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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Too Early for Best of 2013?

Mark Oliver Everett.  A Man called E
This January has felt, in many ways, like the better part of a year.  There has been a lot of times spent in sick beds, gyms and cars.  The good news is plenty of music has entered my mind.  2013 is shaping up to be another terrific year in music.  Ther are records from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Strokes, Dawes, Eels and Caveman among several others expected to arrive soon.  This on the heels of new Tegan and Sara, Joy Formidable and Lisa Loeb that are already on record store shelves today.  OK, Lisa Loeb might be a stretch.  Same goes for record stores, eh?

In an effort to eliminate the mad rush at the end of the year this blog will attempt to list 10 or so tracks every month that should be on your portable MP3 player.  What, you still listen to cd's?  Then how the hell did you end up here?

In no particular order here we go.  Full disclosure:  Some of these songs/albums were released last year.  Let's not get all critical on the timeline, um k?  I am a 40 year old married father who works full time, takes care of a 10 year old, and coaches a youth sports team.  I think I do pretty darn good keeping up with the Hipsters.

Foxygen "San Francisco"  West coaster Jonathan Rado is said to be fascinated with the Brian Jonestown massacre.  The band of course, not the Jim Jones massacre that band stole its name from.  Either way we will not hold any of that against him and his pop/psychedelic outfit with its own tricky name.  Dreamy pop inspired by all those things listed among others.

Pinback "True North"  San Diego indie rock from this act that has been recording since 1998.  For fans of Grizzly Bear and any other of the new surf, dream pop that has flooded (pun intended) the indie airwaves for the past few years now.

Tegan and Sara "Closer"  Calgary identical twins who have really taken off.  When it was announced they were headlining not one, but two shows at NYC's Beacon Theatre it was a bit surprising.  That is where the Allman Brothers play??!!  This song is a pure delight and these kids seem to be ready for that stage and many like them.

Lord Huron "Time to Run"  Another California act on this list.  Coincidence?  Another psych rock act too.  They will be playing 2 nights late in February at Brooklyn Bowl.  If you have not a) gone to that venue or b) heard this act, you should c) do yourself a favor and do both!

Divine Fits "Would That Not Be Nice"  You like Spoon do you?  Lead singer Britt Daniel is the voice behind Divine Fits and that is a very good thing.  Groovy is the easiest way to describe this track.

Ra Ra Riot "Beta Love"  Syracuse, NY rock/dance/pop act who just released their third record last week.  It shares its name with the track listed here.  There will undoubtably be Passion Pit comparisons and that is fair.

Eels "New Alphabet"  E is back with a new LP Wonderful Glorious and more importantly a corresponding tour (which lands in NYC 3.1.13.)  Fans of this blog know that his importance can not be understated on the indie music scene.  He is all things to everyone.  Or, at least, he is to this author.  A more important rock and roll songwriter, performer and man does not exist over the past 20 years.  Case closed.

Titus Andronicus "In a Big City"  These kids from New Jersey are fond of covering the Stones.  They have a great sense of humor and are self deprecating.  Oh, and they make wonderful music themselves. This is the single with the most legs from last years acclaimed record Local Business.  Their band name will serve as the first Shakespeare reference in this post.

Youth Lagoon "Dropla"  San Diego's Trevor Powers is the man behind the weird name.  His music is dreamy and soft as evidenced by his breakout 2011 record The Year of Hibernation.  A new record is forthcoming and this is the first single.  Hope you dig it as much as I do.

Papa "Put Me To Work"  Gee Whiz!!  Another LA band.  That makes 5 out of 10 on this list.  Note, E from Eels spends a lot of time out there too.  Just when I want to hate California more they go and bring these talented acts and songs.  Anyway, not much on these kids other than a pretty rocking tune.  Enjoy it and all the rest.

What have I missed?  What are you listening to that has you excited?  Anything you cannot wait to hear?  Share the knowledge, spread the wealth, and keep on listening/reading/smiling.

Honorable Mention:

Taylor Swift "I Knew You Were Trouble"  Ms Swift is the butt of many jokes.  She dates too much.  She breaks up too much.  She is "never, ever, ever" gonna get back together with any of the long list of guys.  But like Rhianna's "Diamonds" this track is hard to dislike.  The video is easy to hate.  A more pretentious opening you will not find!  The dialogue makes the exchange Paula Abdul and Keanu Reeves shared in "Rush, Rush" sound like the Shakespeare.  She is the reigning pop princess and this is her crowning achievement, for now.  Long live pop.

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