Download 2009 Aug, featuring Lex’s entire, toiled-over “2009 Aug” playlist — minus Aimee Man doing “Too Many People” from RAM/DOG. (For now, that piece of history is available only WFMU-worshipping supporters of Tom Scharpling and the Best Show.)
Magnolia Electric Co., O! Grace Leading things off with a home run! Leading things off with an A+ leadoff quatrain! Leading things off with the most confident, eloquent post-Seger vocal performance in rock history!
Karate, This, plus slow song Well, obviously I presumed to know too much about this outfit, who emerged in my late high school years, and whom i presumptuously pinned down as Slint, Jo44 wannabes. That said, I’ve always loved one-off tracks of theirs that I heard on other people’s boomboxes — long story short, this band and I have been long overdue for a visit from the I-WAS-WRONG-ABOUT-YOU Express (next stop: Yo La Tengo?).. Anyway, this is an outrageous leadoff track itself, from the awesome album entitled In Place of Real Insight. Here we get killer 90s emo dynamics that are often associated with Codeine, but could easily also be cited alongside Bitch Magnet/Bastro-era Grubbs. And Farina’s a great singer with, really, really hi-quality reverb-y tube/tele tone. There is nothing to not like here.
Enough is Not Enough Joe Jackson Now hold the phone! This is not another mid-tempo, lovey dovey lounger like I so famously enjoy. This is a b-side ca. Joe’s outta print 3rd alb, feat. a VERY punky Joe Jackson that I only just now got introduced to by the VERY AWESOME BLOG entitled music ruined my life.
Madagascar Lake I have no recollection of what brought me to this band, but I am a known sucker for the 2000s era iteration of white guy slow jams (as shamelessly proffered by a diverse cast feat. !!!, The Rapture, Midlake, Tortoise, Black Dice, etc.) My understanding of this genre is of the inch-wide/mile-deep variety. All I can say is that I need to disco with my rotary phone receiver in my hands like everybody the fuck else, and you shouldn’t begrudge me such an occasional succor, let alone one so nonthreatening as this.
I Should Have Known Better Wire I am very pleased with the Mopey/Earnest continuum my mixtapes traverse across sonic dimensions ranging from “song-y” to “drone-y.” Track 5 of the mixtape!! Behold dour, dour Wire: a band that could be accused of transcending “punk,’ weren’t it for the self-evident truth that Pink Flag cuts deeper than any Minor Threat or Velvets to constitute the ultimate standard of “power chord punk.” Anyway, fuck all that punk shit! This is Wire two whole years later , having moved into some sort of snowy space-bubble, and prophesying unpretentious doom.
Holiday Inn Elton John The opposite of unpretentious, Elton is burdened here with ludicrous faux-Beat-ish imaginings to belt out, and he sticks the fucking landing. A song about the life (at least) half of us dream of living, as lived in an American (at least) most of us know is a ludicrous fantasy: folks, it’s the America of Simon and Garfunkel’s atrocious “America,” here! But Elton makes it scrappy! He forces us to laugh at ourselves for loving it. (Or maybe not. I hate (that) America enough, already.) Either way, this song is a personal anthem for me and my selves.
One Zero Make Believe Tim Kinsella is obviously a hometown hero here, because (and not in spite of) his high modernist sense of adventure. Well, that shit couldn’t matter less in the context of Make Believe, who for me are the most immediately accessible and lovable of the Kinsella projects. These guys’re to me among the very catchiest of the math bands.
Teenagers from Mars David Pajo My favorite Pajo release in years, Scream With Me is odds-on favorite to top the 2009 bestuv, having dominated my early ’09 aural imaginary. “Teenagers from Mars” recasts the Misfits’ glamcore in a thoughtful, macabre mode. Like Spiderland, Scream With Me accesses a certain sullen desolation in me that amounts to, among other things, the agnostic brand of resolve I try to summon every goddamn day. Laugh if you want, but I’m not dead yet.
Fire and Water Free Here you are: mebbe one of the most namechecked Lexfaves of 2009. Guitar tone city! All my life I thought the Black Crowes wanted to sound like Faces, then I discover Terry Reid, and now I hear this. Don’t let the all-in-fun Crowes’ ref tug the wrong strings! This is quintessential 1970s FM album rock. Everybody likes this kind of music, right? Everybody in the world.
Yellow Light Van Duren Thanks to kighl for hipping me to this important, Big Star-related, Memphis fill-in-the-blank. This very McCartney-y driver drives me up!
Spare Me a Little of Your Love Fleetwood Mac You know that you’re way behind on Fleetwood Mac if you think Stevie Nicks’s the Mac’s First Lady. Christine McVie fronts this pre-Buckingham, pre-Nicks, post-Peter Green lineup that’s as emblematic as early 1970s LA Rock as any America or Eagles — only it’s twice as tuff.
Cowboy Song My Bloody Valentine One of the prev. unrlsd. numbers that emerged just a coupla months back, this has an Isn’t Anything level sense of drum machine duldrums and premature ejaculation. But that’s a positive thing, from a shoegaze point of view!
15 Steps Radiohead Radiohead’s predicament – being the world’s most famous “experimental”-leaning band – is as interesting to me as their experimental-“leaning” music. Think of this as the b/side to the previous MBV track, and you’ve got a nice, nonexistent Cassingle on your hands.
Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle Electric Light Orchestra This one is all about the riff, which is huge enough, even, to carry off the strings. In general, I’d describe ELO’s hits as “huge enough, even, to carry off the strings.”
Rainwater Cassette Exchange Deerhunter Finally the “oldies” and/or “girl group” namechecking is starting to bear more explicit fruit? These guys have made nothing but good records, however overinflated said records end up in the whole, vast Pitchfork imaginary.
I Ain’t Hiding Black Crowes [See my previous remarks about white guy slow jams.] Okay, so apparently “white guy slow jams” ain’t just for indie rockers in the late 2000s! This is atrocious, and you’ll like it.
Jukebox of Steel Son Volt I’m trying really hard to come to some kinda accommodation with this new Son Volt alb, which is mostly slow-tonking country-ish NPR-dirge. This is one of the alb’s real “barnburners.” Woah, big daddy.
Telegram Those Bastard Souls That’s more like it. The most maligned of Grifters-related projects, Those Bastard Souls are belying the crap outta said malignance on this straight-talking piece of honest-to-god beautiful old crap. And so well-spoken! Somewhere between Red Red Meat and the Bloodthirsty Lovers falls Those Bastard Souls, and you’d be lucky to wake up next to them.
When the Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Karazzee !!! (See previous remarks about white guy slow jams.) People love to make fun of this band. Me, I just like to listen to their records when I’m home alone, cleaning the house, or fighting traffic amidst a Xmas shopping war.
Birthday The Idle Race Here we have Jeff Lynne, pre-ELO and pre-Move, killing it. This track is worth the download alone.
Billy Joel She’s Right On Time God help me! I dunno… this is weirdly prog-y. There are a lotta things wrong with me, what can I say?
Cool (live) Love of Diagrams Alright, then. We will not exit with even the slightest of Billy Joel-ish aftertastes left lingering atop your tongues. Have some math, children.
Hair of the Dog Bauhaus Bauhaus is a new vista for me, with all the right sentiments, semiotics, etc. Any recommendations on where to go from here? Golly, I am late to the party on this group. Anybody wanna give me some direction, maybe?