Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs
Follow The Big Takeover
Bob Mould – “The Descent” Live on Letterman
It’s not often that I start off a list with a late-night TV appearance, but the version of “The Descent” (from his great new album Silver Age) that Mould, bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster played a few days ago has to be seen (and heard) to be believed. It may be the most intense live network TV performance I’ve ever watched. Wow! See it here. To say I’m looking forward to his show here even more now is a serious understatement!
The Raveonettes – Observator (Vice)
Please forgive the Jesus and Mary Chain analogy as they have been compared to that great Scottish band since their beginnings in the early ’00s. However, the comparison fits, at least sometimes, and if you go with me here, this may be their Stoned and Dethroned. It’s a quieter, more subdued, gentler Raveonettes that feels closer to sophomore Lp Pretty in Black, but doesn’t drag as much. It is still a moody, subtle affair but a beautiful Lp that I will be playing a lot this fall. I’ve said this time and time again in the last year or so, but between their great (and now super-coveted) Rarities and B-Sides double Lp, the mind-blowing “Into the Night” EP, last year’s Raven in the Grave and now this fantastic new Lp, they are on a serious winning streak and are one of the best current bands going!
Title Fight – “Head in the Ceiling Fan”
I know very little about this band and have yet to hear their forthcoming new album Floral Green, but I can’t wait to listen to the rest based upon this one fantastic song. You can listen to it here. For a band whose name makes me think of straight-edge hardcore, this sounds much more like early 90s U.S. indie rock ala The Swirlies or bands of that ilk.
Saint Etienne – Words and Music (Universal)
When Brooklyn Vegan’s great writer Bill Pearis said that this album is their best since Good Humor (one of my favorite albums of the last 15 years), I was even more eager to check it out. While I do like it, it owes more to their electronic side and earlier records like Foxbase Alpha and especially Tiger Bay than the wonderful ’60s-isms of Good Humor. Still, new single “I’ve Got Your Music” is the catchiest thing they’ve done since “Action”, the great 2002 single on the underrated soundtrack to the short film Finisterre.
Swearin’ – Swearin’ (Salinas)
If you’ve ever wondered what The Muffs would’ve sounded like had they spent hours with Superchunk‘s Foolish and then recorded an album, this is your chance to find out. You can stream the record here.
The dB’s – Falling Off the Sky (Bar/None)
I finally picked up the vinyl version of this great reunion Lp from earlier this year and it includes not only the CD version (with one bonus track not on the vinyl), but a download code with 5 bonus tracks (including 2011 Record Store Day 7” A-side “Picture Sleeve”, last year’s free download “Revolution of the Mind” and soem alternate takes of album tracks). This is a great package and a must for the dB’s fan.
Part of a split 7” with Mike Watt and The Missingmen (who cover Roky Erickson‘s “Sweet Honey Pie”) that was released earlier this year on Record Store Day. This version of “My War” is unique in that it is sung by Lora Norton (Chuck’s wife), who does a fabulous job with it making it sound like no other version of the song that I’ve ever heard.
Purling Hiss – “Lolita”
This Philadelphia band previously made records that sounded so scuzzy and cruddy that it made it seem like their main inspiration (and this is by no means an insult) was terrible-sound Stooges bootlegs. Not anymore. This four and a half minute riff monster seems to position them into Queens of the Stone Age territory.
Wild Nothing – “Nowhere” (Captured Tracks)
Though I think I have to spend more time with their new Nocturne to get into it (it hasn’t hit me like most of their previous material), I absolutely adore this 7” from earlier this year. Both sides are great, but it’s the A-side that takes the cake, reminding me of prime, mid to late ’80s Go-Betweens!
Superchunk – The Clambake Series Volume 2 (Merge)
This CD came for free with their recent 7”. Having never heard it before, I was simply stunned by how great they are in this context as well, playing an instrumental and very moody live score to a 1926 Japanese film A Page of Madness. This came out in 2002 and is well worth tracking down.
More in top-ten