1. Maybe i'm a decade or so late, but how fucking brilliant is "Creep" by Radiohead? I know OK Computer was their masterpiece and that their later work was maybe more interesting on a technical level, and maybe even that The Bends had more great melodies and structured songs, but on a purely emotional, lyrical level, i honestly don't think they've ever surpassed "Creep." I'm listening to the Brandi Carlile cover right now, and it's just incredible. It's one of Radiohead's most human songs, and it's just so on point on every level. Those lyrics, literally (she's too good for me) and metaphorically (what's the point of my even existing?), are deceptively deep, yet it's still catchy as hell and even transcendent toward the end-- Thom Yorke's voice, yo...
2. Speaking of Brandi Carlile, I know nothing about her, but i have a few of her songs and i love the cracks in her voice. That raggedness, even when she's oversinging (which i would do too if i had a voice like that) is so perfect.
3. I'm starting to think my favorite album of all time might be the first Mermaid Avenue album-- Billy Bragg, Wilco and Natalie Merchant singing Woodie Guthrie lyrics. If you haven't heard it, definitely check it out. I'm not a huge fan of any of those artists by themselves, but coupled with Guthrie's lyrics they really do a great job here.
4. I need to pick up that new Raphael Saadiq album. From what i've heard, it's lovely. "Still Ray" is one of my favorite songs, and we all love Tony Toni Tone, but the rest of his work has been underwhelming to me. I have a feeling this album will be something special, though.
5. Be sure to check out Big Cats' "Sleep Tapes," an instrumental hip hop album. He's produced for Sage Francis and others, and we're currently working together on a full-length concept album that's going to be rifuckingdamndiculous.
6. In other local news, the new Haley Bonar album, "Big Star," is really good. For those of you outside the Twin Cities, you may not have heard of her. But definitely check her out on Itunes or MySpace or whatever, especially if you like that alt-country singer/songwriter stuff. I generally don't, actually, but Bonar has such interesting lyrics and such a unique delivery that she won me over. Her older albums are also worth checking out. "Am I Allowed" is probably my favorite song of hers.
7. Upcoming shows: the Soapboxing Poetry Slam season opener is Monday, 10/6 at 8pm at the Artists' Quarter in St. Paul. I'll be competing there. On Saturday, 10/11, i'll be playing with Junkyard Empire and Face Candy for the former's CD release show at the Nomad. Finally, we're having a CD release show on Halloween at the New Acadia Cafe as part of KFAI's MN Soundtrack. Details to come.