Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Rolling Stones - "Miss You"

The Rolling Stones - "Miss You": "Who doesn't know this song already? And if you already know it, you know the Stones get away with their disco strut largely based on Mick's swagger, which falls just on the amazing side of ridiculous, not to mention his eyebrow-raising (and equally awesome) falsetto. For a frame of reference on what's on the other side of ridiculous, check out the 'video' version where Mick shows what happens when less restraint is applied to his delivery.
Double bonus: the extended version with extra choice lyrics like 'girls will come and go / they're just like streetcars!'. Nice one, Mick."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Broken Social Scene - "World Sick"

Broken Social Scene - "World Sick": "The long instrumental fade-in and fade-out make the song feel kind of epic, but the key parts are really the quick, reverbed guitar leads during the laid-back verses and the drama of the chorus, led by almost marching-band strength drums and a small chorus of singers. As always, BSS shows that its group of rotating members isn't a gluttony of excess, but a tasteful arrangement of all its various member parts."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Miles Kurosky - "An Apple For An Apple"

Miles Kurosky - "An Apple For An Apple": "This song kind of goes all over the place, with all sorts of different musical segments, but at it's core, it still has that old Beulah magic, as one would hope from Miles Kurosky, it's former frontman. It's a little sharp, a little sad, a little simple, a little adorned - all in different parts, so it's kind of a roller coaster, but a fun one."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

David Bowie - "Beauty And The Beast"

David Bowie - "Beauty And The Beast": "A key track in Bowie's Berlin trilogy, in my book. From the processed punch of Dennis Davis' drumming to the heavy and often distorted synthesizers, there's definitely a strange (Eastern?) European detachment amidst the dramatic delivery. Each musician in the band plays their hand strong without being overwhelming, which is why this Bowie lineup feels so cohesive to me (this lineup is in place, largely, from Station to Station through Scary Monsters). There's a touch of the paranoia found on "Blackout" and the melodrama of "The Secret Life of Arabia" (both also from "Heroes"), but, here, Antonia Maas' backing vocals blend in a unique female counterpoint."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Torche - "Face The Wall"

Torche - "Face The Wall": "A great slice of heavy from the new Torche EP. A moody, weighty wall of sound punctured by powerful drums, with slightly brooding vocals floating in the middle, all building in intensity as the song progresses. Totally awesome."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Superchunk - "Everything at Once"

Superchunk - "Everything at Once": "Wow, I love this. It reminds me of Superchunk's earlier Here's Where The Strings Come In and Indoor Living vibe, but with a more mature quality - perhaps because of the atmospheric intro or the cool "ooohs" that pepper the song - although it still makes me want to pogo, as the best Superchunk always does. It scares me to think how long they've been around (and, thus, how long I've been a fan), but it's super-satisfying that they can still develop their sound without leaving any of their mojo behind."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stars - "Elevator Love Letter"

Stars - "Elevator Love Letter": "Stars have a lot of gorgeous songs and this is one of their best. The interplay between lead vocalists Amy and Torquil is lush and a little melancholy, with a really strong keyboard part creating a great textured melody behind them."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pixies - "Bone Machine"

Pixies - "Bone Machine": "Yes, Doolittle is an amazing album. I love it dearly. But Surfer Rosa is the religious experience for me. It's the sound of a band going completely in its own direction and it sounds revolutionary every time I hear it. It's hard not to be blown away by an album that starts of like this - from the pounding drum/bass intro, leading into Black Francis' screams (have you listened to the lyrics? crazy and amazing!), later off-set by Kim Deal's sweet counterpart vocals. I'd think they sound like they have a cocky swagger in what they do here, but I think it's closer to dorks who don't know that they're dorks, so they have no self-awareness in what they're doing and there's nothing being held back, which makes them all the more awesome. Does that make sense???"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Human League - "Love Action"

The Human League - "Love Action": "Is there a day that can't be made better with a little of Human League frontman Phil Oakey? I think not! Here, you get 100% of your daily Phil, as he even references himself in the song! 'This is Phil talking, I wanna tell you what I found to be true'. Yes, do!!!"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Barcelona - "Bugs"

Barcelona - "Bugs": "Is this a song about computer problems or a love song? Either way, it's definitely optimistic - and, even if it wasn't, the song is so damn bouncy that it would still feel positive. I'll always be thankful to Nick for introducing me to Barcelona (and thankful for Nick as well)."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Adam Franklin - "Yesterday Has Gone Forever"

Adam Franklin - "Yesterday Has Gone Forever": "For a key frame of reference, Adam Franklin is the frontman of Swervedriver and, although this track is way more mellow than anything from that band, it still has some of that band's key qualities, particularly the guitar effects that reverb and shimmer. Luckily, it doesn't sound like a carbon copy, but an updating of their core sound. In other words, if you like Swervedriver, you are probably going to like this too."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Interpol - "Lights"

Interpol - "Lights": "From the new, self-titled Interpol album out today. Many of you have already heard this song when the band pushed it out on the internet early with a strange, Matthew Barney-esque video involving fluids and costumes, but it's also really standing out on my first listen of the album. It starts out spare and brooding - some drama without theatrical tics - slowly gathering steam instrument by instrument, until it becomes a full-on rock song."

Friday, September 03, 2010

Tears for Fears - "Pale Shelter"

Tears for Fears - "Pale Shelter": "Yes, I know Roland pretty much writes everything, but my favorite TFF songs tend to be the ones that Curt sings, like this one and 'Change'. I love how the acoustic guitar plays against the chilly synths, even better when the synth handclaps come in at the end. (Yup, real or fake, I'm always a sucker for them handclaps.)
I'll also always remember the first time I saw the video as a wee lad, with the alligator climbing into a swimming pool that a lady's swimming in and thinking...'whoa, lady, watch out!' It doesn't hold up as well as I'd like, but I still love watching it today."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Tokyo Police Club - "Big Difference"

Tokyo Police Club - "Big Difference": "Spirited (and slightly snotty) Brit-styled post-punk - from Canada, no less - but it's the guitar lead that makes the song: ringing, echoey, jagged, great."