New CDs – Julie Doiron, Black Lips, Lotus Plaza

March 21, 2009

Julie Doiron has a new album out, called “I Wonder What You Did With Your Day,” and it’s really great. Like the album title suggests, most of the songs focus on the details of normal, day-to-day life. And while the arrangements are stripped down to vocals, guitar, drum, and bass and/or keys, Doiron’s excellent acoustic and electric guitar work keeps things interesting; for an example, you can download one of the best tracks, “Consolation Prize,” from the Jagjaguwar website. Overall the feeling is kind of like what you get from the Spinane’s first album or even more so from Tsunami’s “A Brilliant Mistake.” And, indeed, this new album is as good as or perhaps even better than either of those two, featuring what’s maybe the best music Doiron’s ever recorded, either with or without Eric’s Trip. It’s another leading candidate for 2009’s top ten list.

The Black Lips also have a new record out, titled “200 Million Thousand.” Their last album, “Good Bad Not Evil” from 2007, was really great, but this latest is even better if you ask me, as the band continues to bring elements of garage and psychedelic rock together in standout tracks (a couple of which you can stream from the band’s Myspace page) like “Starting Over,” “Short Fuse,” “I’ll Be With You,” and “Again and Again,” that all sound like instant classics. The Black Lips are from Atlanta not Boston, but if you’re like me and love that classic Boston sound of the Real Kids, Unnatural Axe, the Prime Movers, and so on, you’re sure to love this new cd too.

Finally, Lotus Plaza is a solo project by Lockett Pundt, guitarist from Deerhunter, and his new cd, “The Floodlight Collective,” out soon on Kranky records, confirms that Bradford Cox is by no means the only creative force behind that great band. This album has the same mix of dreamy shoegaze, psychedelic, and haunting Flamingos-like 1950s pop that’s featured on Deerhunter’s latest, “Microcastle,” as well as on the Bradford Cox-solo-project Atlas Sound’s “Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel.” And if you count the “Weird Era Cont.” cd that came along with “Microcastle,” that makes four outstanding full-length records by these two guys over the last 14 months. Truly amazing.

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