Video: Charly Bliss – “Westermarck”
From Guppy, out now on Barsuk Records.
I love power pop. And this is awesome.
Video: Dream Version – “Fight Fair”
From Fight Fair, out July 7.
I like this. These Chicago guys are geeky, you can tell. There were a lot of bands like this in the 80s, but it seems to have fallen out of favor. The Pursuit of Happiness, They Might Be Giants, and King Missile come to mind. Maybe Dream Version will trigger a resurgence of quirky, cerebral rock music. Or, as Steve Albini might refer to it: “wieners in suits.”
This song sounds a lot breezier than its subject matter would suggest. It’s an interesting contrast. “I prayed an angel would come but no angel came.”
From A Deeper Understanding, due August 25 on Atlantic.
So what happens when an indie band signs with a major label? They get to make a big budget video starring Deputy Commissioner Ervin Burrell from “The Wire.” It’s a song about how you can’t go home again (or can you?), and the video is well acted and perfectly directed and touching as hell. There’s hope and sadness and nostalgia and friendship and longing, which fits just right with the music.
When you talk about the past
What are we talking of?
Did I let go too fast?
Was I holding on too long?
It’s a great video and well worth however much money that Atlantic spent on it.
Video: Diet Cig – “Barf Day”
This was the first song I heard by this awesome band and now it’s got an official video. “I just wanna have ice cream on my birthday / Blow the candles out and wish all of my pain away.”
From Beast Epic, due August 25 on Sub Pop.
Do you miss the old Iron & Wine? When it was pretty much just Sam Beam and a guitar? Before he got all into world music or whatever the hell he’s been doing for the past ten years? You’re in luck! Beam says, “I feel there’s a certain kinship between this new collection of songs and my earliest material.”
Well, this new song isn’t as stripped down as The Creek Drank the Cradle but it’s closer to Our Endless Numbered Days than anything since then. And that’s a good direction. With optimistic lyrics and acoustic instrumentation, it’s easily the best Iron & Wine song I’ve heard in a decade. Plus, I’m a sucker for the sentiment of reminding folks to let your loved ones know you care about them before they die.
And we get a chance to say
Before we ease away
For all the love you’ve left behind,
You can have mine
Video: The Regrettes – “Seashore”
From Feel Your Feelings, Fool! out now on Warner Bros. Records.
The kids are alright. The Regrettes range in age from 16 to 20 and they’re not taking any of your shit. “Seashore” is an anthem for young folks who are exhausted by the condescension of grownups. And I believe singer Lydia Night when she deadpans, “I’ll still kick your ass even in my skirt.” So watch out, fellow old people: the Regrettes have officially put us on notice.
You’re talkin’ to me like a child
Hey I’ve got news, I’m not a little girl
And no I won’t give you a little twirl.
You’re talkin’ to me like I’m sad
Hey I’ve got news, I’m not doin’ too bad
Even though sometimes I might get real mad.
Sock it to the MAN! I think I have a new favorite band.
I’ve been following the Lost and Lonesome Recording Co. since the days of my beloved Lucksmiths. They’ve consistently put out well-crafted, charming Australian indie pop. Milk Teddy is no exception. “This one’s for the working rockers / You’ve been working too much.” After a couple of minutes of what you’d expect, they veer off into a bit of an instrumental freakout. Which is not what you’d expect, so good for them!
Directed by Michael Moore for the supergroup featuring Public Enemy’s Chuck D, B-Real from Cypress Hill, and half of Rage Against the Machine, this new video puts the onus on us to fix what’s broken in the world. And while Moore’s video is about as subtle as you’d expect, maybe subtlety is not exactly what we need at a time like this. “The world is not going to change itself. That’s up to you.”
From Prophets Of Rage, due September 15 on Concord Music.
Video: TORRES – “Skim”
This song is cool and the video is creepy. Mackenzie Scott is hanging out in your Aunt Phyllis’ house (complete with pool table and intercom!) and getting groped by disembodied arms while she walks around playing the guitar. Eventually she gets down with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and another, more scantily clad hottie. The guitar tone is paranoid and the lyrics are evocative: “There’s no unlit corner of the room I’m in.”
The “Skim” single is out now on 4AD.