Sonic Youth, “Or”: Very smooth for SY. But great. They’re an amazing band.
The Flower Kings, “Blue Planet”: A typical track from one of my favorite neo-progressive
rock bands. For the Flower Kings, this is a short one at only 10 minutes.
The Clogs, “Lantern”: once again, one of my favorite classical-leaning post-rock bands. Slow,
beautiful track, featuring steel drums and oboe, and even some light vocals.
Mariliion, “Fantastic Place”: one of my least favorite tracks from an amazing Marillion
album. Overall, the “Marbles” album was fantastic, but this track just leaves me cold.
Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, “Higher Ground”: quite a change from the last
couple. Very up-tempo jazzy string-ensemble cover of a Stevie Wonder tune.
The National, “Baby We’ll Be Fine”: The National are the alter ego of the Clogs; they’ve got
nearly the same personnel. But the National is a slightly country-ish alt-rock band. This track
has a great psuedo-minimalist melodic pulse under it. Very cool.
Naftule’s Dream, “Free Klez 1 & 2”: what happens when a group of really talented klezmer
musicians try to an Ornette Coleman style free improv? Weird stuff.
Navan, “Thig an T-Eathor”: very traditional a-capella Irish songs. Not what you’d probably
expect if you’re used to instrumental Irish; songs are a totally different form
Mark Knopfler, “Boom, Like That”: The guitar wizard of Dire Straights has been doing mostly
solo work lately. This is a track from his latest solo album, about (of all people) Roy Kroc, founder
of McDonalds. Good song, with a nice guitar hook.
Marillion, “Ocean Cloud”: another track from Marillion’s “Marbles” album – this one is an
example of just why I like this album so much: it’s an 18 minute long opus, just terrific stuff.