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My Listening Hours: May - Pretty Goes with Pretty May got away from me in terms of writing for this blog, unfortunately. Too bad because I acquired a lot of albums I'd meant to write more about. Well, here's the rundown of everything I acquired this month, in the order I got it. Klaus Schulze: DunePrior to this month I only had one other Schulze album, his first, Irrlicht. Okkervil River: I Am Very FarI had a long period of severe infatuation with Okkervil River a couple of years ago, more or less coinciding with the release of The Stage Names and The Stand Ins. Okkervil River: The Valley Fleet Foxes: Helplessness BluesI'm an unabashed, unapologetic fan of Fleet Foxes' debut. Fleet Foxes: Blue Spotted Tail Cass McCombs: Wit's EndOne glorious track followed by seven oppressively dull slogs. Cass McCombs: County Line My Morning Jacket: CircuitalThis is, thank God, a positive rebound from the often embarassing Evil Urges, though Circuital is not without its flaws. My Morning Jacket: The Day is Coming Wild Beasts: Lion's Share

Albums of 2010 that I Missed: Del Barber’s “Love Songs For The Last Twenty” | Slowcoustic So I was going to do a “Calgary Concert Alert” as I saw Del Barber was going to be at the Ironwood here in Calgary this weekend…but apparently he isn’t. Thank you very much Pollstar concert listings! But then as I was gearing up to put a quick something together on the show, I realized I didn’t actually do a post on Del Barber’s most recent album “Love Songs for the last 20″. I am no stranger to Del’s music (see previous mentions here and here) and I knew he had a new album, but with how things go, I simply missed out on at least a mention. The album was released last June and continues on Del’s penchant for rootsy on the road Canadiana. Regardless, for a listen of the song Chicago, simply click below (courtesy of Craig over at Songs:Illinois – another Canadian album he posted on before me…). “Chicago” – Del Barber, from 2010’s “Love Songs For the Last Twenty” Bonus tracks previously posted: “Harvest”“Where the City Ends” from the FANTASTIC 2009 album “Where The City Ends” ~Smansmith p.s.

J. Nolan -- Obscure Sound A rising hip-hop artist like J. Nolan has a notable amount of temptations in the studio alone. There are countless numbers of production gimmicks aimed to disguise an artist’s insecurities, inspired by an age where cameos and pop culture references help sway an artist’s hype/PR abilities one way or the other. The most noteworthy new artists tend to disregard the prospect of signing with the most esteemed hip-hop team/crew; this would be taking the safe route, which tightly clumps them with others in the same vehicle instead of allowing them to take their own. Nolan’s beats will have extreme appeal to fans of Mos Def, Wu-Tang, and others that stray away from rigid loop-based song structures. Nolan isn’t shy about his ability to work and improve ceaselessly: “For anyone that knows me even in the briefest instant, they can tell you that I never sit back and just rest when a project has been completed or is near completion, and certainly not when it’s been released.” J. J. J.

Throwback Thursday – Hell Yeah Movie Soundtracks | Sunset in the Rearview posted by: Patrick Throwback Thursday It’s that time of the week again Sunset riders. Another marvelous Thursday (at least in the pacific ocean) where I ramble about a music-themed topic and pretend that it’s somehow “Throwback”-related. In a fit of writers’ block, I decided to take a shot in the dark and find out what the oldest song in my music library was. In the Big Rock Candy Mountains All the cops have wooden legs And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs The farmers’ trees are full of fruit And the barns are full of hay Oh I’m bound to go Where there ain’t no snow Where the rain don’t fall The winds don’t blow In the Big Rock Candy Mountains “Big Rock Candy Mountains” – Harry McClintock. How’s that for a Throwback? As I thought about it, I realized I have some pretty amazing soundtracks tucked away. “Just Like Honey” – The Jesus & Mary ChainMP3: “Kaze Wo Atsumete” – はっぴいえんどMP3: “Girls” – Death In Vegas “Joy to the World” – Three Dog Night patrick

Judith Berkson - Oylam Judith Berkson - "Goodbye Friend No. 1" (Oylam) Drawing inspirations and techniques from diverse streams including jazz, the Jewish liturgical tradition, and late-romantic and modern art music, Brooklyn- based composer, singer and pianist Judith Berkson has made a unique and intimate musical world. There’s a quiet intensity and poised integrity to her work on this record; a close-up honesty — at times even a rawness of emotion — arcing underneath what might sometimes seem a cool and arty surface. The album opener, “Goodbye Friend No.1,” sets a mood with introspective and elegiac solo piano. Berkson’s take on Cole Porter’s “All of You” is simply arresting. Indeed, shadow and light interact with intensity in much of this music. The record contains a few moments of extreme chromaticism and vocal acrobatics that might grate upon some ears. By Kevin Macneil Brown

The Wilderness of Manitoba, Live Session # 91 Canada is secretly conspiring to take over the United States in the Folk/Americana music category. The Wilderness of Manitoba are a chamber folk quintet from Toronto comprised of multi-instrumentalist and vocalists. We fell in love with the band’s latest album, When You Left The Fire, with its lush ambiance and warm four-part harmonies. Their communal approach to song craft layers in textures of lap steel, cello, banjo, and harmonica into a haunting and sparse folk sound. If this is your first introduction to The Wilderness of Manitoba, don’t plan to turn it up midway through your next house party. They are best digested in isolation, free from interruptions. The Wilderness of Manitoba Band Introduction Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba – St. Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba – Hermit Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba -Native Tongue Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba – Orono Park Download The Wilderness of Manitoba Live Session as a zip file.

Best New Releases from The Head and The Heart, Tuneyards, I’m From Barcelona, High Llamas, Heavenly States, O’Death, Bombino - Indie Rock Cafe Seattle band The Head and The Heart Unlike many week’s this year, this would have to be one of the most insignificant in comparison as far as new music releases. There are simply no “big” releases this week as we’ve seen for other weeks over the past few months – like Radiohead, The Strokes, Panda Bear, Foo Fighters, The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, R.E.M., and so many others, which you can view and listen to from the Best New Releases page. That said, there still are some definitely note-worthy releases, including The Head and The Heart, I’m From Barcelona, The High Llamas, Tuneyards, Head and American Babies. Tuneyards gets things really moving with the uplifting African music inspired track, “Bizness,” that takes you to another place. “Bizness” – Tuneyards from Whokill “Dirty D” – Futurebirds from Futurebirds EP “Get In Line” – I’m From Barcelona from Forever Today “Fly Baby, Fly” – The High Llamas from Talahomi Way“Cement Slippers” – Dengue Fever from Cannibal Courtship