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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Best of 2013, February 2013

It would be easy to write a woe-is-me tale titled "Real Estate vs Middle Class Schlub" right about now. But do you really care that we had a contract on a new home last week and within 12 hours someone outbid us and the contract was lost?  And does it matter to you that our current home was under contract for a week or so until the prospective buyers canceled the deal yesterday?  Of course not.  That stuff happens all the time.  At least that is what people keep telling me.  Cliches have kept me standing upright the past few weeks (read:years.)  "It wasn't meant to be."  "A better house is out there."  "The timing was not right."  "Keep your chin up."  "It ain't over til it's over."

Bla.  Bla.  Bla.

That shit is played out.  Unlike this month's crop of new music that MUST be on your playlist.  Through all the blood, sweat, and tears it is the songs that keep me moving.  It is the lyrics...  It is the melodies...   It is the euphoria of a live show...  

Here is hoping you find your happy place.  Perhaps these offerings might get you there. 

Eels "Peach Blossom"  Irreverant. Genius.  Eccentric.  Mystery.  E.  Mark Oliver Everett has been at the rock game for quite some time now.  He will probably never reach the mainstream, and that most likely suits him fine.  Currently touring to promote his latest record, Wonderful, Glorious, this track is among the stand outs.  There are many.  He plays NYC's Webster Hall tomorrow evening and this blogger could not be more excited.  You either get it or you don't.  If you don't, so very sorry.

Boy "Little Numbers"  Do you like Canadian singer/songstress Feist?  If so this Swiss-German duo has a song for you.  Catchy pop number that, I can only assume is about a phone number.  Who has a seven digit phone number anymore?  We have already given this track more attention than it deserves.  Listen and enjoy.  Leave the deep thinking to Matt Pinfield and Jenny Eliscu.

Caveman "In the City"  There has not been a bigger supporter for New York act Caveman than yours truly.  Their sophomore record is set for an early spring release and their first single (which plays quite nicely live btw) captures the same mood as their incredibly underrated debut CoCo Beware.   They just set off on a North American tour and this blog cannot encourage you enough to see them on stage. Go here immediately:  Caveman

Dawes "From a Window Seat"  California band Dawes have a new record set for release in April.  Lead singer/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith borrow heavily from Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and many of the legends of 70s soft rock.  Here Goldsmith writes about a flight and how his imagination wonders.  Simple.  Silly.  So freaking good.  Look around the pop landscape and tell me who writes, sings and performs a better song these days.  

Grizzly Bear "A Simple Answer"  Oh great, another Brooklyn band.  Yawn.  Critics and the alt blogosphere absolutely love these guys.  For the longest time this blog ignored them.  They can be ignored no longer.  Better late to the party than to not have attended at all.  This track, performed live for WNYC, is a haunting masterpiece.  

Local Natives "Heavy Feet"  We head back to the West Coast for these rockers.  OK, rockers is probably strong.  Think Fleet Foxes meets The National.  Another in a long list of mood alt stars.  What can I say?  I like the soft stuff.  Hell, Caveman and Grizzly Bear are pretty darn similar too.  A little piano...  a little guitar...  a little harmony...  recipe for alt goodness I tell ya.  This is far more current too (video released just a few weeks back.)  One of those tracks that resonates long after first listen.  Go ahead, try it.

Kate Earl "One Woman Army"  OK, I said I liked the soft stuff.  Pedal steel guitar is very much included.  No idea who Kate Earl is.  No idea how old or what her background is.  She probably likes the Nashville sound and artists like Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams.  Hers is a an easy going country vibe with an eye toward the mainstream.  Is it Taylor Swift?  Not quite.  It ain't Wynonna Judd either.  It is, however, a purdy good diddy.  As my daughter might say "Dad, were you old when you were young?"

Holy Ghost "Wait and See"  A little synth mixed in won't kill ya.  Holy Ghost?  More like Holy 80s???  Danny Elfman much?  Thompson Twins?  Level 42?  The synth hook has a Knight Rider thing going for it, which is friggin awesome.  Throw on your checker board Vans, play some Pac-Man on your Coleco system, and down some Big Gulps before Mayor Bloomberg takes them away.  I think I hear some Nik Kershaw too...  "Wouldn't It Be Good???"

San Cisco "Awkward"  This whole thing is awkward.  Young Aussie kids, with a chick drummer/singer, singing about stalking.  Comic strip dialog bubbles have been replaced by IPhone text icons/emoticons.  Just plain goofy!!  But the song, the silly, sophomoric song...  it will have you tapping your toes and wanting a little more.  It is after all only 2 minutes long.  

Pacific Air "Float"  Saw these cats open for Walk the Moon last month and was not overly impressed.  This single stuck in my mind though.  It has made its way to the radio and I can see why.  The vocals are strong and the beats are groovy.  The weather HAS to be getting better soon here in the Northeast.  Listening to this song on a sun soaked Saturday sounds good right about now.

Happy listening all.  Have a terrific weekend.  Get through the Ides of March.  Smile like you mean it.

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