Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lightspeed Champion – Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

At just 22 years of age, Dev Hynes has already reinvented himself from a former dance-punker in Test Icicles, into a precious, folkster dubbed Lightspeed Champion. The sound is definitely in the realm of Patrick Wolf, whom he toured with, and he’s also connected to the whole Saddle Creek collective in Nebraska. What can you say… it works. The album is something special from a unique talent.

Tell Me What It's Worth

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Drug Hell

These guys have definitely never gotten the recognition they deserve. They put out their debut This is My Drug Hell back in 1996, which yielded a modest college radio hit with “Girl at the Bus Stop.” For an amazing record that was, in my opinion, one of the best of that year, they should have gotten a whole lot more attention.

Fast forward to 2008, and finally there is a follow-up due sometime this year – supposedly called My Drug Hell 2 – released by a rinky-dink label called Forthesakeofthesong. I’ve heard about half of the forthcoming release and it’s really great, picking right up with their strongly 60’s influenced sound.

Here are a couple tracks, the first off the new one, and the second is one of my favorites from their debut.

Mysteries of Love

Jinx's Hole

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Magnetic Fields - Distortion

Stephin Merritt returns after four years with Distortion, yet another "concept" album. Funny that it seems more of a return to the early days of The Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees... and that's a good thing. I was one of the few that thought his 1999 breakthrough, 69 Love Songs, was completely overwrought and would have worked better as 34.5 love songs, but alas, the "concept" was born.

Distortion works well with shared vocals by Merritt and Shirley Simms. It gets the songwriting balance right between sincerity and comedy. Highlights include: California Girls, Too Drunk to Dream, The Nun's Litany, and Drive On, Driver, which you'll find below.

Drive On, Driver

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Raveonettes – Lust Lust Lust

After what I consider to be a bit of a misstep with Pretty in Black, The Raveonettes are back with Lust Lust Lust. This latest effort is a candy-coated confection of sex and guitar fuzz, which is precisely what I’ve always found most appealing about them. Solid Solid Solid is the verdict for their fourth outing.

Dead Sound

Friday, January 04, 2008

Best of 2007 Worthy: a Few that Got Away.

As is always the case, I got into a few albums during the last weeks of 2007 that finally made it onto my iPod and into my brain. These gems would probably make it onto the top 15 list, or I would’ve had to make it 20.

Shocking Pinks
Shocking Pinks

Think My Bloody Valentine and New Order, updated with a thoroughly modern sound.

This Aching Deal

Can't Go Back

Shimmering songs dripping with a whispy, psychedelic haze.

Dear Employee

The Octopus Project
Hello, Avalanche

If you’re going to be an instrumental band, it helps to have interesting instrumentation.

Bees Bein' Strugglin'