The Decemberists look like they might have just read my review
I was stoked for the three biggest January from these higher-profile bands:
The Decemberists--The King Is Dead...Album #6 from these Portland peeps follows their concept album that was generally panned. The reaction to this record has been much better. I agree it's nicely-done, but I wouldn't consider it one of their best. It's very country and mostly downtempo. My top tracks contain more vibe: "Down By the Water", "This Is Why We Fight", and probably "Don't Carry It All". Not surprising that the first two songs are also the ones that have garnered the most airplay, or that "Water" quenches my thirst for energetic Decemberists songs.
Cage the Elephant--Thank You Happy Birthday...Following 3 huge alternative radio hits as rookies, Cage picked up where they left off with the top 5 "Sell Yourself" single from this album. This solid disc rocks harder but has less character than the debut. Singer Matt Shultz delivers a fearsome passion and these guys will continue to bring it home in concert. The band is managed by the same team that handles people like Muse and Metallica, so you can surmise that they're aiming for arenas. Besides the single, I like "Always Something", "Aberdeen", and "2024".
White Lies--Ritual...These London boys have been faves of mine, as their darkness managed to penetrate the upbeat, melodic realm where most of my faves reside. It works for me musically, but their "To Lose My Life" debut contained 4 or 5 songs that really stuck to my bones. Sad that this sophomore disc doesn't have any that rank as high. My two faves are "Bad Love" and "Holy Ghost". Single "Bigger Than Us" entered at #3 in the UK, where they're huge, but it has quickly dropped to #62. US buzz feels moderate. My hope is that the band will hold its ground this time around, then come back on fire next time.
Reviews coming on Smith Westerns and Wanda Jackson. Also on live shows by The Vaccines and The Crocodiles...One of my new fave websites is The Audio Perv. This dude posts all of the right links, including the better late-night TV band gigs. I tweet when I see great bands on TV, and I often use the "perv's" links..My annual new music "Rave-A-Thon" lasted 8 hours, 32 mintues on WSUM. I had the cold from hell but it was overshadowed by the power of being able to share such great music with people. Thanks to General Manager Dave Black as well as Program Director Sawyer Hildebrandt for setting aside the time. Now that I've been AT&T-free for a few years, the dubious crown for the worst phone customer service goes to Sirius XM radio. I've been forced to contact them 4 times in the past month. A US broadcasting company with call centers in places like Egypt, and people lack energy and English communication skills? If they want to save money, hire cool US college kids!