I’m back from a long weekend in Philadelphia where I learned the joys of Wii, celebrated a dear friend’s 30th birthday, and helped said friend lug boxes of bricks and dumbells up the stairs of his newly purchased 300 year old home. While I can’t say for sure that those boxes of bricks and dumbells actually contained bricks and dumbells, the accumulative weight of multiple trips up a narrow stair case led me to rule out the possibility that I was helping move an origami collection. That being said, these three songs have been rocking the sound system as I rest my Wii tennis elbow and my boxes of bricks back on a lazy Monday afternoon.
“You Don’t Have to If You Don’t Want To” by Gentleman Jesse and His Men
No it’s Nick Lowe. And, no it’s not The Jam. Certainly, a song like “You Don’t Have To (If You Don’t Want To)” could have come from that moment in time when punk met new wave and power pop and birthed a new generation of rockers obsessed with hitting a perfect melody thirteen times on one piece of vinyl. Instead, it comes from modern day Atlanta and an outfit named Gentleman Jesse and His Men.
“Where Do You Run To” by Vivian Girls
Add one part Shangri-Las, one part Breeders, one part Jesus and Mary Chain, and one part unstoppable web buzz emanating from Brooklyn. Shake, do a little shimmy with your hips, and you have Vivian Girls. I’d be skeptical too, but their music is just do damn adorable.
Vivian Girls debut record sold out quickly and became one of those eBay sensations for the vinyl crowd. It will be re-released by In The Red Records this October and will be preceded by a new single, “I Can’t Stay,” also on In The Red. And if these girls needed any more cred, they can also be heard providing back up vocals on the forthcoming record by F*cked Up.
“Single Fins and Safety Pins” by Japanese Motors
If The Strokes were from California and sang songs about surf boards, bikinis, and beach parties, it would sound something like this…