The Yawn Awards

Certain albums grow on you, and some, unfortunately, wear off. Here’s what I can’t stand already: Cat Power: The Greatest. I love ya, Chan, and we go back to Myrna Lee, but you gotta write songs. Or more than two. The New Pornographers Twin Cinema:When you’re just a pop band, more of the same isn’t […]

Ex vs. Vollmann

For the past few weeks I’ve been digging The Ex, a wonderful 20+ year old group of Marxist/agitpop/Dutch/squatters/artists/postpunkers that at times could eat the likes of politico-rockers Fugazi or the Mekons for lunch. And they’re the only bunch who ever put an Elizabeth Bishop poem to music and made it happen, long before corny movies […]

Destroy All Bejars

If you had Dan Bejar’s voice and Neko Case’s phone number, would you bother singing your own songs? I’m all for vocally-limited male singers with exceptional songwriting skills (Leonard Cohen, Colin Meloy, Serge Gainsbourg, Luke Sutherland, Mark E Smith, Steve Malkmus, Lee Hazelwood, maybe even Tom Waits) as long as they seem aware of their […]

Comsat Angels and Cold War Chic

Where the Sound is raw and eager, the Comsat Angels are focus and space, like a clearer but brooding little brother. I tend to like them more than the Sound, and unlike the Sound, the Comsat Angels were able to drop three dynamite records from 1980-1982, subsequently fall off for the rest of the eighties […]

Massive Sound part Deux

So yeah, some nifty crap did drop 1980-82 (Gang of Four debut, etc), of course, but my generalizations remain true, dammit, for generalization; and those examples that we think of are those still sung in critical psalms to this day. Frankly, I’m old enough to be getting bored of those records. Know how some records […]