by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Here I am listening to Fela Kuti, gnawing on a biscuit. I was supposed to go look at some cool synthesizers but the lady flaked hardcore. It was an epic bummer.
I didn't barbecue yesterday. Did you? When I walked by my community pool at around 2pm, it wasn't particularly off the hook. I had a chili dog at The Hat though. The amount of paper products they go through there is sort of disgusting. So is their food.
Why do I want to go back, then?
Kimya Dawson - Alphabutt [K]
Kimya Dawson is known for having a pretty foul mouth, and big hair. She had a baby though, and named it Panda, and in honor of Pandababy has made a CD of songs for babys of all species.
Chad Van Gaalen - Soft Airplane [Sub Pop]
When I saw this guy open for Wolf Parade a few years ago, he kept pausing in his set to check his phone because his girlfriend's apartment had been robbed that day or the night prior and he had to keep checking up on her. So with that, and a Sub Pop pedigree (inclusive of lofi recording, drum machines, et al) in mind: you should know the kind of poppy airy songs these are. The art is cute too.
Shugo Tokumaru - Exit [Almost Gold]
A 20something, Japanese, mildly virtuostic singer-songwriter guitarist who is lovable and pop-friendly?
Javelins - Heavy Meadows [Suburban Sprawl]
Pop, weirdo, midwest, Beach Boys, inventive, hearts-bursting-forth, etc.
Polysics - We Ate The Machine [MySpace]
Remember how in Japan everyone wears orange jumpsuits and yellow wayfarer sunglasses and can play synthesizers really fast?
Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Roadrunner]
I guess I'm not in a position to really judge, but this album from the sole melodic member of the Dresden Dolls sounds (and looks) pretty much like a Dresden Dolls album. Not that that's a bad thing...
Child Bite - Fantastic Gusts Of Blood [Suburban Sprawl]
True story: my ex-cohost (who shall henceforth be known as Jon Berkeleyan) and I played the last album this wacky post-post-post-everything band put out every week for way too long. There are funny sounds and screaming sounds and gnarly rhythms. Sort of like if you were the human manifestation of the genre of post-punk and then you fell into lava and survived, but it hurt a lot, all the time, for the rest of your life.
The Rumble Strips - Girls And Weather [Gigantic]
A British band singing in their British "accents" about the usual. But, there are horns, and the songs are catchy. We get a lot of catchy British rock albums about girls, so in adding this I am pretty confident the people who like this kind of stuff will really like this album.
Giant Sand - proVISIONS [Yep Roc]
Folky-rock with subdued spirits and baritone vocal ballast that digs trenches in the thin instrumentation. Half of this band is now Calexico, to give you an idea of what is sort of at play here.
Faux Jean - The Mongolian Invasion [Self-Released]
Dude records songs for 10 years in a fantasy attempt to be a superstar in Mongolia. A local restauranter, out of love of the tunes, coughs up some cash to release the record in limited physical quantity. What we have here is attic-pop, recorded into a tape recorder with drum machines. Pop juice, squeezed from the ripest, yellowest lemons of pop. Really really solid songwriting.
Dressy Bessy - Holler And Stomp [Transdreamer]
Okay, this is the ugliest packaging of the year. I have to hope it is a bad joke. That said, the music is pretty rad. If you know your Dressy Bessy, you know to expect off-kilter, glossy pop-rock (prock?) songs with high-energy vocals and a genuinely fun and unique approach.
The Crooked Fiddle Band - The Crooked Fiddle Band EP [Self-Released]
Fiddles and upright basses and thumpthump drums make for a foresty and waltzy concoction of Americana a la New Zealand.