By Aaron Calvin Columnist
“Magnolia Electric Co.” – Songs: Ohia
This year is the 10th anniversary of this album, in a year peppered with albums celebrating their 10th anniversary, each one bringing along with it another round of people trying to quantify its worth and put down its stake in the narrative of music history. But “Magnolia Electric Co.” comes at an especially strange time, the same year that it’s creator passed away from a lifetime of battling the things this album concerns itself with: a life full of suffering, attempts to cure that suffering the modicums of beauty that make the suffering endurable. It’s not fair, but it’s life. That’s what this album was – and still is, I suppose – about.
If You Like: Elliot Smith, Weeping openlys
Self-Titled – Mark Kozelek & Desertshore
Molina may be gone now, but Mark Kozelek is still burning the blues/folk flame well into his forties. In this release outside of his usual Sun Kil Moon moniker, he discusses all the trappings of time and aging in weary voice, but one that’s not ready to quit yet. The song “Sometimes I Can’t Stop” has an oblique reference to Molina’s death buried beneath the lamentations of all the accumulated loss that someone feels as they move through middle age.
If You Like: Feeling bad for you dad, Sun Kil Moon
“Marshall Mathers LP2” – Eminem
When I was in middle school, my neighbor gave me a mix CD. The only ones I remember off of it were the Eminem songs (I don’t know which ones because I never knew the names of any of the tracks). I would only listen to it with my headphones on so my parents wouldn’t hear while I played Star Wars Battlefront. Anyway, this album is bad. Eminem seems older, more desperate to say establish his place as the “Bad Guy” even when he doesn’t seem to believe it himself. It’s a pretty upsetting experience.
If You Like: Disappointment, Yelawolf