Monday, September 26, 2011

Superchunk - "The First Part"

Superchunk - "The First Part": "Yay for Merge's re-issue of Superchunk's Foolish, remastered so it does sound a touch better, even if it always sounded good. I may love this record as much as I did when I first heard it. As drummer Jon Wurster notes in the liner notes, there is a darker shade to this record, compared to the other Superchunk releases, and maybe that's why it's one of my favorites. There's certainly a hard (if not dark) edge to this tune, which absolutely is as rocking now as it first was. So happy to have an excuse to listen to it all again."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Death Lurks - "Some Days It's Dark"

Death Lurks - "Some Days It's Dark": "Please enjoy the faux-metal number from Kids In The Hall's 'Brain Candy' - I know I do. (How can you deny lyrics like 'Some days it's dark / some days I work / I work alone / I walk alone' delivered with Danzig-level seriousness? Plus the song does kind of rock.) Bonus points for the track including the 'horse tranquilizers' introduction."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Monarchy - "Love Get Out of My Way"

Monarchy - "Love Get Out of My Way": "Saw them last night in SF and they were just as awesome as they were at Coachella - if not perhaps more, since I actually know the music now. They have tremendous presence for a masked four-person band and, man, they have amazing pop songs but with depth. They clearly live in the same alternate pop universe as Robyn, where they should be ruling the airwaves, but somehow find themselves left of center here."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nada Surf - "Do It Again"

Nada Surf - "Do It Again": "Funny that they deliver what could have been a 90s radio mainstream alt-rock smash single after they got dropped by a major label. The tune's probably still a little too left-of-center structurally to have that impact, but the melody is strong and forceful in the best of ways."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kent - "Elvis"

Kent - "Elvis": "Maybe the vocals are a little too Placebo high for American tastes, but it seems like this band just didn't work in America. A Swedish band working in Brit rock mode, but hitting all the right notes, they're ripe for rediscovery like Muse was - after all, America had passed on them the first time around too."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Charlotte Gainsbourg - "Terrible Angels"

Charlotte Gainsbourg - "Terrible Angels": "Charlotte tosses out the live and largely organic sound of her last record for...well, Goldfrapp. It's hard not to hear the influence, but Charlotte cops the same bad-ass angle that works so well in those Goldfrapp songs, so she can get away with it."

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Morning Jacket - "Steam Engine" (solo)

My Morning Jacket - "Steam Engine" (solo): "From the vaults - back when we were taping original performances jointly for Rhapsody and, MMJ's Jim James came in and did this amazing solo set. I wasn't a MMJ fan before this performance (circa It Still Moves, btw) but I sure as hell was afterwards. It's one man and one guitar, but it's completely mesmerizing."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Metronomy - "The Bay"

Metronomy - "The Bay": "Kind of dorky but endearing combo of new wave and dance grooves, kind of like Stars covering ABC, though probably not sounding like that at all."

Monday, September 12, 2011

LCD Soundsystem - "Live Alone"

LCD Soundsystem - "Live Alone": "What may be the last 'new' LCD song - a cover of Franz Ferdinand's 'Live Alone'. Here, LCD puts FF through a Bowie filter: the song starts with Mike Garson-esque piano rambles, but moves into the Bowie/Eno vocals of his late 70s work, along with some new wave disco styling from the same period. A curious but intriguing workout. (Also worth noting: LCD may be returning the cover favor to FF, who previously covered LCD's 'All My Friends' for one of their EPs some years back. I love worth mutual admiration societies like this one.)"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tahiti 80 - "1,000 Times"

Tahiti 80 - "1,000 Times": "Apparently this is my 1,000th post! That's a lot of writing about music, even if it proves it's hardly a song for every day. Here's an appropriately-titled song to commemorate the milestone."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Twin Shadow - "Castles In The Snow"

Twin Shadow - "Castles In The Snow": "The crisp percussion sounds tough, but the mood is kind of pensive and moody. I hate to make the comparison, but it reminds me of some tracks from the first Kenna record, which I still really like."

Friday, September 09, 2011

Fleetwood Mac - "Second Hand News"

Fleetwood Mac - "Second Hand News": "It's kind of amazing how joyous so much of this record sounds when it's really toxic, emotionally, if you take a second to listen to the lyrics. It's the kind of sweet-and-sour duality that I also appreciate in Steely Dan, like a Trojan Horse of inappropriate in your mom's FM gold..."

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Horrors - "Moving Further Away"

The Horrors - "Moving Further Away": "It's still funny to me that a band who I started out not liking at all - maybe the Chris Cunningham-directed first video led me to expect too much - have now delivered solid second and third records. I also think it's interesting that people find this new record so melancholy, since I actually find it to be far more upbeat and much less dark than its predecessor, Primary Colours, which is certainly not a bad thing. I still like the droney/spacey qualities carried over from that record, as easily evidenced on this track."

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Throwing Muses - "Ellen West"

Throwing Muses - "Ellen West": "I love how strong Kristin sounds and the always wonderful Kristin-and-Tanya duel vocals and guitars. I wish those two could have stayed together forever, but I guess you can't keep magic like that bottled up. I remember seeing the Muses live, years ago, and when Kristin got to the line 'my house is full of demons / I swear to God', she delivered it with such unblinking power, I wouldn't have questioned her."

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie - "Army Corps of Architects"

Death Cab For Cutie - "Army Corps of Architects": "It's a simple melody, but a wonderfully sad one. It provides the core of the song, slowly building new musical parts on top of it as it repeats, subtly becoming more powerful as it moves along. I can't seem to stop listening to it today."