April 8, 2014
The Faint – Doom Abuse (SQE)
I have so many awesome memories tied to songs off the Faint's Danse Macabre and Wet from Birth albums, so I am always eager to hear new material from the Omaha foursome. After touring for a year in support of their last album, 2008's Fasciinatiion, they took time away from the band to regroup but eventually started making new music together last year, releasing a 12-inch called Preversions. These four songs became the foundation for their latest album, Doom Abuse. "We focused a lot less on the finished product of this record than we did on the spirit of it," comments guitarist Dapose (Michael Dappen). "The spirit was low-fi mixed with hi-fi, feedback and noise mixed with songwriting. There are some real consistencies in the songs, but it was really about a feel in general. Everything’s a lot faster on this record, it's more rocking. It’s like a punk rock record in some ways." Experience Doom Abuse live when the Faint head our way this summer for a three-night stand at the Roxy on June 6, 7 and 8.
John Frusciante – Enclosure (Record Collection)
John Frusciante is one of my favorite contemporary guitarists, but in the time since parting ways with Red Hot Chili Peppers for the second time, he has immersed himself in synthesizers, drum machines, samplers and computers. Enclosure, his 11th solo album, is the culmination of his exploration into musical programming, with the entire record having been written, produced, performed and engineered by him in his L.A. studio. Songs like the over-six-minute-long "Scratch" are the confluence of his guitar mastery merged with technological elements. Frusciante's experimentation extends far beyond the album's nine tracks, though. On March 29, Enclosure was loaded onto a cube satellite called Sat-JF14 and launched into space aboard a rocket, and using the Sat-JF14 app, you can track the satellite's movement to find out when it's above your region to listen to the album for free using any iOS or Android mobile device. So cool.
Nømads – Free My Animal (Mecca Lecca)
Also available – Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks' Enter the Slasher House; Black Label Society's Catacombs of the Black Vatican; Brown Shoe's Lonely Beast Part One; Chuck Inglish's Convertibles; Colourmusic's May You Marry Rich; Consider Me Dead's Young at Heart; EMA's The Future's Void; For the Fallen Dreams' Heavy Hearts; Ghetto Ghouls' self-titled; Haley Pharo's self-titled; Highasakite's Silent Treatment; Incan Abraham's Tolerance; James Durbin's Celebrate; Joan Osborne's Love and Hate; Martina McBride's Everlasting; The Mary Onettes' Portico; Menew's Mother Nature; MercyMe's Welcome to the New; OFF!'s Wasted Years; Ratking's So it Goes; School of Language's Old Fears; Sleepmakeswaves' In Today Already Walks Tomorrow; SoftSpot's Mass; SoMo's self-titled; SZA's Z; Teebs' Estara; Thus Owls' Turning Rocks; Todd Terje's It's Album Time; Tweens' self-titled; Whalers' Submarine Sun
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan (Scribner)
If you're ever in need of inspiration, all you have to do is read the final essay – which shares the same title as this collection of her work – Marina Keegan wrote for the Yale Daily News in anticipation of her 2012 graduation. Her words are even more moving when you take into account that the 22-year-old writer, poet and playwright died in a car accident just five days after Commencement. Her family, friends and teachers, like author and editor Anne Fadiman who also penned the book's introduction, chose the best of Keegan's fiction and nonfiction stories and essays to include in The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories. This is a wonderful collection by a brilliant young woman who was full of so much talent and promise.
Also available – The Blender Girl by Tess Masters; Can't and Won't by Lydia Davis; The Chopped Cookbook by Food Network Kitchen; Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace; The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead by Charles Murray; The Death of Money by James Rickards; The Divide by Matt Taibbi; Face the Music by Paul Stanley; In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen; Love Life by Rob Lowe; Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein; My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz; The Truth About Retirement Plans and IRAs (paperback) by Ric Edelman
Film – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second in Peter Jackson's trilogy adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece, stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage in the continuing adventure of the hobbit, wizard and group of dwarves; Tracy Letts' dark comedy, August: Osage County, transitions from the stage to big screen with an all-star cast led by Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper and Ewan McGregor; Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone go toe to toe in Grudge Match
TV – The Amazing Race: S13; Earthflight: The Complete Series; Lizzie Borden Took an Ax; Moonshiners: Season 2
Music – Artaserse; The Bobby Darin Show; Don't Ask Me Questions: The Unsung Life of Graham Parker and the Rumour; Justin Bieber's Believe
Also available – Back in the Day; Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses; Best Night Ever; Black Coffee; Cavemen; Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded; Marilyn & The Senator; Men, Money & Gold Diggers; My Fair Lidy; My Name Is Paul; Nurse; Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones; Snake & Mongoose