Start the week off right with some satire, courtesy of The Onion in their article History of Rock Written By The Losers:
“BOSTONâ€”Fifty years after its inception, rock ‘n’ roll music remains popular due to the ardor of its fans and the hard work of musicians, producers, and concert promoters. But in the vast universe of popular music, there exists an oft-overlooked group of dedicated individuals who devote their ample free time to collecting, debating, and publishing the minutiae of the rock genre. They are the losers who write rock’s rich and storied history.” [full article here]
Well come on. Someone has to do it.
Here’s some of the music that I am listening to this week, avoiding sunlight, hunched over my laptop (wait, it’s currently zero degrees here, so what else am I to do?!):
A delightful jaunt from this new indie-pop group from Philadelphia, off their upcoming album Fighting Trees. Friend Tom passed this along with the highest recommendation, calling it the first truly important release of 2007. Those rock-nerd trivialists may know singer Steve Yutzy-Burkey’s first band One Star Hotel, but this new incarnation in music remains relatively unknown outside Philly and strays (appealingly) from the previous alt-country sound. You can stream the entire album on their minimalistic website, or peruse their MySpace. The album Fighting Trees comes out this Spring – refreshing, lithe, insanely catchy pop.
I almost did backflips when I listened to this yesterday for the first time since high school. From the cascading opening drumbeats, this is a perfect pop song that I had completely, utterly forgotten until I read Ben Kweller’s Celebrity Playlist and suddenly it all came flooding back to me. Playing it loud, I effortlessly sang along from the deep recesses of my memory. From (former Pixie) Frank Black‘s 1994 album Teenager Of The Year.
Money To Burn
(acoustic on BBC Radio One)
A great song from Ashcroft‘s 2000 album Alone With Everybody, I love the urgency and blissful romantic short-sightedness in this song: “You light my fire, I want to burn all night, I want to burn on through. I got one short life, I want to spend it on you. Oh we got one last dance, I want to dance with you — Come on now.” Download the other two songs in this ace mini-set from the BBC on Sweet Oblivion while you can.
A stomping new one out of Leeds from Kaiser Chiefs, who were basically hailed as the second coming of The Jam or The Clash for awhile there in 2005 when they invaded the States and taught all the indie kids that it’s okay to pogo a bit during their ferocious live shows. A fine (if slightly nonsensical) ode to a classy dame named Ruby (like my Grammy was), this is from the upcoming Yours Truly, Angry Mob, due in late February on B-Unique Records.
I Have A Dream
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Not a song, but still an mp3 that’ll do you good to listen to. Anyone who has ever taken a public speaking class likely knows the genius of the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. From the cadence and the repetition, to the alliteration, the biblical metaphors . . . dude had it all — and used it to get under your skin in a (thankfully) unforgettable way. Although he had dozens of superb speeches, this one is his most famous and also the one that still makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It’s got a lot more to it than the parts you hear quoted most often, and is worth a re-read. This was delivered August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. You can also read and listen to excerpts of other great speeches by MLK Jr here.