We’re Diggin’ These

Stephen-Malkmus-And-The-Jicks-Wig-Out-At-Jagbags-608x608Stephen Malkmus & The JicksWig Out At Jagbags
If you’ve lost track of Stephen Malkmus over the years, Wig Out At Jagbags is the perfect place to reacquaint yourself with the perennial stoner dude’s deft wordplay, canny classic rock references, and indelibly catchy songs. Indeed, this one’s been getting a lot of play here at CD Central; you could say a handful of us are very much under the Wig Out At Jagbags spell (even those jaded few of us who still believe that Pavement represented some sort of pinnacle of human achievement). Critics are hailing this as the best solo Malkmus album, and maybe his best work overall since Brighten The Corners. We’re not arguing.   — JT

hard-working-americans_oct2013Hard Working Americans – s/t
Supergroups: rarely are they very “super,” am I right? Well, this debut album by Hard Working Americans – featuring Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools, Chris Robinson Brotherhood / Ryan Adams guitarist Neal Casal, Duane Trucks (brother of Derek), Chad Staehly and Todd Snider – is thankfully, even more than the sum of its awesome parts. Hard rocking tunes (all covers!) feature tasty jam band-y licks (Casal brings some serious Garcia moves here), big, catchy choruses, and the kind of “alt country” that’s more indebted to Paul Westerberg than, say, T-Bone Burnett. Snider in particular is in great form, showing himself to be a very capable vocalist and interpreter. File under: Traveling Wilburys for people who shop at Sqecial Media. Count us in!   — JT

Thee-Silver-Mt-Zion-Fuck-Off-Get-Free-We-Pour-Light-On-Everything-608x608Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial OrchestraFuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
Not really fair to call Thee Silver Mt Zion a “Godspeed side project” anymore; in many ways, this louder, more pissed-sounding band made up of Godspeed members has outpaced its full-time band in both quantity and quality. Their latest, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything, is their most bracing and direct yet: devotional-sounding chants, apocalyptic crescendos (actually, the album often sounds like one big crescendo!) and declarations of hope, love, rage, and everything in between. If Godspeed You! Black Emperor make music for watching a city slowly burn, Silver Mt Zion make music for the getaway car containing all the empty jugs of gasoline.  — JT