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Friday, June 17, 2011

Download This, Episode 2

As the rains wash away another softball game this evening (this season may never end) I have a free moment to share some music for your last Spring weekend of 2011.  Some other housekeeping before I begin.

First, I see Rory McElroy has shot up the leaderboard at the US Open.  This has a familiar ring to it.  I am hopeful he can quickly put his epic meltdown at Augusta behind him and take home the trophy.  Truth is, with Tiger very much an afterthought and not playing this weekend I am not interested AT ALL.  Love him or hate him Eldrick Woods is the kind of guy the PGA needs.  Perhaps McElroy, with his youth and European "I am better than you Yanks" attitude might bring some life back into the tour.  But for this weekend I am checked out.  Not that an American is gonna win anyway.

Now, on to the show:

Bought tix for an August Cut/Copy and Foster the People show in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.  Felt we all needed a do over from the rain soaked night we spent watching the Decemberists.  I have written about both bands in the past, but for those of you new to the blog, take a look at the below tracks and see whatcha think.

Cut/Copy:  "Need you Now"   Has been a pretty sold two weeks of listening (and watching the video) of this track.  This defines the 80s resurgence and I am happily sold.  OMD meets Alphaville meets Yaz meets Human League meets...  you get the picture, I am nostalgic for the 80s.  Now please hand me my Rubik's Cube, but not the giant wire glasses I wore or Toughskins.  Unsure how this will all play live...  but not at all concerned.

Foster the People:  "Pumped Up Kicks"  I will be the first to admit this song has been OVERPLAYED to the max.  LA trip hop with some funky grooves and cool mic effect.  Here is the video presented without MTV editing:  meaning you can hear the words "gun" and "bullet."  Imagine an anti-gun/bullying song being edited for content thus blurring the intended message.  That is the World you are living in folks.  Guess it should not surprise anyone.  Afterall, weren't we about 5 seconds away from Armageddon when Janet Jackson's nipple was exposed.  I hear several people were blinded.

Miike Snow:  "Animal"  Not much to say about this.  Swedish Indie Pop.  Weird guys, catchy tune.  This track is from their debut album a few years back.  I know nothing else about them but am ready to learn.

Death Cab for Cutie:  "Doors Unlocked and Open"   Another band that does not need my help with promotion.  The hype and buzz surrounding their newest album, "Codes and Keys" has been huge.  They released "You are a Tourist " first, but this track is far better.  Ben Gibbard can write songs.  Try as I might to discount them, I must give credit where credit is due.  I call it Coldplay Syndrome.  They also have one of my favorites of the 2000s too:  "Soul Meets Body" is an elegant, well crafted pop song:

The last "newer" band I urge you to try is XX.  The British trio, who met at some fancy Brit school, have a unique, albeit simple sound.  Soft voices, easy bass lines and good, clean fun.  You may notice their beats as backgrounds for commercials and they also have appeared on tv soundtracks.  Some notable selections off their debut album:

"Intro"   Took me a while to remember this was the score for the brilliant 24/7 Pens/Capitals series on HBO that ran this Winter.

Suburban Man's IPOD classic selections:

Today brought to you by the letter A:

Arcade Fire:  "Keep the Car Running"  As an added bonus I found this video someone made using the song with montages of Mischa Barton from the campy, but sorely missed soap "The OC."  So silly and absent of any logic that I am smitten.

"Intervention"  Another absurb home made video.  Here, intercut with a 1920's film.  What hath you internet for inflicting such nonsense??  If I had to watch so must you...  or multi-tab browse like I do and listen.  Both of these tracks are from their album "Neon Bible."  While "The Suburbs" won a Grammy and brought them to the mainstream.  This album for me shows their maturity and depth.  Hard to ignore.

Aimee Mann:  "Freeway"  I have a special place in my heart for this one mainly because it served as a teaching moment for my daughter.  "You got a lot of money but you can't afford the Freeway." 

She asked me over and over what this meant when it hit airwaves several years ago.  Ever try defining irony to a 5 year old?  Hell, I am an adult and I barely get it.  Like the scene in "Reality Bites" when Winona Ryder is posed the question...  "I don't know what it is, but I know it when I see it."

Exactly.  And the irony here is Aimee Mann is far more than "Voices Carry" a generation ago w/ Til Tuesday.  And she is more than Mrs. Michael Penn, who I love too...  for a small sample of his best work look here: 

"No Myth"
and why not, he and Aimee together covering "Two of Us"

Mann, is an accomplished writer, sometimes actress and total babe.  A far cry indeed from the tall, one long braided girl compelled to lash out at the opera:  What is with that dude in the video anyway?  Why couldn't he be happy for the band's success???  And is he the same guy from "Love is a Battlefield" video (   Please raise your hand if you learned how to do Ms Benatar's dance in front of your bedroom mirror?  Cue me giggling at you. 

Boy the 80s were super weird.

No wonder I am happy they are back.

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