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Did you all catch Conan’s final show? Whether you’re a fan or not, there are fewer classy ways to wrap it all up. When he could have lambasted NBC, he thanked them for over two decades of loyalty. When he could have been down on the whole deal, he instead begged us all not to become cynics. And then, of course, we were all treated to Freebird. And why not? Will Ferrel, Beck, Ben Harper, Billy Gibbons, Max Wineberg, and another dude who I never figured out who was; Not a bad backing band to close out the shortest Tonight Show run yet, cementing him as the George Lazenby of late night.
Anyway, let’s play some music, yeah? I got some great stuff I wanna play ya. Turn it up.
April Smith & the Great Picture Show – Colors
I was pretty easily smitten by this one. It’s quirky, charming, fun, and interesting. Aside from the usual instruments, April paints in accordion, what sounds like clanging pipes, kazoo’s and more, without it ever sounding out of place. Word has it she’s touring with Langhorne Slim. I imagine that to be a pretty great night of music.
Gorillaz – Stylo
I’m honestly not as excited about this new Gorillaz single – their first in five years – as I thought I would be. There are nice elements of electronica going on, but if you’re looking for a hook as big as Feel Good, Inc., 19-2000, or Clint Eastwood, you won’t find it here. Now, as long as you go into it knowing that, it’s a pretty decent song and just goes to show that Mos Def is the hardest working man of the month, making one of his numerous, recent appearances here. The verse has a throwback to The Cure’s “Lullaby” which gives the whole song a bit of easier access. Just the same, I’m still looking forward to hearing the album play out, since this first taste seems more fitted to a full set rather than just a compilation.
Harlem – Friendly Ghost
Lo-fi from the Lonestar State. Of course, they’re in Austin, because music doesn’t so much exist elsewhere right now. As usual, they play into the 60’s garage sound and are generally fun. You’ll like it if you’re into the genre, but it doesn’t really offer too much for something new.
Jj – Let Go
It’s hard not to meantion The XX when talking about JJ. Not just that the two are touring together, but basically emerged on the worldwide scene simultaneously with a similar dream-meets-trip sound. Now that The XX are well on their way, JJ are getting their shine with a new disc out in March via Secretly Canadian. It’s a fine song, but I can’t help but feeling like I’m listening to Enya when that chorus hits. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You know, it’s good chill music. Let the Orinoco flow.
David Byrne & Fatboy Slim (f/t Santigold) – Please Don’t
Now here is an interesting, if not exciting project. The two masters team for a concept album about a former wife of a Pilipino head – an odd choice, but not really the immediate, important part here. Obviously, you’ve got two huge talents that brought in an slew of other big talents to voice the whole thing. So far so good, though honestly, I wanted to hear a lot more – or any – of David Byrne singing. Otherwise, it’s good pop music with very a different style of lyrics.
Retribution Gospel Choir – Hide It Away
I got this one stuck in my head and it’s rarely left all week. Maybe I just needed a good shot of rock, but just the same, it’s a very catchy, sing-along chorus. As the story has now been told, RGC is really just the band Low, minus Mimi Parker (wife of lead man Alan Sparhawk), but is the excuse not to mix to different sounds into one outfit. Low gets to keep its minimalist pop and RGC gets to crank it up and yell some. Either way, I likey.
Happy Birthday – Girls FM
How ‘bout that? That name apparently wasn’t taken. Good for them. Lo-fi pop song number two for the week, though this one with a more lasting taste. You can sing with it pretty quick and it plays for a cutesy audience. Parts of me want to hear Sleater-Kinney play this one.
Let’s Wrestle – We Are the Men You’ll Grow to Love Soon
…and lo-fi pop song number three. Find a theme for the week? It’s not unwelcome. Sure, we’ve been hearing this style since The Hives pulled it seven years ago, but when it sticks, it’s sticks. And we’re always sticklers for a “ba ba” chorus.
Seabear – Lion Face Boy
Fans of orchestral folk listen up! Sindri Sigfusson is a man who can’t sit still, and hits on something perfect more times than not. He’s got a couple names he records under – some by himself, some with others – but it’s usually a pretty consistent sound, built from the same Icelandic cloth as Sigur Ros and Mugison. It sweeps and flows and will play nicely next to that upcoming Jonsi record.
Rafter – Papers
Ha! Swearing is fun. No seriously, it is. I mean, it’s a fun song anyway, but nothing like an MF chorus to make you feel good about your day. Dance to it, yell to it, and be hip to it since he’s an Asthmatic Kitty signee.
Dum Dum Girls – Jail La La
Sub Pop has been busy-busy for a first quarter. Quite a ton coming out with le Dum Dum Girls perched as one of the next big pushes. Reportedly, this is a song that was featured on a previous independent album, but was given a thicker coat for the national debut.
Bridges & Blinking Lights – Undercover
I can’t find a lot of info on this troop, but they can stay as mysterious as they want as long as something like this keeps coming out. It reminds me of quite a lot of things, including Silversun Pickups, Hum, and a little Sunny Day Real Estate, so if you know what I’m talking about, then you totally understand. That’s a recommendation to seek out yr own copy.
Smashing Pumpkins – Window Wake My Mind
Corgan keeps the drama and gossip high in the tabloids, but keeps his mind on his music in order to continue the 44 songs Teargarden By Kaleidyscope.project. Where as the first track was all classic-rocked out, this one is more reminiscent of his Zwan period. Bright and bouncy without a lot of memorable substance. Just the same, he’s got 42 more chances to nail it. Rule of odds say it’s bound to happen at some point.
Blair – Candy in the Kitchen
“I was dancing to Whitney Houston.” It’s a nice lead-in for a pre-chorus that definitely perked my ears. I really feel like this is the one I wanted Jem to write last album. Minimal beats with minimal orchestra over a minimal acoustic. It allows Blair to really carry the song, something she does easily enough.
Speaking of ear candy, it’s almost shameful to admit liking something this bombastic. I mean, it could live just as easy on Top 40 radio with a different marketing campaign. Just the same, when she’s yelling “maybe there’s a shark in the water,” I wanna be first pumping with her, in the exact same way every single one of you did it when Kelly Clarkson was screaming “Since You Been Gone.” It’s okay, these things happen from time to time, and it’s nice when it can fit in a show with four lo-fi garage songs.
Standard Fare – Fifteen
Make that five. This one has some real guts though. Do you remember Ida Maria? She was around this time last year with “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked.” Yeah, anyway, Standard Fare sound like a Brooklyn garage band fronted by Maria. It works, but ultimately, probably, gets lost in an overcrowded shuffle. Lyrically, I could see Morrissey diggin’ on this one.
The Weekly Feed is distributed by WFPK and Louisville Public Media. The executive producer is Stacy Owen, with additional help from WFPK’s Laura Shine. Produced and hosted by Kyle Meredith. Make sure to say hi, yeah?
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