Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Playlist!

This was totally not my idea, especially since my wife and I just found out there's a significant risk of our unborn babe having Down Syndrome, and for a romantic Valentine date, I get to take her in for amniocentesis.  If you're not familiar with that particular festive occurrence, they stick a honkin' big needle into the poor expectant mom's uterus and try not to poke the baby in the leg.  Eek!

Anyway, I don't mean to bring anybody down, just saying that neither of us are really in the romantic mood at the moment.  Our love is not flashy, it's quiet and solid and fierce, and I love her.  Soooo.... in the spirit of sharing that, I'm compiling a Valentine's Day playlist including some fresh new indie music from around the world.  Get ready!

Sweet memes are made of these.

J.P. Rose- "Princess" and "If You Ask Me"

If you can get past the slightly creepy stalker vibe of his picture (just messing with you, J.P... your other pictures are fine!) what we find here are some very sweet straight-up electropop songs.  I'll be looking into J.P.'s stuff a little closer for the next BAT COUNTRY.

Don't look behind you.

Shannon Whitworth- "You Are In Love"

Yes you are!  I'm sort of getting a Suzi Quatro vibe from this.  Or have the pills started to take effect? Anyway, I like it.  Hope you do.

Now that's what I call odalisque!

Suzi Quatro- "If You Can't Give Me Love"

Shit, why not?

Aww, they really do love each other.

Glowing Screens- "Alien Lover"

I'm a sucker for husband-wife musical teams!  You know I am!  They don't even have to be all sweet and gushy, either.  To me, a married couple who can make weird jokes about alien sex are just as romantic and beautiful as anything.

Guess who.

Charlotte & Magon- "The Mining"

Speaking of creator couples!  Charlotte & Magon's newest, Life Factory, is out.  I'll be doing a more thorough review coming soon, as well a Q&A with Magon.  And of course, I always recommend stuff off their last album, which was possible the sexiest and most romantic album I've ever heard.

That little censor bar over Delia Derbyshire's face can't fool the massive boner I have for her.

Harshist- "Threads"

Remember, not everyone's sweety likes sweet things.  Some sweeties like noise rock.  So consider this track from Harshist's latest, featuring longtime friend of the blog and my hero, Travis Wiggins, something of a... palate cleanser before we move on to more of the romantical stuff.

"Look busy."

Fou De Toi- "Pick Up Your Phone"

If you and your special person like Tom Petty and/or sappy guitar rock, then it's a Swedish love-fest right now!

Quick, sneak past while he is asleep!

The Police- "J'aurais Toujours Faim De Toil"

Gratuitous French hath summoned the dread specter of Sting!  You knew he would show up eventually!!!

Photo credit: Heather Palecek, wherever you are!

Boxed Wine- "Cheap, Fun"

I think a wise man once said "If your daddy's rich, take her out for a meal.  If your daddy's poor, just do what you feel."  So true- V-Day doesn't have to be about diamonds and shit, it can be about getting drunk and dancing to indie rock.  Or getting a medical procedure.

That's it for a little Valentine's day fun- thanks to all our readers.  You're beautiful.  Also, my wife, who is even more beautiful.  I love you, Kayla!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


EDITOR'S NOTE: This first installment of WE DESERVE BETTER, a series about recent releases that haven't knocked our socks off, is courtesy of guest blogger Emily Popek. Thanks, E!

I’m going to be totally honest here - I kind of like No Doubt. I was in denial about it for a long time, pretending like I actually hated them. Their breakout single, “Just a Girl,” was pretty damned annoying, and don’t even get me started on “Spiderwebs.”

But somewhere along the line, they wormed their way into my consciousness. I grudgingly enjoyed Gwen Stifani’s vocals on the Dr. Dre-produced Eve single “Let Me Blow Your Mind.” And when 2001’s Rock Steady came out, I just plain liked it. With its playful, dancehall-inspired beats, it was fun, catchy and just different enough from the rest of the pop landscape that it actually seemed creative.

For 2012’s Push and Shove, the one-time ska band is sticking with the formulas that have brought it such success up until now: dancehall- and ska-tinged pop tunes; harder-driving “rock” songs tinged with electro; and the occasional ballad that allows Stefani to swan around in a music video looking like a starlet.

But there’s a problem...

...and its name is Santigold. In the intervening 10 years between Rock Steady and Push and Shove, she moved in and started doing what No Doubt does, only better and fresher and newer.

Push and Shove opens with the track “Settle Down,” which is so Santigold-like at the outset that the casual listener could be forgiven for thinking it is her - right up until Gwen Stefani says she’s “hella positive” about something or other, and breaks into a whiny chorus reminding us that, as Madonna and Paula Abdul proved, you don’t need range to be a pop star.

“Looking Hot” is like a repackage of Rock Steady’s “Hella Good,” without the catchy hook. And it’s downhill from there.

In a way, it’s not really fair. No Doubt were technically there first, signing to Interscope when Santigold was still 10 years away from starting her music career. But when her eponymous album came out in 2008, Santi managed to make blending ska, 80s pop and dance music sound totally original, as though No Doubt had never existed.

If there is a standout track here, it’s “Settle Down,” and that’s only because it sounds so different from the rest of the bland pop offerings dished up on Push and Shove. Overall, this is an album without a reason to exist - and one that fails to stand up, not only to the competition, but to the band’s own back catalogue.


Monday, February 4, 2013

BAT COUNTRY!!!! Tweed Jacket Edition

Daddy Lion is a friend of the blog. They make nice music.

Check out their newest album!

Callow are working on something very interesting here.

We should keep an eye on them.

"You cannot be serious!"

Stay in school, kids.
And don't do drugs.

The National Rifle combine two things that I love: creepy critters,

The National Rifle - Coke Beat (Official Video) from The National RIfle on Vimeo.

and more creepy critters.

We're pretty psychedelic today.

Thanks, Fonda!