RIYL: The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre
There’s much to be said for a band like the Purrs, with ten years together and six solid releases under its belt. They might not be household names, but they’ve never compromised their music to raise their profile. This is where the music comes out ahead, and Tearing Down Paisley Garden is yet another winner.
At seven songs, Paisley is not quite an EP, though had it been released in 1972, it still might have been considered a full-length album. And then, looking at the makeup of the songs themselves, Paisley could even be called an “odds and ends” kind of collection. “Only Dreaming” and “I Move Around” are covers of songs by ’80s goth rockers Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and the late Nancy Sinatra collaborator Lee Hazlewood, respectively. And “Just a Little More” and “It Could Be So Wonderful” are new recordings of old songs, which explains the oddly out of time reference to “the president” in the former.
In spite of what could easily have been a set-up for a major bomb, Paisley plays like a strikingly cohesive collection, exhibiting all the Purrs trademarks – Jason Milne’s cutting lead guitar lines, Jima’s lackadaisically cool detachment and sarcastic wit, and that reverb-laden, psychedelic shoegazey sound married to seasoned pop songcraft. If there’s anything different about the Purrs this time around, it’s a subtle but noticeable uptick in their mood compared to last year’s excellent Amused, Confused and More Bad News that comes through even in a downer like “I’m Slipping” – which in this case keeps a song about sexual transgressions against a friend from devolving into a pity party. And in the case of the disc’s closing tune, “Always Something In My Way,” the title ends up coming across less as a complaint and more as a celebration of the challenges that would crush a lesser person. Clearly, these Seattle stalwarts are having more fun than ever, which is exactly how a good rock record should sound. (self released 2010)
That one came really fast and it was another one of those that was sort of like, “I’ll just throw down and idea. It probably isn’t going to work.” But once I sang that chorus the first time and got it on tape, I kind of knew it was going to be a good one.
According to Last.fm, this is easily the most played song in the Spoon catalog and it’s certainly one of the catchiest. In that interview, Daniel said it was one of the most “immediate” of the band’s songs. This Kill the Moonlight track put the band on my radar, and was prelude to the brilliance on display on their next album, Gimme Fiction.
“Last Nite” was the Strokes’ biggest hit of the ’00s, as it hit #5 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart and put the band on the map nationwide.
Does the opening riff seem familiar? From the song’s wiki page:
The guitar riff that begins the song is similar to the intro of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ “American Girl”. In a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone, Tom Petty said “The Strokes took ‘American Girl’ [for their song “Last Nite”], and I saw an interview with them where they actually admitted it. That made me laugh out loud. I was like, ‘OK, good for you.’ It doesn’t bother me.”
British music magazine NME placed Is This It in first place in their list of the albums of the decade. Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas said of the award: “It’s totally crazy! I don’t know what that means. Does it mean it’s a good musical decade or a bad musical decade? I don’t know, I’m such a bad judge of my own stuff. But I thought it was great when I heard. Recording the album was fun, it was stressing, it was exciting. I think if I was to know then that I’d be having this conversation now I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m restraining myself now, I don’t want to get carried away, but I’m pretty damn psyched with myself. Mental high five!”
It’s funny that this was not the first single released off of Is This It, but I guess “Hard to Explain” is pretty damn catchy too.
The Trashcan Sinatras – People
I love the Trashcan Sinatras. I’m not sure when they went from the Trash Can Sinatras to the Trashcan Sinatras, but oh well, but I’m guessing someone at SPINart fucked it up when putting the artwork for Weightlifting together. Anyway, they’re a fabulous bunch of guys, and God love them for sticking with it after all these years of relative obscurity. This is the first single from their new album In the Music, and it’s another smoove slice of literate jangle pop. If you like this, you should know that the rest of the album is even better.
Kathryn Calder – Slip Away
The newest member of the New Pornographers (she’s lead singer Carl Newman’s niece, and she joined during the sessions for Twin Cinema), Calder is picking a curious time to release a solo album, since she’s tied up with touring with the New Porns for the summer. But one listen to this track from the album Are You My Mother?, due out in August, shows that perhaps Carl and Dan should bring her to the writing table, because I’ll take this over anything on the last New Pornographers album any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Donn T – Look At
Two words: Female Kenna. If that doesn’t immediate ring a couple bells, then I have one word for you: Kenna.
See Green – I Can Change
Well, that didn’t take long. Courtenay Green, who’s fast becoming a regular in these parts, covered “I Can Change” from LCD Soundsystem’s new album This Is Happening. Man, is James Murphy the new Neil Young, where his songs sound infinitely better when covered by other people?
La Roux – Bulletproof (Hyper Crush remix)
Armed with a bass line that will set off car alarms, this mix of La Roux’s “Bulletproof” is totally ADD madness, but it’s cool. And I still haven’t grown tired of that Macintosh voice program.
Clubfeet – Teenage Suicide
If you’re anything like me, you saw that title and immediately sang the words ‘Don’t do it’ in your head, since that was the name of the hit song the DJ played in the movie “Heathers.” Well sure enough, immediately after the breathy male lead sings “Teenage suicide,” two girls shout, “Don’t do it!” Bonus points for reading my mind.