Tag Archives: Monday

“Rock and Roll”

edanbeauty
Edan (w/ Dagha)
Beauty and the Beat, 2005

I can honestly say I’ve never heard another record quite like Beauty and the Beat. Released in 2005 to great acclaim but almost totally forgotten nine years later, its colorful collision of psych-rock and hip-hop sounds as unique today as it did then. To date, no artist I’m aware of has attempted to build on the achievement, including Edan himself. Some things are best left as-is. “Rock and Roll” is the record’s most anxious moment, a fog of feedback set to a loping backbeat Hendrix would’ve destroyed. Fittingly, Edan shouts out a decade of classic-rock trailblazers in tribute before turning his ire toward none other than Lenny Kravitz. As if you needed another reason to listen.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/09%20Rock%20And%20Roll%20(featuring%20Dagha).mp3]

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“Can’t Do Without You”

Caribou-Our-Love
Caribou
Our Love, 2014

Summer’s almost over, sad to say, and if you were worried yours might come to an end without an encapsulating single, help yourself to mine. Based on the advance hype, Caribou’s forthcoming Our Love appears, finally, to be the club-ready record Dan Snaith has been building toward his entire career. He’s certainly pushed the button before (most notably on 2010’s Swim and with solo project Daphni), but never this hard. “Can’t Do Without You” is four minutes of perfectly modulated, professional-grade sugar rush, and it sticks from the first listen. Don’t take my word for it though – press play and make it your own. You’ve still got a whole week left.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Can’t%20Do%20Without%20You.mp3 ]

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“Believing is Art”

Spoon
Spoon
Girls Can Tell, 2001

Spoon has a new album out, maybe you’ve heard? It’s called They Want My Soul, it’s getting rave reviews, and to be honest I can’t get into it at all. Soul is Spoon with the edges sanded down, another reminder that this band relies as much on production as songwriting to get its point across. Girls is/was Spoon at its deconstructed finest, relying on close-mic drumming and lots of open space to maintain a nervy, restless edge even when there isn’t much music to speak of. “Believing is Art” scratches and scrapes for more than three minutes before eventually collapsing into full-on garage rock. There’s blood in every note.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/02%20Believing%20Is%20Art%201.mp3 ]

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“SWING IT LOW”

morphine

Morphine
Like Swimming, 1997

Occupying a space opposite most of Morphine’s musical output, “Swing It Low” feels like the dream at the end of the party. Over an insistent, flanged-out shaker loop, delicate guitar, ambient hum and tablas – and sans the group’s signature “low-rock” bass/sax combo – vocalist Mark Sandman looks forward to brighter times. “I got buttons burstin’ in the air/Ideas, runnin’ fingers through my hair/My shoes, they’re ready to move.” It’s a rare optimistic missive from a musician not generally remembered for them.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/12%20Swing%20It%20Low.mp3 ]

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“DARK DON’T HIDE IT (LIVE)”


Magnolia Electric Co.
Trials & Errors, 2005

If you’re gonna rip off Crazy Horse, this is the way to do it. As the first song on the first record from Jason Molina’s Magnolia Electric Co., “Dark Don’t Hide It” made clear in no uncertain terms that Molina was ready to leave the quiet folk of Songs: Ohia behind. In just under six minutes, he and his compatriots barrel over acres of Americana, leaving a Neil-sized cloud in their wake. Imitation-as-flattery never lingered so good. Commit this one to memory, then spend the rest of your life appreciating the treasury of traditional songwriting Molina left us with.

[audio http://www.scjag.com/mp3/sc/thedarkdonthideit.mp3 ]

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