Scott Douglas’ Terse Bloviation

A Few 2010 CD Acquisitions That Brought Me Pleasure This Year

Some of them were even released this year, instead of my playing catch-up. Alphabetically by artist:

Black Tambourine: Black Tambourine
So, uh, I was a mere 20 years late in really listening to this beautiful noisepop from a band with two members that went on to be in Velocity Girl (who, in my defense, I caught on to when they were new and fresh). One of those two guys, Archie Moore, was also in Heartworms and The Saturday People. I could listen to wall-of-feedback-over-pop-song stuff like this all day. This 2010 release compiles everything they recorded, including four new songs taped for the purpose of this record. Review

Steve Davis Quintet: Live At Smalls
A four-song set, with all five band members firing on all cylinders throughout. The first time I listened to it, Mike DiRubbo’s solo on “Spirit Waltz” literally stopped me in my tracks. I went over to the stereo and sat staring at the speakers in awe. Review

The High Violets: To Where You Are
In addition to the noise-over-pop mode of Black Tambourine, I have a weakness for swirling, swoon-inducing dreampop. These guys from Portland, Oregon do it really well. After playing this 2006 disc to death I’m inspired to get their release from this year, Cinema. Review

Phantom Buffalo: Cement Postcard With Owl Colours
Stacey first heard these locals (as in Portland, Maine) at an outdoor crafts fair in August, and was the impetus for us exploring them. This being Portland, of course we’ve since learned that we know the ladyfriend of one of the band members. I’m not sure how to describe them, but you won’t be disappointed if you like the usual suspects like The Shins, Rogue Wave, Carl Newman, etc. wrung through a 12-percent psychedelica filter. Review

Craig Ramsey: Parting Gift for a Party Girl
A solo release from half of the songwriting chops behind favorites Bears. This is classic should-be-a-hit indiepop. Ramsey’s sweet, gentle voice and bouncy songs belie the venom in the lyrics, which either document the end of a relationship or display Ramsey’s ability to imagine having lived through such a thing.  Review

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  1. M. Katz February 7th, 2011 1:15 am

    Good to hear dreampop is still alive and well … and I think I deciphered three more words in a Cocteau Twins song–an accomplishment, no matter how many years have passed by … thanks for the recommendations