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Watch Me: “Friday I’m In Love” by Yo La Tengo

Beautiful, simply beautiful. No, not that part about the apocalypse happening in the background as Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley calmly strolls through her neighborhood whispering a joyful song. I wouldn't wish the apocalypse on anyone. Yo La Tengo's cover of The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love" is beautiful as its stripped down to its basics -- A light, uplifting melody supported by patient, thoughtful strums.
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Play Me: “Why Does It Shake” by Protomartyr

Got a few extra minutes? Check this new jam by Detroit post-punk survivors/saviors, Protomartyr. It's as intelligent and as fierce as anything the quartet has released to date, punctuated with a dancefloor-ready beat and guitars like shrapnel.
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Play Me: “Two Urns (Radio Edit)” by Windhand

How in hell's infernal blazes to they get all that heft to fit on those blasted bits? It's a fair question to ask when pondering Virginia heavies, Windhand. Sunn O))) rivals Windhand in heavy, but Sunn O))) are slow and heavy, working with overwhelmingly black canvases, getting the most out of small variations in black, from total black to blackest ever black. Windhand actually, move, slowly, with measured, purposeful steps. And, not only do they move, vocalist Dorthia Cottrell does wonders with her voice that is one part enchantress (think psychedelic folk artist, Jesse Sykes), and one part cursed (here, your comparison would be long-passed grunge icon Layne Stayley). Time and again, I ask myself how do Windhand do it? You hear echoes of their work in grunge, metal and modern doom, but no one is quite like Windhind. So instead of contemplating physics and the bounds of modern electronics, I just sit and listen and take it all in. What a beautiful heavy!
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Watch Me: “Gunga Din” by The Libertines

So, hey, this new Libertines album is actually happening. The lads stayed sober enough to write, record, and even shoot a promotional clip for the first single, "Gunga Din." This is all good, promising stuff, and even more promising when you click play below. "Gunga Din," begins with a bottomed out shuffle of second-wave ska, recalling The Specials' "Ghost Town," more in spiritual manner than in a literal, note for note way. But instead of sulking about the streets, struggling to stay on their feet, as Libertines are wont to do, Pete Doherty and the boys perk up, rip shit up and turn this downer into a boisterous pub anthem.
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New Jam City: New Jams by Blank Realm, Deaf Wish, Le Butcherettes, Nervosas, and Pleasure Leftists

Brisbane, Australia's Blank Realm have always had a gift for classically-styled new wave and punk melodies. It's just that they also have a mischievous, almost destructive side, anxious to wreck those perfect melodies with feedback and screech and all manners of playful fuckery. "River of Longing" cleans the process up considerably. The vocals are right out there, in the front of the mix, and all that wonderful fuckery bides its time in the background, waiting for the right moment to erupt. The right moment being that gloriously cacophonous ending.
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The Rockometer: Feels Like by Bully

In a recent interview with Humanity Magazine, quoted by Rolling Stone, '90s rock goddess, Courtney Love lamented the sad state of women in mainstream alternative rock. "I'm the last chick on alternative radio that they’ll play, and it’s really kind of stupid," she said. Bully's Alicia Bognanno has something to say about women in rock, too. Her band's debut album, Feels Like, is an adrenaline fueled trip down memory lane to a time that really isn't that too far in the past when the original Riot Girls inspired '90s chart toppers like Hole, L7, and, um, Lisa Loeb. No really, listen to Bognanno and one moment she shows all the vulnerability of a first-timer at open mic night, like a Lisa Loeb, and the next moment she's raging like Courtney Love, born and bred in the seedier spots of the rock scene.
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The Rockometer: Success by KEN Mode

Success, the sixth album by Winnipeg noise-rockers, KEN Mode, is not a happy album. Look at the cover. Dude is down as down can get, and that's cool. Not everyone can make lemonade out of lemons, as they say. Some prefer to wade in life's shit canal with a fifth of cheap liquor and a full pack of smokes. We won't judge KEN Mode for preferring the shit canal over a lemonade stand, especially not when their low end, post-hardcore rumble proves such an apt compliment for a man's litany of grievances.
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Play Me: “Starved For” by Strange Wilds

There's nothing fancy, or particularly strange, about "Starved For," by the Olympia, Washington power trio, Strange Wilds, and, that's exactly what makes it so enjoyable. Their plug-in, rock out attitude can be traced back to the '90s and bands like Mudhoney and Seaweed, and even contemporary neighbors like Milk Music. Clocking in at just under three minutes, the bullshit-free "Starved For," has enough time for some good licks and some good shouts. Give me ten more tracks like this one and I'll be a happy man.
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