2004 Also-Rans, 2005 Goodies, Cocteau Twins to Perform


Now is as good a time as any to reveal some of the recordings I missed that therefore didn’t make it to the 2004 compilation. Several of them came my way via Jason mere days after I finalized and distributed the first copies of the compilation (including his). He gave me a compilation of his own, spanning a few years, in return—from which the following are culled. While I knew about American Music Club’s Love Songs for Patriots over the summer, it had slipped from my mind by the time it was released in September. I bought it just at the end of December, and it has been in heavy rotation since (one track, “Home,” even made the playlist for my first WHPK radio show). Outstanding as well are two releases featuring Leslie Feist: her debut recording Let It Die, released under the name Feist, and the Kings of Convenience’s Riot on an Empty Street. Also among the Jason-inspired purchases is Matt Pond PA’s Emblems. The song “Lily Two” alone is worth the CD’s purchase price. Lastly, I’m hoping for a domestic release of Stina Nordenstam’s The World Is Saved, but the tunes “Winter Killing” and “The End of the Affair” might be enough to make a music lover and his money soon part company. Those tunes, that is, and the fact the recording was engineered by Tchad Blake, one of my all-time favorite engineer/producers, noted for his work with Crowded House, Los Lobos, Ron Sexsmith, Suzanne Vega and countless others.

2005 is shaping up to be an interesting year. In the coming weeks, I might have laudatory things to say about Marianne Faithfull’s new recording Before the Poison (which features contributions from Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Adrian Utley, among others) as well two releases produced by Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev’s The Secret Migration—already out in the UK but not due for release Stateside until May—and Low’s Sub Pop debut The Great Destroyer). I’m not as excited about Beck’s upcoming Guero, but I’m prepared to listen with open ears.

Lastly, I’m seriously considering flying to LA and driving out to Indio for the Coachella Festival on 30 April and 1 May. After disbanding in 1998 in the process of recording the follow-up to 1996’s Milk and Kisses, the Cocteau Twins have decided to reform for at least one performance at said festival. They’ll be featured, alongside Coldplay, Weezer and Bauhaus, on the first day of the festival. (Day two will feature Nine Inch Nails, New Order, Bright Eyes and the original lineup of Gang of Four.) Some posters in the forums on a CT website are hopeful that, as was the case with the Pixies, the band will have an experience that will convince them to do a broader tour and perhaps record some new material. I’m not holding my breath.