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
1. “Machu Picchu” – B+ 2. “Under Cover of Darkness” – A 3. “Two Kinds of Happiness” – A- 4. “You’re So Right” – C+ 5. “Taken For A Fool” – B+ 6. “Games” – C+
7. “Call Me Back” – C 8. “Gratisfaction” – B
9. “Metabolism” – C+ 10. “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight” – A-
Comments: While this is no Is This It, I’m not sure anyone — band, fan, or critic — was expecting it to be something of that magnitude. Instead, it’s a pretty solid record that does a lot of soul searching in terms of sound, which is probably its primary downfall. We all heard “Under Cover of Darkness” first and from the way that sounded, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It had a nice Phoenix vibe going on the verses and a pretty poppy chorus so overall I thought…nice, but not overly impressive. Upon a lot of listens, it grew on me and I actually throughly enjoy that tune. I can’t say that for too many more on here. The first and third tracks stand out — “Two Kinds” because it oddly sounds like “Two Tickets to Paradise,” though I’ve seen perhaps more apropos comparisons to The Cars. “You’re So Right” sounds Yorkian and quite average at that. “Games” and “Call Me Back” are draggy and have potential in some places…they really do…except…”Call Me Back” disappoints when it reports back to average Yorke. If this was Guts, do you HAVE IT? “Gratisfaction” is pretty borderline so we’d have to check with Mo to see. So yeah, the recording process was a horrible one for most of the dudes, though it’s pretty hard to tell that Julian sent mp3s of his voice and they were copy and pasted on the songs. Modern technology guys. This is it. Calm down on the Muse-y ambition on “Metabolism” guys, that shit is not where you wanna go! Aw too late. “Life” gives us hope. No pun intended, it’s a quality revival jam. Good thing Julian only got two seconds of average Yorkian at the end AGAIN ! damn that impersonation ! This isn’t KLYAM recommended, but check it probably. It’s on their website.
1. “Is This It?” A+ 2. “The Modern Age” – A+ 3. “Soma” – A 4. “Barely Legal” – A+
5. “Someday” – A+
6. “Alone, Together” – A+
7. “Last Nite” – A+ 8. “Hard to Explain” – A++
9. “When It Started” – A+ / “New York City Cops” – A+
10. “Trying To Your Luck” – A+
11. “Take It Or Leave It” – A+
Comments: The best of the bunch of so-called revivalists that spawned in the late ’90s and early ‘2000s, The Strokes weren’t really revivalists at all. What were they reviving? These guys weren’t punks, either. This album is vintage pop-rock gold. Pop-rock gold that completely triumphs the dumb, uninspiring, and utterly boring, pop-rock of bands of today like…The Script. Despite widespread media coverage of this record and The Strokes legacy in general, it’s a shame they’ve never really crossed over into mainstream pop radio’s heart. Just a few years ago I was informed of this band, so I’m not going to try to pretend these guys were a favorite when I was eleven. I’d heard odds and ends off this album…most amazing to me, initially, were “Someday” and “The Modern Age”…but this was my first time listening to in its entirety. There’s hardly any bands that have produced a better start-to-finish(er). The little bursts of distortion and Casablancas’ distinctive voice are awesome moments on so many of these tunes. Even the songs that I’ve heard only a few times vs. hundreds of times for the others are immediately likable.