Foxygen – Shuggie

I kind of had a hard time deciding between this song, San Francisco, and No Destruction. I went with this one because it features a few different styles. These guys are basically ’60s revival, but where the Brian Jonestown Massacre are doing the Stones, Foxygen is heavy into the Kinks and Donovan. They’re a couple of guys based in L.A., and if you’re in the right mood, their stuff is really good. Though it’s kind of hard to tell whether they’re sincere or maybe a bit affected.

They’re playing Pitchfork this year, and because I thought the lineup on the whole kind of sucked, it served as a good motivator to listen to bands on my radar that I hadn’t yet made time for. As a result, they’ve become one of my new musical obsessions. I’ll probably post another one of those on Wednesday.

Deep Sea Diver – Ships

So I think we’ve had an ever changing naming convention here where sometimes the band name is first, and sometimes the song title is first. I’m going to try to consistently do what I didn’t do on the last few entries and put the band name first, just because it sounds right to me. Moving on…

Deep Sea Diver is basically Jessica Dobson and her band. You may recognize Jessica as the girl who played lead guitar for the Shins for the last couple years before leaving the band to get her solo project in gear, and the result is Deep Sea Diver. This is the first song off their first album, History Speaks. They opened for Telekinesis the other night and really put on a really good show despite a sparse attendance, which isn’t unusual for an opener on a Wednesday night.

I might as well as use the Shins as a reference point, and they sounds like a bit of a darker version of the Shins. I’m also a sucker for shifting time signatures, so I like this song a lot.

St. Rosa and the Swallows – The Thermals

A second straight “Coming Attractions” post, and get used to it, because there are a bunch of shows coming up in the next few weeks. I first saw the Thermals at the 2009 Pitchfork Festival, where, if memory serves, they played on the East stage in between sets from the Walkmen and Grizzly Bear (might have been before the Walkmen, in fact it probably was). I was going to just see the Walkmen and take off, but ran into some friends and stuck around. I didn’t give them much thought until their 2010 release Personal Life, which I didn’t love. But that’s OK, because I dug into their back catalog, and these days I probably listen to The Body, The Blood, The Machine at least once a week. They’re probably one of a handful of bands I’d currently call “my favorite”.

They’re playing Lincoln Hall tomorrow night (5/16) and I’m really looking forward to hearing them play in that space, because aside from the production on their first album, More Parts Per Million, their sound is pretty clean, and Lincoln Hall has absolutely tremendous acoustics. So far I’ve only seen them at festivals and at Logan Square Auditorium (not a great place for a show, but probably a great place if you’re looking to hold a Quinceanera for your 15 year old daughter). They’re a little too power-poppy to be punk, and a little too punk to be power-pop. But their stuff is almost all up-tempo major key, which means it’s more or less like aural crack for these ears.

Car Crash – Telekinesis

The first of many “Coming Attractions” posts that can be found at SotD in the near future. Telekinesis will be at Lincoln Hall in Chicago on Thursday night, where I’ll be seeing them for the first time. Telekinesis is basically Michael Benjamin Lerner, though the lineup will be filled out for the live tour (Rebecca Cole of the Minders and Wild Flag will be on keys).

I’m not sure how best to describe Telekinesis other than it’s fairly generic indie rock. Like if you were putting together a presentation and you needed an example of a band that exemplifies the genre, this would be a good choice. Maybe they fall a bit on the power-pop side of things. Lerner is from Seattle, and I definitely hear some Nirvana influences, but not on the production end of things. It’s not really retro (unless ’90s is retro), garage, experimental, lo-fi, or any wing of indie rock. Sort of like Metric if the lead singer were a guy, or maybe Ted Leo just taken down a notch or so.

This is from the second album 12 Desperate Straight Lines, which is probably my favorite of their three so far. They recently released their third album, Dormarion, which is also pretty good. It’s very accessible stuff that may not really linger forever, but it’s fun while you’re listening to it, and I have a feeeling it will sound good in a live setting.

Nothing Ever Happened (Pitchfork Festival) – Deerhunter

Song of the Day makes its triumphant return, and how better to get this restarted then with arguably the song that prompted the reboot.  Pinko and I had been exchanging emails with regard to Stereogum’s incredibly trollish decision to post a list of Deerhunter’s 10 best songs, which didn’t include what is probably their consensus best song.

The group from Atlanta has just released Monomania, either their fourth, fifth, or sixth full length LP, depending on whether you consider a) Turn It Up, Faggot to be an actual LP, and/or b) Microcastle/Weird Era Ctd. to be one double album or two separate albums.  Either way, expect to see more tracks from that album as we get closer to their tour this fall (Chicago on September 10th).  Today’s post is from their epic Pitchfork performance in 2011, which for me was the highlight of the weekend, and concluded a pretty amazing two hours as they had come on right after Superchunk.

Admittedly, I didn’t finally dig into Deerhunter until Halcyon Digest was released in 2010.  It ended up being my second favorite album of the year, and a few years out is probably the album from 2010 that I listed to more than any other on a consistent basis.  All of their releases have what feel like instant hits (of which this is an example), but also songs with which you need to spend a lot of quality time.  I didn’t finally fall in love with Cryptograms (their first or second album) until just recently, even though it’s had songs that I’ve loved for a while.

Editor’s Note: We’re going to try to get back to posting pretty regularly, maybe a few times a week.  This could become a challenge to due work and/or laziness (moreso laziness), but hey, you’ve gotta have ambition.

Love Don’t Care-Lab Partners

Kind of a first BRMC album vibe, with some chimey Coldplay “Yellow” stuff and maybe from an angle you would get a feel for some other songs too. I don’t care, nor does love. A good tune, and maybe you haven’t heard it yet.

Youth Without Youth-Metric

I don’t know if the zombie will like this one, but it is a “nice 70s glam stomper” filtered through some Electro Buck Rogers as maybe people say about this stuff. Realistically it is like a military new wave with some Goldfrappian touches, but I dig Goldfrapp so I think this is nice. What I don’t necessarily love is that a band commentary track released with this a few weeks back talked about kids being crushed under student loan debt as relating to the song, and this line has kind of been bandied about in reviews. The lyrics strike me as being a lot tougher than student loans. Weirdly I could see Muse Glenn Becking this song up, (without their own consent of course). What am I talking about? SONG OF THE DAY

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.

Wait For Us-Mind Spiders

No offense to Jennifer, but this song is awesome, though the video makes me want to cry because it is very Outer Limits and I feel sad for fan astronaut and his possible fake fate on sad empty planet. I predict Zombie will like this one. Garage psych and I think they would play a great show. They are from a few hours away from Cloverhill Big Texas Cinnamon Roll, but it seems like a lifetime.

Mind Spiders – “Wait For Us” from stereogum on Vimeo.

Ahem, Pinko

Bon Scott before Three Bulls radio.

Bon Scott after Three Bulls radio.

Ladytron-Mirage

I had forgotten that I bought Ladytron’s latest, Gravity the Seducer, and in fact had played it quite a bit for a week. These “electroclash” mavens are like a chillier, krautrockier, electronic Lush- but that’s not right either. They put out consistently listenable records that seem infected with something in between iciness and aloofness- you’ll see these words a lot in Ladytron reviews, but it is hard to explain. Their latest isn’t as immediately gripping as their last few, but it has an electronic warmth and softening that differentiates it. I think this is the strongest track and in fact it is one of my fave Ladytron songs at the moment.

Smith Westerns – Weekend

This is the first in a series of “Coming Attractions” posts for me, though I suppose in actuality, most of my posts here are in that vein.

This is a Chicago band, so I can never tell if the all of the buzz is local, or indie nationwide, but I know they’ve had some Pitchfork love. I caught a bit of their set at the Pitchfork Festival this year, but I think we were waiting for Neon Indian to start, so we probably weren’t paying attention, and quite honestly, it didn’t sound that great. Also, I don’t love their first album. And of course, you’d be justified in pinning the P4k praise on their willingness to appear at the Festival.

But I gave in to the hype and gave the new album Dye It Blond a try and I was sold about 15 seconds into this track, which leads off the album. I mean, those are some seriously great hooks in that first guitar part. Really all of the guitar work on this album is phenomenal, and the production values are pretty decent, making the whole thing fun to listen to. They sound like a cross between the happy and druggy eras of the Beach Boys.

They get another chance to impress me at the Empty Bottle in a couple weeks. They wouldn’t be the first band I hated at Pitchfork but subsequently loved in a proper venue.

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]

The Blue Aeroplanes – You Are Loved

Alright, so it has been a while since anyone has posted anything here, so I’m stepping up to the plate.

This is either from my first concert ever, or my first club show ever. Probably the latter, but we’re talking about something that happened 20 years ago, so things get a bit blurry. I saw these guys at the Roxy on Sunset, the only show I’ve ever seen there. In fact, I’ve seen more shows in Chicago this year than I saw in my 25 years in Los Angeles.

That said, these guys put on a great show. They opened for the Jazz Butcher, which is one of those guys/bands that I rarely listened to, but my brother loved.

It might not jump out at you right away, but think Art Brut. Gerard Langley does that “I’m singing without actually singing” thing, in which the lead vocalists just kind of says the words.

In any case, the opening 20 seconds of actual music was about the best 20 seconds of music I had heard when I was a junior in high school. Enjoy the Blue Aeroplanes:

A Selection of Fuzzed Out Retro

I have an incredibly soft spot in my heart for the retro “girl group” sound. The spiral through time of this sound as it gets more and more derivative reminds me of One Hundred Years of Solitude and how things are slightly different but kind of the same.

I don’t know who first pushed the fuzzed out 60s retro sound, but I think that Suicide’s first album had the feel and sound and warping that must have influenced the giants coming next.

Suicide-Cheree

The Jesus and Mary Chain-Just Like Honey

But of course we are most in love with the next wave, that mix the above aesthetic with the Ramones speed and pop, but the fuzz and scuzz of above. Later Primitives recordings went the cleaner, shinier route.

The Primitives-Stop Killing Me

Hugely on the music snob radar now that their particular blueprint is being used for mechanized girl group indie fuzz pop destruction, Blac Tambourine really establishes perfection here. Untouchable.

Black Tambourine-Through Aggi Off the Bridge

Here is a forgotten track from cleaner retro proprietors, Adventures in Stereo.

Adventures in Stereo-Running

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Now we have the new new retro retro wave. As the world should know, I love The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This particular selection is not fuzzed out, but organ plus beat plus chimey is straight down the road of what we are discussing today. I note that many of the songs on their self-titled are fuzzier.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart-The Tenure Itch

This next one is all over the web. Amanda had it at Pandagon, and Tbogg has it as his “gone fishing” video* *no comment? It is so good that I can’t fault its extremely derivative third or fourth wave nature, but I feel odd about the meta nostalgia for the first and second waves of nostalgia. What I enjoy is that certain pop songs that were once revolutionary, once invented, become timeless. Instead of being the new innovation on the block, they’ve become like selling vinyl to the kids, kind of like Coelacanth ear candy, living fossils.

Dum Dum Girls-Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout

What’s In It For? – Avi Buffalo

AC Newman name dropped this band in a Pitchfork guest list, which they’re apparently doing by podcast now. That’s a good thing, because they played part of the track in background, and it sounded pretty good, so I sought it out. I’m not sure if I like the whole album yet, but this song hit me pretty much right away.

So far the best descriptions I’ve read are “Built to Spill teaching Grizzly Bear to jam” and “Like the xx raised on a diet of Built to Spill and the Shins”. I’ll admit that Built to Spill was the first band that these guys brought to mind, maybe because of the high pitched voice. This is another band out of Southern California. Long Beach this time, instead of Silverlake, and they sound a bit more beachy than bands like Foreign Born and Local Natives. More San Francisco-y. They also kind of remind me of Generationals (who are awesome, by the way), in that it’s a updated version of a fairly classic or oldies sound. Enjoy.

Frequency – Super Furry Animals

I’ve been wanting to post this song forever, but there has never been an acceptable version on Youtube (or any version for that matter). This version is from a live broadcast. I’m pretty sure the strings are piped in, as I can’t see an orchestra in there, but I don’t have a problem with that. They haven’t played this live at any of the shows I’ve been to. For a live recording, the sound is actually pretty good.

More importantly, they do a decent job of capturing the best part of this song, which are the strings arranged by the High Llama’s Sean O’Hagan. The guy is really a genius when it comes to string arrangements, and while I’ve only scratched the surface of his output, this would be his “masterpiece” from what I’ve listened to. I think my favorite part about the string arrangement in this song is that I probably listened to it 10-15 times before I finally realized how important the strings are. Just not something I focused on in those initial listens. But as often happens in music, one listen changed everything, and now I can’t not hear them as the dominant factor. The best part of the song, in my opinion, hits at about the 3:30 to 3:50 mark.

Unfortunately, now that I’ve talked them up, it will almost be impossible for anyone new to this song to have the same experience, but that doesn’t make the song any less wonderful. It’s hard to choose just one song from their years of output, but this song is definitely in my top three or four SFA songs (Herman Love Pauline, Ice Hockey Hair, and maybe another).

Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent-The Besnard Lakes

30% late period Catherine Wheel + 30% Low + 2% Toto + 4% Alan Parsons Project + 34% magical sauce = Besnard Lakes.

Here are the opening two tracks of the very, very listenable new album. Apparently they just blew the doors off of SXSW. Figures. I was probably falling asleep to a rerun of NCIS or eating a tater tot. Sad.

I am deeply in love with this album, but it just so happens that I know this feeling will end so I am going with the flow and will play it into the ground until it does.

Out of the Blue-Julian Casablancas

Perfectly baroque new wave guitar pop dominates Julian Casablancas’ semi-ignored debut Phrazes for the Young. The album itself comes across as perfectly harmless and songs are relatively, but effortlessly bouncing in and out of different ideas. This one comes across as a country/New Wave hybrid with some cleanly Strokesy guitar- guitar that was never punk or new wave, but almost pop metal. One of four or five really good songs on the album (River of Brakelights, 11th Dimension, Tourist, Left and Right in the Dark). I’m glad I finally got it.

When They Fight, They Fight – Generationals

Generationals are a band out of New Orleans who will be touring this Spring with the Apples in Stereo. Their tour mates will probably give you an idea of what they’re going to sound like. Hooks and melodies so sweet they make your teeth hurt. But in a bit of twist, they’re also totally retro. This song has sort of a late ’50s Motown feel to it. Pinko ought to love this stuff.

I’m including a link to their Myspace page because, while I’m loving this album, I think the first song “Nobody Could Change Your Mind” is probably my favorite, and I can’t find a good embeddable version. So click the link and go listen that one too.

They’ll be at Lincoln Hall in Chicago on April 30th. Really looking forward to this show, even though it will be the second show for me in the same night. Never pulled that off before, but Los Campesinos! starts at 7:00, and this show doesn’t start until 10:00, so I should be able to swing it.