Friday Random Five (#12)
Oh November, we barely knew you. Which means it's December already which is quite alright, particularly if your mantra is, by way of John Darnielle, "I am gonna make it through this year, if it kills me." In any case, another splendid five here to start off your month, capped off, obviously, by the Decemberists. We might even set up a residency for the band in the Random Five all month long given that it is their month. I ramble on and on...
1- It is, of course, that time of year where we begin to look back, to take stock of the year that was and everything it might possibly mean. Musically, this is an especially arduous task since it has been a particularly solid year for new releases in my estimation. The Crystal Skulls' debut Blocked Numbers has been very high on my list since its release last March. There's just so much here to dig, and "No Room for Change" (MP3) is very much included in that.
2- Of course, this time of year also prompts us to want to be done with this tired old number already-- the one we've been hearing and repeating for the past 11 months. For the new number holds boundless possibility, so let's get to it already. While we can't see whether or not we'll be hit by a bus or fall in love on February 7th, 2006, we do know that Belle & Sebastian's next release, The Life Pursuit, will be in stores that day. And we know that "Another Sunny Day" (MP3) will be on it.
3- As if we didn't need more proof of the generally evil tendencies of behemoth, multi-mergered record companies (you know, the ones that complain of losing 1% of their overall profits to piracy), word on the street is that Nellie McKay was recently reduced to tears on-stage by the likes of Sony. Ms. McKay is lovely and talented and precocious and, as such, the bullying isn't really appreciated. Also, she too has a new album out early in 2006, Pretty Little Head. This live version of "Cupcake (LIVE)" (MP3), from the new album, was recorded in 2004 at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT.
4- Getting back to one of the better releases of 2005, Andrew Bird's The Mysterious Production of Eggs is outstanding (see more on him in today's Show Post). Few muscial moments this year reached the sublimely lazy bliss of
5- As promised, we close it out this week with one from this month's poster children, the Decemberists. The vinyl edition of their 2005 release Picaresque includes the all-bonus-track mini album Picaresquities. Here's one of two different versions of
enjoy. rinse. repeat.