The ongoing listening series formerly known as MusicMonday continues for a third round in its re-imagined form. The Well-Played List features 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; check the last few weeks' entries here. 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…
LEILANI - MGMT, MGMT (2013) Over-wrought, over-thought — in general, a psychedelic mess. The band should’ve released the first four songs as an EP and returned to the drawing board on the rest. Check my complete review of the album in this week’s paper…
Radiohead, Kid A (2000) Perfect gloomy rainy day music, one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite bands. Thom Yorke’s eerie wails and looped and warped laments swirling and sailing over the band’s cold electro-fused instrumentals. On a side note, Kid A always makes me think of Vanilla Sky.
Young Fathers, Tape Two (2013) A rather intriguing mix of alternative hip hop and art rock ala TV on the Radio, with some experimental synth fuzz and vocals along with rhymes. I can't wrap my mind around this Scottish band's second album, which is maybe why I can't really stop listening to it, either. Video after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries...
SARAH GECAN | Daddy Kool Records and No Clubs Entertainment Saves The Day, Saves The Day (2013) Come on, everyone loves the way music can take you back to a certain time, a certain place, and certain age. That's exactly what Saves The Day does for us. It brings us back to being a high schooler driving around aimlessly with friends singing your favorite songs at the top of your lungs. This record brings us back to that exact moment. And when we see them on Oct. 3 at The State Theatre, it will be like we are 17 again. (No Clubs)
Bastille, Bad Blood (2013) We put Bastille's CD "Bad Blood" into the player because it looked interesting. We haven't taken it out since because of how good it is. Mix Coldplay with Foals then sit back, relax, and enjoy. (Daddy Kool)
Balmorhea, Stranger (2012) Fall is a time of beautiful weather, which makes me want to listen to beautiful music. Balmorhea is an instrumental group much like Explosions In The Sky, but with their own take on making expansive, ear-tingling sounds. Video for "Pyrakantha" below. (Sarah)
ERIC SNIDER - The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?(180g virgin vinyl edition, 2011) Originally released in the Summer of Love, 1967, Hendrix's debut remains one of the most revolutionary albums in rock history. Sgt. Pepper gets more love, but Experienced holds up better. Maybe I can't truly tell the difference between vinyl and digital, but I think I can, and that's all that matters.
GABE ECHAZABAL - Manic Street Preachers, Rewind The Film (2013) For their 11th studio album, my personal favorite band to emerge from the early 1990’s Britpop boom has scaled back their typical sonic assault. Acoustic guitars and laid-back melodies fill the Welsh trio's latest and the results are more sheer brilliance. While it doesn’t pack the thundering wallop that’s been the norm on current releases, the Manics have promised they’re already working on a 2014 album that will please fans craving a more rocking affair. However, this glimpse into the thoughtful, sedate side of MSP offers plenty to cheer about. Lead singer James Dean Bradfield continues to hone his emotive, longing vocal style and his brilliant guitar playing. Strings and horns make rare appearances here, too. Sure to please longtime fans of the band that’s achieved so much in their tenure albeit without any real success here in the States.
ANDY WARRENER | freelance writer, CL & TBT. Electrik Red, "So Good" (2009) They might still have some 1980s or late '90s R&B girl group nostalgia hanging on to their image, but their jams are rock-solid and relevant. "So Good" is a lip-smacking, lusty, get-down groove that should be on everyone's "Get Your Freak On" playlist.
Jesse Dee, On My Mind / In My Heart (2013) The first white boy since Jeff Buckley to sing with real black soul. Dee plays the entire vocal spectrum with his trumpet-like voice and deep, soulful melodies. "No Matter Where I Am" is a highlight.
This Frontier Needs Heroes, Hooky (2013) Performing live this Sat., Sept. 28, at New World Brewery in Ybor City. Check out the video for the title track below.
CHRIS NADEAU | non-musician Permanent Makeup This week I can't stop listening to the newly released Wet Nurse session from the Grand National Championships radio show on WMNF, recorded specifically for the show by local hero Alastair St. Hill. Check it here. If you haven't heard, Wet Nurse is a magical garage pop band from Orlando with twin-fronted vocal harmonies and a total of four rad ladies making super great music! The recording above is incredible and among the first since they added a second guitarist to the mix.
Although it’s always in heavy rotation, I have been listening to one of my favorite records extra lately: Mission of Burma's Vs (1982). The guitar gnarls and wrestles with thick basslines, a combination of sounds as a political statement, while drums explode across tape-manipulated landscapes — not to mention the sounds and content of the voices! I am always into "fav records" conversations, but since I have so many, lately I've been thinking in terms of "which albums have been on my favorites lists for the longest?" This is definitely close to the top. "Secrets" below.
NICOLE KIBERT | local scene photographer/chronicler, Only Music Has the Answer. I've been listening to the awesome and free-for-download Topshelf Records Label Sampler, which has a zillion tracks encompassing excellent cuts from Topshelf acts along with friends of the label, including Into It. Over It., Lemuria, Sundials, Dikembe, Pity Sex, Pianos Become The Teeth, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Tigers Jaw, Empire! Empire!, Frameworks, Special Explosions, Hop Along and many others fantastic bands. Get it here - your ears will thank you!
JESS GROOM | music fan with discerning taste Sometimes, the best way to rekindle a music love is to find that perfect remix. This week includes:
Janet Jackson, "Someone to Call my Lover" (Giraffage Remix, 2013)
Brick + Mortar, "Move to the Ocean" (Baauer Remix, 2012). Yes, it's our very own Harlem Shake king.
RAY ROA | founder, Suburban Apologist; freelance local music correspondent, CL & TBT. The Weepies, "Nobody Knows Me At All" (2006) The rain always puts me in a weird mood, and while my musical selection usually skews towards the melancholy, I can always be cheered up by the vocal harmonies and sucrose-slathered songwriting from the husband/wife duo.
COLIN JOYCE Windhand, "Orchard." 2013 is proving to be the year that Richmond, Va. broke through the surface. Though bands like Inter Arma, Cough, and Windhand have all been working under the radar for a couple albums each, this year has seen the release of monolithic works from all three, each one omnivorous and intensely modern in a genre that often favors classicism. Windhand's Soma dropped last week and though it's by and large a less sprawling affair than this year’s Inter Arma release Sky Burial, it is by its own right a pretty stellar doom metal album. Bands like this are always going to get the Black Sabbath name drop, but Windhand deserves it. The record's leadoff track proves a particular highlight, heavily reverbed vocals crashing into pummeling fills and riffs. Familiar territory for fans of the genre, but Windhand does it better than most in recent memory.
JERRY DUFRAIN | DJ Lazy, Orpheum co-owner Maybe it's the rainy weather. Maybe it's a bit of summer nostalgia making an early appearance. But whatever the reason, I pulled out Hanging Gardens by Classixx this week. The album came out in the spring and represents every single moment of the soundtrack for that lost summer weekend on the beach with friends and lovers. Sun kissed sweetness, 1980's revivalism, and swirling synths. (RIYL: Italodisco, Chromeo, yacht rock).
JOEL WEISS | 97x Music Director Man Man, “End Boss” (2013) There are a handful of really great songs on Philly indie act Man Man’s newest album On Oni Pond, but “End Boss” was recently dissected by none other than Anderson Cooper on his 360 program. See, the song is about CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer eating babies and getting drunk on lemon vodka. Check that program footage here.
Carcass, Surgical Steel (2013) Red flags fly for me when bands say “Our new album sounds like [the names of their two best albums].” But when Carcass said Surgical Steel, their first album in 17 years, fits between Necroticism and Heartwork, they 100% delivered. There’s even one track, “The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills,” with opening riffs that hint at both “Impropagation” and “Buried Dreams” — the killer lead-off tracks from those two classic records. And comeback ‘single’ “Captive Bolt Pistol” is exactly what you hoped Carcass would sound like upon their return to recorded music.
MGMT, MGMT (2013) MGMT had such unexpected, runaway success with their debut record Oracular Spectacular at a time when they still might've been trying to define themselves that their lack of interest in reproducing those results is held against them. But, any unknown band releasing this new album would likely be praised for its deft mix of space-rock and garage psychedelia. Countless alternative bands currently reinterpret the arena-ready dance-rock MGMT left behind six years ago. If you want something that sounds like Space Oddity meets Tame Impala, give their new self-titled a spin. "Alien Days" audio below.
ADAM KUHN | music fan and scenester with discerning taste Yuppies, Yuppies (2013) These guys share a label with the much buzzed-about (and rightfully so) Parquet Courts, and have more than a few things in common with them, shifting from snappy snotty loose and jangly indie punk that detours to some dark and moody post-punk. Short record for a short attention span with narrative lyrics that tie it all together.
Royal Headache, Stand and Stare B/W Give It All to Me 7" (2013) Australia has arguably the best indie scene in the business right now, or at very least the most prolific (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, UV Race, Twerps, Dick Diver, Boomgates, Super Wild Horses, etc.). These guys are the cream of the crop. Loud and loose garage rock heavily informed by the caveman stomp of '50s Nuggets-era bands, and with a frontman known as Shogun who exudes raw energy and unfiltered soul at every turn. (Check out their excellent eponymous debut LP from 2011, too.)
Jesu, Every Day I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came (2013) Slow-burning doomy postpunk/shoegaze. Perhaps the first and last time I will ever admit to enjoying an album that employs auto-tuned vocals (for a mercifully short time, at least). Title track below.
ROBBY MCDONALD | Mojo Books & Records Goat, World Music (2012) The members of Goat hail from the darkest corner of Sweden, where it is said that the inhabitants of the Korpilombolo village were avid practitioners of Voodoo worship until the Church burnt it to the ground. What remains of present-day Korpilombolo is haunted by a Voodoo curse that can easily be distinguished in the music of Goat. As the title suggests, their influences range from Afro-beat to Kraut rock and provide for a genuinely euphoric listen. Available on vinyl at Mojo.
Dead Moon, Stranded In The Mystery Zone (1991) Mono re-issues of Dead Moon are now easy to find and readily available from the DIY legends who cut most of their material on their own lathe. Mystery Zone was originally released in '91 and while it was the band's sixth full-length in four years, it was just as unapologetic and raw as the rest of their output. Available on vinyl at Mojo.
Body/Head, Coming Apart (2013) After absorbing Coming Apart for the first time I could easily define what I liked best about my favorite Sonic Youth moments: Kim Gordon. Coming Apart feels so personal I cannot even speculate...I'll simply say that the chemistry between Gordon and Bill Nace translates into something both dark and beautiful that does not in any way disappoint. Available on vinyl at Mojo. "Last Mistress" below.
Check out a Spotify Playlist featuring many of these selections below: