Rebel Rebel Records Top 5

Instead of writing my thoughts on this week’s Rebel Rebel Top 5 I decided to check in with some of music’s best critics since they really are the pros.  It’s quite a varied bunch this week but from politics to punk and pop to ultra personal, here’s what music sounds like this week on The Gilded Owl!

Steve Mason / Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time

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“Politics can often waylay even the best musicians, but it seems to have the opposite effect on Mason here, inspiring him to create some of his finest and most thought-provoking material.Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time could certainly do with a trim here and there, but you can certainly understand why Mason has chosen to cram everything on here, the slow chug of the closing ‘Come To Me’ bringing the album back thematically to the personal and ending things on a bittersweet note. Mason might have a lot of worries on his mind, but he’s managed to express them beautifully here.” excerpt from Drowned in Sound’s review by Aaron Lavery

Patty Griffin / American Kid

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The diverse yet understated sound and atmosphere of “American Kid” is largely due to the fact that Patty Griffin enlisted Luther and Cody Dickinson to provide the music. It was even recorded in the Dickinson’s hometown of Memphis. Luther’s guitar work and Cody’s percussion are the backbone of the album. Griffin apparently met them when North Mississippi All-Stars opened for Band of Joy. Griffin was also joined by Robert Plant on three songs. Their chemistry that began with Band of Joy carries over to these songs with a seamless harmony. “American Kid” was worth the wait. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another six years for a collection of original masterpieces like these.  Excerpt from Twangville’s review by Chip Frazier

Bill Ryder Jones / A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=CFCBRSw3_EQ

The 2011 release of If…, an imaginary soundtrack for a film of an Italo Calvino novel, earned former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones raised eyebrows and plenty of praise for its ambitious orchestral soundscapes. The follow-up, however, finds him nailing his colours firmly to the singer-songwriter mast, the likes of the gorgeously hushed You’re Getting Like Your Sister and opener Hanging Song owing more to Elliott Smith than Ennio Morricone. There’s a disarming openness to the lyrics and a warmth to the arrangements that make this an album that rewards repeated listening.  From The Guardian’s review by Phil Mongredien

Deerhunter / Monomania

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The album is certainly otherworldly in its context, as in, it sounds different than other stuff coming out right now. But that’s second nature at this point for these guys. The all caps list of nouns at the end of the release articulates the live aesthetic the band’s shooting for. Judging by a performance of the title track “Monomania” on Fallon, Cox is fully embracing a glam androgyny, which plays to his strengths quite wonderfully. He doesn’t even play guitar on stage anymore; rather, he lets a black wig cover his eyes, leather pants and boots show off his slender figure, and a sheer dress shirt drape his shoulders as he croons. The late-night affair felt very rock-star, fit with a microphone slammed to the floor, an apathetic walk off stage, and a thirty second shot of said star ambling to the studio’s elevator; which brings me to the defining characteristic of Monomania: rock n’ roll.  Excerpt from Pretty Much Amazing’s review by Ben Brock Wilkes.

Junip / Junip

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Junip is a band that excels by focusing on one tone at a time, injecting each with a level of attention worthy of a mural. Gonzalez is too zoned-in here to let his lyrics distract, but more often than not, Junip can essentially be heard as an instrumental pop album with the music feeding and building off itself. After seeing parts of three separate decades together, Junip have finally worked up to what they can be at their best.  Excerpt from Consequence of Sounds review by Steven Arroyo

Thank you David Shebiro / Rebel Rebel Records for always contributing such great music

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