Saturday, July 31, 2021 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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The Band
Moondog Matinee, Northern Lights — Southern Cross...
Capitol Records

Nobody wants to sound like a curmudgeon, and right-thinking people have a positive horror of being so typed. The last guy you want to be is the one standing by the stereo at a party, shaking his head in disapproval while he holds forth about how music isn't as good as it used to be. You don't want to be that guy because not only is he a crashing bore, he's wrong — music is permanently exciting. Even in the darkest times, there is always something cool going on somewhere. It's always only a question of knowing where to look. In your heart you know that this is true, anyhow. But then somebody goes and reissues a bunch of records by The Band, albums so blindingly excellent that listening to them makes even a wide-eyed optimist like myself start grousing about how there aren't any bands around any more who put this much love into what they do. All four of these records are just tremendous; even Moondog Matinee, an album of '50s covers, is a revelation, its version of "Mystery Train" seething and throbbing with the otherworldly, sexual threat that makes rock 'n' roll the unstoppable force it can be in its finer hours. Northern Lights — Southern Cross, perhaps the most pleasant surprise of these new reissues, isn't perfect, but what's remarkable is that four of its eight songs are. The opener, "Forbidden Fruit," lopes along like a well-trained dancing bear, its bass fat and chunky, its contrapuntal guitars quietly but wickedly clever, its rhythm as catchy as a cold. "Ophelia," too, elevates the good-time C&W-inflected lost-love ballad to unpretentious high art — its verses bearing down on themselves toward the chorus like John Henry out-hammering the steam engine, the timbre of Levon Helm's rich, magnificent voice resonating with good humor flecked with painterly shades of sadness and regret. "It Makes No Difference," despite a maudlin lyric or perhaps because of it, climbs several minor-key verses to a summit so high and lonesome that the postmodern high-lonesome poster child, Morrissey, would be proud to call it his own. Above all there's "Acadian Driftwood," as perfect a rock song as is ever likely to get made by anybody, which subtly incorporates a zydeco feel into a story of Canadian exiles (some of whose numbers eventually made their way down to Louisiana and became known as "Cajuns") traveling south. Its pacing, its orchestration, its lilting melody, the way everybody takes a verse or two without making it sound awkward — you can call me a bore if you want. When the Band really hit their stride, they made music that even the best modern artists can only hope to someday match.

by John Darnielle

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