Bon ApeTit

When a muse strikes, it is truly a thing of beauty. Music certainly can strike a chord in the heart of any poet during the midnight hours of winter, and after a good shovel and a long listen on the iPod today I am pleased to bring you something of a short playlist of the week I have put together, along with the inspiration of many others. The beautiful thing is music is all about collaboration and kindling human relationships, and I hope you have the chance to pirate some of these songs and enjoy them in their entirety, for the sake of mankind.

I leave you with a recent Twain (whose Jersey Shore name would be Sammi C, f.y.i.) quote I came across which says something like the difference between good work and piss work is like lightning bolts and lightning bugs. Let the skies ignite.

The Magnetic Fields- California Girls: Its anthemic, heavy, catchy, and not Coldplay. Fantastic. No synth from a primarily synth based group, creative! Gay lead singer, even better for capturing that Brian Wilson sound. The song itself touches on some sociocultural sentiments I definitely agree with(see They breath coke and have affairs with each passing rockstar), but don’t go lyric hunting and crank up the volume to appreciate those distorted guitars.

Japandroids- Crazy/Forever: Ok, now its really time to crank the shit out of your headphones. This is an intensely heavy jam (think Brian Jonestown, but cleaner) from an extremely talented loud sound, semi-punk rock band. It simply kicks ass, and the great thing is it doubles as both a stoner noise burner and a UFC pre-match entrance song. If only this had been written before Gladiator…

Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., aka Jay Reatard- My Shadow: For those unfamiliar with the signature Gibson flying V of Jay Reatard, if there is one song from this list to find, this is it. He rips, shreds, screams, shakes and soars through cords in his quick pop conceptions, and his craftsmanship has made noisy music extremely accessible. Unfortunately the world of music and man lost Jay to over intoxication earlier this year and his work has to be referenced in the past tense, but his truly independent spirit and grit determination have/are/will inspire musicians for generations to come. Rest well Jay.

Surfer Blood- Swim: Enough of the somber reminiscing of what has been, let us shift gears to an up and coming band emerging from West Palm, FLA. Straight up, this is a cut to the gut, lo-fi surfer rock at it’s finest. Some bands of this genre tend to overdue the production and get lost with synth, looping and dubbing, but this is guitar heavy bonzai pipeline stuff. This fresh new indie band screams in celebration at overcoming the impending struggle with this single, and sex wax aside, this is a sick lick to enjoy.

Yeasayer- Strange Reunions: Odd Blood, Yeasayer’s sophomore offering, has received mixed reviews. Some say it is too out there, diverging from the folksier, more guitar heavy schtuff that got them noticed. I say that with their limited body of work, lets let them keep exploring. Brooklyn may be able to emerge from its snooty, vegan enriched scene strapped to the backs of these chaps. This song has a warm Animal Collective feel (maybe because everything I like does these days, woe is me). Clapping for percussion, psychedelic synths, warped vocals and poppy engineering gives this song a vibe unto its own, and I applaud both this song and their entire album.

The Thermals- We Were Sick: The industry inside on these dudes is that their most recent album after leaving SubPop Records is only a step in the ascent of the 2010 upcoming release, and I personally am excited. You almost feel guilty listening to it because it has some emo eccentricities, but it is punk pop at its best, one of music’s greatest conundrums. We Were Sick is a song I would march to, and I look forward to finding them at a festival this summer.

Four Tet- Smile Around the Face: From deep into the bowels of my techno pop archives, inspired by a recent album released by Kieran Hebden under the pseudonym Four Tet, I present to you Smile Around the Face. If you like Dan Deacon outside of his cup loving lizard, or are interested in refined electronic music, press play. Pure bliss. I mean, if this track is unsuccessful in accomplishing its goal neatly outlined in the title, then you are having an extremely bad day. The nasty little synth and electronic melodies that  blend with simplistic, clean cut drum beats and funky high pitched gospel loops might even get you clapping by song’s end.

Washed Out- You’ll See It: Another lone wolf techno whiz, another disturbingly catchy track that might have even been able to get John McCain elected (if Sarah Palin had stripped to it). Hazy, distorted, danceable synthpop. That just sounds fun to listen to, and it is. Side note- this guy produces/mixes/lives/makes macaroni via his parents basement, so if you have the dough buy a disc or a vinyl and lets get a starving artist laid. 

Cloud Cult- Lucky Today: 2005 was a solid year. Both Four Tet and this serving of Cloud Cult emerged from the chaos of 9/11 + 4, and this is really a song of hope in the post apocalypse. The key to what makes this music good doesn’t lie in a singular element, but rather in the effect produced when rap beats are fused with folksy, violin laced guitars in the midst of uplifting vocal harmonizations. I saw them live in South Bend a couple of years ago, and though I don’t remember this song appearing in the show, they completed a full painting during the set and really played an out there gig, and I delighted in the weirdness it as it fit my mood perfectly. (want more, check out “Chemicals Collide”)

The Black Lips- Cold Hands: When I first heard of the Lips, given the name, I could understand how I could have missed them when running through my music library. Black Keys, Black Crows, BlackStar, Blacroc, Flaming Lips…you get the picture. What I couldn’t believe is that these guys belong with all those aforementioned names. I love them, flat out. They are the new 13th Floor Elevators, these self described “flower punk” pranksters from Georgia who use condensed psychedelic chords in perfect blend with drunkenly ominous vocals.

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