Monday, February 18, 2013

#MusicMonday 85: Gin Wigmore, Fall Out Boy, The New Amsterdams & more

What the CL Team is jamming this week (media included)

Posted By , , , , and on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Find out what the CL Music Team is jamming to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.

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Shae - Gin Wigmore, Gravel and Wine (2011)
If there's such a genre as neo-throwback, this is what I've been exploring lately. My most recent discovery is New Zealand singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore. Gin drips retro and has attitude to spare, as evidenced on Gravel and Wine. Opening the album with the pounding "Black Sheep," she sneers, "Everybody's doing it so why the hell should I?" before proudly calling herself a black sheep. She then swings into the Charleston-with-a-bite "Man Like That." The rest of the album follows suit: swingy and jazzy with a smattering of horns, plucky pianos, hand claps and sassy 'oh-oh-oh' backing vocals. The most striking feature is Gin's voice: it's a beefed up Lana Del Rey, a tightly controlled Amy Winehouse, a more grounded Kasey Chambers. There's even a hint of Adele on the sultry and slow "If Only." Gin distinguishes herself with a punky, rebellious swagger that makes it seem as though she'd be just as comfortable in a back alley as in a smokey, swanky nightclub. Check out the video for "Man Like That" after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries...

Shannon - Experimental Aircraft, "Upper East Side" (Third Transmission, 2008)
The Austin four-piece crafted this gloomy indie-pop track — the spawn of New Order and The Killers with haunting female backup vocals reminiscent of The Pixies — and it's been stuck in my head for days. The heavy repetitive basslines and matching guitar riffs provide the foundation to "Upper East Side," which only missed The Breakfast Club soundtrack by 23 years.

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Ray - The New Amsterdams, Never You Mind (2000, Vagrant)
Get Up Kids founder Matt Pryor is enjoying a solo career that mostly finds him singing happy songs about offspring these days (he has a kids' band called The Terrible Twos, for Pete’s sake). But the leader of one of emo’s most revered outfits is definitely one of the original kings of angst in my book. He still fronts a post-TGUK folk outfit — The New Amsterdams —and it’s the 'Dams debut, Never You Mind, that is my sonic relief for a chilly morning and rough past week.

There are covers of Boilermaker (“Slow Down”) and The Afghan Whigs (“When We Two Parted”), a plentiful sorrow-filled base, but things get even more melancholy on the 32-minute effort. “Idaho” is an especially downtrodden meditation on giving in and giving up, while loss and a lack of sobriety provide subject matter on “Lonely Hearts.” There’s even an admission that we are the cause of our own problems on “Every Double Life.”

Sometimes music that is juxtaposed to our glum dispositions is the way out of a temporary rut; there's something cathartic about wallowing in the desolate bowels of this heartbreaking LP. Something of a silver lining and a bit of sage guidance works its way into the sob-fest: “You can run from the sorrow,” Pryor sings on Never You Mind’s final track, “all that you lose is a chance to make peace with the past that you choose.” Preach on sad man, preach on.

Nicole (elawgrrl) - Texas Is The Reason, Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection (2013)
Texas Is The Reason was one of the first bands I booked as a student at The George Washington University (funny side note - the flyer mislabeled the band as Texas Was The Reason). From that point on, TITR was a core part of my personal soundtrack. Originally released in 1996, this record still stands out today as a bonafide gem of indie rock and with the addition of two previously unreleased songs - "Every Little Girl's Dream" and "When Rock N' Roll Was Just A Baby" (audio below) - this re-release on Revelation Records is a must have. The band did a few reunion shows in October in NYC, in Chicago in January, and over the past weekend on the East Coast. The last U.S. show is scheduled for March 9 in Atlanta. It has been amazing to see Texas Is The Reason play again these past few months, and to find that they are still at the heart of my everything. See you in Atlanta!

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Gabe - Lords of the New Church, Gospel Truth (2013)
Fantastic 3CD/1DVD retrospective box set of the mid-1980's punk supergroup, Lords of the New Church. Often criticized for not being "punk enough," the Lords had more in common with the Doors, New York Dolls and 60's psychedelic pop than they did with punk rock. Fronting the band was the late gonzo vocalist Stiv Bators, who had previously led legendary Cleveland rock 'n roll outfit Dead Boys. He and a member each of The Damned, The Barracudas and Sham 69 formed the Lords and released a string of terrific punk/goth/pop/psychedelic albums that were obviously not what the masses were ready for. This box collects studio outtakes and rarities along with a couple of smoldering live shows that really show off the power and the Lords' in-your-face attitude. I was a diehard fan of the band from their inception until Stiv's untimely death, and I'm enjoying the hell out of this welcomed overview of one of my favorite bands from my teenage years. The music has gotten fiercer and it's retained all of its nastiness and sonic power. Long live the Lords!

Valerie - Fall Out Boy - "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'em up)" (2013)
With the start of the new year, the internet buzzed with rumors of Fall Out Boy's return from hiatus, with fangirls and diehards alike hanging on to every last bit of hope. The rumors were confirmed a few weeks ago when the band surprised fans with a release date for their sixth full-length, Save Rock and Roll (out April 13), and added a tour to the books. I've been listening to the album's first single on repeat since hearing the news in an attempt to fulfill my nostalgic cravings. Love 'em or hate 'em, there's usually no in between with these dudes. Check out the single below along with its music video featuring 2 Chainz below:

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