I don’ t know about you, but the holidays bring out the alcoholic in me. I’m not one of those, “wake up and down some vodka to face the day” drinkers. I’m not nearly that classy. Nope, I’m one of those “beer at 9 AM? Why not!” drinkers. You know the ones. You met them in college. Wait a minute . . .don’t judge me. It’s that or shank someone with the gravy spoon before dessert is even served. You go to therapy and whine about your parents not loving you enough . . .I’ll drink. My way is cheaper and you can actually SEE your progress. Sorry . . .got a little testy there.
Anyway . . .
In my ongoing effort to remember all the good songs I’ve been hearing lately, I decided to do sort of a “year end” playlist for myself. It will eventually be on One Word Titles, but for now, it’s still in the planning phase (and also because it’s fifty-eight songs so far) but it will come to fruition. I’m waiting partly because I’m sure I’ll include some new DRA/Cardinals songs in there, but at the same time that might require an entire write up all on its own. See my dilemma?
That brings me to this week’s music. All four happen to have found their way onto the year end playlist over the last few days because, although I’ve been listening to Interpol a lot lately, I have listened to these bands/songs just as much because for one reason or another, they caught my attention.
Girls is, in no way, a “new” band. I literally devoured their first album, appropriately named, “Album” and their latest release, “Broken Dreams Club” is just as good. Girls somehow manages to combine genres that wouldn’t normally sound good together. Listening to the album, you’ll hear hints of 50’s do wop rock, early steel pedal playing that we heard in alt country bands like Uncle Tupelo, Sun Volt and Wilco and even fuzzed out guitars that you so prominently hear in bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Jesus and Mary Chain. And, to top it all off, I think Charlie Brown’s teacher (or the trumpet that she really is, actually sings on the title track, Broken Hearts Club) singing backing vocals. The standouts on the album, for me, are Broken Hearts Club and Carolina. Give the album a listen and see for yourself.
Home Video and Weekend are two bands that I’ve just recently discovered, so my knowledge of them is going to be a bit limited. I will say this: they are both in constant rotation the last few days. Home Video is a Brooklyn based band that manages to combine moody, infectious bass lines with a Duran Duran lyrical approach. If Duran Duran had a kid with The XX, it would be Home video. The have the perfect musical ability to remind you of something, but come nowhere near ripping it off. For a couple of Brooklyn by way of New Orleans musicians, they have the uncanny ability to make music that is simultaneously dark and sexy.
Try and google Weekend. Seriously, do a google search and see what you turn up. I’ve been trying for the last three days to find out what I can about these guys and what I’ve found is this: they’re from San Francisco and there are three guys in the band. What’s the worst part? I can’t even confirm that, so at this point, what I know could only be classified as speculation. Now that you know what I know, I’ll tell you this: Weekend manages to get a huge sound from such a small band. Like Girls, they revel in the same fuzzed out guitars that made me like My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain. In more recent years, BRMC and A Place To Bury Strangers have taken hold of that sound and run with it. Weekend does it beautifully and incorporates the feedback that made bands like The Screaming Trees, Mudhoney and Sonic Youth so avant garde in the 90’s. I would provide you with links, but I can’t really find any. Stay tuned . . .I’ll leave a comment when I find out more information.
I’m sure that you’ve all heard of Deerhunter and have all heard at least a song or two from this year’s, “Halcyon Digest,” but you may not have know that singer/guitarist for Deerhunter, Bradford Cox, has a little bedroom side project called Atlas Sound. Cox is constantly releasing free music out via the internet under the Atlas Sound moniker and I’ve been really enjoying his Bedroom Databank series (you can get Volume Four HERE. Atlast Sound is very much Deerhunter, but at more of a lo-fi approach to production, which I really really like. Think about it like this: if Deerhunter played an “unplugged” set, you’d get Atlas Sound . . .but only to a point. Atlas Sound seems to be a vehicle that allows Cox to really focus on songwriting and he really shines on these songs as a songwriter.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and didn’t get mugged on black Friday. If you did, I’m sorry, but I have an alibi. I was robbing someone’s house for beer and leftovers.
Stay tuned to One Word Titles this week where I’ll be discussing movie soundtracks and my year end favorites. . .
Until next time . . .
p.s. because i'm super excited about the new Ryan Adams stuff coming out, i've been listening to one of my favorite live shows. it was recorded at Tractor Tavern in Seattle on Valentine's Day, 2000 along with Kim Richey and Chuck Prophet. you probably already have it, but if not, i'll share mine.