Friday, April 30, 2010

Placebo - "Infra-Red"

Placebo - "Infra-Red": "One of my favorite songs from the more recent Placebo period. It's got a radio-ready chorus without compromising Placebo's quirks, so it's unfortunate that alt-rock radio still didn't pick up on this tune when it came out."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bear Hands - "What A Drag"

Bear Hands - "What A Drag": "For fans of Modest Mouse, as this track pulls from both their jangly and groovy parts melded together, but there's nothing wrong with that. Totally enjoyable."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Duran Duran - "Sound Of Thunder"

Duran Duran - "Sound Of Thunder": "No wonder they gave these guys a James Bond theme to tackle - even on their first album, they ooze equal parts danger and bravado, with a touch of edgy cool. As always, John Taylor's propulsive bass trades off with Nick "Lipstick" Rhodes' synths, mixing heavy and light sounds. Also nice to hear the new remaster, a needed improvement over the previous "first generation CD master" mix that's been in circulation for so many years."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Drawn Together (soundtrack) - "Black Chick's Tongue"

Drawn Together (soundtrack) - "Black Chick's Tongue": "Wow. I'm not sure if this makes sense without the visuals (hard to say, because I saw it on the TV show first), but it's still pretty jaw-dropping in its melding of Disney and debauchery. Pretty much NSFW."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Muse - "Undisclosed Desires"

Muse - "Undisclosed Desires": "Muse reminds me of U2, in the sense that they started out cool and underground and suddenly wound up playing stadiums...or, in the case of Muse, at least huge stages...but all very quickly, in an almost 'how did that happen?' moment. Then again, it's hard to say that dramatic (but not bombastic) songs like this don't deserve a big stage - and, when coupled with lots o' lazers - which Muse did bust out at both SXSW and Coachella...well, it's pretty impressive."

Friday, April 23, 2010

The XX - "VCR"

The XX - "VCR": "I want to clarify my recent (verbal) comments that The XX are the indie-rock Sade. I do not think they sound anything like Sade. What I do mean is that, like Sade, they provide a fairly consistent (and often sultry) vibe for a whole album, create a good mellow mood and I think it's safe to assume you can do it to this album. Sade's recent record has made me realize more hipsters like her than you would expect, but a lot of those folks still (perhaps subliminally) want an album of the same nature, except "cooler"...and The XX fill that void. Not that they tried to, I'm sure, and not that any of this is a dig - it's not - but I still think the comparison is valid.
(This came up a couple of times at both SXSW and Coachella, where they brought the album's groove with them, despite the daytime sun.)"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pavement - "Frontwards"

Pavement - "Frontwards": "Pavement at Coachella was really as good as I could have hoped for. Perhaps a little sloppy still, maybe a little awkward, but isn't that part of their charm? When you have a set list that includes songs like this, it still would have been magical, even if they played half as well as they actually did. Even better, 'defining' Pavement songs like this one feel as true as when they came out, no snark or attitude to taint it."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grace Jones - "Pull Up To The Bumper"

Grace Jones - "Pull Up To The Bumper": "La Grace might have broken my heart by dropping out of the Coachella 2010 lineup early on, but Beth Ditto and the Gossip clearly missed her too. They showed it in the best way possible by bringing out LCD Soundsystem to jam out a hot cover of this Grace Jones classic, capping off what was already an electric (if hot and sweaty show). Yet another reason why Beth Ditto is awesome."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

LCD Soundsystem - "Us V Them"

LCD Soundsystem - "Us V Them": "This song set the crowd on fire at Coachella (Friday night). Their set was unfortunately a little stop-and-start with frontman James Murphy semi-rambling between songs, but with out-of-control barn-burners like this one, all is forgiven. Can't wait to hear the new album..."

Monday, April 19, 2010

David Bowie - "New Killer Star"

David Bowie - "New Killer Star": "A really solid tune from the later Bowie catalog. There's some interesting sonic layers to give it texture, but it's a straight-forward melodic rock song with bite at its core and the bold exuberance of the chorus is a pleasure to hear. (Pretty sure Bowie mainstay Gail Ann Dorsey deserves some thanks for the latter.) Bowie, it's been years, so where the hell are you hiding?"

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jonsi - "Boy Lilikoi"

Jonsi - "Boy Lilikoi": "A majestic and uplifting song, sprinkled with pixie dust. Though, unlikely as it seems, there are two quick moments that recall Kings of Leon's "The Bucket" (at least in the vocal melody)...which I'm sure is totally unintentional, but I can't be the only one who hears it, right? (I love "The Bucket" so no one should be taking this as a dig.)"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spoon - "Me And The Bean"

"I have already made this a song of the day and I've done a ton of Spoon lately, but I couldn't help but post this anyway. Last night, Spoon played the Fox in Oakland and frontman Britt did a solo acoustic version of this song - something I've never heard him do before - and it made a big theater feel intimate. It was amazing."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ABC - "Poison Arrow"

ABC - "Poison Arrow": "Yes, it's really polished, but sounds good. Yes, it's a lot of style for the corresponding amount of substance, but Martin Fry's vocals make you believe it. At the end of the day, ABC still makes it all sound suave and easy, even though I'm sure it was anything but. The spoken word interlude is a little gimmicky, but it's all part of a solid pop package."

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Roots - "Here I Come"

The Roots - "Here I Come": "I got a lot of work to do today - always hard to run into on a Monday - so I'm trying to get myself hyped up and plow through it."

Friday, April 02, 2010

Pavement - "In The Mouth A Desert"

Pavement - "In The Mouth A Desert": "I think I got so intent on not over-psyching myself for the upcoming Pavement reunion that I kind of killed my buzz for their shows. In other words, in trying to make sure that their shows couldn't let me down, I killed my own excitement. That is, until I wound up talking about it the other night and I realized...even if it's not as good as I want it to's still freaking PAVEMENT doing PAVEMENT songs that I love. Songs like this one, which hurt me with their subtle brilliance. And now I'm all excited again!"

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Memory Tapes - "Stop Talking"

Memory Tapes - "Stop Talking": "This song has all sorts of mini-phases, like going from room to room at a big party - assuming it's a party where Moroder krautrock disco collides with Cut Copy. Live (Saturday night at the Rhapsody SXSW party), things were more rock - picture New Order turned alternately more dreamy and more aggressive. Pitchfork apparently didn't like that - they wanted the more chill album vibe - but I thought it was a good way to make the album songs work live."