Me
The Vaccines, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
Melvins, Sugar Daddy Live
COMING NEXT WEEK
Arctic Monkeys, Suck It and See
Givers, In Light
Black Lips, Arabia Mountain
Fucked Up, David Comes To Life
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Frank Turner, England Keep My Bones