Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Free Album Streaming: New CDs from The Bees, Los Campesinos!, & Jonathan Coulton; R.E.M.'s New Anthology; & More

The latest album by The Bees (a.k.a. A Band of Bees) is one of the new releases streaming this week.
I'm not familiar with many of the new albums that are available for online streaming this week, but there is one 800-pound gorilla in the batch: R.E.M.'s two-disc, sprawling career retrospective with the equally sprawling title, "Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982 - 2011."It sounds pretty much like a greatest-hits album with some non-hit album tracks, along with three new songs recorded after the release of the band's last album, "Collapse Into Now."

As NPR's Tom Moon notes in his commentary at the KCRW website, "the narrative of 'Part Lies' leans a bit too heavily on R.E.M.'s latter-day attempts to rock.... If the goal is to savor R.E.M.'s spectacular creative peaks and fierce experiments, know that, as [Michael] Stipe himself said, you can't get there from here. Part Lies only tells part of the story—the truth lies within the original albums."

Also streaming this week is the latest from the Welsh seven-piece band Los Campesinos!, who have two shows next week in New York (Bowery Ballroom on Nov. 16th; Music Hall of Williamsburg the next night)... the "new" album from the British group A Band of Bees (known simply as The Bees everywhere but the U.S.), which came out in 2010 but is just being released stateside Nov. 7th... and the latest collection from singer-songwriter (and former computer programmer) Jonathan Coulton, which features humor-laced tunes like "Je Suis Rick Springfield" and an ode to "rockin' 'The Stache.'"

Folk fans will be happy to see the pioneering singer-songwriter Judy Collins returning with a new album, "Bohemian," which includes cover tunes and original compositions.

KCRW Album Preview: 
"Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011" by R.E.M. (streaming until Nov. 15th)
"Hello Sadness" by Los Campesinos! (streaming until Nov. 15th)
(both also streaming at NPR First Listen)

Spinner.com's Listening Party:
"Every Step's a Yes" by The Bees (A Band of Bees)
"Young Statues" by Young Statues
"Bear" by Bear & Moose
"Mannequin Men" by Mannequin Men

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Every Waking Moment" by The Dear & Departed
"Bohemian" by Judy Collins
"Never Out of Time" by Camille Bloom
"Porcelain" by Edward Rogers
"Artificial Heart" by Jonathan Coulton

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