Archive for the 'Worth a Buck' Category

Black Plastic-Ladytron

RAIN DOWN YOUR ICY ELECTRONIC VAGUELY DISTURBING ROBOT STAINLESS STEEL KITCHEN APPLIANCE MATH DANCE

I have always liked Ladytron, but in my busy life I maybe download some of their older albums and forget to listen so Pandora serves it up and I am all “LIKE” and then I realize I own it and am happy. Black plastic touching my plastic. Bleep bloop. So good.

The Drums – Me and the Moon

Take your pick. the Smiths? the Ocean Blue? the Cure? Anything else for the late ’80s/early ’90s? Regardless, for those that like music from that period, I’m just happy that people still make music that could have come from that period.

I saw these guys a few months ago, and they weren’t really on my radar much before that. They played a double bill with Surfer Blood. They opened the 7:00 pm show and headlined the 10:00 pm show. Due to two distinct groups of friends, and the fact that a ticket to early show got me into the late show, I stayed through both (I also saw New Pornographers earlier in the day as part of my lunch break, making it a five set day)[PP adds- I worry about Seitz- he is a MACHINE]. Everyone I was with bought tickets for Surfer Blood. Everyone I was with walked away loving the Drums.

There’s an Apples in Stereo song called “She’s Telling Lies”. The Pitchfork review said that song didn’t so much rip off a Beach Boys song as much as it ripped off their whole catalog. I feel that way about the Drums vis a vis the late ’80/early ’90s Britpop scene. That said I love this album and the EP that preceded it. I chose this song a) because there’s a video and b) because I think it best exemplifies their affinity for that period. Enjoy.

[PP adds- I am afraid to listen to this song because I will love it instantly or my soul will recoil from the shameless pilfering of my treasured anglophilia]

It Made You Dumb-Modey Lemon

One of the joys of Pandora, is that even with an imperfect algorithm, you will be served up bands that you either never had time for or had never heard of, or had heard of only to the extent that you knew Pitchfork might have reviewed one of their albums at some point, meaning you could assign some probability that they might be an indie rock band. I haven’t had time to full explore Modey Lemon’s 2008 offering Season of Sweets, but I really do love this cut. I loved this song from the first listen, rawish yet clean right down the road indie rock, but really well done and you’d imagine it would be great in a little club. There is so much music out there these days that I feel for smaller bands that just slog through- I hope they know that people appreciate just how good hearing a new, good song makes them feel. I’d put this up there with our previously reviewed Snowden track in the pleasant surprises category.

Hello to the Floor-The Duke Spirit

Pandora served this up to me, and they are available on eMusic. They fit my retro, nostalgic pseudo hippyish bar band longings, while also I realize now reminding me a little bit of Heartless Bastards, another Pandora serve that eMusic allowed me to get into. I suspect this will be enjoyed by Zombies.

6669 (I Don’t Know if You Know)-Neon Indian

Both Richard Armitage and Marc Hogan at Pitchfork note what I picked up on first listen of Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms, the washed out mix tape sound. What could strike as a cynical, and cheap unearned nostalgia is cleared away by the quality of some of the songs. The songs mine that 80s new wave sensitive emo melancholy. They play as tracks from a sub one hit wonder, but the B-sides of those band’s 12 inches that were just so good that the Saturday night DJ would play them on the request show along with Peter Godwin and Intaferon and the kids would tape it off the radio because you just couldn’t buy it.

God damn I always hated it when the cool kids looked cool in their pre-distressed jeans. That’s this album. The songs aren’t quite so under water on headphones, but it stands out on the old fashioned speakers. MGMT would be Neon Indian if MGMT weren’t completely manufactured shitheads.

No One Said That This Would Be Easy – The Postmarks

I heard this song on XM radio when I was on a Jet Blue flight from Long Beach to Chicago, and it made an impression. It sounded like an American version of some stuff I’ve heard from Broadcast. It’s the opening track from their new album Memoirs at the End of the Word. Interestingly, when you rip this CD and import it into iTunes, the genre tag is “Soundtrack”, which is kind of funny since I don’t think any of these songs appear on any soundtracks. But the whole album sounds like it’s full of songs that could be on movie soundtracks, and this song in particular has a real early James Bond feel to it.

I saw these guys in concert last night with Brookville, which is one of the side projects of Andy Chase (Ivy, Paco). Great show. Only about 50 people there, and Tim Yehezkely, the lead singer for the Postmarks (yes, she’s a girl and her name is Tim, and no, that’s not her on the video/album cover actually, I take that back, I think that is her) was kind of dancing by herself through the whole Brookville set. This was going on about five feet in front of me. It was just a cool atmosphere. I feel guilty at those shows, because I kinda like when they aren’t crowded, but at the same time I feel bad for the bands that more people didn’t show up. And if the crowd is like that for a Chicago show, what’s it going to be like when they play Omaha?

Anyway, this whole album is really good, but this is my favorite song from it so far.

I Knew-Lightning Dust

Lightning Dust has some members from the Pink Mountaintops/Black Mountain collective that are very beloved in these parts. Once this one gets going I can’t help but think of an 80’s movie montage where the characters implement their plan or enjoy a day of hijinks compressed into 2.5 minutes.

This is from their latest Infinite Light.

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.

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

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.

Ask Me Anthing-The Strokes

One more from their underrated third. And a really cool user-created You Tube vid. She’s painting and cleaning her house, and yet it is wonderful. Why isn’t this song beloved?

You Only Live Once-The Strokes

As much as you want to hate them. As much as they are over. Is conversely as much as they are awesome, unless you think they are awesome, then they still are. Outcome oriented opposite day. Get used to it. The all-occasions closing credit/outro song for your tasteful, yet short running television show/straight to video masterpiece. Fill in the black for pretentious analogies. At least Marc Hogan doesn’t write for this blog. Moron.

No Joy In Mudville-Death Cab For Cutie

I originally posted this song way back. I came across an oddly affecting homemade You Tube video and thought I would share it. You can compare what I wrote about the song previously with your current own ears.

A great, great song.

Sundown-Gordon Lightfoot

Do I need to even explain myself on this one? I imagine Gordon Lightfoot squaring off against Bon Scott in hell, but with the tiniest most imperceptible shrug of his Canadian shoulders, Bon Scott explodes, defeated by Gordo. Then Satan bows his head in shame.

When I Go Deaf (Live)-Low

Slow. Sad. Pretty. Quiet. I CRUNCHA YA FACE GUITAR!!!!!! Low are generally amazing. They seemed to break a little with Things We Lost in the Fire, an excellent album from some years ago. Their follow-up was meh, but this followed up that and it is wonderful. I would like to hear this live, because you kind of expect to feel the sound. One of my fave guitar solos ever. They are usually described as “slow-core”- mellow, dirge-like, generally beautiful and intense songs in some time that is impossible to determine because it is glacier-like in its slowness and its core-ness. Reference point would be Galaxie 500 (they shared a producer).

Testament to Youth In Verse-The New Pornographers

Many people will not like this song because of Dan Bejar’s voice, which I guess I can understand, but Geenie C. hates if for a different reason, the reason most people think that this song is altogether excellent. She hates the fact that the bells, they ring, and that they ring no no no no no no no no no no, and they do so in a like million part round. Here’s Geenie C.- “I GET IT. The bells FRACKING go NO NO NO NO NO. MOVE ON.” Wow, super harsh. Anyway, the last minute is great, and GC will freak her shit out if she watchs this because it is a random Harry Potter fanvid from You Tube! Hee hee. The point is the song and the very negative yet awesome bells. Listen for the delightful Neko Case and her wonderful voice going “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” at the end like the coolest, most refreshing drink of water imaginable.

North by North-The Bats

Moody antipodean indie new wave of the strummy guitar variety. We picture certain transplanted New Zealanders walking the fields moodily with certain transplanted PupHs while the video inevitably crossfades to our band playing their song and back again. Of course this is import only, but last.fm spit it out at me yesterday, and it was pretty good.

Digital-Joy Division

This might not make anyone want to hug a puppy. It is spare, dark and jagged. Somewhat relentless for Joy Division, and it is always tough to watch someone before they killed themselves. A Joy Division/Ian Curtis bio-pic just debuted at Cannes. I certainly expect this song to feature, it is one of their many high points.