Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Sonic Parthenon Playlist: Autumn and the End of 2010, Part 2

Land of Talk - "Sweet Coin"
Land of Talk returned in 2010 with another dose of doe-eyed melancholy. This one has a pulsing beat that can actually make you move.

The Limousines - "Internet Killed The Video Star"
If/When the Sonic Parthenon Radio Hour actually takes off the ground at Thor Radio, don't be too surprised if this is the first song played. Apart from its obvious message, this song from a San Francisco duo, pulls a fast one - complaining about the youth's turn from instruments and three chords to synths and pop factory tween hits by sounding just like the latter. Except in a good way. I haven't seen an ironic soap box stand like this since Sideshow Bob used television in order to decry it.

Menomena - "Taos"
Menomena - Dooo Dooo Dooo Dooooo - Menomena - Dooo doo doooo doooooo. Sorry. This eclectic Indie band has a fun, fast, noisy shambles here.

Nick Curran And The Lowlifes - "Kill My Baby"
Nick C and the somethings eh?Hey he's allowed, lay off him. Besides have you heard this pyschobilly boogie swing number? He's going to kill his baby if she don't stop messin' around. I'd believe him if I was you.

Pomegranates - "Skull Cakin'" and "50's"
I first heard Pomegranates on a WOXY live session in 2007 or 8 or so. It was nice but it didn't get me. NOW they got me. Holy moly - out of nowhere, Pomegranates belted out a superb punky song in "Skull Cakin'" and they also threw out there a charming, more (oh no) 80's-ish, power pop song in "50's". One of the best surprises of the year. Good work boys!

Ra Ra Riot - "Boy"
Ra Ra Riot finally, finally, finally have a new album and it took three years to put out more of the same. But that's OK. They still got the charm and the grace.

Stars - The Five Ghosts
While it's by no means another In Our Bedroom After The War, The Five Ghosts is also not the total clunker I've heard described as such. Stars are so smooth as to barely count as anything other than lite music - but they do it with such a fine knack, who could argue?

Superchunk - "Digging For Something"
As I slowly work my way through the years of rock music, going back and picking up the bands I didn't catch on my initial forays, I finally caught up with Superchunk this year, no doubt aided by this fantastic anthem off their new record.

Tired Pony - "Get on the Road"
When I first listened to this song, I was struck by its dramatic beauty. I immediately pictured a solo guy or a male/female duo specializing in alt-country style Indie rock. Probably hailing from the mountain or plains states but too pop for Saddle Creek. But it turns out Tired Pony is Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol with a bunch of friends. Namely Peter Buck. On this song, his best friend is Zooey Deschanel. First, it all makes sense - the song has that familiar slow, build-up, repeat, slow, build-up, repeat Snow Patrol pattern. Second - Zooey has passed the test. Without hype, instant obvious appearance, or any warning - it was just a natural positive response to what I heard.

Thee Oh Sees - "I Was Denied"
Oh I'm tired of garage rock and child-like playing and attitudes. I'm tired of noise and volume for volume's sake and the "la la la la"'s. Except - I like this garage rock and this kind of attitude and this kind of noise and this kind of volume and I love this kind of "la la la la"'s. Damn You Oh Sees!

Wavves - "King of the Beach"
Man Wavves was crap when he debuted. And his behavior didn't do him any favors. Well he grew up fast and made this exceptional rock song, an anthem for the summer (if I had heard it in the summer) and one of the best songs of the year.

Wolf Parade - Expo '86
It took a long time but I finally got around to hearing the rest of this (final?) record from Wolf Parade. In addition to the two great songs I heard before, add "Pobody's Nerfect" to the list of the best of 2010.

Honorable Mentions:
Maximum Balloon - "Absence of Light (feat. Tunde Adepimpe)" (Sitek's solo project)
The Mean - "Mahalia" (sounds like relatives of the Black Keys).
Stag - "These Times" (the last number 1 song of 2010 on the weekly countdown and likely to be the first of 2011 - more on this in the first recap of the next year).

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