David Lynch — Crazy Clown Time
If you’re a regular Flavorpill reader, you’ve doubtless noticed our ongoing David Lynch obsession. Lynch is probably our all-time favorite director, and we’ve also generally been fans of his previous musical ventures (he wrote that weird Lady in the Radiator song in Eraserhead, for a start, along with the lyrics for the songs on the Twin Peaks soundtrack). So we’ve been waiting with baited breath to see if his debut album is any good. And is it? Um. Well, it’s strange. (Surprise, surprise.) There are definite filmic reference points for the music here — there’s an instrumental that sounds like it could have walked straight off the Twin Peaks set, while opening track “Pinky’s Dream” (which has Karen O on vocals) sounds like an outtake from the Lost Highway soundtrack. Lynch’s fondness for vocoder effects and tremolo gets a little tired by the end of the album, but it’s generally fascinating listening, especially “Strange and Unproductive Thinking,” a philosophical monologue delivered in a faux “Fitter, Happier” robovoice. All in all, we wish we’d had a copy of this for our Halloween party. Listen via NPR here.
The Decemberists — Long Live the King
Less weird but no less worthy is Long Live the King, a new EP from the Decemberists that functions as a kind of companion piece to their album The King Is Dead, which was released earlier this year. There’s only six songs on this release, including a home demo and a cover of a Grateful Dead song (no, wait, it’s good!), but it’s definitely worth hearing if you’re fond of alt-country sounds and/or Americana. The album’s streaming at Spinner — click here to listen.
Cass McCombs — Humor Risk
While we’re on prolific 2011 types, there’s a new album out next week by Cass McCombs, who’s already released one album this year (Wit’s End, which dropped in April). The record is called Humor Risk, and it’s streaming all week via Stereogum. The ‘Gum describe the record as “rockier and happier” than its predecessor, which is pretty much spot on as far as we’re concerned — although considering Wit’s End’s generally morose, world-weary tone, that isn’t exactly a huge stretch. Anyway, first impressions are that Humor Risk is pretty great. Have a listen here.
King Midas Sound — Without You
There seems to be something of a run of worthy dubstep releases at the moment — last week it was the Joker record, and this week it’s King Midas Sound, the Hyperdub-catalyzed collaboration between London producer Kevin Martin and Trinidadian poet Roger Robinson. Without You is basically a remix album, comprising reworkings of the songs on the duo’s fantastic 2009 debut Waiting for You. The list of remixers involved is pretty impressive — including, amongst others, Flying Lotus, Hype Williams, Gang Gang Dance, Nite Jewel, label boss Kode9 and, um, Scritti Politti’s Greer Gartside — and so are the results. The album’s is The Hype Machine’s preview of the week, and you can hear it here.
Scott Weiland — The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
And finally, pretty much everyone’s reaction to the news that former Stone Temple Pilot and Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland was doing a Christmas album was to put on their best Mr. Mackey voice and proclaim that dugs are bad, m’kay? But, y’know, the strangest thing about this record is that… it works. Whatever you can say about Weiland, he still has a fine voice, and he plays this completely and utterly straight (or he’s more deadpan than we could ever have guessed), channeling the likes of Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, and doing a pretty creditable job of it. A Scott Weiland album that you could give your grandma for Christmas? The world just gets stranger with every passing day, doesn’t it? Anyway, listen here and see if you agree.