More music picks for your Monday, co-curated by Rob Levy. If you like what you hear, use the links provided to snag it for yourself from Amazon. Doing so through us gives us kickbacks, and those help pay for stuff like more bandwidth. And also so we can buy more music.
One of the best bits of being on a music podcast with two guys who actually know what they’re doing is that I get to make these huge lists of bands I’ve never heard of but should go and seek out. Thus I eventually found a chance to check out The Heavy and their album from last year, The Glorious Dead–which turned out to be one of my favorite releases of last year. Energetic and stompy, it’s a great album for just about any mood you need to call forth. Here’s a performance of “Big Bad Wolf” from 2010 on KEXP. (Amazon: CD/MP3; MP3; Vinyl)
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Rob arrives to help me out with Dead Leaf Echo. He says, “It’s the 90s all over again as Dead Leaf Echo reimagine the shoegaze sprawl of Slowdive, Catherine Wheel and Wild Nothing.” Here we have a performance of “Language of the Waves” from August of last year. You can find it on their new album, due out March 3rd–Thought & Language. (Amazon: MP3.)
Another 2012 favorite of mine, The Big Pink‘s Future This, mixes noise and pop in rather pleasing ways. It was hard to find a live performance that does justice to their studio tracks…but here’s a worthy rendition of the opening track, “Stay Gold.” From an appearance last year on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. (Amazon: CD; MP3; Vinyl/MP3.)
One of my favorite unintended consequences of Spotify is that you can remember a band and say, “Hey, whatever happened to them?” Yeah, sure, you can do that with Wikipedia (always right) but with Spotify you can instantly see whatever their latest release is (assuming it’s on the service, naturally). Since my thoughts tend to stray every so often to 80s-tastic opus Streets of Fire and its most excellent soundtrack, I thought of The Blasters, who had “One Bad Stud” and “Hold That Snake” on the album and in the film. Excellent stuff. And lo and behold, they put out a new album last July: Fun on Saturday Night. If you know their stuff, it’s exactly what you want. Here’s head burrito Phil Alvin playing the hell out of the opening track, “Well Oh Well.” (Amazon: CD; MP3.)
A lot of rap and hip hop doesn’t do anything for me. One of the surefire ways to get my attention, though, is to just flat out amuse me. And thus Skipp Whitman succeeded in doing so with his anthem to recession woes, “It Sucks Being Broke” (from his album 5AM–available from him here). Who among us cannot relate to his plight in this music video? No one. Who among us can wear that white paper hat with as much dignity as Skipp musters? Again, no one.
A pair of tracks here. The first is from Rob and it’s from the latest album by …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Lost Songs. (They have one of my favorite names of all time, incidentally.) From Rob, “Their new effort sees them experimenting with each track. Not an overhaul of their sound or anything but a deepening of songwriting and melodies.” I snagged “A Place to Rest” from the album for your amusement. (Amazon: CD; CD Special Edition; MP3.)
That’s followed by Baroness, who I’ve seen described as a metal or progressive metal band…but I dunno, they seem to dabble in a much broader range of sounds than that. Another band I happened upon and wound up enjoying the hell out of their 2012 double album release, Yellow & Green. This is the track “Twinker,” from the Yellow side of the equation. Does this sound strictly metalish to you? Maybe I’m just old. Note: the CD/MP3 bundle is cheaper than just the MP3 by itself… (Amazon: CD/MP3; MP3; Vinyl.)
Bill Fay is an artist that I stumbled across while, again, trawling Spotify. Last year, he apparently released his first studio album since 1971. It’s Life is People and I snagged the track “Big Painter” for your consideration. I dunno…he reminds me of someone else, but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s Moody Stringsville in the background of this track. I’m sure I’ll think of it at 4am and it will haunt me from then on. (Amazon: CD; MP3; Vinyl/MP3.)