Play Me: “Real Maths/Too Much” by The Gotobeds
2014 saw Pittsburgh's finest, The Gotobeds, release the best album of slop punk and pop junk recorded in years. It was a masterpiece of biting one-liners and unexpected ear worms. To this day, I can't set foot in The City without the line, "New York's alright if you can get your dick sucked," playing round my head on repeat. Out on Gerald Cosloy's 12XU Records, Poor People Are Revolting, may not have gotten the attention it deserved, but it caught the right ears, as their followup, Blood/Sugar/Secs/Traffic is slated for a June 10th release on the venerable indie label, Sub Pop.
Rad Jam Wednesday with Car Seat Headrest, Nothing, White Lung, and The Liminanas
Why didn't anyone tell me Car Seat Headrest shreds? Fans of the Cloud Nothings' heavy era and Built to Spill will be asking themselves the same question once they play, "Vincent," the first single from the band's upcoming, second album on Matador Records.
Jam On It! New Jams by Cat’s Eyes, Yuck, and Purling Hiss
Why doesn't anyone make lists on the internet any more? Here's a list, a list of some of my favorite downers in rock:
Nick Cave, Elliot Smith, Robert Smith of The Cure, Spiritualized's J Spaceman, Faris Badwan of The Horrors and Cat's Eyes.
Faris who? I feel like I say this every time I write about the Horrors, but Badwan's post-punk downer band, The Horrors, have been criminally overlooked here in the States release after release. 2009's Primary Colors should have been album of the year, everyone's album of the year. Hell, I don't know if it was even my album of the year. Someone google that. What I'm getting at, is that this man, here paired with the classically trained Rachel Zeffira, is capable of stop your heart and drop moments.
The Rockometer: High by Royal Headache
If musicians were subject to rules of an NFL-style draft, Royal Headache's vocalist, a man who goes by the name Shogun, would be a first round pick. His voice has the wear of a life that hasn't always been an easy one to live. He's got soul. He's got effortless range. If he came in the age in the late '60s he could have fronted the Faces. In the '70s it would have been The Nerves or The Jam. And, if he came of age in the '80s, and really, really liked his booze, he could slide right into an outfit like the Replacements. In the grunge era, he would have sung like he had marbles in his mouth. Let's be glad Shogun is not active in 1995, but in 2015, where he sounds right at home in this scrappy four-piece, garage band from Sydney.
Top Jam: “Carolina” by Royal Headache
From the first time I heard Royal Headache's lead singer, Shogun, open his mighty pipes I've contended he's a star, as in network TV performances, gossip mags and paparazzi, trapped in an indie-rockers body. Dude has a classic, soulful and scruffy voice like Rod Stewart, and in the right setting, like, say this video for the mid-tempo strummer, "Carolina," from the band's new album, High, out this Friday, it positively stuns.
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.
Watch Me: “Ong Ong” by Blur
There's a Blur review of their new album, The Magic Whip, sitting unfinished in draft. It exists, much like The Magic Whip exists. Really, the only thing I can say about The Magic Whip is that it exists. It's not about to replace Parklife as everyone's favorite Blur album. It won't inspire new listeners to explore Blur's back catalog. Neither, is it an embarrassment. It's mature, idiosyncratic melodies exist in a state of blah.
Play Me: “Deeper Into Movies (Remake)” and “Automatic Doom” by Yo La Tengo
The tea leaves said something was up with Yo La Tengo. Recently the band played a surprise show by alter ego, Condo Fucks, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the NYC venue, The Cake Shop. You know Yo La Tengo, always playful and always challenging expectations, it could have been a one off. But I had suspected something else was up. Maybe a new Condo Fucks album was in the works? I was almost right. There is a new Yo La Tengo album (Stuff Like That There) on the way and it's a nod to their 1990 album of (mostly) covers, Fakebook, but as the two preview tracks show it's more in the folk vein, then the gnarly garage rock of Condo Fucks.