Artist: Blitzen Trapper
Title: Destroyer of the Void
Release date: June 8
Label: Sub Pop
Don't be surprised if Blitzen Trapper starts another Grateful Dead revival. We're probably overdue for another one, anyway. It's not that BT is a proper jam band, but they have that same dry, folky country rock that the Dead used to kick out before they came music's preeminent hippie band.
When they're not trying really hard to get all proggy on us, this band effortlessly makes simple, tasteful,and appealing Americana, with obvious nods to The Band, Tom Petty, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Wilco. Oh, and Bob Dylan. Lots of Dylan.
The singer is definitely channeling his hero, Dylan, and he pulls it off in his phrasing and narrative abilities and image-heavy lyrics. Tight harmonies abound, and despite this being a six-piece band, it's a fairly quiet and understated record (outside of the silly, six-minute prog-rocking album opener, that is). Some well-placed harmonica and pedal steel guitar do wonders for some of these songs.
Best song: "Below the Hurricane"
Deja Vu: Dylan meets the Dead
I'd rather listen to: Wilco's Summerteeth
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.
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