J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Friday, November 09, 2007

Notes From Underground - #23

Another three weeks, another Randomocity. I've added some good stuff to the player this week, so let's see what pops up. Again, there will be no Now Departing column on Monday - I'll be out of town, so instead of trying to write and coordinate getting it up, I'll take the fact that I'm on vacation that day as a sign and pass on writing. Regular updates will resume on Tuesday with the Return Trip feature. Have a great weekend, everyone.

A reminder - Click on the 'Play It' link at the end of each commentary and you can listen along with me. Sort of.

Here are the rules: 1) can't spend any more time typing than the track is long; 2) have to type based on my own knowledge - no consulting the internets for confirmation, so if I put my foot in my mouth, so be it; 3) no skipping tracks - even if artists/albums repeat, no skipping.

Let's go.

# 5690 - The Dream Syndicate - "The Days of Wine and Roses" : This week starts off with a bang - the title track from the Dream Syndicate's debut album. I just played them on the Halloween show with a live cover of Donovan's "Season of the Witch" from the Day Before Wine and Roses live album - a really interesting live show recorded about a month before they recorded their debut. The live version of this song on that CD is blistering. As is this, the eventual recorded product. I forget what my original introduction to the 'paisley underground' was, but that was how I got into these guys. Of course, they stand distinctly outside that movement, despite their having been lumped in with it at the time. Much more Velvet Underground than anything else - the Dream Syndicate is what happens with the Velvet's sense of noise and craft finally caught up with the punk revolution. If you don't like noisy guitar bands, they won't be your cup of tea. The droning that begins with about 2 minutes left in the song and that leads back into the final repetition of the chorus is so hypnotic. - Play It!

# 6643 - The Arctic Monkeys - "The View From the Afternoon" : Ah, the lead track from their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not. I just played them on the show this week. Come on, mp3 player. Let's give the people a bit more diversity than that. Good song though from a good band. I should probably name my mp3 player, eh? It deserves a name so that I can refer to it that way. I'll have to come up with one by the time of the next Randomocity. Despite their terrible name, I hope the Arctic Monkeys manage to hang around for awhile - they've put out two excellent records thus far, which is a lot more than most bands these days - especially British 'next big things.' - Play It!

# 1184 - The Emergency - "Bliss" : That's what I get for encouraging my player to do better - it starts repeating things. Well, I set myself up for this. This song was on a previous edition of Randomocity - one of the more entertaining ones, now that I think about it. It's a good, simple song from their debut self-released album that the band was nice enough to send me as a gift. This year's Doo-lang Doo-lang is a great listen as well. A really stellar power-pop band, even if this song doesn't showcase that side of them. [Ed. note - J. is a moron and this song has not appeared on a previous edition of Randomocity. However, a different song by the Emergency from this album did appear on a previous edition - the one linked. He gets brain-addled sometimes.] - Play It!

# 1580 - Pulp - "Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)" : Okay, here we go. This is from the second disc of Countdown: 1992 - 1983, a collection of singles and what-not from Pulp's pre-His 'n' Hers output. You really have to have an interest in the long, drawn out process of Jarvis Cocker's rise into brilliance in order to like these CDs. This song is a great example of Cocker's deft sense of insight and sexuality - but god, that chorus line is clunky and vaguely disturbing. And is that a squealing violin being gamely tortured in the background during the bridge? "There's a hole in your heart / and one between your legs / you've never had to wonder which one he's going to fill / in spite of what he says." I get it, Jarvis, but clunky. - Play It!

# 1138 - Richard Buckner - "Jewelbomb" : One moment I think my player is throwing me a bone, the next minute it gets yanked back. This is from the same album as the Buckner song I played to close my show last night. It's a largely solo acoustic affair - Buckner has a really beguiling and unique singing voice and I've loved it from the first time I heard it. He's also a nice guy, I should point out. I've never really listened to the albums of his that are largely considered his best - just this one and the most recent, Meadow. I've always heard his Merge records are pretty solid. Anyone a listener to more of Buckner's work than I've been? - Play It!

# 3453 - Luna - "Slash Your Tires" : Maybe my player listens to my show? Or maybe instead of being truly 'random,' it pays attention to things I deliberately cue up? Either way, it hasn't been that long ago that I played this song, from Luna's debut album, Lunapark, on my radio show. The odd factoid about this record is that, technically, the band's name on this record is Luna^2. There was some sort of copyright issue over the name Luna which was apparently resolved by the time of their second album. I went to see a band opening for Luna once and not being that familiar with them (this was around the time that their album Romantica came out), and being quite tired, I ducked out after the opening act. Years later I now love Luna and they've broken up and I never saw them. The lesson here? Sleep is overrated compared to seeing great bands live. - Play It!

# 4128 - The Sea and Cake - "Left Side Clouded" : Ah, from One Bedroom which was near the bottom of my top 25 albums list the year it came out. I really haven't listened to this album much since that year, but I enjoyed it a lot. They really are a band that is hard to be, like, crazy about. I really like them and enjoy their albums, but I mean, wouldn't it be weird to meet a hardcore Sea and Cake fan? Do they exist? They just don't seem like the kind of band that inspires rabid fan-hood - more like a calm, cool appreciation of their technical acumen and breezy lyrical structure. In some alternate dimension, there are street toughs who beat up people who can't name a track off of The Fawn and subways with the phrase 'Prekop is God' graffittied on the walls. - Play It!

# 2266 - Neko Case - "Hold On, Hold On" : So now my mp3 player is taking payola? This is from Case's brilliant Fox Confessor Brings the Flood which was just re-issued this week with bonus tracks and all. All of Case's records have either last week or this week been re-issued, including her nearly forgotten debut, The Virginian. I first got into her via the really lovely Furnace Room Lullaby and I used to play a cover of a song off of it when I played coffee shops in high school. This album is her best to date though and this song is just...jaw-dropping. All this and she's a member of the New Pornographers to boot. - Play It!

# 5538 - Slim Cessna's Auto Club - "Sour Patch Kids" : Fitting since I've been eating a lot of these this week. A friend of mine recommended this band to me in regards to my love of Sixteen Horsepower. This band is decidedly more goofy and carnival-esque than Sixteen Horsepower, but it's got the same kind of eerie, rootsy Americana feel. This is from the album The Bloudy Tenent, Truth & Peace. This isn't the best song of theirs I've heard, but it's well in keeping with their overall style. Ah, they actually remind me more of Reverend Glasseye and His Wooden Legs - winner of some sort of band-naming contest somewhere, I'm sure. - Play It!

# 2575 - Dwight Yoakam - "Since I Started Drinkin' Again" (live) : This is from the second disc of the deluxe edition of Yoakam's debut, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc., which includes a complete live show from those early days. Yoakam was part of a music since in L.A. that makes me turn green with jealousy for anyone who witnessed it live - Yoakam, X, the Blasters, etc. This amazing brand of post-punk that was channeling Americana/traditionalist country modes into it - or in Yoakam's case, traditionalist country that had a decidedly punk feel to it with its speed and nose-snubbing at the watered-down commercial alternative of the time. If you don't own this record, and even if you do, this deluxe edition is the way to go. The title track is worth admission alone. Hey, girl! - Play It!



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