If You Can’t Draw a Crowd, Draw Dicks on a Wall

It’s been a while since I’ve done any album review posts. My lack of money and the shortage of new music from bands I like have both contributed to this. Here are three new ones I have listened to, though, and I’m hoping to get my hands on the latest Young Fresh Fellows and Grand Duchy albums as well.

What does Annie Clark have in her mouth, anyway?
David Byrne and St. Vincent, Love This Giant – As a fan of Talking Heads who’s also been intrigued by what I’ve heard of St. Vincent, I was interested to hear how this collaboration would turn out. It’s quite good, really; the songs vary a bit in quality, but I like most of them. I think my favorite might be “The One Who Broke Your Heart,” which has kind of a Naked-era Talking Heads sound to it. Most of the songs were written by both David and Annie together, and and they both sing.

Well, at least it is when spelled in the British fashion.
Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra, Theatre Is Evil – Amanda takes time out from her busy schedule of offending people on social networks to release some music. No, seriously, she’s really put out quite a bit in the last few years, but not on officially released albums. It’s pretty typical of her, with a lot of energy to the music and a mixture of confessional and humorous lyrics. I think my favorite track on it is “Melody Dean,” featuring a riff likely based on “My Sharona,” which is actually referenced in the song. Upon my first listen, I kind of half-thought Amanda was saying “my lady demon,” but such, alas, was not the case. Others I like are “Do It with a Rockstar” and “Want It Back.”

Ben Folds Five, The Sound of the Life of the Mind – It’s been, what, twelve years since the last album by the Five? They broke up in 2000, but recently got back together for a tour and a new record. I can’t say I really have the skills to pick out how the drum and bass parts really differ from Ben’s solo work, but it’s nice to see the group back together, and the album is short but enjoyable. It is, perhaps, somewhat less fun than their earlier work, and closer to Ben’s solo stuff in some ways. It also feels kind of short with only ten tracks, although iTunes assures me that it’s 44.4 minutes long. It’s still enjoyable, however, and fans of Ben either with or without the Five will want to pick it up. The songs that stick out for me are “Erase Me” and “Do It Anyway.”

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