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May 1, 2002

good new music

Last week was a big plus for indie music fans. Three albums that help rebuild my faith in the modern musician were released: Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Paul Westerberg's Stereo and Elvis Costello's When I Was Cruel.

Wilco's YHF is simply dreamy, reminiscent of Big Star's Third. Jeff Tweedy's songwriting is haunting, romantic and never sappy. The album debuted at #13 on Soundscan, I hope it knocked off a boy band or two...

Paul Westerberg's Stereo is like an old pair of warm slippers if you're a Westerberg/Replacements/Grandpaboy fan (Grandpaboy's recent release, Mono, is included with this album, a nice touch for anyone who didn't buy it last month). Westerberg remains the midwestern straightahead rocker, and makes no apologies for these songs sounding similar to his previous releases, he's just being himself, that's alright with me.

Elvis Costello and I go back to my early teens, when he led the British invasion of college rock in the late 70's and I wore out two copies of This Year's Model. This album is similar, EC turns a wicked phrase and pops through the entire record.

I have been sneaking in my favorite new band occasionally, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a noise pop trio that reminds me at times of vintage X.

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