by: Kyle Olson, KUCI Music Director
I had a huge day of going to see plays with my mom, and trips to Amoeba (and the ensuing triple-digit pricetag), and driving, and watching Mythbusters. Sadly, because I am seeing LCD Soundsystem/Y.A.C.H.T. tomorrow night, I need to do blurbs right now (though the albums will be added right after I get off work, before I leave for the concert). I am a lil’ sleepy, and totally in my jammies but this stuff needs to get DONE. (Microsoft Word just tried to change the word “jammies” to jimmies. What the hell, Microsoft Word?
Metric – Grow Up and Blow Away (Last Gang)
So, I’ll admit I’m not huge on the whole Broken Social Scene uber-band-collective. I like Stars. I like Feist. I like Do Make Say Think (pretty tangential). It sort of ends there. But, when Metric’s last album of female-fronted (Emily Haines) upbeat indie rock came out, I added it, and you guys basically charted it every week until it was too old to be a new release. So what the hell do I know?
Shearwater – Palo Santo: Expanded Edition (Matador)
Side project of two members of Okkervil River (!!). Lead singer/songwriter Will Sheff and backup vox/accordian/keyboardist Johnathan Meiburg made this band for things that are a little less…unrestrained . Softer, folkier, cozier, but still done by two dudes who specialize in songs that rip your heart out and feed it to a vampire baby wearing a cowboy hat. Holy crap. That may be the best thing I’ve ever thought up. First person to draws me a picture of a vampire baby wearing a cowboy hat gets my neverending love (until I decide otherwise).
Wooden Wand – James & the Quiet (Ecstatic Peace)
Wooden Wand’s Jackson Toth goes solo (without the Sky-High Band, or the Vanishing Voice) for his first release on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. It is rooted in folk singer-songwriter stuff, but also injects a little psychedelia and darkness like it was a heroin addict trying to get clean but “just needs a little to get through my court appearance today”. You know how it is.
The Lodger – Grown-Ups (Slumberland)
The only bands I really know off of Slumberland, other than this one, are Rocketship and the Aisler’s set. Guitar-heavy dream-pop shoegaze etc. This one SORT OF follows in those footsteps, but is generally more upbeat than either of those. Though, it is still in a total guitar-centric pop mode, these dudes probably also listened to a healthy slab of Smiths growing up in Leeds. Just…I dunno. Slam all those words I just wrote together and cram them in your earhole and maybe that is what this sounds like.
Rocky Votolato – The Brag and Cuss (Barsuk)
It’s difficult to believe that this dude is brothers with one of the singers from the Blood Brothers. They are basically musical opposites. Blood Brothers have tight-jeaned spazz-rock jamz, Rocky has mellow singer-songwriter tunes with occasional banjo. Blood Brothers has two vocalists that sound like, perhaps, something awful is happening with their genitalia (or maybe something great?), whereas Rocky has a lovely little voice. And as far as lyrics, well, Rocky has nearly NO songs about decay/sex, which comprise the entire Blood Brothers catalog (a very Eros/Thanatos band, that is). All that being said, I own nearly every Blood Brothers albums, but none by this guy. I just thought, it being on Barsuk and sounding nice and getting a lot of positive hype, you may want to hear this for yourself. Or not. Either way.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to read a bit of, and then I need to fall asleep listening to the podcast of This American Life,