For Mother’s Day I got this handmade wooden box from my little four year old. It held various treasures, including a coupon, some chocolate covered espresso beans (good choice), and an ant. The ant apparently escaped. It seemed like a good idea to him at the time to include it in the gift. I feel very lucky. I hope you all tried to take care of your mamas as well yesterday.
When not busy being a kickass mom this week, I listened to this stuff (actually, sometimes simultaneously):
Tessellate (remix by Tom Campesinos)
Tokyo Police Club
The folks at Saddle Creek (home of Bright Eyes / The Faint / Cursive) sent this over on Friday just in time for Mother’s Day. The first line here talks about “all the boys who call their mothers on that day,” and sonically the remix is an electrifying combination that admittedly your mother may not like, with what sounds like crashing garbage can lids over cheerily chiming xylophones. It works for me. The original version of the song is featured on the Tokyo Police Club‘s debut full-length Elephant Shell, which was released last month after two previous critically-acclaimed EPs. The remix can be found on the new 7 inch or the limited edition of Elephant Shell.
Gratification To Concrete
As we all know, Robert Pollard can’t stop, won’t stop. After releasing no fewer than four solo albums on Merge in the last two years, former Guided By Voices frontman has amicably left that fold to form his own GBV record label. Robert Pollard Is Off To Business will be released on June 3, and this song about a lady who somehow gratifies concrete will be the first tune to hit the internetwaves. In an odd Stipe-ian dichotomy, this will work best if you don’t try to understand Pollard’s lyrics but just enjoy the crunchy riffs at play on this monster jam of a summer pop song.
This new song from Canada’s powerpop/rock foursome Sloan starts with a sunny vocal breakdown that’s all retro-goodness, sounding like just four guys standing around on a street corner snapping in time. Each track that I’ve heard so far from their upcoming release Parallel Play (June 10, Yep Roc) wins me over in a unique way, and there lies some of the underrated genius of Sloan. They can fluidly slide between many different styles (most recently demonstrated on the 30-song tour de force of 2006′s Never Hear The End Of It), and it all works.
Sirens In The Deep Sea
The cascade of swirling, sparkling guitars in this song from Brooklyn’s Longwave sound like the moment you roll your car to a slow stop on a gravelly roadside overlooking the lights of the valley. This single was produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol) and boasts some gorgeous, epic-sounding production. After tour dates opening for The Strokes on their North American and European tours, Longwave is playing some shows with the re-formed Swervedriver in the coming months.
Recorded in just three and a half days, this 8th full-length album from Seattle’s Mudhoney possesses a raw and immediate punch. Although folks like Nirvana propelled to larger successes from the Sub Pop label in the late 80s/early 90s, Mudhoney laid seminal groundwork with the indie label through releases like Superfuzz Bigmuff. They were also featured on one of the first 7″s in the Sub Pop Singles Club with “Touch Me I’m Sick” (split with Sonic Youth). Hard to believe, but Mudhoney has been at it for twenty years (!!) and the sounds of this new song would suggest that they’ve lost little of their spitfire. The Lucky Ones is due May 20 on Sub Pop.