Odds and Ends 009
The Kills: Blood Pressures (Domino)
Love still hurts, but they understand it better ("Heart Is a Beating Drum," "Pots and Pans") ***
Dum Dum Girls: Only in Dreams (Sub Pop)
Pretty darn good Pretenders ("Wasted Away," "In My Head") ***
The Shins: Port of Morrow (Aural Apothecary/Columbia)
Problem's less the precious lyrics he attaches to his premium melodies than the increasingly precious way he sings them ("Simple Song," "September") **
Imperial Teen: Feel the Sound (Merge)
"Too many songs we sang are left unsung"--that about sums it up ("Last to Know," "Out From Inside") **
Cloud Nothings: Cloud Nothings (Carpark)
Sincere ex-brat faces mortality and/or sexual insecurity without whining or fronting about it ("Nothing's Wrong," "Been Through") **
The Coathangers: Larceny & Old Lace (Suicide Squeeze)
The meat remains, the sauce does not ("Go Away," "Jaybird") **
The Wax Museums: Eye Times (Trouble in Mind)
Brat-punk lives in Denton, Texas, and that's a good thing ("Midlife Crisis," "Mosquito Enormo") **
Dengue Fever: Cannibal Courtship (Fantasy)
Not only are their English lyrics easier to understand than their Khmer lyrics, they're easier to understand than your English lyrics ("Cement Slippers," "Mr. Bubbles") *
Thank god-anything but more Katy Perry. I'm with the guy who finds her boring.
Somebody please tell me that they have a killer box set
If only ....
Being a big tease is part of a Motorpsycho thing, far as I can tell from this distant seat. Which, as far as I can tell, is one of the things they most enjoy -- admiration from distant seats.
Allen B., keen observations re Allo Darlin', and helps explain why it still sounds much more like the Go-Betweens than a Grant McLennan solo album.
Just for fun and off the top of my head without any re-listening, this is how I would rank my Motorpsycho collection.
1. Trust Us (1998)
2. Angels and Daemons at Play (1997)
3. Timothy's Monster (1994)
4. Demon Box (1993)
5. It's a Love Cult (2002)
6. Black Hole/Blank Canvas (2006)
7. Roadwork Vol. 1 (recorded 1998)
8. Blissard (1996)
9. Let Them Eat Cake (2000)
10. Roadwork Vol. 4 (2008-2010) (this is really growing on me and will move up)
11. Little Lucid Moments (2008)
12. Phanerothyme (2001)
13. Lobotomizer (1991) (debut -- still getting their shitlist together)
14. The Tussler (1994 "soundtrack") (the only utter dud I have -- band's concept of C&W is so lame if it was a horse I'd shoot it)
I was, however, reminded of a few audience related annoyances, which brought out my inner authoritarian. ("What are you saying that's so important that it can't wait till the end of the song? And do you have to say it in front of me? TURN OFF YOUR FLIPPING PHONE!")
'Since no one has ever heard of it, maybe a description would be more helpful than a grade?'
Well, I could give you my review, but I haven't written it yet. It's Weeknd-esque music but more produced--almost like slow clips from My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy--overdubbed with an Auto-tuned woman's voice. Drums build up (solo style), rim shots take over, bass kicks in, etc. I think the drumming could be the most interesting part of the act, but the vocal melodies can be inspired, too. If you like chill out music, or, like me, you want to hear everything 2012 has to offer, check it out on Spotify/YouTube. I think it's too good musically/production-wise, to be an HM, and nowhere near good enough to be an A minus; B+ concluded. It's better than anything The Weeknd brought out, IMO.
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about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.