Pod Picks for May 9, 2013

May 7, 2013 

It’s a jungle out there when it comes to new music, so we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff and recommend the following tracks for downloading (legally, or course) or streaming to your iPod, iPad, iPhone or other personal media device.

"Grace for Saints and Ramblers" by Iron and Wine

Samuel Beam, the man behind the stage moniker of Iron and Wine, raises from the melancholia of mood pop and just goes for pure pop on his fifth studio album,. It’s an in-your-face tune that moves straight ahead on a stream-of-conscious rant without ever looking back. His whip-smart lyrics deal with the misfits of society always looking for an opportunity to skirt good manners or custom in order to find some kind of truth. Or as Beam sings, “We were drinking with the luminaries, eating with the visionaries.”

"Ohio" by Patty Griffin and Robert Plant

Griffin has been one of the biggest names in folk music since the mid-‘90s. But 2010 was a rich year for her. She released her all-star, collaborative gospel album, “Downtown Church,” and it won a Grammy. It was also in 2010, that she started her relationship with Robert Plant, the Led Zeppelin front man. She sang backup on his 2010 effort, “Band of Joy.” And he returns the favor here. The topic of the song is the Ohio River and it matches as the sweet acoustics glide along Griffin and Plant’s harmonies. Her first single off her new album, “American Kid,” takes a different approach on an American site. Plant’s influence running deep with Griffin, the Midwest is given that Indian sitar vibe he’s been toying with for a while.

“Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” by Rob Zombie

The crown prince of cinematic horror rock returns with his fifth solo album, “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor,” which has the coolest title yet. The album accompanies his new film, “The Lords of Salem,” and both seem to be a return to his past. The film is a move away from the control of a big studio and his new music goes back to the playful lyrics and the gritty grind of 1998’s “Hellbilly Deluxe” and his former band, White Zombie. It’s chock full of freaks and “Yeahs!” – Good to hear Zombie having fun again.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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