Sunday, July 31, 2011

Song of the Week 7/29/11

Sleeper Agent - "Get It Daddy"

Sleeper Agent is a bunch of kids (yeah, I called a bunch of folks in the early 20s kids) from Kentucky that make music that sounds like a cross between Southern rock and The White Stripes. The trading off of vocals between Alex Kandel (she's 18, for goodness sake) and Tony Smith is like nothing else that's on the radio these days. I say that because it's the first time in ages that a band I would be interviewing for the hard/alt rock part of my job appealled to me personally. You can get their album Celebrasion on iTunes now--it's out everywhere else on September 27th.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Song of the Week 7/22/11

The Vaccines - "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)"

The past week I spent a lot of time at ye old work desk plowing through albums I'd been sent over...well...the past year? Maybe longer? There was a mess of discs to listen to, much of them pure crap. The Vaccines' What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? was by far the best of lot. Quick, catchy pop-punk songs that are witty? Hell yeah. The opening track "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" is the best 1:28 song I've heard in a long time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Song of the Week 7/15/11

Tears for Fears - "Head Over Heels"

I heard my favorite Tears for Fears song in three different places this week--two of them being two different drug stores. Guess this song helps Duane reade and Walgreens sell those boxes of candy near the register.

BONUS: Oh, why not throw this one in too.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Song of the Week 7/8/11

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - "Stove to a Whale"

Ted Leo is one of the few musicians that I've been turned onto during the past decade that I respect even more for his non-music deeds. The man is very hysterical (but at times, deadly serious) tweeter. He wrote an incredibly honest essay about how hard it is to survive as an indie musician that made a lot of bloggers think. He also made one of the best videos of the past five years.

Leo increased my respect for him even more with his his pre-show prep over the past week. He announced that the Pharmacists were going to play their 2001 album The Tyranny of Distance in its entirety at their free South Street Seaport show. Sure, lots of bands have done this "entire album to mark its 10th anniversary." But Leo explained his reasons for it better than any other act I've seen tackle this album performance gimmick and shared some great tour stories and photos about the experience on his website. His writing about the Tyranny tour genuinely got me excited for the show -- and he and the band delivered the goods. It was, simply put, one of the best shows of the year. And the epic "Stove to a Whale" had me bobbing my head so much I think I pulled a muscle.

(If you'd like to check out some great pics and videos from the show, check out Brooklyn Vegan. And if you'd like to hear the second time they did the Tyranny set, head to the WXPN website.)

BONUS: Leo played during the 2003 blackout at the Seaport. This video below features them rocking out "Stove to a Whale" on a Starbucks generator. For real.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Song of the Week 7/1/11

Chris Rea - "Fool If You Think It's Over"

It's my favorite radio week of the year -- the WCBS-FM A to Z week. There's always a few songs that come around that make me exclaim, "Holy shit, I haven't heard this in forever!!!" And this 1978 hit from Chris Rea was the biggest "holy shit" moment of the week. Well, so far. There's still two days to go and as I write this they are in the R section. Plenty of songs and letters to go.

(By the way, the drum machine sound--which might be real drums, I suppose--on this track? Priceless.)