"Sycamore" (Drag City) Officially opting to use his own name instead of his Smog moniker, Bill Callahan offers this track adorably sad, rootsy indie ballad from his upcoming album Woke on a Whaleheart, available April 24.
"Pace or the Patience" (Matador) Melbourne's Love of Diagrams continue to revive UK post-punk on this song from their upcoming full-length Mosaic. I suppose they've got the attitude and aggression down, at least. But still no signs of any sparks of originality.
"Barefoot in the Rain" "Cold and Tired" (Fanatic) These two fuzz pop selections appear on Kinetic Stereokids' debut Basement Kids, which hit stores earlier this month. The Chicago-based, Michigan-raised quintet make unconventially concocted songs anchored by sweet-sounding melodies.
"Moth in a Cloud of Smoke" (Dangerbird) The first former member of the now defunct Grandaddy to emerge with his own album is guitarist Jim Fairchild, who gets help from Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney) and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse) on his upcoming CD Ten Readings of a Warning.
"Fake Empire" (Beggars) Out on May 22, The National's The Boxer transcends all the hype that poured on them from their last album Alligator. Lead singer Matt Berninger's brooding voice presides over this gorgeously imagined track that has instantly proven that the Brooklyn band will not be a one-album wonder.
"If That's The Case, Then I Don't Know" (Better Looking) Brighton band Electric Soft Parade's ability to effortlessly blend different subgenres of indie rock is always a joy to listen to, but it may also be its downfall. It causes them to lack a truly distinct sound. But you can check out how this song fits in with the rest of their new album, No Need to Be Downhearted, on April 24, when the album goes on-sale.
"Goblin City" (Vice) Brooklyn's Panthers are the type of band who wants their screeching guitars to leave skid marks on your stereo. So those looking for a punk-inspired testosterone infusion need not look much further than the band upcoming release The Trick, which thrashes its way to music stores on April 10.
"War" (Jagjaguwar) For Ladyhawk's forthcoming Fight For Anarchy 12", the Vancouver band spent one day in the studio rearranging old tracks and conjuring up new ones. The resulting six songs appear on the record raw and untainted. Sometimes simplicity yields the greatest results.
"No One Would Riot for Less" (Saddle Creek) I was so bored by this track from the new Bright Eyes CD Cassadaga that I seriously had to pop in an older disc to reacquaint myself with the reasons I ever liked Mr. Oberst's music. As if attempts to bring back political folk rock weren't awful enough, the least Conor could do is write a song that keeps us wide awake.
"The Sun Never Sets" (Domino) Kieran Hebden of Four Tet collaborated with legendary jazz drummer Steve Reid for The Exchange Sessions in 2005, when they improvised a percussion and electronics recording that could only have been achieved by masters of their own genres. The two had toured together before going to the studio for Tongues, so their latest is said to be a little more focused and planned, but it will surely be another fantastic celebration of great musicianship.
"Rainbowarriors" (Toolshed) CocoRosie's experimental indie pop is an irresistable pleasure. The band plays around with bizarro glitches and vocal warping without detracting from their always catchy melodies. Their third LP The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn is out on April 10.
"Speak to Me Bones" (The Rebel Group) Badass vocalist/guitarist Elizabeth Powell fronts Montreal's latest future indie stars Land of Talk with her fully charged, aggressive riffs and raunchy, piercing voice. Their debut EP Applause Cheer Boo Hiss is in stores March 20.
"Home" (Eenie Meenie) Soaring road harmonies like the ones that highlight this track can be found on Great Northern's album Trading Twilight for Daylight, which promises to feature a selection of lushly layered indie pop tracks. The CD is available May 15.
"Dumb Luck" (Sub Pop) Jimmy Tamborello swirls together twee pop with crunchy, experimental electronic rock on this track from his upcoming Dntel album Dumb Luck, which features artists like Grizzly Bear, Jenny Lewis, Lali Puna, and Conor Oberst.
7. "Bennie and the Jets" / Elton John Bernie Taupin and Elton John composed many instant classics during their '70s prime, but on "Bennie and the Jets" they created a bouyant beat that has become of the most easily recognizable (and satisfying) rhythms in all of music. Adding to the song's enjoyment, it also satirizes the glitzy, money-grubbing music industry of the decade.
"Make 'Em NV" (Stones Throw) J. Dilla's 2003 vinyl-only release Ruff Draft is being re-released on March 20 as a deluxe 2-CD set. The album is considered to be a pivotal point between his smooth-grooved work in the '90s and the more experimental production of his final years.
"Jamcolas" "Can't Stop the Rock" (Team Clermont) Describe it how you will, but Sister Vanilla is pretty much a reincarnation of The Jesus and Mary Chain. William and Jim Reid of the pioneering alternative band play behind their sister Linda for Sister Vanilla, and the result has a strong but welcome similarity to JAMC. Sister Vanilla's Little Pop Rock is available in April.
The old Listening Room was kind of silly. We at The LARRY Page have concluded the kids will like this better.
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