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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sounds of Summer, Part 4 (Road Trip Edition)

As stated in the previous post (Been Around the World)  I spent enough time in a car this summer to last a lifetime, or at least a few summers.  NYC to Toronto.  Toronto to NYC via Niagara Falls.  NYC to Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh to NYC via Elysburg, PA (you know what's there, right??)  And lastly Hilton Head, SC to NYC via Charlotte, Roanoke, Harrisburg, Easton, PA.  14 1/2 glorious hours in the car.  And without SiriusXM it would have been an out and out disaster.  Hertz sells the service for $2.50 a day.  How could you go wrong?  How is their stock so low?  Why doesn't everyone in America have this service?  $15 bucks a month is pissed away on far less.

Priorities, right?

In any event, the soundtrack to Interstate Summer 2012 gave plenty of smiles, rocked, and rolled.

What was your favorite track?  Best live show?  Album?  New Artist?

Here are some of my late summer highlights from the summer that was.  Bring on the cold weather and bad reality singing contests!  We will still be here posting stuff slightly off the mainstream rader.

Passion Pit "Take a Walk"  The second LP from Massachusetts electro-pop master Michael Angelakos, Gossamer, is a smart, funny album filled with catchy hooks.  Nowhere is that more apparent than this diddy about finance, marital relations and the overall state of the various unions.  Politics aside I could sing along with the refrain for hours...  as evidenced by the 14 1/2 hour drive ^.

Scissor Sisters "Only the Horses"  Another feel good, toe tapping dance track that does not get near enough airplay.  If this song is not on Glee this season than they have entirely too many straight folks on the writing staff.  Love, love, love this song!

Of Monsters and Men "Mountain Sound"  Another song that enters into your bloodstream and spills out of every pore.  Sing along.  Stomp feet. Smile.  These Icelandic kids are easy to root for and, as this clip demonstrates, kill it live.  Feel free to fast forward to the one minute mark (to avoid the pre song banter.)

The Head and The Heart "Rivers and Roads"  Is it gospel?  Folk?  Alt?  Country?  Whatever.  It is beautiful.  A clinic in simple songwriting and pitch perfect execution.   Something to be said for a Seattle band playing in a Seattle setting.  Go Seahawks!!!  And by the way, Live on KEXP  is a wonderful resource for live music on the interweb.  Do check it out:  KEXP is cool

Brandi Carlile "Raise Hell"  This little spitfire kicks so much ass it's hard to put it into words.  Hence this clip you MUST check out!!  A voice like this comes around about once in never.  A more underrated singer/songwriter walking this the Earth I know not.

Dawes "If I Wanted Someone"  LA based Dawes are an amalgam of a lot of the acts listed above.  Or perhaps those other bands are more an amalgam of Dawes.  Folk.  Rock.  And brilliant lyrics and exceptional chops from front man Taylor Goldsmith.  "If I wanted someone to clean me up I'd find myself a maid/If I wanted someone to spend my money I wouldn't need to get paid/If I wanted someone to cut me down I'd a handed you the blade."  You don't get much better.  Here the song is performed live from Bonnaroo earlier this summer.

Walk the Moon "Next In Line"  These Ohio kids scored big with their smash "Anna Sun."  This track from their debut record happens to be my personal favorite.  Oh young love... how sweet and naive.  "Won't you stay shotgun until the day I die?" singer Nicholas Pitricca exclaims in this fast paced and synth laced dance number.  I liken them to Foster the People, 2011's band du jour.  It will be interesting to see what both bands do for an encore.

The Killers "Runaways"  Brandon Flowers can flat out write, sing, and implant a hook deep into your brain.  You swear you have heard this beat somewhere before?  Was it a Bruce song?  Hooters?  Tom Petty?  Yaz?  Everything these days is borrowed from source material.  Are we even capable of original thought anymore??  That is open for debate.  The Killers making seriously infectious tunes is not.

Keane "Silenced by the Night"  It's easy to compare East Sussex, England's Keane to The Killers.  More specifically lead singer Tom Chaplin is very similar to Brandon Flowers.  Soft, soothing lyrics transform into aggressive, yet restrained power vocals.  The mood and tempo of their works lean heavily on pop ballads, but present modern twists.  A whole lotta words but the simple truth is they have a good beat and you can dance to them.

Tennis "Petition"  It's US Open time in Flushing, NY.  But wait, Roddick retired, Nadal is "hurt", Federer lost and who knows (read: cares) what is going on with the ladies.  Is Monica Seles still around?  Well here is some quality Tennis...  take a stab at it.  see what I did there ;-)

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