Bands/Songs That Still Hold Up (#-A-B-C)

Sometimes it sucks to move onto something new. A vague statement that is — but think about it. Usually it means you lost or neglected something of the past. In the case of music libraries, I’ll never completely know what I listened to prior to December 2009, when I bought a new laptop and dragged a very tiny amount of music from the old computer. Still though, December 2009 is sort of long ago (for a young person like myself) so here are tunes/bands that I probably haven’t posted on KLYAM:

The 1990s – See You At The Lights” – I remember getting into this during my Dandy Warhols/’garage rock revival’ kick back in 2007. It’s still really catchy power-pop. I was more of a songs guy in those days so it doesn’t really surprise me that this is the only song that I’ve listened to by the band.

The Apples In Stereo – Go” – I never knew this came out in 2000. I would have thought mid-2000s. It is an eccentric track that might have subliminally contributed to my liking of similarly weird stuff, but it’s this extremely pop song that is overflowing with hooks while being a little corny. That’s part of the charm, though. I dug deeper into this band’s discography recently, but didn’t find anything really like “Go”. Maybe I didn’t dig deep enough.

The Avalanches – “Electricity” – I do have a bit of a sweet spot for some dance music, but this is in no way traditional dance music. The samples are incredible, giving this song a bit of an urban/hip-hop feel. I remember thinking about trashing this song to save up on space, but now I’m so glad I kept it.

Babyshambles – Like with a lot of bands I love, I arrived late to the party. I got into The Libertines a few years after their demise and it took me several months of hardcore fandom to give the side projects an honest look. Pete Doherty wrote some killer songs in Babyshambles: “Killamangiro,” “Fuck Forever,” “Pipedown” to name a few. I think I have to give this man a lot of credit for getting me into more ‘punk’ pop, eventually paving my ears to say Jay Reatard who was totally punk-minded albeit in a totally different way.

Bishop Allen – “Middle Management” – I remember hearing this for the first time on MLB 2k7 and being happy behind belief. It was cool to learn that these guys took their name from a street that we would eventually take on-route to seeing some damn great shows at the Middle East, but the song itself exemplified exactly what I was into in the spring of 2007. Quirky, melodic, power pop jams. I remember thinking to myself, how come these guys are virtual unknowns while a band like The Click Five is getting the time of day? There are some other tunes by Bishop Allen that I’d recommend like “Ghosts Are Good Company” and “Things Are What You Make Of Them” if you dig stuff by The Lovely Feathers or Adam Green.

Bubba Sparxxx – “Back In The Mud” – If I remember correctly, I first thought this song was off Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which is one of the few hip-hop albums I’ve ever purchased. This song is pretty straight forward, but Sparxxx’s quick fire delivery on the verses and the guitars/fuzz make this ‘not your average joe’ rap song.

Cat Power – I can’t say I’m a committed/knowledgable Cat Power listener. I’ve only heard a handful of her songs, but there was something about her voice/songwriting that struck a chord with me upon discovery. Nowadays, I can’t really imagine myself getting into her kind of music, but then again I’m sure if I hear something as striking as “Nude As The News” or “I Don’t Blame You” I’d have to take that back.

The Concretes – You Can’t Hurry LoveI realized upon hearing Peter Bjorn and John’s Writer’s Block that there might be some other Swedish bands that I could enjoy. Indeed. There was The Shout Out Louds, Jens Lekman, and low and behold The Concretes. This jangle is a pop masterpiece.

Crystal Castles  – I’m guessing I got into this band around the time that I heard “Electricity” given how they are very much alike. A song like “Courtship Dating” is as if The Yeah Yeah Yeahs devoted themselves to electronica while “Vanished” is just full of hooky synths. I know CC has some albums out, but as weird as it sounds, I think I felt a little guilty listening to Crystal Castles while simultaneously getting big into rock and roll bands like No Age so I limited myself to a few songs. They’ve got another album coming so maybe when that gets released, I’ll give CC the fresh look that they probably deserve.


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