Donut Age: America's Donut Magazine

Acquisitions - August

I seem to be fighting blogger's block (or perhaps blogger's "I have things to write about but that would require thinking harder than I feel like doing right now") at the moment, so here's a pretty much mechanical post, which might become a regular feature, just to get things moving again: all the new additions to my iTiunes library for the month of August.

  • Adios Amigos mix from I only heard about this music blog in time to read its farewell post, which offered a 20-song mix tape as a goodbye present for readers. It's a highly eclectic collection, but the songs are all solid. As it turns out, I'd had three of these—The Maytals's "Pressure Drop" (from the outstanding compilation of authentic ska and reggae, The Trojan Story); P.J. Harvey's "This Is Love" (from Songs from the City, Songs from the Sea), which is on my exclusive list of Perfect Songs; and X's "We're Desperate" (from WIld Gift). Here's the rest of the tracks:
    • "Before the Kiss, a Redcap," Blue Öyster Cult (from Blue Öyster Cult: Remastered, 1972).
    • "Entertain," Sleater-Kinney (from The Woods, 2005).
    • "Funky Dollar Bill," Funkadelic (from Free Your Mind... And Your Ass Will Follow, 1970).
    • "Have Love Will Travel," The Sonics (from Here Are The Sonics, 1965).
    • "Hex," Neko Case (from The Tigers Have Spoken, 2004).
    • "I'll Take You There," The Staple Singers (from Millennium Funk Party, 1998).
    • "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) [live]," Otis Redding (from Dreams To Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology, 1967).
    • "Like a Hurricane," Neil Young (from American Stars 'n Bars, 1977).
    • "Moonhead," Thin White Rope (from Moonhead, 1987).
    • "Mr. Skin," Spirit (from Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus, 1970).
    • "Rock Against Romance," Holly & The Italians (from The Right To Be Italian, 1981).
    • "Ruby, My Dear," Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane (from Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane, 1957).
    • "Slow Death," The Flamin' Groovies (from Groovies Greatest Grooves, 1989).
    • "Soul Makossa," Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (from Year Of the Snake, 2004)
    • "Teenage Lobotomy," The Ramones (from Weird Tales Of the Ramones, 1977)
    • "To Break the Ice," Gerald Collier (from I Had To Laugh Like Hell, 1996)
    • "Mama Tried, "Merle Haggard (from An Aquarium Drunkard: Fandango Road Trip Mix, 2006).
  • Funkadelic, Maggot Brain (1971). Inspired by the "Funky Dollar Bill" track above, I peeked on eMusic to see how well the P-Funk was represented there. There's no Parliament, but lots of Funkadelic and a smattering of George Clinton solo albums.
  • Five Eight, Five Eight (2004). This has been been sitting on my eMusic "Save for Later" list for a while, but I'd been dawdling about actually spending the downloads on it because I already had about half the album in low-quality MP3s from Five Eight's website. I've been a fan of the Athens trio since my days at UGA. I've never understood why they did not become major rock stars. I acknowledge that many of my tastes run outside the mainstream, but Five Eight are straight-up rock-n-roll in the best sense. This is not their best album (I'd start with I Learned Now Shut Up [1992] or The Angriest Man [1993]), but it is good.
  • John Coltrane, Soultrane (1958). I've discovered that subscribing to eMusic necessitates an investment of time digging through their catalog to stockpile potential downloads, especially short albums to fill out one's monthly allowance. On one such expedition, I found a "Dozens" list written by Harvey Pekar of American Splendor fame. This album was one of his recommendations, and I love Coltrane anyway, so it was pretty much a no-brainer.
  • Jacobites, Robespierre's Velvet Basement (1985). This is the second UK release by Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth's on-and-off collaboration (the first being Jacobites [1984]). I became familiar with Jacobites through their first US album, The Ragged School (1986), which is mostly composed of tracks from the two earlier releases. Whether it's because of that initial exposure or because it is more selective, I still find Ragged School to be tighter from start to finish than either of these albums (both of which I've now downloaded from eMusic), but they are still quite enjoyable, and the high points ("Son of a French Nobleman," "It'll All End Up In Tears" from this one; "Kings and Queens," "A Shame For the Angels" from Jacobites) are still achingly beautiful. eMusic does not carry The Ragged School, but it is available through iTunes with 11 bonus tracks, making it a pretty good deal.
  • "In Deux Time," Deux Process (In Deux Time, 2006). Offered as a free "Single of the Week" on iTunes, I don't like it very much. I used to be more diligent about downloading every freebie the ITMS had to offer, and I have found a few real gems this way, but lately I've been getting a lot of songs like this one and, consequently, being less motivated to check in regularly.
  • "Hell = Other People," Bettie Serveert (from Bare Stripped Naked, 2006). This was available on eMusic as a pre-release track (the full album is now available). I first heard this Dutch combo via their "hit" single "Tomboy" (off Palomine [1992] but I encountered it first on either the What's Up Matador? compilation [1997] or the Amateur soundtrack album [1994]), and spent, literally, years trying to find some more of their music. Nothing else I've heard has matched the perfection of that one song, but enough of it has been good enough that I keep coming back for more. I'll probably get the rest of this album in short order.
  • Tapes 'n Tapes, The Loon (2005). A friend of mine had recommended this album to me some time ago, but I've been dawdling. One of the tracks—"Just Drums"—was included on the 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler (which was free on eMusic for a while) earlier this summer, but it didn't grab me all that much. Nevertheless, I finally got around to downloading the rest of the album from eMusic, and I'm glad I finally did. I haven't fully digested it yet,, but there are a bunch of strong songs here ("The Iliad," "Insistor," "Cowbell," "10 Dollar Ascots").
  • Heartless Bastards, All This Time (2006). The same friend who recommended Tapes 'n Tapes, turned me on to the Heartless Bastards after he saw them play up in Cincinnati. I downloaded their 2005 debut, Stairways and Elevators a couple months back and liked it well, so I jumped on this one when it came available on eMusic. As every reviewer points out, Erika Wennerstrom sings up a storm on these albums. They are touring this fall and opening for Lucinda Williams for a few dates out west. That would be a show worth seeing.
  • "I Should've Known Better," Yo La Tengo (from Matador's Summer of Love, 2006). A preview track off of the just-released-this-week I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass. Given my feelings about these kids from Hoboken, it should be no surprise that I like the track and felt obliged to pre-ordered my copy of the album.

That's it for now. It was a pretty active month (82 tracks in 30-odd days). I've already logged some good additions for September, but I'll refrain from discussing them until the month is over and I've had a chance to digest.