Spring Tunes [2011 Edition]

Here are some songs that remind me of this time of the year, coming pretty late (compared to other years when I’ve done such a list in early March…blame it on the shitty weather!):

PHOTOCORNERS” – Lovely Feathers – In general, Lovely Feathers early material (’04, ’05, ’06) is warm weather kind of stuff. Their bare-boned and oddly uplifting aesthetic gets the birds singing. The song “Pope John Paul” reminds me of Quebec; in fact, on a school trip there in 8th grade (six years ago, time flies) the Pope had just died two months prior and Chris and I were speculating on the implications of 666 – June 6, 2006. In 9th grade I wrote an essay about “Pope John Paul,” but I could have sworn I first heard the song in 2005, yet it came out in April 2006 so it had to have been then (on WMBR). Anyway, you might be wondering why I didn’t choose “Pope John Paul” as thee song for this little thing and the answer is I couldn’t’ find a decent YouTube video so you’ll have to settle for “Photocorners”.

TWO WEEKS” – Grizzly Bear – Though not a huge huge fan of Veckatimest, I really enjoy this one off of it. It was joyfully overplayed over at WERS at the time of its release — spring 2009.

PARIS 2004” – Peter Bjorn and John – A favorite of mine during the springs of 2008 and 2009, a commenter described it best (replace summer with spring): “This song reminds me of this summer..i would listen to it when i got up in the morning an i would look out the window and the sky was clear and with a couple of puffy clouds and the trees really really green.”

We Used To Be Friends” – Dandy Warhols – I first heard this tune some years ago and then I heard it at my high school’s TV BBQ, which, from the time or two that I attended, had a playlist that was generally filled with catchy “indie-rock” such as this one.

Someday” – The Strokes – MLB 2k8 was the mode of my discovery of this song. I was immediately hooked to it and in fact Is This It happens to be a mighty spring-time record

CD Review: Gimme Some [2011]


Band:
Peter Bjorn and John
Release: 3/2011
Label: Wichita Recordings

1. “Tomorrow Has To Wait” – A
2. “Dig A Little Deeper” – A
3. “Second Chance” – A-
4. “Eyes” – A-
5. “Breaker Breaker” – A
6. “May Seem Macabre” – B
7. “(Don’t Let Them) Cool Off” – A
8. “Black Book”- B+
9. “Down Like Me” – A-
10. “Lies” – A+
11. “I Know You Don’t Love Me” – A

Comments: Peter Bjorn and John have been around for more than a decade and, after many a pop song, have established themselves as an upper-echelon independent band. Their big break as you all may remember was Writer’s Block from 2006 which won ubiquitously positive reviews. It’s a personal favorite of mine. On that record was their biggest hit, the whistle hooked “Young Folks.” Their experimental follow-up came in 2009 with Living Thing, which was reviewed in the mainstream with far less enthusiasm and much more mixed feeling than Writer’s Block. My feeling is that critics weren’t expecting the band to make as much of a departure as they did from standard rock and roll. I actually really enjoyed Living Thing, which was still PB&J at its core, just with a bunch of electronic stuff thrown in the mix. Gimme Some is not really a return to their old style of songwriting, but more of an evolution towards unchartered territory. On this album, backing vocals and involved guitar riffs and parts are more dominate than ever before I’d say. I wouldn’t have expected PB&J to veer into a garage-pop/punk direction, but they do pretty nicely on “Breaker Breaker” and “(Don’t Let Them) Cool Off”. The power-pop of “Lies” is real good! If they have another brush with b-level ‘fame’, I’d like to think it will be because of this song.  Pretty sure I just said this, but they really never have played as fast as they do here! It’s awesome. Gimme Some initially lacks that ‘oohhh shit!!’ element that Writer’s Block has. That was almost a concept album, though. It ran the gamut of musical emotions. This is more of a variety platter, but one that has a little bit of all of the ‘good stuff’. It’s like ordering a pu pu platter that comes with a bunch of tasty items like chicken wings, fingers, and ribs and some other stuff that is edible, but not the greatest by any stretch.

Grade: A- (92)

New Peter Bjorn and John Album Out March 2011!

Peter Bjorn and John are all done with their sixth studio album! It will be released on March 29th on StarTime International. According to member John Eriksson: “‘We originally planned to make a punk rock album, but listening to it now it’s definitely a pop rock album. But it sounds more punk rock when we play the songs live!’” This is surely departure from their electronically experimental (but very good) 2009 LP Living Thing.

Songs Reminding Me Of Spring

Since it’s supposed to be 60+ today, I have some songs that year after year remind me of the spring season.

1. “Someday” – The Strokes – LINK
2. “Objects of My Affection” – Peter Bjorn and John – LINK
3. “Funny Little Feeling” – Rock N Roll Soldiers – LINK

Back when I was a youngster (in high school), I used to wake up really early and play these songs (and others, which I will post later) while doing homework.

Random Memory

My memory isn’t that good, but sometimes I can remember some pretty crazy stuff. Like on Halloween night in 2007, I was listening to the song “The Chills” by Peter Bjorn and John and heard a shitload of helicopters and military air vehicles making rounds in the sky. I remember telling Chris, but I’m not sure if he’ll recall this.

Living Thing Revisited

Band: Peter Bjorn and John
Label: Almost Gold Recordings
Release: March 31, 2009

1. “The Feeling” – 9.3
2. “It Don’t Move Me”9.7
3. “Just The Past” – 9.6
4. “Nothing To Worry About”9.8
5. “I’m Losing My Mind”9.7
6. “Living Thing” – 9.5
7. “I Want You!” – 9.6
8. “Lay It Down” – 9.2
9. “Stay This Way” – 9.0
10. “Blue Period Picasso” – 9.2
11. “4 out of 5” – 9.4
12. “Last Night” – 9.3

Grade: 9.4