April 19, 2008 has been declared Record Store Day by the folks who declare such things. There was a RecordStoreDay.com website about it with quotes from artists and a way to search for your nearest store, but it seems to be down. See how bad they must be hurting?
Go out this Saturday and support your local independent record store! I read something recently that the two largest music retailers in the U.S. are Walmart and iTunes. That’s kinda sad. Stop buying CD’s from Best Buy and Target and start supporting these local indie places before they’re all gone.
Aahh… but what to buy? Here’s the Top 10 New, Old, and Recent Albums Recommended With Confidence:
1. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig Lazarus Dig!!! (2008) Strange storytelling, distinctive voice, rockin tunes, and solid production. In other words “the new Nick Cave album is good.”
2. Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero (2007) Most famous for the way Trent Reznor hyped this before its release, but the album itself is actually great. Too bad the marketing got more media coverage than the music. I’ve never been a big Nine Inch Nails fan, but this is an excellent record. Very “listenable” songs for the average non-NIN fan, but still packed with the all the noise-meets-instruments genius of Reznor’s production.
3. Jason Isbell – Sirens of the Ditch (2007) Former Drive-By Trucker’s first solo album is full of solid tunes. Highly recommended.
4. The Word – The Word (2001) Pedal-steel guitar phenom Robert Randolph teams up with keyboardist John Medeski and the North Mississippi Allstars for jammin instrumentals that aren’t too wanky or boring.
5. Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely (2008) Brendan Benson and Jack White get the band back together, resulting in a deeper, more varied, and flat-out rockin second album.
6. Old 97’s – Too Far to Care (1997) Underrated classic alt-country gem here. Trademark witty lyrics and heartbroken melodies… The peak example of the Old 97’s train wreck of rock and country.
7. Wu Tang Clan – 8 Diagrams (2007) Legendary hip-hop group led by The RZA return to peak form with an instant classic. That’s not just lazy review-speak, the album is really that good.
8. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl (2005) Alt-rockers tone it down a bit for more of an Americana feel and it yields the highlight album of their career.
9. David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name (1971) Crosby’s first solo record is an overlooked piece of rock history. Nice little album features great guitar work by Jerry Garcia. Appearances by Mickey Hart, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Bill Kreutzman, Phil Lesh, Grace Slick, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young don’t hurt either. But Crosby’s voice and songs like “Music Is Love,” “Laughing,” and “Cowboy Movie” are the real stars here.
10. Black Keys – Attack & Release (2008) New one from bluesy guitar-drums duo gets better with every listen.