Friday, July 30, 2010

Star Ghost Dog - "Plus de Vaches"

Star Ghost Dog - "Plus de Vaches": "I stumbled onto this band opening up for another band in NYC over a decade ago and was immediately taken by this song. Who is this girl doing this tough-yet-cool-yet-vulnerable delivery (a la Mary Stuart Masterson) of a faux-disco/rock song about getting coked up, dancing and hot tubs? It's completely tongue-in-cheek, but it was catchy enough to make me check out the album later, which was as good as I remembered. In fact, the rest of the record might actually be better, but this song definitely has the hooks."

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Cardigans - "Good Morning Joan"

The Cardigans - "Good Morning Joan": "You could find this song sunny and Nina's vocals sweet, but if you listen to the lyrics, you'll realize neither is the case and it's a beautiful poison pill instead. The clincher is when Nina sings, soaringly: 'If you were less like me, I'd save you from this, if I could / if I was less like you, God knows I would...but you are just like me, so I quit.' The whole record (Super Extra Gravity) is very much like this and you have to wonder what darkness is influencing the lyric writing..."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Liz Phair - "Polyester Bride"

Liz Phair - "Polyester Bride": "I don't like the overly produced nature of this track (particularly the programmed percussion) and the verses are a little awkward but the chorus is pure gold - it makes the whole song."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Admiral Radley - "Chingas in the West"

Admiral Radley - "Chingas in the West": "Grandaddy is awesome. Earlimart is also awesome. Luckily, the combination of the two is still awesome - melding some of the best of both bands into one - as Admiral Radley. You can hear both bands in this song, which sounds like a Grandaddy slow burner, but is fronted by Aaron from Earlimart instead - a nice blending."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Built To Spill - "Three Years Ago Today"

Built To Spill - "Three Years Ago Today": "Got to see Built to Spill last night for the first time in years and I'm happy to report that they're as tight as ever. Even better, they really played songs from their entire catalog, including this one, from their oft-overlooked first album, Ultimate Alternative Wavers. A really surprise - and pleasure - to hear."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Charlatans U.K. - "Can't Get Out Of Bed"

Charlatans U.K. - "Can't Get Out Of Bed": "How have I not blogged this song before when it's kind of my theme song? Well, the song title is, anyway. That aside, it's a nice little brit-pop number with bluesy touches from the underappreciated Charlatans U.K."

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Order - "5 8 6"

New Order - "5 8 6": "First off, please skip straight to the 1:53 mark. There's an instrumental introduction to the track that you really can do without. Once there, you may think that this is a bit of a "Blue Monday" redux - and perhaps even feel like the track is a bit dated, 80s club sounding - but I think it's a great dance track with Peter Hook's bass (as usual) providing the muscle in the middle of a new wave synth party."

Friday, July 09, 2010

Helium - "Baby Vampire Made Me"

Helium - "Baby Vampire Made Me": "Mary Timony brings balanced sweet-but-tough vocals over a slow-but-pummeling rock track. Even when the song detours into something soft and lulling near the end, it works because it's a complete counter-point to everything before it (and a great transition into what follows it on the EP). You really couldn't ask for a better kick-off to a completely solid debut EP than this.
Mary, wherefore art thou now? You are missed!"

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Nada Surf - "The Agony of Laffitte"

Nada Surf - "The Agony of Laffitte": "Nada Surf take on Spoon's song about being dropped by Elektra Records (essentially)...which is quite appropriate, since Nada Surf were also on Elektra and had huge problems with the label around the same time that Spoon did."

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

764-HERO - "Stained Glass"

764-HERO - "Stained Glass": "This album still blows me away - especially since it's 764-HERO's first with a bassist (all prior recordings were only guitar/drums). It's still only three instruments, but each one is so active and full, playing well of each other instead of just being overwhelming. You can easily hear that on this song, a tight little rocker with a great riff."

Friday, July 02, 2010

Guided By Voices - "Don't Stop Now"

Guided By Voices - "Don't Stop Now": "Subtle, but one of the more adorned GbV tunes - is that a cello I hear? That's not a bad thing - the different elements provide a textured melancholy that leads to a triumphant bursting when the full instrumentation kicks in."

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Land of the Loops - "Growing Concern"

Land of the Loops - "Growing Concern": "Indie pop meets low-key electronica in the subtly charming Land of the Loops. Strange samples - like the intro here, from a books-on-tape version of Brave New World - compliment the package."