Last week was a bad one for Knoxville’s eccentric electro-acoustic ensemble Shortwave Society, who had their tour van and tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gear stolen. They’ve turned this week’s performance at Pilot Light with Asheville’s Stephaniesid into a benefit show; they’ll be performing on borrowed equipment, so it will likely be unlike any other Shortwave Society show you’ll ever hear. Singer/guitarist Grant Geren compiled this list of albums he’s been listening to just before the theft.
False Priest (Polyvinyl, 2010)
From the first time I heard this band I was completely hooked. I appreciate the way that Kevin Barnes and company refuse to slip into the monotonous pitfalls of modern indie rock. In a time where so much seems to sound the same, Of Montreal’s music is full of imagination and is uncompromising in its originality. This album is their most recent and was produced by the amazing Jon Brion. The record serves as a once-in-a-lifetime meeting of two brilliant minds that is not to be missed. Oh, and did I forget to mention that it’s fun and it makes me want to dance like nobody is watching?
Highway Rider (Nonesuch, 2010)
The extraordinary arrangements on this album are nothing short of a miracle. One of the things I admire most about Mehldau is the perfect balance in his music. It has the ability to be virtuosic without sacrificing its emotional content and the result is simply breathtaking. It’s no coincidence that Jon Brion shows up twice on this list as producer extraordinaire. The man is a genius.
Live for Your Listening Pleasure (Hachette Audio, 2009)
This is a collection of readings from David Sedaris’ most recent U.S. book tour and is mostly made up of material that he has yet to publish. He never ceases to fascinate me. With most authors I couldn’t really care less whether or not I’m reading a physical copy of the book or listening to the audiobook, but with Sedaris I always have to have the audiobook. Hearing him read his stories always enhances the way I experience them. Who else could captivate an audience just by reading from his diary?