Since I've been listening to a bit of the corporate rock radio in South Florida because the CD player in my car refuses to work (only "a bit" because I've also rediscovered NPR, WKPX and sports talk radio), I almost put together a Two for Tuesday gimmick this week. Then I realized there's no reason to act like those slovenly fools when I can do way better than that.
Kind of a different group of tracks this week, what with the folk and the poppy punk. There's enough noise and feedback to more than make up for it though.
Feller Abides v3
Monsters of Folk - "Man Named Truth"
MOF is Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), M Ward (um, Google him - he's everywhere) and Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes member), but the album is a little less predictable than I thought it would be. I was going to include one of the more upbeat songs on the album - the Big Bopper meets the Beach Boys meets, well, the members of this supergroup "Whole Lotta Losin'" - but I couldn't shake "Man Named Truth." Like a lot of the album, "Man Named Truth" has more of a country feel to it, and I dig how bitter Oberst sounds. This is one of those times I understand why he has been exalted as the new Dylan. (Listen to the entire album at the MOF MySpace profile)
Beck - "There She Goes Again"
Beck has become an Internet phenomenon, recording an acoustic rethink of his Danger Mouse-produced album Modern Guilt, offering DJ sets, and then a complete rerecording of the Velvet Underground's essential and ridiculously influential The Velvet Underground & Nico. Ok, so maybe he was a big star before hitting the 'net - the fact is, he's putting his stamp on shit. Hard.
Last Days of Summer - "Moving On"
I'm a sucker for the crunch of pop punk, and Last Days Of Summer is doing it well. They're learning from the bands they worship - which ones shouldn't be much of a mystery if you listen close enough - but putting together something altogether their own. By the three-minute mark you should be standing up and pounding on the walls of your cubicle or whatever you spend your day chained to. Full disclosure: The drummer is my brother-in-law. If they sucked I wouldn't put them on here though. This time next summer, LDOS is gonna be huge. Trust me on this.
Muse - "Uprising"
In my anti-anti-Kanye rant posted yesterday I forgot to include Muse as one of the best performances on the VMAs. Chances are more viewers forgot, or ignored, the band played anyway - which is sad. Muse deserves a lot more attention for their hard-charging, somewhat electro rock. This is one of those bands that commercial rock radio ought to play a few times a day instead of a ninth song from the Chili Peppers or anything from Metallica's horrific St. Anger. Good luck not screaming "Call Me" a few times during the song. (That'll make sense once you hear it.)
Times New Viking - "Hustler, Psycho, Son"
Times New Viking continues to write great rock and roll songs, and then bathe them in layers and layers of feedback. As much as I like the noise, this is a band that should be playing over the PA in malls and grocery stores based solely on the quality of song (and the recent propensity for public airing of indie gold). With the wall of sound as barrier, maybe staying in the underground is what they want - and we certainly don't mind it. Check out this song, and the rest of the new TMV album, which is streaming at their Matador Records profile.
Non-Prophets - "Damage"
Though the Non-Prophets' album Hope is over six years old, this track sounds as good now as I'm sure it then, when I heard it and moved on. Sad and shameful as that act was, Sage Francis's rhymes hold up well over Joe Beats', um, beats. Grab the whole album if you made the same mistake I did.
Massive Attack - "Splitting The Atom (ft. 3D, Daddy G and Horace Andy)"
The last Massive Attack album, 100th Window, was boring. It sounded like Massive Attack trying to make a Massive Attack album. It must have been tough to follow up one of the best albums of the 90s in Mezzanine, but that last thing was a huge letdown. This, the first single off the forthcoming "LP5," gives great hope for the future. In the meantime, the Splitting The Atom EP is out in October, before the full album lands early next year. We've heard this before though - if you've not heard the drama of "LP5," check it.