Einstürzende Neubauten, "Stella Maris"
Ende Neu felt like a bit of a reset for the band, which makes some sense after one of the founding members departed. There's a lot more things on here that you'd characterize as songs, even nice ones. That's not to say that it's conventional, just that the surface of it is pretty conventional. But as always, Neubauten is in the details, and it's a good album after you dig in, although they'd get more comfortable in this new format on subsequent records.
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, "Matter of Time"
The opener of Soul of a Woman, this is a slinky groove they're laying down here for Jones, and she really makes the most of it. Go listen to this and then complain about soul revival to me.
The End of Radio is two radio shows recorded for the BBC ten years apart. They bracket Shellac's overlap with the beloved John Peel, with the first session actually pre-dating their first album, and the last recorded just after he passed away. This is from that earlier session, capturing the punishing, mechanical "Crow" in fine form. Shellac are so good at what they do, and the sessions are so clean, that I'm not sure how important this record really is even for fans. But I also am not going to complain.
The New Pornographers, "Sing Me Spanish Techno"
After being slightly (slightly!) disappointed with Electric Version, Twin Cinema came roaring back. With the gift of hindsight, all three of the first Pornographers albums are really of consistent quality, but first impressions are very hard to shake. I suspect strongly that whatever order the three albums were released in, I would love the first as a blast of fresh air, the second couldn't possibly have lived up, and the third would therefore seem like a bounceback. That narrative was going to construct itself and attach to the records as long as there were no underlying quality issues that would disturb what my brain was going to cook up. Brains are dumb!
LCD Soundsystem, "I Can Change"
That is a Devo-ass synth noise there.