August 2003 Archives

Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power

| 1 Comment
Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power (Beggars) [audio] [upcoming shows] [pete fowler]

The Super Furry Animals cover all the bases on their new album. "Sex, War and Robots" has the pedal steel guitar you seek. "Slow Life" has the planet rock you crave (with a harmonica/cowbell breakdown even). "Out of Control" delivers your fuzzed out political punk rock. There is even the obligatory 9/11 reference in the poppy "Liberty Belle." It's the group's grooviest, sunniest record since Radiator, but damn I miss those songs in Welsh! - kyle

Erase Errata - At Crystal Palace

Erase Errata - At Crystal Palace (Troubleman/Blast First) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

Like a spazzier and less overtly-politicized Le Tigre, Erase Errata are easily the coolest thing going in San Francisco right now, a cleansing rain of lo-fi disco punk helping to erase any lingering patchouli odor wafting off of Haight. Not for everybody, but I bet this makes those cool girls from your art class dance around all jerky like Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang.

Warren Zevon - The Wind

| No Comments
Warren Zevon - The Wind (Artemis Records) [mp3]

Few albums pack as much emotional punch as the last album by Warren Zevon. Filled with happiness, sadness, regret, hope and no apologies, Wind is as quirky and clever as all of Zevon's past work. Knowing he has cancer, knowing he's going to die soon, changes an ordinary cover of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" into something much more important. And when Warren sings the lyric "Keep me in your heart for a while," who am I to deny a dying man's last wish? Plug in your headphones, lie down, and grab a box of tissues. Tears will be shed.
Kings of Leon - Youth and Young Manhood (RCA)

This debut full-length from Nashville's Kings of Leon is not the balls-to-the-wall Southern rock that I was expecting - there's a lot more charm and diversity in the 11 tracks of Youth and Young Manhood. The band, consisting of three brothers and a first cousin, is talented enough to change things up from bluesy, backwoods rockers ("Molly's Chambers") to sixties-inspired singalongs ("Holy Roller Novocaine") and on into the high-quality slow jams ("Dusty", "Trani"). Check the Blondie riff of "California Waiting" as well. Recommended late summer tunes.
Junior Senior - D-D-Don't Stop The Beat (Atlantic) [video] [upcoming shows]

However sublime it may have been, the Jackson-esque funkiness of Junior Senior's debut single, "Move Your Feet," was a bit of bait and switch - the rest of their album is all twangy guitar mashed up with the stoopidest big beat this side of Fatboy Slim. But who cares, it's still pure, unadulterated joy. People who don't like this must hate animals or some shit.

Quiet, Lovely - Automata, Musica

| 1 Comment
Quiet, Lovely - Automata, Musica (self-released) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

The Lone Star State has done it again. This time by way o' Waco, it's Quiet, Lovely, whose new album Automata, Musica, is a refreshing dose of quasi-lofi indie rock. At times, it's a big, thick, multi-layered wall of sound kinda thing, while at other times, it's really, well, kinda quiet and lovely. Whether layery or sparse, though, there's a warm, organic feeling throughout, so that no matter which direction Quiet, Lovely take it, you really can't help being hooked along for the ride. Keep 'em coming, Texas.

Northern State - Dying In Stereo

Northern State - Dying In Stereo (Star Time) [audio] [video] [upcoming shows]

Who would have ever known that three white girls from Long Island could out-rap many of their colleagues? Northern State's debut EP shows that you can have a fun hip hop album and still have smart, clever lyrics. Think of a more literate Beastie Boys before they met the Dalai Lama. This album isn't going to change the world but it may very well make you shake your ass right off your body. And that's a good thing.

Bishop Allen - Charm School

Bishop Allen - Charm School (Champagne School) [audio/video] [upcoming shows]

Bishop Allen brings to mind at different times the Kinks, the Velvets and the Pixies, but with strong songwriting and crisp production (and a whole lot of talent), "Charm School" is simply amazing on its own merits without seeming too derivative. Clever lyrics, jangly guitars and soothing harmonies make the band's debut album a pop masterpiece, solid from the first track to the last. This is pop music that makes the perfect summer soundtrack.

Summer Hymns - Clemency

| No Comments
Summer Hymns - Clemency (Misra Records) [mp3, mp3]

Gently strummed acoustic guitars, warbling vocals, the lonesome strains of a steel guitar, minimal but effective percussion, piano and organ as a mood rather than as an instrument. These are the ingredients that make up the late-in-the-afternoon front porch sounds produced by Summer Hymns. It's like J. Mascis and Mark Linkous joined forces with the members of Giant Sand in Moviola's backyard and created this lazy and beautiful racket. In actuality, Summer Hymns is Zachary Gresham backed by members of Masters of the Hemisphere, Of Montreal, and Elf Power.

The Datsuns

The Datsuns (V2) [audio/video] [upcoming shows]

Someone tell the Datsuns, unrelenting balls-to-the-wall energy can grow repetitive fast. With over-the-top solos, sing-along choruses, and we-all-have-the-same-last-name antics, there isn't much more than gimmick here. The first two tracks, "Sitting Pretty" and "Motherfucker from Hell" aren't half bad, but become tiresome after exactly five listens. The rest of the album is a murky blur, where they seem to play the same song over and over and over. File under tedious cock-rock.

Ben Lee - Hey You. Yes You.

| No Comments
Ben Lee - Hey You. Yes You. (Modular/F2 Music) [audio] [video] [upcoming shows]

One would think that a collaboration between Ben Lee, Dan the Automator and Jason Schwartzman might draw a little more attention. Haven't we been waiting like a year for this disc to drop on American soil? I mean, yeah - Automator's production has a tendency to drown out Ben's songwriting. And sure - it's probably a little more diluted than Ben's early pop sing-alongs. But there are a few really nice tracks ("Running With Scissors," "Chills") hidden throughout the disc that are screaming for your affection.
Cash Monies and the Jetsetter - Thinking Out Loud (Pig Pile Records) [mp3, mp3] [upcoming shows]

Donny and Marie once sang of being a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. Cash Monies and the Jetsetters would be wise to adopt this tagline. Mostly, this album is a twangified hoedown with footstompers ("Takin' It Out," "Worth a Damn"), rootsy rockers ("Cleaning Up," "Here With Me") and gentle tear-in-my-beer balladry ("Get it on the Way"). Produced by ex-Georgia Satellite frontman Dan Baird, this CD is a hootin' and hollerin' good time.

Mrs. Children - Basement Demos

| 1 Comment
Mrs. Children - Basement Demos [mp3, mp3] [upcoming shows]

Basement Demos is a collection of infectiously melodic and instantly catchy pop-rock gems from these wide-eyed and bushy-tailed kids from Columbus who seemingly only owned Beatles, CS&N, Beach Boys, and Gram Parsons records through their teenage years. A few years wiser, and with expanded record collections (Wilco, Pernice Brothers), Mrs. Children's songwriting maturity shines. These demos are the most pleasant songs I've listened to this year and the best part - you can download them all for FREE from the band's website.

Monthly Archives


Powered by Movable Type 5.02

About this Archive

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

July 2003 is the previous archive.

September 2003 is the next archive.

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