It’s Friday, and I’ve got a depressing load of work to do, so what better time to go dumpster diving? Let’s see if I’ve missed anything good. Here are three more from the piles in the kitchen…
This Is Ivy League, ST (Twenty Seven Records)
Sort of a twee pop endeavor from two guys in the massively popular emo-shit band known as Cobra Starship…and guess what? It’s pretty sweet, in that dreamy, heavily harmonized, ultra-sensitive, long-eyelashed boy sort of way. If this record were a boy, in fact, you’d end up sleeping with him almost by accident, just because he was there and looking at you in that star-struck way…and then once it was over he would never call.
Ahem, okay, the record. Best cut by far is “London Bridges” with its shuffling, Latinate rhythms (more latin, a bit later, in the very “Girl from Ipanema”-ish “Viola”) and high easy melodies. “Never again, never again, never again/ I will not feel this way again,” they’re singing, and it’s that perfectly pitched balance between sweet and sad. You might quite like this if you’re into Explorers Club, Grand Archives, Sea and Cake, Belle and Sebastian.
And a video of “London Bridges”
William F. Gibbs, My Fellow Sophisticates (Old Man Records)
Entirely different aesthetic here, a sort of barroom piano braced, hard-blues-y stomp, like M. Ward jacked up on steroids, but not bad, not bad at all. First cut “But You Were Beautiful Once,” swaggers like a drunken sailor…it’s the kind of cut that would turn the chair around and sit on it backwards just to prove it’s a regular guy. “Come Back to Me (for My Love)” backs off a bit, Gibbs toned down to a raggedy whisper and slide, girl harmonies softening the edges. …the M. Ward yardstick seems especially relevant here. Gibbs has got a pretty big band, not just guitar, keys and drums, but electric and stand-up bass and a smattering of brass…probably entertaining as hell live. His piano player, Chuck Lichtenberg is super fun, here on “Oh Pollyanna” he’s switched to country church organ, complete with tremulous vibrato. But, oh, the old-timey thing can get a little bit precious, not sure I like this “Here Comes Your Steamboat Brother!” song with its shuffling rockabilly rhythms and Oh Brother Where Art Thou call and response…but some people might.
Video of “Come Back to Me”
The Scarring Party, Come Away from the Light (Self-Release)
Oh, this is more like it. This is crazy, accordion and tuba, gypsy violin and darkness, a dangerous sort of old-time-i-ness where children die of tuberculosis and women are forced into uneasy alliances with waistcoated scoundrels. Yes, yes, yes…Waits, the Vanity Set, Alec Redfearn, at a long stretch Man Man and the Dresden Dolls are all adequate references, but really this is its own damned thing. And to think I almost missed it…all hail the dumpster dive, rescuer of lost oddities.
“Anywhere” Live at the Pabst Theater
“No More Room”
“Eat Yr Young”