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There are certain times during the year that Louisville has a great spark drifting around it. Usually, it’s during a winning season for UK or UL heading into March Madness, but it came a bit early this time ‘round. Not only is the town hanging on every dribble for Kentucky’s near flawless season, but the Super Bowl just happened to be happening as well. I learned a long time ago that most of the games became a lot more fun when I didn’t follow anyone. With no affiliation, you’re always a winner. Sure, some will say it’s a copout, but I never have a bad game. As long as it’s entertaining, I’m happy, but with as much excitement is going around – football, basketball, and the upcoming World Cup – even for a guy who really doesn’t care, it’s not hard to get caught up.
Anyway, let’s plat some music. A bit more of a slower week than last, but that just means that I get to turn you on to a few bands you probably haven’t heard of. Needing that fix? I got ya.
The Welcome Wagon – But For You Who fear My Name
For all of my adoration for Freelance Whales right now, The Welcome Wagon is a welcomed accompaniment. It feels southern and as comfortable as the Sunday morning that it’s painting, and the horns that play it out N’awlins dirge style is a nice surprise that only adds to this song’s simple greatness.
Goldfrapp – Believer
… and this song couldn’t be further away sonically from the above Appalachian stream. Last week announced Goldfrapp’s latest, the eighties-tastic Rocket, and with the follow up leak, she’s really trying to spoil us. Believer carries on the dance theme but feels a little less time specific. Whereas Rocket was definitely birthed from the past, Believer keeps one foot in the future. Watch out for this full length! If this is only a portion of the story, I can’t wait to see if the rest lives up to what we’ve heard so far.
Surfer Blood – Take It Easy
If you haven’t listen yet, the full Phone Call with JP from Surfer Blood is now up. Take It Easy is another fine track from this Florida debut that assures a guitar hook as memorable as the bounce in his vocals, a common occurrence throughout Astro Coast.
Lali Puna – Remember
I wasn’t familiar with the first Lali Puna record, which is now behind us five years. The latest, however, plays into a smooth electro mood, sometime reminiscent of the quieter Postal Service moments. It could be thoughtful soundtrack fodder, just as much as late night driving music, though not exactly an ear worm that will stick around.
Prairie Cat – Given Up
The story of this Canadian is just as good as the song that seems to have an ironic title. He liked a girl so much that he packed everything up and followed her cross-country, only to get dumped soon after. And then he lost everything in a fire. Serious bummer. But hey, tragedy is usually the best inspiration for writing, and the song Given Up is quite nice.
The Soft Pack – C’mon
Buzz alert! It was hard to surf around without running into The Soft Pack with every new mouse click. Well deserved, they’ve had a steady build over the last couple months on the strength of their pop-ish rock. There are no gimmicks here and very little dipping into subgenres. Musically, it may not be the Big Innovator, but it’s taken the basic idea of rock n’ roll and played it to it’s best part, which in itself makes it quite the anomaly these days.
Beach House – Walk in the Park
The other band that the world is in love with right now. Dream-pop has been a difficult genre to push into the mainstream, but every now and then a band figures out how to do it, and this Baltimore duo are in that too-few club. This version comes from a Daytrotter session, that also has 3 other fine performances.
The Mynabirds – Numbers Don’t Lie
I caught the band Georgie James just in time for them to disband, so it’s nice to have a relatively quick new project from front gal Laura Burhenn. Throw a little Dusty Springfield into the Belle & Sebastian pile and you get The Mynabirds. That Sunday morning opener we had? This one hits its stride in that late afternoon sun.
Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed (Russ Chimes Remix)
I’m not sure Ellie can rise above the countless other female electro numbers, but she’s getting setup for the chance. Good press, decent music and folks clamoring to remix her. Once again, the wheel’s not being reinvented here, but it rolls well.
Phoenix – Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands (Bob Dylan cover)
Honestly, this isn’t how I like to hear Phoenix. This isn’t even close to one of my favorite Dylan tunes, but I have to get some great props to finding a respectable way to cut an 11-minute song down to 5 during this live performance. On the other side, it shows the versatility of these recent Grammy winning veterans. They’re not a pop band, or a rock band, or a folk band. They’re of the extremely rare breed who can be all at once.
Japanther – None’s Listening
Sure, they get big points for the name. Throw them on tour with Japancakes and Japandroids, and I wouldn’t miss it. Musically, it’s lo-fi punk with some easy singin’ along, something that we’ve played quite a bit lately. Lost in the mix, but not for not trying.
Shearwater – Black Eyes
There are moments when I like Shearwater, the side project of a couple of the Okkerville River guys. Then there are moments when I feel like Iron Maiden decided to give it a try as an indie troop. At least, I guess, it’s interesting. Eh.. nah, jury’s still out here, but at the same time, for some reason, I can’t stop listening.
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I Learned the Hard Way
I wanted to be blown away from the newest from Sharon and the boys, but I’m just now. 100 Days was fantastic, and I really hoped for another barnburner like that, which may not be fair. This isn’t bad, and sure she’s still pulling this sound off worlds better than the rest, but it just isn’t as grabbing.
Peter Gabriel – Flume
I think this had little chance to fail. Gabriel may not have been a totally recognizable song to the latest generation, aside from having that cool song in the movie their parents grew up with, but anyone who’s even halfway followed his career can attest to the usual genius that comes from this man. He’s seamlessly blended classical orchestration into world sounds into pop music for four decades, and this latest idea – a covers record, saluting new acts as well as old – is pretty darn close to perfect. His version of Flume may not be drastically different, but where he throws at the mountains during the chorus, you can feel it resonate all the way to the valley.
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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