The Uberpop

Weekly Mixtape for 11/1-11/7

Posted in Weekly Mixtape by theuberpop on November 2, 2009

It’s the first week of November, and it seems that we here in America have skipped right over Thanksgiving and are diving straight into Christmas.  I for one refuse to listen to Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving (and even then only in small doses).  So here’s what I am listening to, maybe you’d like to join me on this little sonic joyride? (Click the band names for links to their respective websites):

1) “I’m a Wheel” Wilco, A Ghost is Born (2005, Nonesuch): Overrated?  Underrated?  Who cares, I’m pretty sure this is one of the coolest rock and roll songs I’ve heard in the last decade.

2) “The Neighborhood is Bleeding” Manchester Orchestra, I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child (2006, Manchester Orchestra):  Atlanta heroes Andy Hull and co. released this “is this emo or just really really expressive rock and roll?” record in 2006, garnering numerous comparisons to Death Cab for Cutie and sparking a new direction in the Atlanta scene.  This song in particular is a shimmering example of Hull’s lyrical chops, covering a touchy subject like AIDS spread through dirty needles through the eyes of one of the infected.

3) “Fine for Now” Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest (2009, Warp): I know, I know…you can smell the hype around this band from seven miles away.  But I’d like to submit that a song that covers a haunting tension-and-release form like this with such grace and ease warrants that kind of attention.  These guys can appear on as many teen vampire movie soundtracks as they want as far as I’m concerned.

4) “Lake Michigan” Rogue Wave, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate (2007, Brushfire Records): I’m a sucker for a catchy tune, and this song is beyond catchy.  From the opening drum-line to the lilting guitar parts and the grove that swings in perfect 6/8, this song was built for consumption without being pretentious or overdone.  Congrats, guys.

5) “Hospital Beds” Cold War Kids, Robbers and Cowards (2006, Downtown):  Last year’s Loyalty to Loyalty was a disappointment, but let’s not be too hard on these Californians whom everyone thought were most assuredly from somewhere deep in the bayou.  How else do you follow a record like Robbers and Cowards, a record that was drenched in enough raw soul and guitar reverb to forgive the Kids’ offering-plate-stealing antics.

6) “Weekend Wars” MGMT, Oracular Spectacular (2007, Columbia): As the rumors swell about this Brooklyn duo’s followup Congratulations, I’m inclined to sit back and soak in these guys’ best satanic-era Stones/early-Bowie impersonation.  Yeah, they sometimes wear their influences on their sleeve, but they do it with such bravado that you’d be upset if they didn’t.

7) “Django” Modern Jazz Quartet, Django (1987, Fantasy): Yep, I’m playing the jazz card, it’s definitely a mismatch for this particular list…but this is my playlist, right?  Enjoy the ominous intro, the sweet solos of Vibe-legend Milt Jackson, the precision of pianist John Lewis and the air-tight rhythm section including drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Percy Heath.  You’ll be a better person for it.

So give these songs a listen, feel free to tell me what you think.


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