Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Sonic Parthenon Playlist: Summer 2010, Vol. 1

The Besnard Lakes - "Albatross"
An honorable mention in the spring, this song took up the first half of the summer pretty thoroughly. A vexing blend of 60's pop and distorted noise that too many other bands are overdoing to death these days.

Delta Spirit - "Bushwick Blues"
Will this song for the Delta Spirit what "The Rat" did for the Walkmen? Could it even do for them what "Last Nite" did for the Strokes? It is too soon to tell but it could and should. The San Diego Spirit have been working it for a few years now but they've never sounded like this - which is to say, like a 2000's modern rock band. This song is major.

Devo - Something For Everybody
The occasion for the new Devo LP was cause for yours truly to finally get caught up with the entirety of the Devo catalog. From about "Mongoloid" to "That's Good" I was quite pleased. Nothing was doing after that until the new record. The hit sounding "Step Up", the surprising house-beat-backed "What We Do" (with annoyingly lovely refrain), and the Obama-empathizing "Sumthin'" are the highlights.

Foster The People - "Pumped Up Kicks"
I always like to point out when I pick up a song from NPR's "Second Stage" podcast. That podcast used to typically be smothered with very Indie, very experimental sounds (though there always good folk and pop surprises). This one takes it to a whole new level. It sounds sweet and pleasant and poppy. But listen to the lyrics. It's about murdering those who like popular music. Is that how it got on there?

Fitz & The Tantrums - "Moneygrabber"
Recently there was love for Sharon Jones on here. Sharon Jones is at the head of an army of soul-reviving forces. I'm picky with this. It takes a lot for me to hear the authenticity and get caught up in it. It has happened with a select few Sharon songs and some of the Heavy. Amy Winehouse...well....Meanwhile, Fitz and the silly named Tantrums have this stupendous butt-kicker.

The Franks - "Ray Gunn Radio"
Every time I say garage rock is over for yet another spell, something keeps it moving along. The LA Franks are devoted to what's good without pandering and without doing it in the "look at us we're sloppy and proud of it, it's our image!" mold. TALENT goes a long way in this genre and it is an under-appreciated quality.

Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
The title track is what really works. It's right where Brian and the kids left off from The '59 Sound. I swear I hear Bruce himself in the backing vocals (uncredited assist?). Between them and the lower profile Screaming Females...does New Brunswick really have a real scene? I mean I know I heard about it...but really? Woah.

The Hold Steady - "Our Whole Lives"
The one song from Heaven is Whenever that I didn't hear before the album was released that has really been on repeat. And I'm not the only one taken by this album track. The host of Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me played it when he had Craig on for one of the quizzes (Craig got all 3 questions right!).

The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning
"Whirring" is one of the best songs of the year. A candidate for the top spot along side the Hold Steady's "The Weekenders" and a song to be named soon. It has it all: the build-up, the explosion, the aftermath, the regrouping, the repeat of the steps. In fact, it is just like the other two songs. This must be how I like my rock.

Mimicking Birds - "Burning Stars"
A perfectly tight well-made solid folk-pop song, no frills, no muss, just professional delivery.

The Mynabirds - "Numbers Don't Lie" and "What We Gained in the Fire"
Last time - on the Spring playlist - I wrote about John Davis' Title Tracks. This time, it's a moment (or two) for the other half of the departed Georgie James. Laura Burhenn has somewhat channeled the original Mynah Birds of Neil Young and Rick James (still can't believe that really happened) but more over has crafted her own very soulful, very Stax-ballad and folk-rock styled pop. If this is what the two former members of Georgie are doing these days, what would have happened if they had toughed it out?

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At September 23, 2010 at 6:08:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Parthenon said...

This is nice blog but The Parthenon (Ancient Greek) is a temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their protector.


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