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Friday, July 15, 2011

Songs of Summer and the Letter "D"

Saddened this morning to see record crowds littering NYC to watch Chris Brown perform on the Today Show.  Now, get on me all you like about watching the Today Show;  but it is the living, breathing microcosm of American culture.  Having said that, I am hating American culture.

It is obsessed with scandal and celebrity gossip, disnterested in political change, overly concerned with reality tv and worst of all musically challenged.

Does anyone remember Chris Brown smacked Rhianna up a mere two years ago?  More imporantly, does anyone know ANY song he sings???  I urge you to boycott everything he does and remember once a woman beater, always a woman beater.  There are plenty of better choices on the dial these days.  And for the most part the musicians I favor tend to abuse themselves, not others.  Let's be honest, that is what rock and roll is all about.

On to the hits:

Alexander; "A Million Years"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUnXgucl748  Real name Alex Ebert, and frontman of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  Trippy LA Jesus figure who spins groovy tunes without the slightest bit of pretension.  Now if only I could write like that.

I mentioned A Silent Film a few weeks back.  Another throw back to the 80s band clearly having fun.  "You Will Leave a Mark" is neither new or groundbreaking.  But it has that certain Loudon Swain meets Ducky feel.  Maybe you will agree:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7xv8ruOUDs

Eyes Be Closed; "Washed Out"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwxK2QsMKeU  Here is one for you Moby/Chill fans.  One guy, Ernest Greene, from rural Georgia.  A keyboard and some additional production techniques.  This is the first track from his debut album.  Great stuff to vedge too or, in this case, write over.  It is so similar to Moby's "Porcelian."  If you are going to be influenced and pay homage you could do a lot worse.

Portugal the Man; "People Say"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGDQOECShw8  Something from Wasilla, Alaska that might not nauseate you.  Guitar driven rock with a blues and pop foundation.  I have heard Oasis meets Black Crowes.  You be the judge.

Dead American Writers;  "Tired Pony" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxaGJNihf28  Some research into the band suggests there are members from Snow Patrol, Belle and Sebastian and REM involved.  A nerdy supergroup!!!  Yeah!  This is the first track from their debut project.

Finally, since I will be seeing them later tonight, Gomez; "Options"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFeIW_6PCe8  English rockers have been doing it for years...  and doing it well.  There have been pop duds and misses in recent years, but the harmonies, humor and sound remain strong.  Tonight, over 10 years since we first saw them at TLA, we look for the same spark that ignited all those years ago.  I could do a whole column on how good these guys are.  Until then, take a look at these classics:

"Get Miles"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPs9BsJPEcQ  Would love them to open with this tonight.
"Shot Shot" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtwX9Bmsob8
"78 Stone Wobble" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWThwfAfLf0

Will review show for sure.  TLA and Philly 2 of my favorite things.  Looking forward to it.

The Letter D:

I went a bit long on the new music so I will try to keep this brief (fat chance.)

The Dandy Warhols' 2000 album 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia was a masterpiece.  Full of hip beats and witty lyrics, the Portland band made its mark on the Alt landscape.  They have recorded several albums since, but these tracks from many years ago still stand out: 

"Bohemian Like You" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-GRlWPWRfE
"Godless" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l5kQWjhyeg  In a word, awesome!!!

The Doves came along in the late 90s when English bands like Oasis and Gomez were making more waves.  A shame really, because these guys rock too.  Guitar driven goodness with an eye on melody.

Works Cited:  "Catch the Sun" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Robe6lv0sI0&feature=related  The song that first caught my attention.  The guitar solo(s) are remarkably catchy.

"There Goes the Fear" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERulrmjfucc   Reminds me of rocking my infant daughter to sleep.  No way she was listening to Baby Einstein on my watch!!!

"Words"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHjfg9K2CPI  Amazing and inspiring.

Dresden Dolls; "Sing" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XUjIXX2j6Y  Goth poetry with a heart.   Lots of bands have songs called "Sing" including Travis (another one of my favorites.)  This is the best of the them.  Try not to open your wrists.  It is actually supposed to inspire.

With that I move on with my day.  As 11am approaches my daughter has awakened from a looonnng sleep.  Probably should feed and water her.  Enjoy the weekend all and remember to follow me on twitter: suburbandad23 and you could friend me on Facebook too (if you can find me:  no hints)




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