recently acquired and spending a lot of time in rotation:
Dirty Projectors - Rise Above after seeing them in Minneapolis last Feb where they played a couple songs from this remake-of-Black-Flag-but-just-the-lyrics album, i knew this would be stunning and it is. crazy is also what it is, just listen to it, there's no point in me trying to describe it. how does he sing while playing those guitar lines? how do the girls sing what they're singing while he's singing? it all works.
Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War not captivating me as immediately as Set Yourself On Fire did, it's just a bit slicker and paler, but it's growing on me quickly. the guitars are dialed back so there are fewer approaching Pale Saints-style shredding moments and more borderline-early-Cardigans moments (not that that's a bad thing), but many of the melodies are indelible and there's some kind of emotional story that comes through the slickness. perhaps it's 80's nostalgia on my part, but perhaps they're just really good at what they do...take me to the riot! i say feyly.
Jesu - Conquerer i thought this would be metal, but it's more shoegazer-y, i'm still adjusting to the prettiness of it.
Charles Mingus - Mingus Plays Piano i always loved the COVER of this record but never owned the thing, and now i'm wondering why i waited so long, it's beautiful. nice review over at All About Jazz
Mu-Ziq - Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique the original alias of Mike Paradinas has reverted here, in a good way, away from the intense harsh nastiness of Bilious Clouds and into a more lo-fi world of woozy humanized synth melodies and songs, ableit with distorto rhythm tracks intact. supposedly a break-up album, but you'd never know that just from listening. Royal Astronomy may still be the peak but after i'd given up on another Mu-Ziq album this is a nice surprise.
Bruce Springsteen - Magic ugh i still can't believe it's called Magic, but this record is really good with great moments, including the previously mentioned Stephin Merritt-channeling "Girls In Their Summer Clothes," and it's getting better with each listen. bring on the tour!!