The ongoing listening series formerly known as MusicMonday has been re-imagined. We now present you with the launch of The Well-Played List in its place! As with MM, we'll be featuring the most listened-to, jammed-out songs, albums and artists of the week as submitted by the CL Music Team along with a rotating crew of tastemakers — local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two. Audio and video included, along with any applicable show information. And on that note, what are you jamming this week? Tell us in the comments.
Alt-J, An Awesome Wave (2012) I'm probably just about the last person to fall for this album by the quirky alt pop band from the UK, but I'm sure glad I did. Great late night writing music...
Janelle Monae, "Q.U.E.E.N.," "Prime Time" (off Electric Lady, 2013) I've always dug Monae in theory, but her style never quite grabbed me up until now. Both these tracks - the former a bumpin number with Erykah Badu, the latter a slow sexy jam with Miguel, audio below - make me want to hear the future-funk R&B-hoppin' songstress' entire LP. Check it after the jump with the rest of this week's entries...
KEITH ULREY / Microgroove, New Granada Records
I've been cranking the new Superchunk I Hate Music album the last couple weeks. Classic 'Chunk. Video for "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo" here. And I have to give a shout-out to yesterday's release of Mrenc's All Around Surround. Video for "Wolves" below; free in-store at Microgroove on Sat., Sept. 14.
JARED FAGER / music fan and scenester with discerning taste
Part Time, PDA (2013)
Offbeat but catchy, chilled-out, post-punky pop. Listen after the jump, and find out about what the rest of us are jamming this week ...
Chelsea Wolfe, Pain Is Beauty (2013)
Bare Mutants, The Affliction (2013): New band from Jered Gummere (of late Chicago outfit the Ponys), this one's chock full of slow burning melancholy fuzz with the underlying saccharine sweet vocal harmonies of 1950's bubblegum pop. (One drawback: an overuse of the already well-worn Ronettes' "Be My Baby" kick-kick-kick-snare backbeat.) While the entire album seems to mostly plod around in low-to-mid tempo with little variation, the hooks are so well-crafted and the Mutants have enough tricks up their sleeve to keep it engaging. Helps to be a huge sucker for a Hammond organ (I am).
Terry Malts, Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere (2013): Snappy pop-punk tunes with vocals more subdued than snotty but played at typically aggressive speeds and with an even more aggressive layer of fuzz and guitar squalls covering it all. I was a huge fan of the band's debut Killing Time, and they've upped their game as songwriters but still shred with youthful intensity in the latest.
Jacuzzi Boys, Jacuzzi Boys (2013): The latest from these Miami indie garage kids shows a huge maturation and refinement in songwriting without sacrificing the frayed edges, settling into a comfortable jangly psych-tinged flower-punk sound and taking a similar direction to bands like the Fresh & Onlys and The Mantles. Catch 'em at New World on Nov. 1 with Florida Night Heat. "Double Vision" video below...
GABE ECHAZABAL - Emeli Sandé, Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2013)
British singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé has already conquered the charts in her homeland. Her 2011 debut Our Version of Events sold well in the UK and boasted several hit singles. In late 2012, her fame and popularity earned her a headlining gig at the legendary Royal Albert Hall. This recorded document of that performance shows off Sandé’s many talents. She’s an accomplished pianist, a clever songwriter and an amazing vocalist. Her smooth, silky pipes mix the sultriness of Nina Simone with the sexiness of Alicia Keys. She shows here that she is no fluke and that she has can deliver the goods live without needing to hide behind studio tricks and effects. Sandé unique jazz/soul/hip hop balladry and upbeat numbers are on the verge of breaking big here in the States, too. In the meantime, the strikingly beautiful Emeli is currently touring small venues in the U.S. that include The Ritz Ybor on Sat., Oct. 12. I have a feeling this will be the last time her fans get to experience Sandé's grace in such an intimate setting...
DIANA, Perpetual Surrender (2013)
Beach Day, Trip Trap Attack (2013)
The trio performs at New World Brewery Fri., Sept. 27. "Boys" video below.
Deerhunter, Monomania (2013)
Speaking of amazing bands from Atlanta, Deerhunter's latest did not disappoint. A poolside favorite.
STRFKR, Miracle Mile (2013)
This group continues to sweep me away with dreamy, hazey dance-pop that gets stuck in my head all day long. "Golden Light" below.
Lotus, Monks (2013) Lotus' latest release features a who's who of underground hip-hop emcees, including Doodle Bug (Digable Planets,) Gift of Gab (Blackalicious,) Mr. Lif, Lyrics Born and others paired with the band's usual funk, jazz and experimental instrumentals. Check out "Cloud 9" featuring Doodle Bug below.
Unwound, Leaves Turn Inside You (2001) It took seeing them hailed as 'The Best Band Of The ‘90s' for me to get back on a long overdue Unwound kick. If not the very best, the Washington-based quintet certainly deserves to be in the conversation, and this album is the best case they've made. Leaves Turn Inside You is a sprawling survey of the sullen sounds of indie rock that followed hardcore’s seething rage. You’ve got bits of melancholic slowcore (“We Invent You”), the shapeshifting textures of shoegaze (“Scarlette”), and the wiry, tense guitar figures that many post-Fugazi bands adopted (“Look A Ghost,” “December”). But for all the genre-hopping and omnivorousness, Leaves Turn Inside You is the most clear document of the sort of paranoid postmodernism that even puts them in the conversation. If you’ve never heard it, you must, then tell me I’m wrong...
Scott Walker, Scott: The Collection 1967-1970 (2013) Former 1960s pop singer with the Walker Brothers, Scott Walker gave it up and went wonderfully weird on his critically acclaimed solo albums. This boxed set collects the various Scott albums plus 'Til the Band Comes, all remastered on 180 gram vinyl. A must have for serious fans. Available at Mojo.
King Krule, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon (2013) Nineteen-year-old UK musician Archy Marshall combines jittery jazz rythms, dubstep, rap and a slew of other influences as King Krule. One of the freshest and most interesting records of the year. Available on vinyl at Mojo.
LOUDPVCK, Full Melt EP II (2013) I am unashamedly obsessed with trap and these guys alongside The Regulators are some of the best in the genre.
Anciients, Heart of Oak (2013) One of Orpheum's former bartenders Kelly Alexander turned me on to these guys. She knew I loved Baroness with the same intensity as Dragonforce, and that I don't discriminate between prog or black metal as long as the finished product is dope. Smart metal without being merely a chin stroking exercise. This band hits Orpheum Sat., Oct 26, with Tesseract and Scale the summit.
The Story So Far, What You Don't See (2013) This is without a doubt the very best pop punk album of 2013. And I mean, let's face it, Tumblr needed a new band so all the teenage girls could stop quoting La Dispute over pictures of flowers and fields. This band also stops by Orpheum, on Sun., Nov. 17.