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The National with Graham Parker – World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA) – June 5, 2010
What a great double bill, though it’s a shame that this was one of World Cafe Live’s “Free at Noon” concerts as well as part of WXPN’s “NonComm” convention for non-commercial radio stations and thus both artists only played about 20 minutes each. Still, it was free and with two great, completely different artists, I’m not complaining. The National stuck mostly to material from their excellent new High Violet (#5 on this week’s list) while Parker played some new tunes, including “Ambiguous” from 2007’s Don’t Tell Columbus and several (“It’s My Party” and “Not Where You Think You Are”) from his new Imaginary Television. However, he also added the title track of 1976’s Heat Treatment, which was a nice change of pace as well.
Iggy and the Stooges – Raw Power Deluxe Edition box set (Legacy)
Please see my full review here.
Makeout Point – Night Moves (self-released)
This is early ’90s sounding indie-pop as played by former punk and hardcore kids (two of this band’s members were in hardcore bands) and it sounds like it. Each of the four songs on this records are between two and three minutes long and zip by in a hurry. However, all are rewarding and contain melodic treats within. “Arizona” (video here) sounds like an outtake from VELOCITY GIRL‘s Copacetic while “Idea of Me” uses a riff similar to THE DEAD MILKMEN‘s “Punk Rock Girl” while referencing PAVEMENT‘s Crooked Rain Crooked Rain in its lyrics. Another great point of reference would be THE STANDARD FARE. Fans of any of these bands should check this out.
Four Letter Word – An Invitation to a Hanging EP (self-released)
After releasing Follow as the Crow Flies last October, long-running UK punk band Four Letter Word decide to release a completely free digital EP complete with artwork just in time for the UK general election. This is my first exposure to them and I really like it. Vocalist WELLY sounds like a Welsh version of JEFF PEZZATI (of NAKED RAYGUN and THE BOMB) and the lyrics on songs like “Third Party Fire and Theft” and “Putsch Comes to Shove” aren’t just angry, political and outraged, but intelligent as well. Meanwhile, the music speeds along like BAD RELIGION if they were much rawer.
There’s also a nice cover of BILLY BRAGG‘s “To Have and Have Not” as well. You can download it here.
The National – High Violet (4AD)
I liked 2005’s Alligator and 2007’s Boxer, but I think that this new one may be not just the best thing they’ve ever done, but also their real breakthrough album ala RADIOHEAD‘s OK Computer or WILCO‘s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Unlike those records, there’s no quantum leap here in terms of stylistic differences between this and their previous output. Singer MATT BENNINGER is still sad, morose, moody and gorgeously deep-voiced while brothers AARON DESSNER and BRYCE DESSNER spit out shiny yet slightly corrosive post-punk guitar work with regularity. However, the horns and strings take on a more prominent role and songs like the single “Bloodbuzz Ohio” signal that this is a band in it for the long haul.
Jawbreaker – 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (Tupelo/Communion)
Prince – Dirty Mind (Warner Brothers)
Killing Joke – “End Game”
From their forthcoming new In Excelsis EP, this is an absolutely stunning new track that sounds like something from one of their first two albums filtered through the Chicago scene of the early to mid ’90s (think JESUS LIZARD or SHELLAC). You can download it here.
The Trashcan Sinatras – Cake (Go! Discs)
I saw this Twitter post from the Trashcan Sinatras earlier this week. “anthony weiner won’t have a battle of wits with glenn beck b/c beck would only come half prepared. mr. weiner a tcs fan, quoting “funny”?”
As such, it made me curious about the lyric in question. It’s actually from “You Made Me Feel”, a wonderful song from this album (which also features “Funny”), but the point was taken. I’d like to think that ANTHONY WEINER, one of my favorite Congressmen, is a fan of one of my favorite bands.
Joe Pernice and John Cunningham – “Fire and Rain”
Although I’m not a fan of the original, this is a beautiful version of the JAMES TAYLOR song that’s part of a series called Right Track: Tunes to Target Cancer. For a small donation, you can download it here.
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