What? I’ve been busy.
1) Van She, “Cat & The Eye”
If you heard Van She’s self titled EP, you’d probably think to yourself “hey, these guys really want to be The Human League something fierce.” If you heard Van She’s new single “Cat & The Eye”, however, you might be thinking to yourself “hey, these guys want to be Insert Band From More Psychadelic Side Of Britpop Here something fierce.” Both are true. Van She, so far as I can tell, are probably the perfect band of their type, in that they rip off post-punk and britpop equally well, and create interesting sonic textures out of both. Highly, hugely, massively recommended.
2) Gene Loves Jezebel, “Heartache (Mission UK remix)”
I don’t know a lot about late-80s goth-popsters Gene Loves Jezebel, but I did find their remix album Desire on eMusic for cheap, so I gave it a download. There’s a lot to like here if you’re me (and I am), but this one really feels like some black clad suburban teenage 1992 noise right here. I was thirteen that year, so I’m barely old enough to have moped out to this, but it still makes me want to, I dunno, read Sandman or something.
3) That 1 Guy, “Buttmachine”
That 1 Guy is.. okay. Picture They Might Be Giants mixed with Blue Man Group crossed with Type O Negative plus The Bloodhound Gang. Now picture all that stuff being played by a one-man band. Kinda makes you wanna dance a lot, doesn’t it? I am a strong proponent of Mike Silverman (aka That 1 Guy) and anything he does, but this song makes me feel kinda funny, probably because it’s about butts. I am not as embarrassed to write that as I probably should be.
4) Belle and Sebastian, “The Boy With The Arab Strap”
So, ten years after everyone else decided Belle and Sebastian was the bestest thing since Marmite on toast, I’ve finally started listening to them. It must be this whole “twee” virus that’s been going around – lolzcats and Juno and The Moldy Peaches and Hello, Kitty and such – but it feels like the right time. This song makes me want to wear tweed and ride public transportation on a fall day.
5) Everlast, “Letters Home From The Garden of Stone”
Just because I don’t really dig Everlast doesn’t mean that I have to hate on everything he does. I mean…. I don’t have to tell you this, but there are plenty of people out there who will disregard an artist’s entire catalogue just because they don’t like the artist’s fans, or one or two of that artists songs, or the fact that said artist looks like the bouncer at Avaland. Certainly you aren’t one of those people, because if you were, you’d be missing out on one of the best war-from-the-frontlines tunes ever.
6) Kate Nash, “Foundation”
Kate Nash writes songs, plays all the instruments, records it all in her bedroom in GarageBand, and is doing very well for herself. In other words: I love her. I was surprised to learn that she’s only 21, as “Foundation” is the sort of world-weary relationship song normally written by someone ten years older or so. Kate Nash may very well be on her way to becoming my favorite new artist, and yours. You’ll like her.
7) Guster, “Come Downstais and Say Hello”
Every now and again I re-fall in love with this song – it’s a fan favorite, and they play it a lot (including on their live DVD Guster On Ice, filmed in Portland, ME and I was totally there.) It reminds me of sleeping in and waking up late and happy in the summertime. That’s all I got. That’s all I need to say.
8) Ladytron, “Paco!”
Someone once got on Elastica’s case for ripping off the theme tune to the British sitcom Are You Being Served? for their song “Connection.” Strangely enough, no one’s ever said that about “Paco!”, which is such a direct rip-off of that classic theme that you can’t help but think of Mrs. Slocum. This is probably because it’s not one of Ladytron’s more popular songs (and yeah, that’s a pretty relative term.) But still, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Note: someone took an old 1970s Scared Straight movie, cut it up, and added Ladytron’s song, just to make it extra weird.
9) Fluttr Effect, “Transmission” (acoustic)
Fluttr Effect are an amorphously awesome local band with an electric marimba player. I like them a lot. This song is normally a jet-propelled pop tune, but the Ladies of Fluttr Effect (a sub-band made up of, well, the three girls in the band) recorded a slowed-down, sadder version that gets under your skin. But not in, like, a parasitic insect sort of way. You know what I mean.
10) Band of Horses, “Ghost In My House”
Band of Horses is sort of like early U2, but less smug. They have a vast, driving sound that makes you wish it was summer, and this song manages to squeeze a lot of evocative-ness out of some very simple lyrics: “I could sleep, I could sleep/When I lived alone/Is there a ghost in my house?” and that’s pretty much it. Also, that one guy has a fierce beard.