August 21, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

Oh, my good heavens. I’ve found your new favorite website: The Museum of Kitschy Stitches. It is a collection of unspeakably awful sweaters knitted during the height of bad, bad, bad fashion in the ’70s and ’80s, combined with snarky commentary. You will marvel at what passed as acceptable to wear outside the home (PS – There’s a book too).

My dear sweet lord, it’s handicrafts gone wrong.

You could imagine yourself snuggling into one of these bad boy confections while you listen to these great songs for the week:

Long Day
The Bittersweets
I have been singing this all weekend. It feels somehow instantly familiar when you hear it, warm and rich and lovely. Fronted by confidently honey-voiced Hannah Prater, this track has a rolling alt-country feel with the wistful slide guitar. The Bittersweets hail from Oakland, California, and have found that elusive perfect band name that captures the mood of their music. If their name sounds familiar, I had also mentioned them last week in conjunction with the show they played in San Francisco with Ryan Auffenberg (who, judging from the emails I received, you guys LOVED). The Bittersweets guest in several places on Auffenberg’s new CD, so if you liked him (of course you did) check out The Bittersweets’ disc The Life You Always Wanted (2006, Virt Records). They’ve got a few California shows coming up, including one opening for Roseanne Cash.

Key Of C
Jim Noir
This song is found on the same Tower of Love album as that catchy “Eanie Meany” song used in the World Cup Adidas commercials. Jim Noir is from Manchester (UK) and I think I am going to seek out the album (which was just released on Barsuk in the US), as I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. This song blends a pleasant ’60s pop sound with a slightly distorted melody and some electronica elements. Plus, you’ve gotta give some props to the fact that this is basically a love ballad to a musical note (the aforementioned C). Quirky, feel-good tune.

She Falls Away
Andy Mac
This is a MySpace discovery for me; the piano intro starts out slow, but when the beat kicks in, the channeling of John Davis from Superdrag immediately begins as well. This is a very good thing. Andy Mac is from Buffalo, New York and has been a musician all his life. After sharing stage time with Duncan Sheik and other artists, he struck out on his own with his Music For A Bright Moon Sky album in 2005 (More mp3s are on the Not Lame Records website). It’s an album full of well-crafted pop, catchy arrangements, and lush harmonies.

Distortions (Clinic cover)
Chris Walla
Stereogum has had a bunch of good songs up on their site lately, including this new tune from Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, recorded two weeks ago at his house. It’s a cover of a Clinic song, and since I am not familiar with the original, I think I will go find it. Some people familiar with the Clinic version say that this sucks. But I actually like it with its slow build, driving beat, and double-tracked harmonies. Read about Walla’s new solo efforts here, forthcoming from Barsuk, and suggest a band name for his endeavors. Right now the front runners seem to be “Dishwalla” (yuk, yuk, yuk) and, my favorite, “Walla Walla Bing Bang” (someone call the witch doctor).

The Perfect Crime
The Decemberists
So basically the whole new Decemberists album The Crane Wife is floating out there in advance of the October release date. I’ve only heard a few songs, but I really like this one. Upbeat, almost danceable, but still agreeably idiosyncratic due to the warble of Colin Meloy’s voice and the creative range of instruments that the Decemberists like to bust out.

Now I feel like knitting something for some inexplicable reason.

5 Comments »

  • what a hideous-kinky knitting retrospective! (the music’s great too…) but this yarn thing is hilarious. I *had* to share it with my knitting group.

    ali — August 21, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

  • Oh that Key of C song is absolutely fabulous! Completely brightened my day, or evening, as it were.

    Brianna — August 21, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

  • Yes, Key of C is fab!!!

    k — August 22, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

  • I’m liking Andy Mac, thanks!

    Natalie — August 22, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

  • Knitting can be damn funny. I learned a new term for the male camel-toe, …wait for it….

    The Mooseknuckle

    Oh, I laughed until I cried! You gotta see this.

    Anonymous — August 23, 2006 @ 9:54 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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