February 2003 Archives

Daryl Hall & John Oates - Do it for Love (U-Watch) [audio] [upcoming shows]

For years I hid my love for the smoothest pop n' soul honkey duo to come from Philly because it wasn't "cool" to like Hall and Oates. But that all changed recently when Ben from DCFC admitted his admiration for the duo. So sing it loud and proud H&O fans, the boys are back with an all-new collection of toe-tapping, glossy sing-a-longs like "Life's Too Short" and "Man on a Mission." If you don't want to buy it, steal if from your parents.

Supergrass - Life On Other Planets

Supergrass - Life On Other Planets (Island/Parlophone) [upcoming shows]

The 'Grass started out with Buzzcocks swipes (the kickass drum intro still makes me mistake "Caught By The Fuzz" for "What Do I Get"), yet somehow grew into a bluesier, organ-driven classic rock sound that is no less energetic or enjoyable. Their latest effort - reminiscent of the Rushmore soundtrack at points - doesn't disappoint. Plus, as their name implies, I get the impression these dudes REALLY like their mary jane, ain't nothing wrong with that. I WANNA TALK TO SAMSON!

Commnunique; - Crescent Honeymoon EP

Commnuniqué - Crescent Honeymoon EP (Lookout!) [album stream, mp3] [upcoming shows]

Remember that machine in The Fly? The one that squashes together the DNA of Jeff Goldblum and a housefly, resulting in a slightly hairier Goldblum? Okay, now imagine The Shins getting squeezed in there with ELO, and the resulting blob deciding to form a band to channel the jangly pop tendencies of the Smiths. That's Communiqué, and their new EP, Crescent Honeymoon, is a sweet slab of indie rock pie that I'm sure the Goldblum-Fly would just love to slurp up through his mouth tube. Highly Recommended.
Yo La Tengo - Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science (Egon) [audio] [upcoming shows]

"For completists only" is usually bandied about like it's a bad thing. In the case of Yo La Tengo, it just means more good stuff for me. This one ain't for everybody, and that's the way we like it. Dreamy, abstract soundscapes give way to simmering funk ("Shrimp Stories") and discordant scree ("Liquid Crystals"). If only they'd come out with a DVD of the Jean Painleve films this soundtrack accompanies, this completist would be completely happy.
The Mendoza Line - If They Knew This Was the End (Bar/None Records) [audio]

Reissue of The Mendoza Line's 1996 debut album (with six bonus tracks), recorded during the group's Athens, GA days, and amidst the band's releases on Kindercore. Straightforward college pop with male/female vocals and quirky lyrics, born from a natural migration from Pavement and Sebadoh into friendly and harmonious Southern indie rock. They may be creating more distinctive material nowadays, but we all have to crawl before we can bat our own weight.

Cat Power - You Are Free

| 1 Comment
Cat Power - You Are Free (Matador) [stream the album] [upcoming shows]

There is a fancy faced glam girl on the Jan/Feb cover of Harp, which on closer inspection is Chan Marshall, of Cat Power. The interview takes place while Marshall is getting a.......... pedicure. She was more interested in nail polish than her current release, You are free. This makeover is worlds away from the melancholy sounds of Moon pix. This self absorbed rebirth sparkles with annoying background vocals and worthless overdubs. But hidden behind the nail polish is a quiet shot of much needed empathy.

Charles Atlas - Worsted Weight

| No Comments
Charles Atlas - Worsted Weight (Oneida Records) [audio] [upcoming shows]

I've never exclaimed "Holy Shit!" while listening to something at work, but that's exactly what happened when I heard the fourth album by San Francisco based trio Charles Atlas. Full of lush, orchestrated loops, and all sorts of glitchy analog goodness, Worsted Weight separates itself from other instrumental records by being captivating instead of merely interesting. Few albums, Mogwai's Rock Action comes to mind, entertain the listener through 13-minute songs full of looped guitar and piano time and time again like this one does. Gorgeous.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Hearts of Oak (Lookout!) [mp3] [upcoming shows]

We've had less than 2 years to repair the damage caused by the devastating power pop blast of 2001's Tyranny of Distance, but Ted Leo's gone and blasted anew with his latest release, Hearts of Oak. Damn, this is hot. Hooks for days, tell ya. It's not as instant as Tyranny, but it still holds the payoff. Whereas Tyranny's fruit was sweetly overripe and falling straight from the tree, Oak requires some tending and watering; be prepared to invest some time raising this bitch from seed. It's worth it.

Joseph Arthur - Redemption's Son

| No Comments
Joseph Arthur - Redemption's Son (Universal/Enjoy/Realworld) [audio] [upcoming shows]

Arthur plays a careful balancing act, using deceptively simple pop hooks to draw you in, and when you least expect it, his emotionally complex lyrics will struggle to the surface and hit you in the chest like a sledgehammer. The subject matter is intensely personal and intimate, and at times threatens to spiral into a deep pit of self despair, but as the title track suggests, Arthur and his guitar pulls you through to the other side. Beck comes nowhere close to touching the heartache felt on Redemption's Son.

Summer at Shatter Creek

Summer at Shatter Creek (Absolutely Kosher) [audio]

Bust out the throw pillows and prepare to be soothed. Kalamazoo native Craig Jurwich, the man behind Summer at Shatter Creek, has crafted a debut effort that is chock full of extremely polished and powerful sleepy-time guitar pop. Jurwich's voice lingers in Thom Yorke's stratosphere while his songwriting captures a perfectly melancholy groove. Recommended if you love driving around aimlessly at 4 a.m., smiling about "what could have been".

The Coral - Skeleton Key EP

| No Comments
The Coral - Skeleton Key EP (Deltasonic/Columbia) [audio] [upcoming shows]

Specializing in faceless-yet-catchy Brit-pop (with a surprisingly rootsy bent), The Coral's debut EP is an enjoyable disc that probably would have been a lot more appreciated had it come out this summer. However, the lush instrumentation is still dope no matter what the season.

Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea

Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea (Reprise) [album stream]

I admit... I miss the hair, but his royal baldness seems to have returned to almost Gish era form. He's assembled a band that reads like one of those old "Marvel team-up" comics...himself and Jimmy Chamberlain from the Pumpkins, Dave Pajo (Slint, Papa M) and Matt Sweeney (Chavez). It seems like the villain of the month is the current commercial music market, oversaturated with fake punk, emo and nu-metal. Space rock for the arena set, this is your summertime jam waiting to happen.

Monthly Archives


Powered by Movable Type 5.02

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2003 is the previous archive.

March 2003 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.