October 16th, 2003

Three new pieces in print today. There’s Bombpop, of course. This week I write about Richard Buckner, Iron & Wine and Jay Farrar, all of whom are playing in Northampton over the next three days. And there are two Journal-News pieces, one about Josh Rouse (I’m not done writing about this fucker yet, by the way — 1972 is a terrific album and if you don’t have it yet, you should be ashamed of yourself), and one about Death Cab For Cutie, another band with a terrific new record out, Transatlanticism.

Oh, hey, while I’m spending your music dollars for you, here’s a little heads up: You need to make a point of getting to the record store next Tuesday to grab a copy of the new Shins record, Chutes Too Narrow. Other than the stuff I’ve been writing about and a big heap o’ classical, I’ve been listening to nothing else for the past two months. That is, I can’t get the damned thing to come out of my CD player (or at least not to stay out of it). I certainly can’t get the songs out of my head. This is easily a leading contender for record of the year and without question or exception the best guitar-pop album of 2003 — by such a wide margin it isn’t even funny. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant stuff. I’ll have a lot more to say about this in print this time next week. But, really, if you’re ever going to just take my word for it, make it this time. Seriously, if you’re into guitar pop and you’ve got the — whatever it is, $12? $15? — and you don’t go out and buy this record, you are a damned fool and should have your license to listen to music revoked.

(One note: If you loved Oh, Inverted World as much as I did, you’re gonna need to let this thing spin maybe a half dozen times before you stop comparing and just let this record be what it is. Do it. Because once you start hearing Chutes Too Narrow rather than the follow-up to Oh, Inverted World you’re going to be a-fucking-mazed. Dig?)

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