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.
From Spitting Image, due June 16 on Virgin/EMI/UMG.
These Irish kids had a song called “What a Shame” back in 2013 that I really loved. It was a cautionary tale of a young band who got manipulated by their record company into making all kinds of bad decisions to try to sell more albums.
This new one is a little less garage rock and a little more power pop new wave. Still good though!
This song was released in the UK for Record Store Day as a 7″ single. It features Matt Johnson, Zeke Manyika, Johnny Marr, James Eller, Meja Kullersten, Chris Whitten and Iain Berryman.
Much of the video was filmed at the original broadcast session, and it will be included in the new documentary film The Inertia Variations, directed by Johanna St Michaels. I’m really hoping this is only the beginning of new material from The The.
I am an unapologetic fan of Oasis. I like a little attitude in my rock and roll and the Gallagher brothers deliver that by the truckload. Noel’s clearly the funnier of the two (and funnier than pretty much everyone), but the younger Liam wins on pure shit-eating grin attitude. His stance alone tells you all you need to know about him, and it’s that trademark posture that takes center stage in the new video, “Wall of Glass” for his debut solo track.
Because he’s Liam Fucking Gallagher, there’s no need for a plot or a narrative in this stylized video full of blinking lights, seedy hotel lobbies and a hall of mirrors. What does it mean? Nothing! The director knows what he has to work with and just sets our kid up in different situations in which to be snotty. And let’s be clear: he delivers.
More importantly, this is the best track Liam Gallagher has released since “The Shock of the Lightning” from Oasis’ final album, Dig Out your Soul in 2008. There were a number of tracks I liked from Liam’s first venture out sans The Chief, Beady Eye, but this track has the right combo of hooks and instrumentation to cut through the noise that makes for a great Gallagher Bros. track.
“Wall Of Glass” is the first track to preview his forthcoming album As You Were, due in October on Parlophone/Warner Brothers.
Let’s count the number of acoustic covers of hip hop songs that don’t suck. Zero? Sounds about right.
Remember downloading the Gourd’s version of “Gin and Juice” in the earliest days of filesharing? We all got a good chuckle out of that one. Jonathan Coulton made “Baby Got Back” sound like a John Denver outtake. But the worst of this genre is Dynamite Hack’s “Boyz In The Hood”. There’s always a sense of “ha ha ha aren’t we cute? aren’t we funny? get it? because we’re not gangster at all!” which ends up kind of gross. Or maybe I’m a humorless grump.
Acoustic covers of pop songs, on the other hand, can strip away the glossy production to reveal the solid bones of the songwriting underneath. I still like Travis’ earnest cover of “Baby One More Time” which made me realize how sad that song really is (“my loneliness is killing me”).
This Rihanna cover is somewhere in between. It’s not jokey at all, but it doesn’t really shed any additional light on the original. It sounds cool, and Alison Mosshart’s voice is smoky and menacing as ever. Which is good enough for an acoustic b-side.
From Hard Love, out now on Dead Oceans.
I never even heard of these guys until someone turned me on to this in-depth Stereogum feature by Ryan Leas where the author hangs out with Tim Showalter over a couple of years and watches the formation and evolution of the new album. It’s well written and worth reading even if you have no interest in the band. I didn’t, but the story is great, and it inspired me to check out the record.
And I’m glad I did.
It’s a good, psychedelic rock album about growing up and trying to get by in this world without being a selfish asshole. Which is something I think a lot of dudes have struggled with. I know I have. Still do.
The video is trippy. Be careful what you ingest out there, kids.
From Coco Hames, out now on Merge Records.
A charming slice of Memphis garage pop from the former frontwoman of the Ettes. “Doesn’t matter what they say / ’cause I’m gonna get my way / if I don’t wanna go.” Right on.
Video: Phoenix – “J-Boy”
I have a real soft spot for electro-pop. There’s something about the lilting melodies and crystalline synths that brings me back to summers riding around on Honda Sprees jumping from one pool party to another. Except I didn’t have a Spree and I was rarely invited to pool parties as an awkward dope in junior high. But I could imagine the soundtrack and wax nostalgic, even at the time.
French popsters proved to be masters of the genre with 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, an album so packed with perfect break-up/make-up songs that it became the soundtrack to bachelorette parties for two years.
And now the band is back with more of the same on their new album, Ti Amo. And like me, they’re in a nostalgic mood with a video homage to Italian variety shows from the 80s. I tweeted yesterday—largely in response to Ryan Adams’ continued obsession with glossy production—“If we’re going to emulate the 80s, can it least be The Smiths?” I guess not, but this is at least hummable and I can afford my own Spree now.
Ti Amo is due June 9 on Glassnote Records. Pre-order now.