March 3rd, 2009
Tuesday Afternoon, 1:21 PM
It's been a busy week so far (including this past weekend) so New Music Monday has become New Music Tuesday for the time being. What can I say, it's evolving. As I type out my most recent music post, I am listening to the latest U2 album, hoping and wishing and praying to Saint Bono that it will be a grower. Sorry Rolling Stone, the jury is still out in my book, I don't hear five stars here. I would recommend to fellow U2 fans to listen to NLOTH in the intended album song cycle format; it plays much better that way.
I have some new material that I will be sharing with you over the next couple of days (i.e. Kindle 2.0 review, A Day At the Museum, etc.) as I get some peace and quite on the airplane tomorrow, so stay tuned faithful readers.
Each week I start with the most recent song downloaded to my iPod. This week that honor goes to...(click on the highlighted track to find blogs to download the song from)
Tinted Windows - "Kind of a Girl" from Tinted Windows
Ah, Power-Pop, oh how my untrained ear is so instantly smitten for thee. Be it The Raspberries, Badfinger, Big Star, The Knack, The Buzzcocks, Jellyfish, The La's, Matthew Sweet, or Ok Go, your big fat hooks, harmonies and three minutes of teenage love & lust, always grab me. This time around, in the form of the Tainted Windows, we have what the indie blogger community is calling a "Power-Pop Super Group". I call it my number one musical "guilty pleasure". This latest "super-group" features the singer of Hanson (ummm), the bassist and lead songwriter from Fountains of Wayne (yeah!), the drummer from Cheap Trick (awesomeness) and the guitarist from The Smashing Pumpkins (the other guy). How's the song? Not half bad. To my minds ear, has it as basically a Fountains of Wayne song sans the witty banter and pithy story telling. Still, it's Power-Pop and it clocks in at 3:13 and its about a girl and it takes me back to 1981. Good times.
The Office - "Enter Me, Exit You" from Mecca
While we are on the topic, here is another Power-Pop group that I have grown fond of over the past couple of years, The Office. As Spin described this past year, they have mastered the fine art of "handclaps and sunny harmonies". On this highlighted track they even throw in the sleigh bells for good measure proving that they are evolving in the studio. I hear some mid-90 Manic Street Preachers "Why So Sad" in this track. The Office has caught the free download bug and are offering the tracks on Sendspace. Click on the link for a listen to this song and all 10 tracks.
A.C. Newman - "Take on Me" from Sweetheart: Our Favourite Artists Sing Their Favourite Long Songs
Many of you might know A.C. as the leader of the Canadian band The New Pornographers. Back in 2004 he started to perform solo, finding an outlet between TNP releases. Four years later he has two solo albums under his belt, including this years infectious Get Guilty. This track is a cover of a-ha's classic 80s keyboard and MTV hit which mysteriously arrived via a Saint Valentine offering from Starbucks. A.C. replaces the famous keyboard chords with an acoustic guitar and slows the track down to ballad territory. The result is as fresh and inspiring as my daily Grande Vanilla Non-Fat Latte (which is a compliment, I love me some Latte).
Animal Collective - "Summertime Clothes" from Merriweather Post Pavilion
The music world's Conventional Wisdom has already handed Animal Collective the album of the year. I have read reviews that calls Merriweather Post Pavilion the Pet Sounds of the 21 Century and as Uncut dubbed it "one of the landmark American albums albums of the century so far". Big praise, big praise indeed. While time will tell if these critics are inline, I will have to agree that MPP is memorable, atmospheric and inventive; in other words, an analog wet dream. MPP takes me back to the first time I listened to YAZ's "Upstairs at Eric's" and Radiohead's "OK Computer" and reminds me how quickly you can get lost in a great album. I also recommend getting lost in the single "My Girls" on the iPod.
Christopher O'Riley - "Everything In Its Right Place" from True Love Waits - Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead
Speaking of Radiohead and music that you can lose yourself in, I offer classical pianist Chris O'Riley as meditation and with admiration. This isn't new per se, it has not been released in the past year, it was released in 2003, but I found myself listening to it at my local vinyl record store recently and was truly mesmerized by it. Hearing Radiohead stripped down to the basics of a classical piano forces you to appreciate the music, melodies and the sheer originality of the band. O'Riley, who can be heard weekly on his NPR radio show, also has paid homage to Nick Drake and the late/great Elliott Smith most recently. Rumors persist that he has a Nirvana album in the works.
Okay have to run and get back to my day job. I am going to keep the post to 5 tracks this week and might include another one of the U2 tracks after I have had a chance to digest the new material. Enjoy and be on the look out for more activity then usual on the IMNALY blog this week.