Ok, about 10 months ago, Eve Tushnet, amazing lady-blogger and all around smart cracker, turned me on to The Weakerthans. In particular, Reconstruction Site, their latest effort. I am the worst, absolute worst, music critic of all time, so I won't even try to explain why they're awesome. I'll quote Eve, who was also a little breathless with excitement, but did a pretty bang-up job:
...Um, the sound is sort of rock-y, not in an especially exciting way. It's got guitars and drums and stuff.She's not lying, you really do need this album. And if you're a friend of mine and not opposed to rock concerts, you also need to come with me on June 22 to see them live on a boat during their Small and Fantastic Extra Tiny-Mini-Tour. I'll even make you a mix CD to prepare.
(no! tell them why it is so great!) It's... crazy geeks, with their Michel Foucault and their Ernest Shackleton (one of the best songs on the album) and their longing and their ability to recognize sublimity even when they can't quite enter into it (the heartbreaking "Hospital Vespers"). It's wandering through the snow trying to find the house you think you remember, it was right around here.... It's an album about need and inadequacy and what St Augustine would call the memory of Adam's happiness (and how we get that memory wrong, misinterpret it, corrupt it in a thousand ways). It's also hooky, full of tunes that will bother you for weeks. It isn't just about one or two great songs; it's about a whole album. Oh, you really need this.