A Classic-Rock-Free Morning
10:04 a.m. Wolf Parade, “Soldier’s Grin” – Wide-screen indie-rock capped by an odd piccolo’s (or something) melodic shard. If this is from new album At Mount Zoomer (above) - and it is - they’ve still got a ways to go to shake the Modest Mouse Jr. tag, though.
10:15 a.m. Adele, “Chasing Pavements,” – Adele is probably making albums because her voice is remarkably similar to Amy Winehouse, but in a good way – smoky and like a sob is just around the next lyrical corner. Perky acoustic-guitar arrangement is a little Lulu-like, too.
Austin's Octopus Project will show its true faces at Warehouse Live Friday.
10:30 a.m. The Octopus Project, “An Evening With Rthrtha” - Synthesizers and guitar stuck in reverse and a chop-socky cascade of drums. And, like everything else the Austin quartet playing Warehouse Live Friday seems to do, totally adorable.
10:45 a.m. Michael Franti & Spearhead, “A Little Bit of Riddim" – What a great song for a Monday morning. Morse-code guitar and a deadly hip-hop/dancehall beat, heavy on the handclaps, that makes me want to get out from behind my computer and start pop-locking. It already feels like Friday.
11:20 a.m. Donkeys, “Walk Through a Cloud” – Looks like the Donkeys have discovered “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” Bob Dylan, call your attorney. The San Diego indie-folk band is not to be confused with Brazilian dance-punk nymphos CSS’ new Sub Pop album Donkey, by the way.
11:44 a.m. Muse, “Supermassive Black Hole” – For college radio, this is like when the Arrow plays “Whole Lotta Love” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” – nothing you haven’t heard before, but are you seriously going to complain about it? 2006's Black Holes and Revelations is one of my favorite albums of the decade, and now that I think about, "Supermassive Black Hole" is a little like if Queen let Zeppelin borrow Freddie Mercury for a song.
This song, from 2005's The Sunlandic Twins (right), before all that Outback shit really got started - is like an indie-rocker’s idea of Zapp-like ‘80s electro-funk with mariachi horns thrown in for good measure: All over the place, but oddly likeable, particularly the multi-tracked harmonies.
12:15 p.m. The National, “Mistaken for Strangers” – Another band getting Arrow-like spins on college radio these days, with good reason. “Mistaken for Strangers” is brooding and expansive, singer Matt Berninger’s rumination on alienation blown up as big as all outdoors.
I also heard cool stuff from the Raconteurs, Supergrass, the Rapture, Superdrag, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Yeasayer, Sleater-Kinney and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ great “Phenomena” cover. Other stuff by Jamie Lidell, Johnny Foreigner and a few others. To each his own, I guess. Whatever – I’m switching back to Big Tracks now.
By the way, when I did, the song playing was Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight,” one of a few classics the band didn’t play Saturday. – Chris Gray