Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Brothers Martin - "The Plot That Weaves"

Brothers Martin - "The Plot That Weaves": "Jason Martin of Starflyer 59 is certainly keeping up his prolific streak. Less than six months after the last SF59 album, he teams up with his brother Ronnie Martin (of Joy Electric) on this Brothers Martin release. Here, he kicks out one of his best songs, melding first-rate new wave keys with rock-leaning dream-pop overtures, a la 'No New Kinda Story' (a SF59 highlight)."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Yo La Tengo - "From A Motel 6" (remix)

Yo La Tengo - "From A Motel 6" (remix): "Holy heck, am I excited about this. This mind-blowing remix was a hidden track on a long-out-of-print EP and now it's finally up for the world in Rhapsody. Here, Steve Fisk takes the already stellar original track and gives it a shot of adrenaline, maximizing the careening guitars while preserving the strangely lulling vocals. An A+ to Matador for making this available again!"

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tiger Trap - "My Broken Heart"

Tiger Trap - "My Broken Heart": "This is from my old only-listening-to-girls-from-the-Pacific-Northwest phase. The song is bare bones indie pop, seemingly recorded in some rudimentary way, but the jangly melodies and sweet, sad vocals shine through anyway. It totally makes me feel like a teenage girl crying and writing in her diary."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Robbers On High Street - "Beneath The Trees"

Robbers On High Street - "Beneath The Trees": "Today's post is in honor of Robbers On High Street making a semi-rare (from my understanding) appearance in my new home of S.F. last night. This track was my highlight from that set, which was my first experience with ROHS as a five-piece (instead of four). The song sounds low-key at first, but there's an intensity under the surface - check the 'yeah!' at the 02:53 mark and you'll get a hint of how it was live.

Bonus comment - we were joking at work about making song playlists for gratuitous holidays, such as an Arbor Day playlist. I voted for this song, along with Guided by Voices' "I Am A Tree", naturally."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Broken West - "Down In The Valley"

The Broken West - "Down In The Valley": "Sweet melodies starred with light fuzz and handclaps, this is a feelgood song without a drop of saccharine. I dare any cynic to try and resist its charms."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nancy Sinatra - "Sweet Talkin' Candy Man"

Nancy Sinatra - "Sweet Talkin' Candy Man": "Keeping on the Nancy tip for one more day, I have to present this swingin' nugget. The rendition isn't amazing, but is notable because it's a cover from one of my favorite movies, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls. The original is a solid belter in the middle of a psychedelic soup, but Nancy gets points just for taking it on."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - "Some Velvet Morning"

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - "Some Velvet Morning": "I loved the Primal Scream cover when I heard it on Evil Heat, so I eventually went looking for the Lee & Nancy original. When I found it, I didn't really like it, finding it somewhat jarring after the Scream's drug-slide version, especially with the tempo changes. Over time, I realized how much bolder the original was with the full (yet subtle) orchestration and Lee's ominous vocals. I still like the Scream version - I think there's humor in their selection of Kate Moss on guest vocal - but it's just not in the same league as the original."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Rick Derringer - "Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo"

Rick Derringer - "Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo": "Somewhat Southern-y and somewhat glammy, this song is so 70s rock, it's sick. The name of this song sounds lame on paper, but when they sing it, it sounds unspeakably cool and maybe a little bit dirty too. Then again, it probably is."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Aqualung - "Pressure Suit"

Aqualung - "Pressure Suit": "It's funny - so far, I've been pretty resistant to the Keane strain of British atmospheric piano-pop...but damn if somehow this tune didn't break me. It's stuck in my head and the chorus is so, so good, I don't even care how polished the song is. In fact, that might even be why it works."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Black Lipstick - "Cat Piss Blues"

Black Lipstick - "Cat Piss Blues": "Yesterday's post, referencing The Kiss Offs, reminded me of the Kiss Offs spin-off, Black Lipstick. Not quite as much male/female vocal interplay as in the KO's, Black Lipstick still keeps all the attitude, just with less frenetic - almost laid back - tunes. Here's their ode to the NBA and drugs...or something like that."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Prids - "Shadow and Shadow"

The Prids - "Shadow and Shadow": "I love it when different kinds of male and female vocals are contrasted in a song, a la X, The Kiss Offs, etc. Here's another group that pulls it off, with equally rocking results. (Thanks to Chris O. for pointing me in its direction.)"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

America - "Always Love"

America - "Always Love": "Is it me or is it kind of freaky to hear America (yes, of 'Sister Golden Hair', etc.) doing Nada Surf??"

Friday, January 12, 2007

Guided by Voices - "Portable Men's Society"

Guided by Voices - "Portable Men's Society": "A darker rocker from Guided by Voices. Not as lo-fi as many GbV tunes, this one features thundering drums and even keyboards, but still features the usual Robert Pollard gift of a hook."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Neil Young - "Bandit"

Neil Young - "Bandit": "A sequel to yesterday's post - if you took the quiet shuffle part of the Califone song and stretched it out to a full-length tune, you'd have 'Bandit.' As a result, its quiet, strummed melodic loop becomes very hypnotic."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Califone - "Bottles And Bones (Shade And Sympathy) "

Califone - "Bottles And Bones (Shade And Sympathy) ": "I have to admit that I turned up this song from the Stranger Than Fiction soundtrack - even though I don't even really remember the song in the film - but it stuck with me from the CD. Dominated by acoustic guitar, but layered with percussive and atmospheric touches, this song shifts from quiet shuffle to forceful march in the most graceful of ways."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sluts of Trust - "Piece O' You"

Sluts of Trust - "Piece O' You": "Mad and wonderful - this song starts off with guitar shredding, before shifting into caveman glam, with Mick Ronson-esque riffs colliding only with pounding beats. Plus, there's something charming about a Scotsman screaming out 'Even! Stevens!' It may sound lame, but give it a listen and you'll understand."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Adam Ant - "Beat My Guest"

Adam Ant - "Beat My Guest": "Sorry for the delayed hiatus, I was actually off the computer for a while, if you can believe that. I welcome you all back with this raucous Adam Ant b-side with chainsaw riffs, vocals that get near to yodeling at times, and...oh yeah, bondage-y activity. Pretty and punk."