Monday, January 7, 2013

ruminations: most anticipated releases of 2013

Low- 'The Invisible Way' (Subpop)- 3.19

Putting this up here almost seems like a waste. The whole thing's on youtube and I haven't had time to check it out yet (I've been busy working and listening to the new Broadcast album). It will be interesting to see what they've come up with working with Jeff Tweedy. I'm not one of those hopeless Wilco-obsessives, but I am partial to Wilco's favored production style and pairing it with Low straight off of their triumphant 'C'mon' (which is easily my favourite Low record in at least ten years) seems like a match made in heaven. I'm pretty sure it'll be a pretty safe bet- Low have only released two albums that I would venture to call disappointing. My only worry is that when they come through town they'll stop at the dreaded Metro rather than Lincoln Hall (which was PERFECT last time) as their show there was packed to the gills.

my bloody valentine- (as of yet untitled)

I'm a lurker on the my bloody valentine 'to here knows web' forum (I used to post a little, but people there can be a bit uncivil). It always seemed foolish to me to go there to get breaking news on the limited workings of Kevin Shields and the band until I discovered that pitchfork were using the forum as their source for news tips. A mysterious and benevolent person started posting prophetic musings informing us that Shields was working around the clock and finally making some significant headway on finishing the third abandoned MBV album from the mid-90s. We read. We nay-sayed. We wanted to believe but didn't have the strength to withstand the disappointment if these wonderful things we were reading weren't true. Announcements in the press trickled in confirming all of this mystery person's predictions. The album was mastered in December. It officially exists. It just has to be released. The current hold up? Album artwork. The band's long-dormant website is being tweaked. Domain names are being bought up. We wait with baited breath assuming that the album will appear quickly and without much warning. It's only been a week and a half since we've known it has been mastered. I've never felt as much torture as I feel waiting for this goddamned thing to appear. I'm almost certain I'll love it. I don't even give a shit if it's not as good as 'loveless' or as groundbreaking. It's just an album I've been dying to hear since I was 16 years old. PLEASE GET THE LEAD OUT!!!!!

Veronica Falls- 'Waiting For Something to Happen' (Slumberland)- 2.12

I'm not expecting anything terribly different from Veronica Falls' debut. When I saw them live back in the spring of last year they played a handful of new and excellent songs that I enjoyed more than the self-titled album material. The songs had more of a shimmering, stark, dream-pop element to them. 'Teenage' I remember loving immediately (see above). 'Bury Me Alive' is another great moment which they included in their insound live session which is also included here. As with the new Low album hearing this one is just a few clicks away as it's already leaked. I'm trying to be strong this year and not download leaks. I've tried every year since 2011 and I'm rarely strong enough. Just another month...

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds- 'Push the Sky Away' (Badseed)- 2.19

I was wondering when we'd get another Bad Seeds record. After 'Grinderman 2' I wondered if we'd get another Bad Seeds record as quickly as we'd gotten 'Dig Lazarus Dig' after the first Grinderman record. Most intriguing to me is the fact that this newest Bad Seeds record is essentially an album made with the entirety of Grinderman and one other person, but Grinderman is supposedly no more. Interestingly this will also be the first Bad Seeds record made without multi-instrumentalist and sole remaining link to the Birthday Party Mick Harvey. Lead single 'We No Who U R' has a nice electronic sheen to it and definitely sounds distinctive in Cave's massive back catalogue. It sounds to me like a space-age version of something from 2001's 'And No More Shall we Part.' Yes, please! Their show at the Chicago Theater is the only upcoming show that I have tickets to right now. It was the first priority- Sharon Van Etten is opening, it's a seated show and it's their first since 2008.

The Warlocks (Cargo)

Another hold-over from last year's list. As of last year the band had signed contracts with Cargo and headed into the studio. According to their website it should be out soon! They've added a handful of tourdates as well including a stop at Austin Psychfest 2013. Oh how I wish I could get down there for that marathon- the lineup gets better every year. I'm sure once the record's released they'll go on a fairly exhaustive tour which is fantastic news- they've been gone for far too long.

Kurt Vile (Matador)- Spring

'Smoke Ring for my Halo' was #2 on my 2011 list. Every time I throw it on it manages to impress me every time. This newest record is reportedly like Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' album without the cheesy parts (I don't know- I've never heard 'Tusk' to be honest). I consider Vile a pretty safe bet regardless at this point- he hasn't really released anything that I don't like. 'Constant Hitmaker' is my least favourite album of his and I still like listening to it the whole way through. My guess is that a few of the new songs that he peppered his sets with the three times that I saw him last year might be on it. I certainly hope so- the two that I heard are both fantastic (watch the video, for instance).

Mazzy Star

File this under 'hope against hope' (pun unintended, but left in because I hardly ever make them). Much like my bloody valentine, Mazzy Star are one of those amazing 90s bands that, despite releasing a nice steady stream of quality albums during that decade, can't seem to finish anything that they start these days. When the 'Common Burn' single appeared out of the blue at the end of 2011 it seemed like the wait might be over soon. When a promising string of tour dates followed at which more new material was played (including the shit-hot bluesy number up above) it seemed like it was imminent. Now? Silence. That better mean they're getting things finished up. My guess is that, like the my bloody valentine album and the 'Common Burn' single, the announcement will be completely last minute. Is that better or worse? I don't know. I just don't know...

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