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Friday, June 28, 2013

Best of June, 2013

Caveman, MHOW 6.21.13

The summer has finally arrived and that brings both elation and deep depression around these parts.   The warm weather is appealing.   Fresh fruit, farmers markets, baseball games, beach, outdoor concerts, no homework, etc...  are all welcome round here.  Driving our only child to Canada for her month long camp are things we could do without.

Lots of quiet days in these parts the next few weeks.  It is amazing what one 11 year old can add to a household.  There will be no sporting events.  The lawn chairs can go back in the garage.  Sun block will only be used pool side, not on softball diamonds.  Saturday afternoons can be spent in one zip code.  Sundays too!

Food takes on a whole different meaning too.  With three different schedules and appetites, it is common to have three dinners (at varying times.)  That is, if we are not all having frozen yogurt for dinner.   Dinners can be manipulated a bit, and likely coordinated with one less mouth to feed.  That little mouth eats all friggin day.

We can grab some adult drama on the tv too.  Since when did her bedtime come after 10pm?  How many food competition or talent shows are there?  Ask me!   Oh, and Storage Shopping American Picker Duck Hoarders Intervention Wars are in my wheelhouse too.  Wait, we can't watch Hoarders anymore because it gives her nightmares.   But you get the point.  She ain't watching The Newsroom with us.  She tolerates CBS Sunday Morning, and less so 60 Minutes.  Maybe we can get back in the pop culture swing of things.  Hell I would even watch an episode of the absurdly overrated True Blood.

It's weird though.  She should be in her room goofing around on her computer or chatting with friends. She should be shooting hoops in our mess of a driveway.  She should be bitching at me for making the wrong chicken nuggets.  She should be controlling the remote.  And damn it she should be feeding her damn fish.

But most importantly we should be hearing her laugh, seeing her smile, and taking in all of her goodness.

Maybe next summer.  And we still have all of August.  For now things will be a little odd around here. Empty nesters if you will.  Hopefully we make a few concerts.  There will certainly be loads of work.  It will all disappear in the blink of an eye.  The only hope is she has the time of her life, and we don't lose our minds.

Music might need to save the day.  This summer follows an already stellar year with a great selection of songs.  Below please find this months crop.  Happy Listening and enjoy the summer!!!

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros "Better Days"  Alex Ebert is the ring master of this left coast band of hippies and misfits.  It's a little bit like 70s Elvis with its pop-gospel sound.  Nothing more than a feel good diddy about the power of hope and need for happiness.

Eleanor Friedberger "She's A Mirror"  Chicago based singer/songwriter with catchy hooks and a pretty, unique voice.  This track steals the bass line from Hall and Oates "Maneater."  But what it lacks in saxophone, it more than makes up for with spunk and fun.  Her new record comes out soon.

Alpine "Gasoline" Australian synth pop group who absolutely shine with this dreamy, flowing master work.  Their debut record, A is for Alpine, was released last month.  They are huge in down under and might very well be the next big thing on these shores.  This song, and the eye catching video, are addictive.  Be warned.

Portugal, The Man "Evil Friends"  Alaskan band, and the best thing to come from Wasilia.  Wonder if they saw Russia from their kitchens?  They are back with another record and this single sounds like a big departure from their last effort.  Granted, the falsetto is still there.  This is garage rock with a glaring nod toward 60s mod and surf rock.  It may be different, but it rocks.

Pure Bathing Culture "Pendulum"  Portland, OR based synth pop.  Their debut record, Moon Tides, will be available in August.  Rainy day music to say the least.  Soft, soft, and more soft.  Your happiest dreams say this song is too sweet.

Surfer Blood "Demon Dance"  Alt rockers from, wait, what?  Florida?  That you do not hear a lot of.  West Palm Beach by way of Orlando these guys released their sophomore record, Pythons, in April.  They have a Weezer-esque thing going for them and rely more on guitars then the other acts on this list.  Maybe their sound is more Nada Surf?  You get the drift.  Synths are absent.

Temples "Shelter Song"  Young English kids who clearly heard the Beatles Revolver once or twice in their day.  More garage rock with some more than subtle references all things 1960.  The Mods are back folks!

Dead in Your Head "Bleached"  LA act with a very Waitresses feel.  Pat Benatar meets the Go Go's with some Bananarama playing in the background.  80s vibe throughout with enough hooks to keep you smiling.

MNDR "Faster Horses"  Only here because the video is totally bizarre.  It's club music with a chorus that doesn't annoy.  But its the visuals from this NY act that compel.  Dare you to look away.  David Lynch scratches his head at this.

Rogue Wave "College" Alt rock from Oakland, California.  More of the floor tom, soft surf resurgence in play here.  Real Estate, Local Natives, Grizzly Bear are all bands that come to mind listening to this feel good song about those 4 (or sometimes more) years after high school.  Oh what I wouldn't do to get back there and tell that kid to have a better idea of what you want to do when you grow up.

40, fat and stupid is no way to go through life.

Until next month folks.  Please enjoy the summer.

For the record the photo of Caveman is to remind you that they are amazing and you should download both of their records and see them live.  They played two nights in NYC last weekend and once again displayed depth, richness and complexity to all their tunes.  They may have the best vibe going right now (opening for Ra Ra Riot in the fall.)  Kindly GET ON BOARD!

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