Wednesday, November 12, 2008

don't call it a comeback

Q-Tip: I can't really decide whether this return of the Q is really something worth heralding, or is just the forces of nostalgia leaving their ripples. I was really more of a Public Enemy and De La Soul guy than I was an A Tribe Called Quest guy back then. Tribe always struck me as trying too hard, not having the substance of the aforementioned groups nor the crossover pop appeal of Arrested Development. This record is nice enough grooving in the background of the work day, but it's not-sucking does not a heralded triumph make.

Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band, live at Washington, DC's 9:30 Club via NPR
I looooved Bright Eyes' Casadaga, I thought it was the runaway album of the year last year, and maybe I am the only person to believe this. There is a Madonna-like love-to-hate-him aura about Conor Oberst, but in my thinking, he is at least trying. Most groups sound liek they are operating on a random array of presets - when Oberst is is ripping off Dylan or The Band or the Dead or Springsteen, at least its a conscious, deliberate move. This live recording sounds like a million archived hippie rollings of thunder, in that it has that same sense of nurtures informality and amber glow of congeniality radiating from it. Conor maybe retreading sacred ground for some, byut for me I'm glad someone I like is keeping up the trails.

Juana Molina's music, I love without question. Tidy warm mixes of acoustic and technological strategies. Un Dia seems to be deeper into the machine than her other albums, but is still heavenly whispering. Like Animal Collective if they were and Argentiniean woman and had already been famous (Molia was a popular TV actress in Argentina) , like Bjork if things were dialed back a little.

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