by: Kyle Olson, KUCI Music Director
Hello radio folks,
Here’s this week’s blurb shenanigans. We’ll see if I don’t rush through this so I can go scour local thrift stores for a cheap bike. Kyle wants a bike. Do you want to give Kyle a bike? His birthday is coming up eventually. And if you think about it, what’d you do for him for Christmas? Probably nothing. You don’t want him to think you’re a jerk anymore.
And now: the blurbs.
Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)
Everyone’s favorite violinist/professional whistler / Minnesotan / dreamboat / children’s show guest star is back with a new album of awesome, subtle, melodic indie music. His last album, “Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs” on Ani DiFranco’s label was in my top 3 favorite albums of 2005. It rocked faces. And it didn’t apologize for this face-rocking. It was very brazen in this rocking of faces, to be sure. I’m unsure what to compare this to. It’s indie-folky-orchestrated-Vanderslicey? Easily the add I am most excited about this week. I’m also excited about ice cream sandwhiches.
The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar)
Oh, Jagjaguwar, your unique brand of psych-pop-twang-rock is the lotion that music uses to stroke off my heart. This band has a guest-spot from Sophie of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and was recorded in the same studio as Wolf Parade, Islands, Sunset Rubdown, and Stars. To me, it sounds like the Beach Boys trying to cover a Godspeed song. Like, it’s dark and brooding, but there are healthy dollops of ultra-harmonic, reverby pop. The label uses the term “eerie Lynchian setting”. I’ll buy that. There’s a sort of otherworldiness about it. I says, “CHECK THIS OUT, DIZAWGS!”
The High Llamas – Can Cladders (Drag City)
So, rather than being a pop band that sounds like they spent their entire youth listening to Beach Boys and the Beatles, the High Llamas sound like they were busy rocking on colorbooks on the kitchen floor while their moms spun “The Girl From Ipanema” over and over while she cooked tasty treats and had really nice curtains. I don’t think I’d get my makeout on to Apples in Stereo, but this album sounds perfect for some afternoon delight, if you know what I’m saying. I’M SAYING I WOULD HAVE SEX TO THIS ALBUM IN THE AFTERNOON. Just thought I’d spell that out for you. I understand my humor is often too subtle. It’s my Wilde-ian wit. Except Wilde never used the term “bonin’”.
Artichoke – Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols by Artichoke (Green)
Previously, all I knew about this band is that KUCI had a copy of their album “20 Grit” which was covered in sandpaper and fucked up CDs around it and it sort of always twisted my biscuit. Now, when this album came, I learned they working on a two-album set of songs for Scientists (one for every letter of the alphabet). So far, they have one volume, Anning through Malthus, done. Now they put out an album which is, as the title suggests, a song-by-song cover of the famous Sex Pistols album. I was completely ready to pass it off as novelty, but you REALLY haven’t heard “Pretty Vacant” until you’ve heard it sung over a ukulele. No joke: this is REALLY FUCKING GOOD. It’s sort of folksy with great vocals, but with some more upbeat songs fused with electronics. “God Save the Queen” has a kazoo solo for Christ’s sake. What will it take to sell you this?!
Apostle of Hustle – National Anthem of Nowhere (Arts and Crafts)
I am having a hard time keeping up with the whole Broken Social Scene music-incest thing. I think, to be a citizen in Ontario, you NEED to have played in, if not BSS, one of it’s 10,000 offshoot bands. This is number 10,001. One of Broken Social Scene’s more core members puts out another album of his “solo” project. If you enjoy the whole BSS thing, check it. That’s a no-brainer, right?
BARR – Summary (5 Rue Christine)
I was ready for this to be totally ear-peeling. Sam, of Wondeful Rainbow, had seen this guy live and his description had a lot of noisy-guitar-words in it, if I remember correctly. But, when I popped this into my trust little boombox that I use for MD work (since it’s easy to eject and throw shitty CDs across the room), I was greeted with pretty piano and pleasant, if not odd, indie rock. The last.fm description of BARR reads: “BARR's music is a strange and unique blend of performance art, motivational speaking, confessional rap, and anecdotal humor. Consisting musically of mostly volatile, improvisation-based free-jazz percussion and sometimes piano, BARR is odd, but definitely a grower.” This album seems like a definite evolution of the sound to something less “improvisation-based” and “volatile” to something more catchy and thought out. His voice is sort of CAKE-ish talk-singing, but the lyrics are tight and the jamz sound like a more upbeat Arab Strap. It would seem that the name, BARR, is intended to be written in all caps.
Albert Hammond, Jr. – Yours to Keep (New Line)
OK. This dude was in the Strokes. This sounds like something from a dude that was in the Strokes (but less retro-garage-y). This could be huge. I’m not sure. I tried to find out if it’s being played on KROQ or anything, but was unable. If they/he are/is, just let me know.
Call Me Lightning – Soft Skeletons (Frenchkiss)
Dude. This label knows what they like. They like frantic, teetering dance-rock in the spirit of Les Savy Fav. They like it like I like bubble baths (read: A LOT!)
The Makes Nice – Candy Wrapper and Twelve Other Songs (Frenetic)
Candy? Makes Nice? Sounds like twee-pop. BUT IT’S NOT! It’s like...a tweeked out Rolling Stones? This sticker here compares them to the Small Faces and the Creation. It’s upbeat and guitar-y and something you could probably shake a butt to. Perhaps your own butt? (Note: shaking someone else’s butt may be illegal. Please check local laws so you are not arrested as a sex offender).
Richard Swift – Dressed Up for the Letdown (Secretly Canadian)
OK. I’m tired. I’m done with this. I was out late in San Diego at my first punk show in about half a decade. I forgot what a carnival of aromas those could be. Anyway. I’m getting these blurbs over with. This sounds like old school radio-pop. Really simple, stripped-down quality song-writing (the label says Rufus Wainwright, Randy Newman, Elliott Smith. Well, it says “Elliot” Smith, but we’ll fix that.)
My Teenage Stride – Ears Like Golden Bats (Becalmed)
Little Ones, the Smiths, Psychadelic Furs comparisons. Sounds like indie-pop-rock to me.