Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paste #28

Paste #28 (February 2007) is out now. Those of you who want to be happier, wealthier, and more popular should pick it up. Why? Because The Shins are on the cover. The Shins will change your life. You've heard it from Natalie Portman. Now hear it from me. One listen to their new album Wincing the Night Away will result in instant bliss, the removal of any longstanding debt, and almost instantaneous connection to seventeen new soulmates. And exposure to even a few seconds of any Shins song can cure Stage 4 cancer. You don't want to miss out.

There's also a rundown/ranking of the best albums and films of 2006. Oddly enough, I mostly agree with the albums selected and how they are ranked. The list of films makes me realize how out of the loop I am in terms of quality cinema. The only foreign film I saw last year was Borat.

I have three articles in this issue, my Listening to My Life column (yes, it's still there, for the two of you who have wondered; it's just not on the back page), and two short album reviews.

There's also the usual CD sampler, this time with the worst Lucinda Williams song I've ever heard, both musically and lyrically. What's up with that? I sincerely hope it isn't representative of her new album.


teddy dellesky said...

I took your advice and picked up Six Parts Seven. I'm a sucker for post-rock.

I've heard that Lucinda has picked up a nifty heroin habit over the years. If true, this could be part of the reason for the subpar songwriting. Who knows.

John McCollum said...

I've only heard it once, but I already hate the Shins new album. I've really grown to love Chutes Too Narrow, but this new one? The Shins get lost in the production. Gone is the sense of this being a real band on a real stage with real instruments. Everything is filtered, compressed, reverberated -- ugh. Even the lead singer's voice no longer sounds unique. Could be anyone else singing through that vocoder. Or guitar pedal. Or whatever it is.


Anonymous said...

The new Shins album is about 40 % good. I LOVED the first two albums- but have been unimpressed with this one. I have listened to it ALOT to see if I would get it- but no luck. Still- It's not near as bas as the latest from the Flaming Lips.

The Sampler was better than normal though.

Jeff Cannell

Andy Whitman said...

Teddy, I hope you enjoy the Six Parts Seven album. I like it. I do wish it was a litle more memorable. It's certainly very pleasant music.

I think we need to be careful with rumors like Lucinda's "heroin addiction." I'm not saying it's not true. I don't know, and certainly there are plenty of drug references in her music. But artists are artists, and they may writing out of their personal experience, or they may be making something up out of whole cloth, or they may be doing some combination of the two. Even when they write in the first person, we can't assume that what they're singing is true of their lives. Johnny Cash may have written "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die," but he didn't actually do it.

In any case, I hope that's not true about Lucinda, and I hope the song I heard on the Paste sampler is an aberratation, and not the norm on her new album.

John McCollum said...


For what it's worth, I thought "Mystics" was pretty good. No Yoshimi or Soft Bulletin, but not bad.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Is she all right?
Is she all right?
Is she all right?
(repeat until you dive for the power button)

Andy Whitman said...

Hi, Jullie. I just noticed that you list Thomas (not Tom) Wolfe's "Of Time and the River" as one of your favorite books.

It's one of mine, too. I remember the first (of several) times I read "Look Homeward, Angel." It was like someone had tapped into my innermost thoughts, even though he lived in a very different time and place. I love all of Wolfe's books. He basically wrote the same story (a very thinly veiled autobiography) again and again, but he was such a transcendently passionate writer, and he was such a poetic soul, that I retain a great fondness for his words. It's great to find someone else who a)knows who he is, and b) cherishes his writing.