May 27, 2010


A weekly sampler of what we're listening to (new and old), and what we think you might like, too.


NEW PORNOGRAPHERS -- Your Hands (Together)"
Because I am currently obsessed with Neko Case and her voice. Not as good or showy as "Letter From An Occupant" or anything but she's all over this new album with her lead vocals, which is a great thing.

I've been itching to share Casiotone despite expectation that he'll divide the masses and probably come across as supremely underwhelming in this single dosage. But maybe by comparing him to Daniel Johnston and Mountain Goats I can convince you to give it a listen. When I'm feeling 20something years old I think this music is sort of the sound of our generation, even if I wouldn't want it to be. I like playing it while I write at work -- depending on the story -- and especially if I can let all the sad sounds and electricity blend together.

When I walked by a house on Port Republic Road Thursday afternoon, this song was playing out a second-story window. Don't know who lives there or what the people are like...but it's been in my head ever since.

BELL & SEBASTIAN -- "The Blues Are Still Blue"
Anti-sad-bastard music.

It's been a while since I've contributed. This is because I found an album, via A Prairie Home Companion Battle of the Bands Night, which took place about a month ago. The problem was I couldn't bring myself to choose one song to exhibit over any of the others. I'm quite taken with it. So I decided to go with the song that hooked me, the big "pop" hit on the album, the "common taste" song, the "this one's for the audience" song, the schmultz pick. But still, it's a wonderful song, I think.

"Colors," by April Smith and the Great Picture Show. The live performance is...nice. And this particular song doesn't fully account for Smith's vocal appeal. I greatly encourage everyone to listen to the album. She's a gem, with attitude, because she's from New Jersey. Her vocals defy neglect.

DESTROYER -- "Blue Flower, Blue Flame"
"I gave you a flower because foxes travel light." What the fuck does that mean and why do I love it so much?



Blogger JHitts said...

Casiotone = this month's Drive-By Truckers?

May 27, 2010 at 10:05 PM 
Blogger Chase said...

Cool pick from you this week, Kyle. I like this a lot.

Good mix, overall.

May 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM 
Blogger Tony said...

I haven't heard a negative peep or tweet yet about Casiotone. If need be, I'll blame the man who first turned me on. But not yet.

May 27, 2010 at 10:40 PM 
Blogger Daniel Silliman said...

I like the Casiotone. It doesn't seem that devisive to me, either. There's some Belle & Sebastian in there, evolved from there, I think.

I like Kyle's pick since that's a song I've been listening to for the last few months. Catchy as hell. And sweet.

Anyone have thoughts about Karen Elson's stuff? I probably wouldn't be listening to her if she wasn't married to Jack White, and the piece on her in the London Times was crap, but I don't know what I think about her music yet.

May 29, 2010 at 5:53 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

I actually don't mind them, I was just trying to stir some shit up.

May 30, 2010 at 2:23 AM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

Nice mix, esp "Colors" and "I'll Be Your Mirror" and "Blue Flower, Blue Flame."

I really love Dan Bejar's lyrics, though I'm pretty sure they're mostly meaningless rather than complex. He likes his non-sequiturs. "I'll tell you what I mean by that--not in seconds flat, maybe not today." Still, his gibberish is kind of resounding.

I am a bit underwhelmed by Casiotone but not especially repulsed.

I really like "Ghost Who Walks" on first listen. There's a little bit of Wilco and a little bit of the new Sunset Rubdown in there. The second one sounds like "The House of the Rising Sun" mixed with (as one youtube commenter noted) "Scarborough Fair," and I'm not such a fan.

The whole eerie waif thing is annoying. The Ghost Who Walks "was a nickname that I had at school. It was one of the nicer nicknames I had for being tall, pale and a little bit haunted."

May 31, 2010 at 6:36 PM 
Blogger JHitts said...

I think what tips off Bejar's lyrics as being mostly meaningless are his wordless choruses. Or where he'll go "dumdumdum" in place of actual words.

Well, OK, I wouldn't call them meaningless. I'd call them more "free association." He finds little phrases that sound good and strings them together. I think they work because usually they sound like they belong together— like how a lot of the songs on Rubies have to do, vaguely, with painting or art. They make sense but in a more impressionistic way.

I'd say he's not unlike Stephen Malkmus in that respect, only Malkmus' weird words are more goofy and abstract.

June 1, 2010 at 10:27 PM 
Blogger SC said...

I share Jack's obsession with Neko's voice.

June 3, 2010 at 12:33 PM 

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