Here's the track listing for this month's mix CD. Lots of new music this month!
1. The Shangri-Las - Give Him a Great Big Kiss
My foray into girl groups still hasn't gotten old for me. The Shangri-Las are pretty incredible.
These girls could have kicked the Pipettes butts anyday. "...he's been bad, but he's not evil".
2. Spoon - The Underdog
Tried to get into their last well reviewed album, and was never really able to. Heard rave rave reviews on their new one (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga) and had to give a try. It's quite good. This is a great catchy number.
3. McCarthy Trenching - Wedding Song
First heard them last week opening for Mark Olson at Schubas. Dan McCarthy has a lot of Townes Van Zandt and Greg Brown in him (though he claims little TVZ influence and no knowledge of Greg Brown). This song is particularly reminiscent of Van Zandt. And no, it's not the sappy "There Is Love" Wedding Song that used to be sung at too many weddings. This one's about missing your opportunity to start a family bluegrass band.
4. Blanche - Another Lost Summer
Not sure where I heard these guys first, but this is one of 2 songs by them on my IPod, and this one caught me off guard on shuffle. Sad and hinting at some sort of family tragedy, but who doesn't feel this way at the end of most every summer? I'm a sucker for the male/female interplay on the vocals.
5. The New Pornographers - All The Old Showstoppers
First, the band name - Jerry Falwell once called rock music "the new pornography". Second, this will be probably be my favorite album of the year (Challengers). Oh my gosh it's good. And this song...I haven't checked to see who wrote this one, but I regret not pairing it here with Neko Cases' "John Saw The Number" as this features further tales of John the Revelator. This is what pop-rock was meant to be.
6. The Lost Dogs - Bush League
"...so here's our yellow ribbon burning song". This is an old song off the Lost Dogs' first album, but it hit me on shuffle the other day and I was blown away. How did a band on a contemporary Christian music label get away with bashing a Republican President 16 years ago? The whole album is a tough-love letter to America, and just as relevant 16 years later.
7. The Veils - Advice For Young Mothers To Be
Possibly a pro-choice statement? I'm not sure...was trying to listen hard to it in the car yesterday, but couldn't get a clear interpretation. Thanks to B for turning me on to them. Apparently Andy Partridge of XTC's son, but he sounds so much like Nick Cave I always get confused and think of him as Nick Cave's son, which in a sense I think he is. He can write some XTC worthy hooks, but is quite a bit darker overall.
8. Richard Buckner - Count Me In On This One
From Impasse. I was a very late comer to Richard Buckner. Someone even took me to see him years and years ago at Schubas and I thought nothing of him at the time. Then within the last couple of years I got "Bloomed" and fell in love. Nothing else of his has even come close to that album for me, but a couple tracks off Impasse did grab me this month.
9. Of Montreal - A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger
Saw them at Lolla last year and was intrigued. Picked up this disc (Hissing Faunua Are You The Destroyer), and beyond the impossible not to like "Suffer For Fashion", it didn't do much for me, and somehow missed getting onto the IPod before being buried in the mess of CDs that is my home. Pulled it out in advance of seeing them at Pitchfork this summer, and it's grown on me in a big way.
10. Josh Rouse - London Bridges
Josh Rouse seems to be putting out an album a year these days, along with a number of EPs. This one (Country Mouse, City House) is considerably more interesting than his last full length Subtitulo. Nothing out of the ordinary here - just Josh doing that smooth groove laden pop folk thing that he does.
11. Delta Spirit - French Quarter
Don't know much about these guys except they're on the Cold War Kids label and have toured with them. And they're awesome. Only an EP at this point and I can't wait for a full length. Straight ahead rock with a little bit of roots, a little bit of soul, and little bit of the Stones.
12. Eleni Mandell - Girls
Thanks to K for reintroducing me to Eleni Mandell. It's been a few albums since I'd listened to her, and this new one (Miracle of Five) is really nice. Smooth, pretty, simple with something I can't quite put my finger on that elevates this way above the Norah Jones territory it could so easily linger in.
13. Mark Olson - Poor Michael's Boat
Mark has a stellar new album "Salvation Blues" and this is probably the strongest (and most reminiscent of the Jayhawks) among an album full of strong songs. Saw him twice last week with an incredible backing band, looking and sounding like they were all having a great time.
14. Califone - The Orchids
One of my favorite bands from Pitchfork this year. Apparently this is a cover song, but done with their cool unique instrumentation that was very enjoyable to watch/listen to at Pitchfork.
15. The Avett Brothers - Die Die Die
Clever, catchy, and hummably morbid. What more do you need?
16. The Mountain Goats - Some Swedish Trees
I seem to have an unwritten rule that nearly every mix CD must have a Mountain Goats song. This is this month's.
17. The Shangri-Las - Out in the Streets
A classic tale of girl is attracted to bad boy, girl succeeds in changing bad boy, girl finds she isn't as attracted to good boy.
18. Patty Griffin - Sweet Lorraine
I've been on a Patty Griffin kick lately. I love learning her songs on guitar because we have the same vocal range and her songs are easy enough that I can play them, but sophisticated enough that they sound cool. She's always at her best when she writing about, or writing as other characters. This is one of her first great songs in that vein.
19. The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour
Dan Bejar (Destroyer) steals the album with this one.
20. Richard Buckner - Hoping Wishers Never Lose
21. Of Montreal - Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider