So this is totally the week I qualify for Jeopardy in a shimmering haze of glory. Well, I mean, I’m gonna try with this online screening on Wednesday. Can’t promise anything, but I do routinely impress the figurative pants off anyone watching it with me. Just ask my sister; it borders on abnormal. It’s like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (“What are the Finger Lakes?”) – I love that movie. Now I’ve gone and set myself up, haven’t I?
Okay…on with the music!
This song is from The Rakes‘ first EP released state-side back in October, and also on their Capture/Release full-length album. I hear that they rocked SXSW, and are getting a lot of buzz for their (albeit becoming familiar) jittery Brit-pop sound. Nothing revolutionary, but quite fun. One gal who saw them in Austin said, “Equal parts updated Blur-pop and JCrew’s autumn pullover collection, these savvy Brit rockers got the floor moving with their exuberant performances, and frontman Alan Donohoe has the best angular, nerdy dance moves since Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club.”
(White Stripes cover)
Scottish folk chanteuse/rootsy rocker KT Tunstall takes on Jack & Meg with really good results. Her thumping acoustic handclap-type guitar rock sound lends itself well to the bluesy groove of this track.
“Cold On Me”
I have been meaning to write about these chaps for months now, ever since their self-titled debut album was the unofficial soundtrack of my summer. Now, I find it hard to wrap my mind around this, but half of this duo is actually Balthazar Getty (actor, currently playing reticent, mysterious new special agent on ALIAS). Whoa. Celebrity side-project or no, I like the clean sound and the melding of the electronica beats with an appealing guitar sound – the whole debut album is eminently fresh & listenable. Their sound may remind you of the band Phoenix, and the vocals remind me a bit of E from Eels. I did hear their excellent song “Struggle” in a car commercial, but let’s ignore that. Get the album.
“It’s Just A Thought“
Creedence Clearwater Revival
I found this lesser-known Creedence track on someone’s celebrity playlist on iTunes and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. It’s honest and takes the classic Creedence sound to a bit slower, poppier level. I remember laughing when I first found it because whoever’s playlist it was on (memory failing) said “This is more ‘emo’ than anything out there today.” Ha. Fogerty as emo. It is a great song that I have listened to a hundred times since last year – it was part of my “May” playlist and it just evokes springtime for me. There’s just something deeply good about CCR. From their 1986 album Chronicle Vol. 2.
The White Birch
One of my lovely Italian readers, Fabio, sent me a bunch of good music, and said that this track by Norwegian trio White Birch reminded him of falling snow. The first thing I thought of when I listened to this hypnotic & relaxing piece was that it also reminded me of Sigur Ros, and a little of Radiohead. The restrained ambient disc Come Up For Air is their fifth release, and if you like it they have three other mp3s for free download on their website.
MOODY MONDAY BONUS (you are starting to expect these, aren’t you?!) – great Elliott Smith video (“Say Yes“) from what sadly was his last concert ever. Such a pretty song; he seems so introspective and inaccessible while he is singing it. Affecting. Thanks pal Chad!