Thursday, April 13, 2006


I heard that the New York Dolls got back together at the urging of Morrissey, of all people, and are going on a tour. Actually, they apparently got back together a couple years ago, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, this is a band that influenced the Ramones, and now Paris Hilton wears Ramones t-shirts. I have no point to make there. Anyway, here are some bands that I've enjoyed listening to lately:

Tapes N' Tapes - they're kind of like the Shins without at all evoking the Beatles. Speaking of the Beatles, my friend played a song from Yellow Submarine this past weekend that sounded like something the Beta Band would have made, and would have been revolutionary for having made it. So, perhaps the Beatles were the greatest ever.

Islands - they used to be the Unicorns, who were poppy, proficient, and hilarious. I still remember the line "Somewhere in the asshole of my eye/ there's a muscle which relaxes when you cry." Anyway, they dropped their guitarist and reformed as Islands. I really like their new CD, which is not as much a departure from the Unicorns as the Th' Corn Gangg rap remix was. I really liked the song "Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby."

The Paper Cranes - they only have an EP out, which I bought after hearing some of their songs on Myspace. Seriously, for as much as people rag on myspace, it's a reasonably good resource for checking out Indy bands. They're a little raw, and the lead singer's voice isn't so distuingishable from any other fledgling indy singer's, but if their LP is as strong as this EP, I'll look forward to hearing it.

I'm still blown away by the Jens Lekman EP collection, and I've heard from people whose opinions I respect that he's just not all he's cracked up to be, but his melodies and lyrics are simple and still powerful. I dig that. I think this comes through on "A Man Walks Into A Bar," which delves into adolescent friendship, and it's nostalgiac without being schmaltzy. Maybe I'm a sap for seeing something in "I know/ why Mona Lisa Smiled/ Da Vinci/ Must have been a really funny guy/ and laughter/ is the only way into my heart." Maybe it's more in the way Lekman delivers his lines, but his music is vulnerable and funny at times without being gimmicky. Any guy with low self esteem and an ever lower paying job would like the song "Pocketful of Money," about going out on the weekend and worshipping a woman at the bar and blowing all of a month's wages on her, though she is not pretty.

Neko Case - her voice blows me away. That's pretty much it. I fell in love with it after hearing her on Mass Romantic, the first New Pornographers album. Plus, she just came out in Pitchfork to blast the top 40. Not that it's not an easy target - maybe it was seeing Wayne Coyne walk in a giant plastic bubble to get on stage with Jimmy Fallon at some MTV awards thing that poisoned my heart towards Indy crossovers - but it's just nice to hear that from time to time. Now that I've heard A.C. Newman, Dan Bejar, and Neko Case on their own projects (and Newman and Bejar's latest albums are both excellent), it makes me appreciate the Pornographers even more.

I get the new Morrissey Cd tomorrow. I hope. Fuckin insound. No one can deliver "I would give you my heart/ that's if I had a heart" like Moz. In fact, nobody should. Kind of like how only Joyce could have written something like Ulysses. Anyone else would look foolish.


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