Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Spring/Summer music

It's Tuesday. That means a lot of new music dropped today into the space we listen to. It's time to school yourself, my brethren.

I submit the following: a video by one of my favorite acts of the moment, The National, who's fifth studio effort dropped today. It's smashing. The video might not be sublime, unless you get a kick out of the way they've taken the tropes of music videos and drained them of any color and/or purpose. The pageantry of lavishing the band in light and exotic locations is absent here as the front man, Matt Berninger, wanders alone through dull frames of black & white (albeit, well exposed frames). But dig that song...

What was I saying? Anyway, if the Duerdens were wondering what happened to their brother/uncle who wandered away from the family at that reunion all those years ago, the National found him and they've put him to good use. (he also looks startlingly like someone else, but I can't think of whom.)

The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio" (official video) from The National on Vimeo.

Other acts to spin and/or load onto your mobile listening device:

Josh Ritter pitched a winner last Tuesday called something I can't remember, but I'm including the cover here.

Also from last week, The New Pornographers (ignore the name) put out a pretty swell little record. It's their 3rd or 4th together and it consists of several artists who record by themselves or with other acts. The one to note is Ms. Neko Case, who is the reigning queen of alt country songstresses. I've said it before, but if there was a worldwide ban on singing, I'd take up arms and go to war for Neko Case.

Broken Social Scene of Toronto, I believe, are finally back together after a five-year hiatus. They're a nine-bodied outfit, so it's hard to get along well enough to make music, but when they do, it's worth a listen. Might not be the kind of noise everyone is into, but it tickles me.

I spent a little time in Austin last week with a musician and she turned me on to this new gem from Bob Dylan's boy, Jakob. I know, you're like, The Wallflowers Jakob Dylan? That's what I said. But he shares the bulk of the songs with Neko Case, and if you like a little more pedal steel in your summer tunes, there's nothing like a collection of solid duets to help the sun sink into your skin. And I mentioned the Neko Case, part, right? I think that's her face hiding behind Dylan's hat.

Lastly, a little something to look forward to. There's a collection of unshaven misfits who go by the name of Band of Horses who have nailed their last two albums and who show every sign of doing it again next week. The album is called Infinite Arms and it'll be available everywhere next Tuesday.


  1. Love The National. Editors seem similar to me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMKEHQqREMo

    Neko Case is great, too. I don't know if I can listen to Jacob Dylan, though.

    Okkervil River are from Austin, and are one of my favorite bands right now. Tell me this isn't one of the greatest songs ever, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN7FyzHM9Xo

  2. Thanks for doing all the legwork so people like me (who still think of the White Stripes as the exciting new thing--I am so early 2000s!) can stay in the know. I see no reason not to like Jakob Dylan. So he's not as cool as his dad. How could we ask him to be? The thing about Jakob Dylan is that he is more HANDSOME than his dad. I'm just saying.

  3. dig the editors. seems like they are riding somewhere between interpol and the national. the earlier work, especially, has a real interpol vibe. and interpol has a real joy division vibe. and joy division was in a movie with kevin bacon!

    i'm also crazy for okkervil river. i'm thinking you and i have more in common than just really, really good looks.

    @carly, you're right abt dylan. both on the handsome score and the expectations. i've come to find he's actually really easy to listen to. but it's hard to forgive him for 'one headlight.'

  4. What's wrong with 'One Headlight'?

    After writing that sentence I just sang the chorus with Lesley Bruce Springsteen style. That's one great bad song. hey Hey HHHEEEEEYYYY!

    I, like Carly, am happy to know of new music from Jed to make my co-workers green from my musical knowledge. Little do they know...

    I don't mind Bob Dylan, he's not The Beatles, but he's way better than Elvis.

    And Interpol, Editors, The National. All good. Although I'd say the National have a little Morphine in them. Ah Morphine...eases the pain.

  5. You are forgetting the Shout Out Louds

  6. cool stuff, jed. Dig that wierdo drum beat in bloodbuzz. hey, you know what else the national, editors, interpol, and morphine all have in common? I can sing along with all of them without resorting to falsetto. let's give it up for baritones!!

  7. @erin, i'm all for the shout out louds, but their release is a little old for this post (late february, if i remember correctly). freaking great record, though . everyone should hear it, except for brandie who won't be able to sing along without resorting to falsetto.

  8. Might I also suggest Broken Bells new self titled album. It is a collaboration between the lead singer of The Shins and Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley fame.