What are you listening to these days? While we may be inundated by suggestions for beach reading, grilling recipes, and refreshing beverages, I’d like to hear more about what you all are listening to during the heat wave, your holidays, your longer daylight hours. It’s the summer and for me it means more time to explore bands I’ve been meaning to catch up on or learn more about. So here are 2 that I’m totally addicted to these days:
1. The Men
Mr. Royale has been sneaking tracks from this Brooklyn 4-piece onto music mixes he’s been making for me, but it was this track that really turned things around and made me join the cult:
This is 8:06 of The Power and Glory of Rock! We start with some Neil Young “Southern Man”-style guitar, and move into a psychedelic guitar lead that winningly reminds me of one of my favorite covers, Camper Van Beethoven’s version of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive.” Two minutes in, the beat picks up but then is followed by a teasing lull. However, the volume kicks back up and at 5:18, The Men are in full swing and even add cowbell! I’m imagining the group of them head banging in tandem and this continues with some extra psychedelic guitar noodling thrown in for good measure. This music IS everything and the kitchen sink!
Whereas The Men are very overt with their influences, my other music addiction these days could be described as True Originals:
2. Young Marble Giants
One of my Facebook friends recently posted some tracks off of YMG’s fabulous 1980 album, Colossal Youth, and that reminded me that I had purchased the 2007 reissue, which also includes singles, a couple of EPs, a John Peel Session, AND notes from my favorite rock critic, Simon Reynolds. Let’s just say that music of this Cardiff trio (the Moxham brothers, Alison Statton) has been on constant replay over the last few days.
This track demonstrates YMG at their cleanest: skeletal, airy but also tuneful. And they reflect seminal Post-Punk attributes: bass heavy, clean production, a prominent female presence. Other YMG tracks add very simple keyboards or a drum machine (hear the beautiful “N.I.T.A” or “Wurlitzer Jukebox”). Alas, YMG only lasted a couple of years. The Moxham brothers continued to play in a few bands and with other artists (see my 6/3/2011 Mystery Date of Barbara Manning/Stuart Moxham) and Alison sang with Weekend and others before becoming a chiropractor and mother. YMG influenced multiple other bands (hear Courtney Love’s cover “Credit In the Straight World”) but none so clearly as the recent The XX. Recently, YMG has reunited and played a few shows together, including this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties.
So, what are you listening to these days?