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The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead

I wish I hadn't spent so much time just starting at the cover and not listening. Sayeth

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New Releases: The Northwest Connection Edition

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The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead

I wish I hadn't spent so much time just starting at the cover and not listening. Sayeth Sub Pop: "their most dynamic, extraordinary work to date. Keep Your Eyes Ahead marries the Portland duo’s signature layered keyboards and impossibly big guitars with crisp songwriting and a newfound appreciation for minimalism.

Northwest Connection: Doesn't get much more Northwest than the band's hometown, Portland, and Seattle's little known Subterranean Pop record label.

See them next: Easy Street Queen Anne In-Store performance TONIGHT at 7pm and March 8 at Neumos.

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Chris Walla - Field Manual

No offense to Barsuk or all those who love Death Cab For Cutie, but the first thing I thought of when I heard Field Manual was "Field Manual to Boredom." People disagreed and agreed. The Death Cab founding member/ sought-after producer has some pleasant pop songs, sure, but overall the album is about as adventurous and thrilling as stepping onto your front lawn. Or getting confiscated by U.S. Customs.

Northwest Connection: Bellingham; Seattle; Portland; Death Cab For Cutie; Barsuk; so on and so forth.

See him next: No dates posted (oh you studio guys!)

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Xiu Xiu - Women As Lovers

Yep, another Xiu Xiu record, guaranteed to be just as weird and unlike anything they've ever done before, every single song. I'm more interested in the title of the album.

Northwest Connection: On Olympia's own Kill Rock Stars; Members of Seattle's Degenerate Art Ensemble have played and collaborated with Xiu Xiu.

See them next: March 8 at Chop Suey.

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Willie Nelson - Moment of Forever

I love you Willie, but I feel like your mind is withering with age. That reggae album, Countryman, you did - I applaud you for the creative departure you took, but I still don't know where I sit with it. Now you're back in the saddle with younger, more attractive(?) country superstars with big hats, small heads (*cough* Kenny Chesney) taking the reins. I'm a little apprehensive.

Northwest Connection: Last year, for the first time ever, Willie Nelson moved his annual Fourth of July Picnic from his farm in Texas to The Gorge, WA. He covers "Gravedigger," written by Seattle resident Dave Matthews. And we all know how Willie likes a particular BC export.

See him next: Or plea for him to return Fourth of July, 2008, The Gorge, Washington.

Also releasing today: Vampire Weekend, Radar Bros., Sons & Daughters, Whiskeytown and Van Morrison reissues, and a Deluxe Edition of Beck's Odelay.

 
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