Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Playlist: Early 2011, Vol. 2

I See Hawks in LA - "Highway Down"
Every now and then, a classic, textbook country song - post-Hank and Johnny, pre-modern garbage, something in the Bakersfield vein - comes along and is just one big home run. I can't remember the last time I loved a pure country song like this one. I need to see these guys.

Jamaica - "Jericho"
I only first heard this song a couple of weeks ago but have played it so many times that it deserves mention in this first chapter of the year. A French duo calling themselves Jamaica, these croissant-eating, beret-wearing (they must, right?) wine-drinkers tap into the 80's nostalgia-wave but use the synths for the Forces of Good, combining them with a rock n roll riff that would make any blue jeans bandana lover proud.

Marina & The Diamonds
I actually really don't think I like this. I know I don't like the record. Her voice leaves a lot to be desired. But there's something about "Oh No!" and a couple of the other tracks on the self-titled record that work. Maybe it was the emotion of getting through an airplane ride on my maiden voyage to London and the "cool Britania" aspect of hearing this record on Virgin Airways. I don't know.

R.E.M. - "Mine Smells Like Honey"
Leave it to these guys to come up with an immediate Song of the Year contender.

Small Sins - Why Don't You Believe Me?
Nice-sound guys from the nice city of Toronto.

Stag - "These Times"
The first number 1 of 2011 on the weekly Top 25 Countdown on the Ipod, this is one for the lovers - the lovers of three chord, big solo in the middle rock n roll.

The Strokes - "Under Cover of Darkness"
It remains to be seen if Angles is the great return of the Strokes that this song promised it to be (see the next volume of the playlist). In the meantime, the New York kids (they ain't kids anymore) just made one hell of a stab at Single of the Year.They haven't sounded this good album one, track...oh...7.

TV Girl - "I Don't Care"
It's actually kind of nice that after all the zombie-like indifference to the world that Yuppie Hipsters invoke on a daily basis, someone wrote a song about it. Another one with the synths but to good's a New Wave song from Heck.

The Twilight Singers - "On the Corners"
The brain child of Greg Dulli returns with another dark, forceful serenade. But I wonder if he'll work with Mark Lanegan again? That was great.

Voxhaul Broadcast - Leaving on the 5th
This OC band reminds me of U2. Not 100% sure why. But they do.

Anna Waronker: I Don't Wanna
Is it a boogie woogie blues number? Is it a punk sparkplug? It's both!

War on Drugs - "Comin' Through"
The Philadelphia band returns with a long awaited (and probably forgotten about, to be honest) follow-up to their '08 success. Spending time with Daniel Johnston didn't fry their brains out thank goodness. They're even bigger fans of sharply spun 70's rock than before.

The trending band of the moment. Probably because of the one dude's hair. But everyone likes them right off. It's another case of demo to blogger stardom to more professionally paid buzz all in a matter of weeks. "Get Away" is the best of the bunch. A lot of it clicks, some of it does not.

Honorable Mentions:
Of Monsters And Men - Little Talks
British Sea Power - Who's in Control
The Goondas - Jackalope Jesus
Pert' Near Sandstone - Raleigh and Spencer
Fergus & Geronimo :: Powerful Lovin'
MADE IN HEIGHTS - All the Places

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