Thursday, January 23, 2014

Parquet Courts Light Up Gold, Bill Callahan Sinks and Swims in a Dream River (Music Review)

Released Jan 2013 
Released Sept 2013 
Light Up Gold - Parquet Courts  A

Dream River - Bill Callahan C+

Light Up Gold is such a kick-ass album.  Listening to it makes me happy, it gets me hype!  This Brooklyn via Texas quartet has made an album that would have been an instant classic 20 years ago.  It reminds me of Pavement, Buzzcocks, The Clash, and even a touch of the Rolling Stones (in their early years). But, ultimately this mash up of sounds and styles comes off as their own.  Light Up Gold is infectious and solid from beginning to end.  The more I listen to it, the more I think it is a classic for any year. I sincerely hope these guys come to Denver on tour in 2014.  Favorite tracks: "Stoned and Starving," "Yonder is Closer to the Heart" and "Careers in Combat."

I'd never heard of Bill Callahan until about 6 weeks ago.  Then, I started seeing his name and album, Dream River, on several year-end lists.  Dream River has been a strange and slow burn for me.  I like the lyrics, I like his delivery, but the soft adult contemporary musical arrangements (bongos, easy listening guitars, flutes and board soundscapes) don't do Callahan's poetic lyrics justice- it's a noticeable mismatch.  Favorite tracks: "The Sing" and "Ride My Arrow"   

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