The fifth CD I acquired this year was a sampler from Paste magazine. I've decided to include in the parameters of this project all CDs I acquire this year, whether I purchase them or not. This CD, which came with the magazine, cost me nothing at all (which will help keep the total down for sure!). I find myself subscribed to Paste without actually having asked or paid for it. Go figure. maybe it's all my connections in the music scene.
(Note: I actually have no connections in the music scene. I only know people who have connections in the music scene. There is a huge difference.)
Anyway, I won't go over all the details of these mostly up-and-coming (read: obscure) acts, so here's just a quick rundown of a few of of the tracks:
"When I Wake" - The Changes. They have an XTC vibe going. Pretty good power pop.
"Split Needles [alternate version]" - The Shins. I've heard a few things by this much beloved band and liked what I heard, but this song is utterly forgettable to me. Really. I must have played it 10 or more times this week and I cannot for the life of me remember anything about it.
"Ain't No Reason" - Brett Dennen. Perhaps the song that hooked me the most, but a very guilty pleasure. Has all the qualities of a song that would be played on "Scrubs" during the part where everyone has reached the apex of their particular problem. For all I know, it has. White boy blues, a sort of Dave Matthews lite spouting lyrics either trite ("Keep on building prisons, gonna fill them all / Keep on building bombs, gonna drop them all") or the type that seem poetic yet ultimately mean nothing ("I got a basket full of lemons and they all taste the same / A window and a pigeon with a broken wing"). Yet, if I'm in the mood for it, it works for me. It must for others, too; he's got 17000 "friends" on his MySpace page.
"Words" - Lucinda Williams. I'm a fan of her breakthrough album, Car Wheels On a Gravel Road, and this is a similar vein. Good stuff.
"Leave In the Middle Of the Night" - Dana Falconberry. Vaguely reminiscent of Katharine Whalen's work in the Squirrel Nut Zippers. A catchy little tune that could have been sung in some nightclub in the '30s.
"Loop Duplicate My Heart" - Suburban Kids With Biblical Names. More like Magnetic Fields With Different Names! Ha! 'Cause, see, this song sounds just like the Magnetic Fields.
"Get Ready" - Southern Bitch. Truly awful.
"The Perfect Me" - Deerhoof. People who like bands fronted by Japanese girls with girlish Japanese voices will like this band.
"Baby On My Arm" - The Broken West. They're an American Kinks!
"Heimdalsgate Like a Promethian Curse" - Of Montreal. I either love this or hate it. And I'm not sure which. It's, what? Glam-rock with a drum machine? Prince while he's depressed? All I know is the singer is yelping, over multi-textured Beatles-esque melodies, for some chemicals to help his mood. I doubt they would help.