Let me just get this off of my chest. I may not be your typical music junkie. I know this. I got an email from a One Word Titles reader that basically said this: "you don't look like you listen to the kind of music you write about." Aside from the horrible grammatical mistake of ending a sentence with a preposition, I thought that the comment was kind of buying into a certain stereotype. Apparently, I'm supposed to look like hipster in skin tight jeans and Buddy Holly'esque glasses. In reality, I'm a pretty normal looking guy who, in addition to an obsession with music, loves sports. I'm a die hard Cubs fan, Packers fan and all around guru of college football. I also play golf (and before you say it, I consider golf to be something that happens when I'm drinking. i got kicked out of a country club for not following the dress code.) and shower regularly. Does that make me any less of a pure fan of the art? No, not a bit. It just means that I defy stereotype. I've lived on three different continents and even indulged in home brewed beer in Saudi Arabia. So, if you think I should look a certain way in order to fully realize the brilliance of great music, all i can say is this: there's a dark, smelly place where you can stuff your ignorance.
So there's my rant for the day. I could go on about how much I hate the University of Alabama, but I couldn't accurately describe my feelings without expletive laden sentences.
So, on to the music . . .
"If I could roll up my money and smoke it, I would . . ." That's how Margot and the Nuclear So and So's begin the song, "Will You Love Me Forever." Their most recent album, "Buzzard" is a seemingly perfect mix of accessible songs that vary from radio friendly ditties to fuzzy guitar anthems that hark back to The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. The one time eight piece (yes, there are eight people in the band) employs the regular players, but also a cellist and a violin player and a multi percussionist, all from in or around Indianapolis, Indiana. Cruise on over and check out their Daytrotter Session. It was recorded when the band was still an eight piece, but somehow it works for them in a way that doesn't seem cheezy and showy, a-la- Polyponic Spree. These guys are more along the lines of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot era Wilco (my favorite Wilco album, by the way). You can find out more about the band over at their MySpace and when you're done doing that, buy "Buzzard" and immediately listen to "Earth to Aliens: What do you want?" and "New York City Hotel Blues."
Philadelphia native and War on Drugs guitarist, Kurt Vile (that's his given name and it's pretty awesome) holds, in my opinion, the very special distinction of being the offspring of some genetic experiment that would involve the genetic material of the following musicians: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, all the members of Radiohead, Nick Drake and Jim James. You read that right . . .the guy has the the songwriting sensibilities of Springsteen and Seger and employs a similar airy reverb that makes Jim James sound so angelic. When you listen to the music, you can hear it meander somewhere between the glitchy sounds of OK Computer and the intimacy of Pink Moon. If that doesn't make you go out and buy all of his music, have a listen over at his MySpace. Square Shells is his latest EP, but everything he releases is great stuff. In addition, check out his day job, War on Drugs. Their new album, Future Weather is vast and beautiful.
Finally, I heard this band last night and I only know a little about them, but I like what I hear. I'm not going to blather on, but I will say this: The Lost Crew reminds me of Interpol, if Interpol were a little happier. The Swedish quartet are streaming good stuff on their website and thanks to itsjustindie, you can snag some free music right here.
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Have a good week, boys and girls. You know I will.