Archive for the 'Modern/Alt. Rock' Category

Page 2 of 6

Inside Out-Mighty Lemon Drops

We return once again to a seeming early nineties mixtape mainstay, the MLDs. We already visited with “Out of Hand” from these guys. I saw on the internets that this song was used for the outro of the Gilmore Girls series finale. That is pretty quality- going with a song you love and grew up with as opposed to some autotuned piece of disposable crap that someone paid to defile your show. Even if shows/movies go for the low hanging fruit of exquisitely chosen and perfect music (Hi, Wes Anderson!) I’m still a sucker for the emotional and easy wallow. I’m easy that way.

Pony-Far (Ginuwine cover)- Filthbot edition

Saw lots of people “Yes on 8” demonstrating today. Disappointing. I dedicate this song to them. GC is much more familiar with the original, which she calls the “burping song” based on the sample/hook. I always am dumbfounded by her claims because I never know what song she is talking about. Lo and behold we heard this cover on the radio this very day. So to all the “Yes on 8’ers” with their deep, dark predilections and their bigoted world views, ride your ponies.

Seal My Fate-Belly

They really screwed the marketing of this album. This was right about when “alternative” was just turning into penis rock only like everything usually does. So long ago. Came across an unlabeled mp3 on the ol’ computer and it was this track from an old mix CD. A stunner.

This is the ITV Chart Show from July 1995, Belly gets the last three minutes.

Two Ways Out-Darker My Love

Kind of an amiable ramble from these new psych drone hipsters not necessarily prone to this sort of pop reverie. The key part of the song is the refrain that tips into a different tone from the rest of the piece, somewhere different, something portending unspoken something, but vague in the best way, where you can supply your own palimpsest. Kind of reminds me of the Baxter Dury we did here.

“There’s one thing you should know, there’s always two ways out.”

Donde Esta La Playa-The Walkmen

Opens with the sound of intrepid hunters silently moving through an oasis at the edge of a desert, a hushed, rumbly. An expansive, shimmery restrained theatricality. Very Walkmen. Very good. A wonderful new album You and Me. Phenomenal. Give in to them. Live or headphones so the space can be appreciated. I’d love this on record. There is a warmth there that I can’t quite place.

Into the Open-Heartless Bastards

I remembered to start listening to WOXY again, so I could find some new bands to scoop off of emusic. I heard the HB’s “Valley of Debris” and liked it so I got their last album All This Time. The album was so immediately listenable and engaging that I also picked up the earlier album emusic had, Stairs and Elevators. It is pretty good as well, but this is one of those situations where the band sounds fuller, more wonderful, deeper and more complex on the newer album. You can see that they are growing as artists and that is always nice to see such a progression. It may have just been the recording budget, but the songs just sound “more.” Here is a fairly good to excellent live video for “Into the Open” from All This Time.

Go buy now.


How these guys could ever be huge under any circumstances has always been odd to me. well, the english and their dance rock. Their NME created arch-nemeses Jesus Jones to me had the more interesting production and an album packed with alt radio ready dance tracks, while EMF had ????? and Profit!. For both EMF and Jesus Jones, I liked the second singles better than the first smashes. This was EMFs second single (only hit 18) after “Unbelievable” went to number 1. An early 90’s fave for the grandparents in the audience.

Shoot You Down-The Stone Roses

Sugary-spun shuffling psychedelia. I always post songs from this album (The Stone Roses) with the admonishment that this is one of the nastiest albums that you don’t ever think is that nasty because the sound is so lazy hazy summery drug Sunday. This is one of the most obviously nasty of the bunch. King Monkey spreads the hate with a matter-of-fact-smirk on his face. Think this is the Bad Acid at Woodstock:The Next Generation with Ian Brown, lead singer, as the Jean Luc Picard of Manchester hippie pub club drug thug.

Vittorio E.-Spoon

Spoon are inconceivably good in a package that is so seemingly demure and lacking in superfluous flourishes that I am astounded. In reality, this means they are usually quite entertaining and listenable, but they rarely floor me. This, from Kill the Moonlight, is a one of those rarer, wonderful times.

All I Need-Radiohead

I find Radiohead’s In Rainbows to be an exquisite collection of songs but one that gives me pause. I find them to be wonderful, yet with the semblance of odds and ends, and essentially this is what the album is. Many of the songs seem perfect yet half finished, opaque, secretive. Out of all of Radiohead’s work, In Rainbows most reminded of the My Iron Lung EP, a collection of non-album tracks circa The Bends. If I compare In Rainbows to the last Radiohead album, Hail To The Thief, I feel HTTT is both much more cohesive but also not as good. I wonder if the band is somehow losing steam or energy, the dissipation of which still leaves a residue of genius and wonder. I guess I am thinking these things because I wonder if a time will come when all Radiohead will have all but evaporated into warm and elusive half tones and murmuring (tasteful and great, though). I find that “All I Need” reaches a clarity that is sublime.

Baxter Dury-Francesca’s Party

Baxter Dury is the seemingly reclusive son of pub punk fave Ian Dury (Blockheads). Considering the quality here on this poppier, more direct version of his psychedelic and hazy musings, I am sad that he’s only available on import and possibly out of print. He’s got a MySpace page (well a couple, here’s the new one and the old one). The new one has some lovely and wonderful demos. The thing that made me most sad is that this is the kind of artist that Pop Renaissance would either love or tell us about, but he just doesn’t seem to be around. I think Seitz would dig this too.

Desert Island-Magnetic Fields

Since this song and another wonderful track from the same album, Holiday, are not on the Tuber but were both used by (genius) Errol Morris in commercials for Southern Comfort, I will link those ads, and you can get a small taste of absolute pop genius. Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt specializes in a hard to describe feeling that touches melancholy and nostalgia. I can only describe this feeling as suburban high school nights driving around in your care with nothing better to do but think about that someone. Obviously, if this isn’t your formative experience, the feeling will likely be attached to somthing else. From the way Morris uses the songs in the ads, you can tell he senses the same feeling in Merritt’s work. These earlier tunes have a Casiotone taste, although these two are the lushest on the album and not as chintzy.

The ad “Young at Heart” uses
Desert Island

The ad “Bridesmaids” uses Strange Powers

Head Rolls Off-Frightened Rabbit

Sort of the ultra-earnest British Isles jangle pop that they can pull of across the pond but comes out all emo on this side of the water. This song builds from OK to pretty good, I think. This new single is definitely slicker than their debut Sing the Greys, which is worth a listen. The new album comes out in April.

Dead Sound-The Raveonettes

The Raveonnettes with their wall of sound-shoegaze-Jesus and Mary Chain-girl group aesthetic seem right up my alley, but I’ve never had room in my life for them. This being said, I like their latest Lust Lust Lust, and find that this song goes from OK to really good when the twinkly bits come up a couple of minutes in.


Von, Shannon and OG weigh in with a MASTERPIECE!

It is kind of fun to tell certain people where to shove their Cookie Jesus disapproved cookies. Personal sidenote: I was mere blocks away from this acoustical travesty when it was shot. Thanks, WBCN munchwagons!!

Bitches in Tokyo-Stars

A could be worse phonish style vid of my fave song from the interesting if slightly disappointing new Stars album, In Our Bedroom After the War. The song is great and has that feel of “it would be amazing if I were at the show”- a really good tune.

Your Lips Are Red-St. Vincent

Drone fuzz cool cucumber pronouncements from a cloud of wonderful. From her debut Marry Me. Would it be a reviewerly cliché to say “answer: yes”? Answer: yes!

Take that UC!

I Might Be Wrong/There There-Radiohead (Live)

Bands that play European TV shows get production values like they are on CSI. And worth it too, the war Radiohead plays the sh*t out of these standouts from the last two albums. The mic picks up extra bass on the “I Might Be Wrong” clip, so you can actually hear how awesome it is. I think I like IMBW a little more than “There There,” but they are both sinuous little ice-prog charmers. Great renditions of both. Cue Seitz “meh.”

I Might Be Wrong

There There

Sniper at the Gates of Heaven-The Black Angels

We had these guys on before. You know I have a soft spot for retro, sinister, fuzzy 60s-esque drug rock. If you’ve seen the R-rated red-band trailer for the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men you’ve heard another tune off their album Passover, “Young Men Dead.” The lead singer recalls a Jim Morrison like voice without sounding like him, kind of the delivery I guess. This one is quite good, and if you like any one of their songs, you’ll like the album.

Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe-Okkervil River

I really hate certain labels of musical styles, like the ones P-fork ostentatiously claim do or do not apply to various bands, some of them (labels) that you’ve never heard, and most likely are mostly used around the P-fork offices. Just the other day they dropped “tampon rock”- and the best I can probably describe this in their terms would be “emo for chicks” where emo itself means “whiny sung by dudes that either hate or love/hate chicks” Raw, illiterate emotion used to be called plain old punk, well for certain emotions. Where literacy was supposed to be for punk nerds like Elvis Costello, and the main flavors were cynical and poison. I just don’t give a sh*t about these labels. Here’s the latest from “emo” Okkervil River. I’d say they are awesome because they are literate, and emotional, and they probably get a pass because they are a) awesome and b) smart enough where they don’t sound trite or narcissistic. From their latest, The Stage Names. I challenge UC to deny this song.