24 May 2006

these are new songs that i think a girl i know might really like, if she's reading. who knows, you might like them too.

voxtrot - "soft & warm" (from the mothers, sisters, daughters & wives ep, available for purchase here.)

voxtrot reminds me of jens lekman. i think i'd get on well w/ both and there's probably a lot of overlapping in our respective record collections. also, both artists seem to have everything it takes in order to make a record i'd really really like, so i hang in there, through a lot of shit. jens has given me "black cab"; it's not until the v. last song on their second ep that voxtrot does the trick. i know, i know, voxtrot is like a b&s for tough kids b/c ramesh likes throbbing gristle, but, really, how many times has he wrecked a song w/ a line that would make even stuart murdoch slap him in the mouth? "soft & warm" is like fold your hands, child w/ peachfuzz & guitar fuzz, only unlike that album, this one is good all the way through.

the heavy blinkers - "try telling that to my baby" (from the night & i are still so young lp, available for purchase here.)

another sign, if it was needed, that canada is way ahead of the curve : this record, just released domestically this week, has been out up north since 2004. the heavy blinkers, if you've slept, are somewhere between the high llamas and architecture in helsinki--in other words, between beach boys '66 and beach boys '67, a great distance when you think about it, w/ bachrachian grace and a soupçon of the carpenters, particularly here on "try telling that to my baby." it's nominally a sad song--baby's breakin' my heart, per usual--but you'll feel so much better about everything after hearing it, your baby too.

lucky soul - "my brittle heart" (from the new british invasion lp, import available for purchase here.)

this is one of those songs make life worth living to me. i don't know if it's possible to test this, though we live in a scientific age, but i'm sure that the spring in my step is quantifiably greater when listening to a record like "my brittle heart." you might think "pipettes" on first listen, all spectorian immensity and shoop shoops & honey honeys, but i think lucky soul would rather much be the new saint etienne, which is a fine dream. fine, too, are the dreams lucky soul inspires in my own brittle heart.

islands - "rough gem" (from the return to the sea lp, available for purchase here.)

have you ever gone somewhere and seen a couple having an annoying amount of fun? out in the world but in a world of their own? "rough gem" is what it's like to be in that couple, to be on the inside. i'll tell you, i really hated the unicorns, a feeling which seemed tantamount to me to drawing a line in the sand as to how far i'd get into indie rock. and i really kinda hate most of this album ... oh, but "rough gem" is a brilliant synthesis of the organic & the synthetic! former unicorns, your aggravating self-awareness is wholly otm here! like lucky soul, this song makes me feel giddy & gleeful, only it also makes me conscious that others might be watching.

the lodger - "let her go" (from the let her go 7", import available for purchase here.)

"it's a surprise to get the prize that you don't think that you deserve"--sound like anyone you know? a "friend" maybe? read on.

the lodger are nearing new favorite band forever status, what w/ "let her go," their third tremendous release in a row--and another ace release from angular records. ("you got me wrong" is still the pinnacle, which you can download from their site.) the lodger would have been right at home on c86, sounding like a punchier june brides, but are doing just fine, thank you, as leaders of c06. the trumpet bolstering the chorus melody just does it for me, as trumpets usually do. (vide fariña, belle & sebastian, calexico, love, miles davis, &c.)

danielson - "did i step on your trumpet?" (from the ships lp, available for purchase here.)

... and speaking of trumpets. i know he graduated from the state university of new jersey, but i just don't tend to get on well w/ daniel smith. but here he's brought along some pals, like steve albini, members of serena-maneesh, why?, half-handed cloud, and of course sufjan stevens. (how many times have i mentioned that name this week? how is he ever going to get the fifty states thing done at this rate?) and i'll be damned if this doesn't sound like the greatest bit schoolhouse rock never produced : a big chorus, a cartoonish vocal, a bunch of schoolkids repeating the important parts. names are put on ballots, sonnets are discussed, yes, this is all v. well & good, but what's the underlying lesson? the (artistic) value of having good friends.

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