Archive for January 2012

Various Artists “Tunes for Baboons: Live Sessions from CJSW”

January 29, 2012

CJSW is a radio station in Canada. This two-CD compilation has a country record and a rock record. How thoughtful. Here are some highlights:

  • Matt Masters sounds like Lou Reed on “Candle Flame”
  • Eamon McGrath sounds like John Cougar Mellencamp in “Cut Knife City Blues”
  • Rural Alberta Advantage musically sounds like Kacy Crowley’s “Nickel to the Stone” on “Barnes Yard” except of course a dude is singing
  • The Sumner Brothers give a faithful rendition of “Big Rock Candy Mountain”
  • Woodpigeon are slightly dreamy with the backing vocals in the titanic “… And as the Ship Went Down You’d Never Looked Finer”
  • BJ Snowden sounds like Brak a little bit while singing “In Canada”
  • Foon Yap is a rare female voice on the comp and shines brightly, Rasputina style, on “THE FUN MACHINE”
  • The Pygmies pay homage to similarly named ’60s rock bands with “She Lied”
  • Inquisition sound like your standard punk-pop band from the mid-’90s on “Pine”
  • SSRIs do noisy grrl art punk on “Clay Faced, Meat Boots”
  • Tetrix isn’t very original when channeling the Clash, but “Wipeout” is still a good song
  • Bonjay gives us female-fronted synthpop on “Stumble”

Jessica Jalbert “Brother Loyola”

January 29, 2012

Finally, music the whole family can agree on. Jessica Jalbert has a voice that doesn’t rely on gimmicks to be enjoyed. “Necromancy” gets the album off to a great start with fantastic harmony in the backing vocals and strings. It is a cello, which is a shame, because I wanted to say I liked the viola in “Brother Loyola.”
“Daniels” has what must be trumpet. Even with my tin ear I can identify quality of this caliber when I hear it. Waltz fans can rejoice with the relatively tame “Wild One.” This track downplays the vocals, which is unnecessary, but the song still holds up well.
I’m a big fan of “Stupid Hollow.” It has a girl-group charm about it, and the drums make me want to march my butt down to the Kwik-E-Mart to get some chips and a beer. The other track I like is “Aubrey de Grey.” It’s not about former Detroit Lions wide receiver Aubrey Matthews, but that’s OK.

The Kabbs “The Kabbs EP”

January 29, 2012

I don’t remember why I grabbed this one, but that’s OK. It’s slightly heavier power pop with some fierce surflike jangle on “Never Knew.” It sounds like what would happen if the Hi-Fives weren’t a punk band.
“Golden and Blue” is a bit more rockabilly/alt-country. Bob Dylan comes to mind when I hear “Down This Road.” The Kabbs seem to be auditioning different sounds. That’s what they do in San Diego, you know.
If you remember early Rolling Stones, you’re old. You’d also like “Mixed Up.” The stronger ’60s sound only misses the pops and cracks that vinyl would provide. The last track is “Love Race.” It also has the same jangle sound. These are always fun to play live, and I’m sure they enjoy doing just that.

Darkness Falls “Alive in Us”

January 29, 2012

Darkness Falls focuses on the ’60s-style sensitivity with the musical talent of Hope Sandoval. You would never guess they were from Denmark. But these Danes are great. “Noise on the Line” has the same tambourine as Mazzy Star’s “Flowers in December,” which really doesn’t say much because lots of songs have tambourine, but that’s the one that came to mind, so suck it.
“The Void” has good synths to piece the verses and chorus together. The backing vocals are also quite nice. A little bit somber and darker is “Josephine.” It’s also a very long track so maybe play this one before you go to sleep at night.
There is a “Paradise Trilogy II” and a “Paradise Trilogy III,” but the first one is a lot better. It’s nearly an instrumental. Are they still considered backing vocals if they’re just singing like in the theme to the original “Star Trek” TV show? And, no, I don’t know why there isn’t a “Paradise Trilogy.”
If you want something a little spookier, you have to go with “Hey!” This is probably the most complete song on the record.

Cherri Bomb “Stark”

January 29, 2012

It sounds exactly like you would expect it to. It’s rock enough that Naked Rob could play it on his show. “Mirror Mirror” is as LA-sounding as it gets. The guitar in “Already Dead” reminds me of Damone when they didn’t suck.
“Let It Go” isn’t about farting. This track is a bit more anthemic, like My Morning Jacket, only with a woman singing. The singing is better than Picture Me Broken, but it’s still in that Joan Jett/Pat Benatar vein.
If you want a straight-ahead leather pants rock song, “Spin” is what you want. The last track is “The Pretender,” yes a Foo Fighters cover. It’s very true to the original, which is fine by me. I really enjoy this one.

Donora “Boyfriends, Girlfriends”

January 29, 2012

More, please. There’s a woman who sings like in Mates of State, and there’s keys. This record is perfect for ex-Cure fans in their mid-30s who want to feel cool. Uh oh. “Champion” is a standard indie pop song with piano that builds and the guitar and bass you have come to expect.
If you want something a little more frenetic, give “Boom Boom” a shot. The woman in that Sprint commercial for unlimited data loves this song. In fact, she downloads it over and over because Sprint customers have an unlimited data plan.
I like “And Then the Girls” because it makes me think of M.I.A. And if you like ’60s girl groups, you’ll love this offshoot of a song: “If You See My Boyfriend.” It’s a little long for this genre, but that’s fine with me. Why eat a veggieburger when you can eat a double veggieburger?
Women that like Donora are instantly hot, guaranteed.

Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun “Wildfire”

January 29, 2012

Very familiar La Roux/Metric sound here. But you don’t have to be innovative to be good, as my boss says. This is the kind of band that always plays at the Rickshaw Stop when I am there. “We Were Wild” is a microcosm of this.
Those who like their dance-pop with hand claps and hints of Cure synths will like “Single-Hearted.” Vocally this may remind you of Ruby, although the music is a little too cheery for that.
Republica fans will like “With My Good Eye.” If the band would develop a British accent, no one would be able to tell the difference. I can’t figure out what the first single is, but “Oh Black Gold” sounds like the second one to me. I’m thinking Yeah Yeah Yeahs here. Maybe it should be called “O Black Gold” instead.
“Life & Limb” is a little more mellow and has more pronounced guitar, even if the chords are simple. This is a good rock party album in a room full of rock party albums. Grab an artisan beer and lie about how you won’t vote for Obama in 2012 with your friends.

The Chambermaids “China Blue”

January 29, 2012

There are four tracks, but they’re identical. It’s really a single with three A sides. The band continues recent excellence to come out of the Twin Cities. The song itself is classic male-female dreampop. Pixies fans would be proud. And all these hot women in rock. No wonder Joe Mauer took a hometown discount.

Joel’s Hit Show, Episode 138, 25 January 2012 Playlist

January 25, 2012

The Do, Gonna Be Sick!
Smoosh, La Pump
Smile Smile, Taking Its Toll
Stephaniesid, I Like It Too
Kendra Smith, Temporarily Lucy
Sneaker Pimps, Post-Modern Sleaze
The Lower 48, Golden Shore
Sarah Kirkland Snider, The Stranger With the Face of a Man I Loved
Sonic Youth, The Diamond Sea
Louise Burns, What Do You Wanna Do
The Soviettes, Paranoia Cha Cha Cha!
The Softies, Pack Your Things and Go
Melanie Devaney, Actress
Solex Vs Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer, Dog Hit
Some Girls, Never Really Mine
Yael Meyer, The Night
Son Volt, Dust of Daylight
Sonya Kitchell, Mr. Suicidal
Meshell Ndegeocello, Dirty World
The Sounds, Seven Days a Week
Soft Cotton County, Now
Damn Handsome and the Birthday Suits, Incredibles
Sons & Daughters, Silver Spell
The Spinanes, Hawaiian Baby
The Decemberists, Burying Davy
Sports, Emily, Frankly
Regina Spektor, Better
Hess Is More, Burn
Spc Eco, Telling You
Squirrelhouse, Nagasaki Shuffle
Viva Voce, The Future Will Destroy You
Stars, Set Yourself on Fire
The Starfolk, All Fall Down
The Devil Makes Three, Graveyard
Staci Twigg, You Hailed on Me
Stereolab, The Free Design
Hindi Zahra, Imik Si Mik
Stereo Total, Miau Miau
Marnie Stern, For Ash
Axelle Red, La Liberte C’Est Quoi
Shannon Stephens, Deliverance
Stringerbelle, Take This Song
Big Tree, Home (Here)

Joel’s Hit Show, Episode 137, 18 January 2012 Playlist

January 19, 2012

Damn Handsome and the Birthday Suits, Pink Flamingos
Sea Sick, XX
Seapony, What You See
Yael Meyer, Shed Their Fear
7 Year Bitch, Deep in the Heart
S.C.U.M, Whitechapel
Hindi Zahra, Oursoul
Shellshag, Happiness
Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, Hookers
Axelle Red, Dan Les Bras des Hommes
She Keeps Bees, See Me
Shout Out Louds, Tonight I Have to Leave It
My Brightest Diamond, Be Brave
She & Him, Gonna Get Along Without You Now
Shenandoah Davis, Throne
The Lower 48, Into the Woods
Shonen Knife, Super Group
Shannon and the Clams, Scuffle With the Clams
Quilt, Young Gold
The Shivers, Love Is in the Air
She Mob, I Took the $
The She’s, Running
Shelleyan Orphan, Burst
Tracy Shedd, People Are Changing
The Ericksons, Screendoor
Sia, Destiny
Sick of Sarah, Daises
Big Tree, Two Seasons
Silversun Pickups, Little Lover’s So Polite
Nancy Sinatra, Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time
Hess Is More, Wonder Who You’re Singing for
Sing-Sing, Far Away From Love
The Skys, Dirty Weather
Devil Makes Three, They Call That Religion
Slow Club, Hackney Marsh
Sleater-Kinney, The End of You
Alice Sweet Alice, Full Circle
The Slits, Kill Them With Love
Slumber Party, Sooner or Later
Dirty Projectors + Bjork, All We Are
Sleeper, Sale of the Century
Soley, Dance
The Duke Spirit, Glorious