MP3 über-sleuth Dan turned me onto this track a year ago and I didn’t get it. I get it now. Some music is like that. Honestly I didn’t like spinach when I was little, and now I love it. So it is with some music. Not everything makes sense right away. And not all music fits into neat manageable piles. This is dark, complex and delicious. Like spinach.
Broken Social Scene – “World Sick” (play)
Beloved Broken Social Scene. Post modern angst would not be the same without you. Here we find our heroes deep in the throes of what the Germans call Weltschmerz – world-ache, or world sickness. Musically somewhere between Godspeed You Black Emperor’s patient apocalyptic swelling, and something like goth rock on a sunny beach, this is a group whose sound is not easily pinned down. And that’s good. Let it fly, be free. “Forgiveness Rock Record” is their latest brave salvo of empathy and understanding thrown headlong into the prevailing maelstrom of cynicism and pessimism. I’m grateful for that.
Broken Social Scene
“World Sick” (mp3)
from “Forgiveness Rock Record”
(Arts & Crafts)
The Paper Chase – “When (And If) The Big One Hits, I’ll Just Meet You There” (play)
If you have ever lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, you probably already know this deal. When the faults decide to wiggle the map, and all the phones and networks go down, we’ve already got a meeting spot worked out with the ones we love. And we don’t worry much, living as we do in one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places on earth. The Paper Chase captures that Sword of Damocles lifestyle perfectly in this bold and novel piece. Gorgeously arranged analog keyboards and creatively processed drums set the stage for an existential vocal meltdown. A most entertaining 9 minute catastrophe. Enjoy.
“Bloodhounds On My Trail” by Austin’s The Black Angels delivers exactly what I’d hope for from a song with that title. It rocks and boogies while evading capture by wading through a swamp. Twang-adelic drony magnificence, with a delicious vocal, and brilliant lyrics. Awesome track from their acclaimed “Passover” album.
The Black Angels
“Bloodhounds On My Trail” (mp3)
(Blue Scholars / Light in the Attic)
A friend in High School once made a list of all the songs that said “I don’t wanna” in the lyrics and polled everyone to get their additions. It got pretty long, more than a page of college ruled binder paper, remember paper? Anyway, it had like, half the Ramones entire output and some Elvis Costello and much more. Here’s a new take on an old theme, freshly blurted by the wonderful Cloak/Dagger, from that lesser known bastion of punky ferocity, Richmond, VA. They rock live and have opened for Fucked Up and Kill Your Idols. beMySpaceFriend them, play their music loud and bounce all around like a jumping bean.
“Don’t Need A” (mp3)
from “Lost Art”
Saviours – “We Roam” mp3
What do you expect from a band called Saviours whose record cover involves demons, naked devil chicks and general quasi-biblical mayhem? If you guessed stoner-metal meets speed-metal meets black-metal a’la Sabbath meets Exodus but completely contemporary and exquisitely executed, you win! This kicks buckets of ass. Saviours hail (Satan) from my hometown of Oakland, CA, which has (not so) quietly become the epicenter of a new metal renaissance. Go forth and bang thy head.
“We Roam” (mp3)
from “Accelerated Living”
The Abramson Singers – “Fools Gold” mp3
Fool’s gold. If you’ve ever been to the Sierra Nevada, and gazed into a mountain stream, you’ve seen the shimmering stuff, beckoning as it did to prospectors who sought their fortunes there starting around 1848. Pretty, but worthless stuff. Then we wonder, why is gold valuable? Well, because we say it is. We agree it’s valuable and carry on having civilizations based on it being valuable. Pretty absurd if you toy with that notion. So let’s don’t. Don’t be fooled by the title, this beautiful song by The Abramson Singers is pure gold. Haunting twang-y guitars and delicate snare brushes set the stage for some magnificent, soft and sweet female vocal harmonies that could melt Fort Knox. From their, or more like her, eponymous album. Lovely work, check it out.
The Abramson Singers
“Fool’s Gold” (mp3)
from “The Abramson Singers”
Bart Davenport – “Chimes” mp3
The new crown prince of soft rock, Bart Davenport got his start in a more hard rockin’ capacity as the front man for East Bay Mod RnB heros the Loved Ones. This track from his 2002 solo debut on the marvelous Antenna Farm Records, is a meandering daydream of sweet romance. Much as I hope to hear the man hit the Jagger/Colin Blunstone style that he did years ago, I gotta love that he’s true to his own vision, and he does this stuff so very well. The dry acoustic drums and nicely recorded real instruments he favors are a stark and welcome contrast to the hyper-digital compressed poo that is the norm these days. And his singing is simply beautiful. From 2002, recently re-released digitally, here’s some “Chimes” of love from a cat who means it.
from “Bart Davenport”
(Antenna Farm Records)
Spoon. Spoon. Spoon! New Spoon record. NEW SPOON RECORD!!! When do I use three exclamation marks? I generally use two, when I’m really excited. Three is unprecedented. But this is, if I have not clarified, a NEW F@#$K!NG SPOON RECORD, MAN! DAMN! All caps, when do I do that? Immediately living up to the lofty promise of earlier efforts, this single, “Written In Reverse,” from the BRAND NEW F00K!NG SPOON RECORD called “Transference” is truly gr8. I must drink some water. I must get some air. Spoon. Swoon.
“Written In Reverse” (mp3)
(Arts & Crafts Mexico)
The musicians in Brooklyn’s Cheeseburger probably fell into a vat of whiskey and bong water as babies. Then they did the only remaining possible thing – picked up guitars and drums and a mic and starting rocking out. “Easy Street” by Cheeseburger is lo-fi, raw, perverse, appalling and gr8. Enjoy.
“Easy Street” (download mp3)
from “Cheeseburger – EP”
(Hot Dog City Record Co.)
“Easy Street“ (play)