Monday Music Roundup
So what, exactly, do you get the dog that has everything? I almost spit my coffee in laughter/disbelief the other morning when I came across this site (a link from dooce) -- Neuticles. Apparently these little silicone delights "allow your pet to retain his natural look, self esteem and aids in the trauma associated with neutering." If that doesn't just beat it all. Good thing I don't have to worry about decisions like that; although I am definitely a dog person, pets are just too much work for me right now. I consistently and methodically kill plants. I sometimes leave groceries in the car (meat. mmmmm.). I horrifically shrink wool sweaters by putting them in the washing machine. I don't think I have time to worry about testicular implants. Anyways. I don't really have a point other than . . . wtf?
Changing gears completely (thankfully), here are some new tunes to please your ears.
The Alternate Routes
I am completely in love with this new album from The Alternate Routes: Good and Reckless and True (Vanguard Records). I've been listening to it all weekend and from the first notes I smiled, and kept at it all the way through. They've got a warm, expansive, alt-pop-americana sound with hints that remind me of The Damnwells or Whiskeytown -- and speaking of Ryan Adams, current Cardinals drummer Brad Pemberton pitches in on the skins here as well. Solid songwriting and incisive lyricism, a highly recommended new album. I'll be talking more about them, I'm sure.
Either Way (featuring Mike Skinner of The Streets)
Stereogum calls bollocks on this group, but I find myself rather liking this ditty in a summer-fun way. The video starts out promising, all froliciking on a rocky British beach, but ends up a bit like the goofy-looking kids from high school who got a hold of dad's camcorder while drinking. Either way, I can always do a little bit of Mike Skinner's rhymes, notwithstanding his odd penchant for wearing rainbow striped sweaters.
All The Way Down
This is from the rootsy-melancholy soundtrack to the new movie Once which is in select theaters now after wowing everyone at Sundance. Glen Hansard (of Ireland's The Frames) stars in the film as an art-imitating-life busker on the streets of Dublin, and wrote the evocative soundtrack. I haven't seen the movie yet, but readers tell me I must. This hushed song is in a similar vein to countrymate/tour companion/duetter Damien Rice, or maybe Josh Ritter. Good stuff.
Jason Collett covering Stars
This tune is labelled as being by lush-indie-popsters Stars (whom I adore), but it's from their new remix album Do You Trust Your Friends, and is completely reinvented by friend and Broken Social Scenester Jason Collett. He delightfully turns it into something rollicking and loose, with a funky beat and fatty bass line that would be marvelous live. The Stars remix album is out now on Canada's Arts & Crafts label, and I also still recommend the impetus behind the remix album, 2005's Set Yourself On Fire.
Ghost of An Afternoon
Independent musician Dave Fischoff labors from his small Chicago apartment/closet studio, weaving together sound samples that he has created himself and culled from the vast Chicago Public Library collection of sounds. You can hear his concentration in listening to the world around him, absorbing sounds and ideas, incorporating his own. They become melded together here on his album The Crawl -- one touch Postal Service with threads of '60s pop and orchestral strings. You can stream his whole album here and buy it from label Secretly Canadian.
PS - Comments turned on. That was an accident.