Feel the power of positivity, people, because i'm positive that you're gonna like these rock jams, yeah, I called them jams, even though i kinda mortally despise that term; too much noodle rock by roommates in college me thinks. Anyway, here's some music for your enjoyment with a few words about each. Got nothing else witty, snarky or illuminating to say.
Cloud Nothings - "Internal World" - Vocally reminds me most of The Only Ones of "Another Girl, Another Planet" fame.
Japandroids - Near To The Wild Heart of Life - I found the whole album, and you all miss albums, so enjoy the whole damn thing. I wish I could shout-sing like this. I'd be so much more convincing in political conversations.
Strand of Oaks - "Radio Kids" - This guy writes songs about people enjoying making songs. I enjoy songs about making songs; plus it sounds like The Replacements smoked weed with Swervedriver and that's cool with me.
I'm a rock guy, I am unapologetically a rock guy. I like distorted guitars, I like frenetic drums, I like roaring pianos played like the whiskey on top is about to fall out of the glass because it's shaking so hard.
It's not that I don't like hip hop. Like most white guys my age really into music I love me some Kendrick Lamar, Run the Jewels, Anderson.Paak, old school stuff like Tribe and PE and De La, but while I can recognize that some new jams are good songs, they just don't get inside me; I just don't FEEL a lot of it; which is why it's a bit of a reassuring thrill when I come across London O'Connor in my weekly listening sessions.
Yeah, I get that it's on an indie rock label, which inherently makes it appeal more to the white guy demo, but it's still hip hop, even if it's breaking the confines of song structure and swagger.
Some moons ago, I was a massive Superchunk fan. Bought and wore out everything they did..but as with a lot of things from many moons ago, sometimes for no good reason, things fall by the wayside. I saw Superchunk at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts a few years back and it was amazing, but for some reason, I didn't get back into what they were doing.
That may change right about now as about two months ago (which is why i'm probably a little late to this) Mac from Superchunk put out this track; a protest track called "Happy New Year (Prince Can't Die Again)." It reminds me that a) I love music that has something to say b) I really miss Mac and Superchunk and should spend more time with them.
A few days ago I posted on lyrics from Buffalo Tom on Facebook from their great song "Summer."
One of my favorite things the song is the referencing of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. I'm a sucker for songs that reference other bands/musicians, which sounds like a topic I should probably tackle in another post, so stay tuned for the that in the coming posts.
The reaction to the post, while small, was swift, with exclusively people in their early 40s who had a connection to American indie rock getting really excited about the reference. Not sure if this makes me an old fart whose personal favorites in music were better "back in my day," although those kids over there look mighty scary...
Anyway, Buffalo Tom were a fantastic simple, American indie rock trio from Boston who had a whiff of fame because of a Nike commercial, but were beloved by those folks, usually east coast, who loved them. Their simple songs were powerful, emotional and gave comfort to those who wrapped themselves in music like blankets.
Here's a perfect example of this blanket-rock. Possibly my favorite song about the girl who got away.
Their whole catalog is pretty great, but start with the above two tracks and let me know whatcha think.
Hat tip to Brian Scott Gross, publicist extraordinaire, for having this one pop up on his Twitter feed, which brought it back to my attention.
The Posies are my third favorite Big Star-influenced band (the first two should be painfully obvious to anyone who knows me, but feel free to ask/guess by emailing me at email@example.com).
Because everyone in the 90s were lumped into the grunge thing, their sweet melodies were amped up, their hair was lengthened and they were turned into the visual you see above. Thankfully it doesn't take anything away from the underlying awesomeness of the song. This is what power pop is, was and still should be.
Today, I woke up with the Greatest American Hero Theme in my head. Thankfully I had this brand new Young Moon track to fix that. Btw, did you know that if you sing the Band-Aid song (written by Barry Manilow of all people), you can get anything out of your head. It's like the ginger of music.
Anyway, the whole record, out on Western Vinyl, is pretty fantastic, although since it's in pre-release I can't share the awesome "Summer '09" with you, so you'll have to settle for this Jason Isbell meets Archers of Loaf piece of goodness.
And just because I don't feel like suffering alone.