Archive for the ‘Waterdeep’ Category

New Waterdeep album on pre-order. Last year’s Heart Attack Time Machine topped my best of 2007. Brandon Groves will be back on drums, and that’s a very good thing.


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Before I begin, let me just say, you won’t earn my love by reading the whole thing. It’s just nice to know you.

I’ve been so busy putting together a list of the Greatest Recordings Known to Humankind, 2007, that I didn’t have time to get around to this list of Albums I Really Liked This Year. I’ll let you know if I ever finish the other, but here are my top 10 albums released this year, ranked according to my taste in music from best (10) to most best ever (1). I’ll warn you in advance: it’s leans to the sweet
side this year.

Click on “Launch Standalone Player” below to hear samples (minus my #1 pick and 1/2 of my #8). Your browser may resize, but don’t panic, and things will work out for you.

10) Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child: I had been away from Over the Rhine for a while, but this album drew me in close. I also picked up their Live from Nowhere album this year, and enjoyed that as I anticipated The Trumpet Child. The opener grabbed me immediately, and they kept my attention with a fluid consistency throughout. Played like a covers album, in a way, including an overt nod to Tom Waits and some moments of true Patsy Cline and Lady Day.

9) Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity: It was a great year for punchy, spasmodic alt-pop, with fantastic albums from Modest Mouse and Shapes and Sizes also getting lots of spin. But Deerhoof had this sort of whimsical fairy vibe underneath that made them least likely of the three to flail into me.

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The new Waterdeep was released online last week, while I wasn’t looking: Heart Attack Time Machine. It’s in the background of my current work to prevent the dams from breaking, so it doesn’t have my complete attention, but I am enjoying it. I miss Brandon Graves’ drums (apparently all the noises are Chaffer made), but the album is filled with Don’s characteristic tinkery production – inventive, playful and perfect.

The tone is a bit dim, although the light is split between dusks and dawns. It may represent the disappointments and redefinition that have marked the last several years for the band (loss of parents, financial disappointment, transition to parenthood) – at least as far as I’m aware of their journey. More than that, there’s something here of an ongoing redefinition of their identity as God-bearing artists, which – I think – exposes unreliable or inauthentic experiences in God and music. (more…)

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1) I really enjoyed Half Nelson. I think more than Babel. The insertion of Dunn’s (what a great name for this character) lectures on dialectic are kind of cheating (Chip Lambert’s doomed script from The Corrections came to mind), but it provided a helpful lens; overall, I thought focus was a real strength of the film. And the strong characters. I am drawn to anything that asks questions about the possibility of change.

2) Tyler posted a link to clips from the conversation Sojourners hosted with Obama, Clinton and Edwards. At the end of the clip, Wallis is commenting on how this is finally a different kind of discussion: one that addresses the issues of poverty, immigration, etc. as issues central to Christian confession and vital to national policy. Which made it a little ironic that, until Tyler pointed me towards this, the only information I could find about the debate were Hillary’s comments on how faith served her during the Lewinsky scandal. (more…)

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