Five Songs, 2/2/2018
Five Songs

Five Songs, 2/2/2018

Today's music. Just missed a Naked City track, a shame.

Destroyer, "Poor In Love"

We've talked some about A.C. Newman with respect to The New Pornographers, who we just heard from yesterday. But we haven't really talked much about Dan Bejar, who writes something like a quarter of the songs for the Pornographers, and is the guy behind Destroyer, his main band. For years and years, Bejar has been writing ornate pop songs, moving from influence to influence, but always with interesting results. There's something inescapably retro about the sound of Destroyer, whether that touchstone is 70s or 80s pop. This is from Kaputt, an album where Bejar went for even prettier than usual tunes, and isn't a bad place to enter into Destroyer's catalog.

Hurl, "(The Advantages Of) Temporary Baldness"

Hurl were mainstays of the rock underground in Pittsburgh when I lived there, frequently opening for touring bands, and I therefore got pretty familiar with their stuff. They also shared personnel with other Pittsburgh bands around at the time, like Don Caballero and Thee Speaking Canaries. They went in for pretty big, dramatic rock songs, with Don Caballero being not a bad point of comparison. I don't think they ever really got any kind of attention outside of Pittsburgh, but this really brings me back to that time and place. I can just see the Electric Banana in my mind's eye.

Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars, "medley: save a bread/save a toast"

One thing that Dr. Ring-Ding did which was in common with the Jamaican bands that inspired him is record lots of cover versions of songs. In this case, this is a cover of Justin Hinds & the Dominoes. As usual, it's really something of a miracle that a German dude playing ska is listenable at all.

Belle & Sebastian, "The Ghost of Rockschool"

There's a fine line that a chamber pop act like Belle & Sebastian has to walk. Their stock in trade is prettiness, and hearing carefully crafted and well-mannered songs is part of the fun. But when it gets smoothed out too far, it just starts getting weightless. That's what kind of happened with Write About Love - it's certainly not bad, it's just kind of forgettable.

Desaparecidos, "The Underground Man"

That's just a delightful song. If you like Japandroids, you'll like this album.

Joshua Buergel
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