Clem Snide, "Accident"
For some reason, "alt-country" as a label always kind of irritates me, even though the thought it's expressing (country music that stands distinct from the popular variation) is directly analagous to alternative rock, which doesn't bother me. The lesson, as always: I'm dumb. Anyway, Clem Snide (named after the character from Naked Lunch) is absolutely alt-country. Propelled by Eef Barzelay's passionate singing and Jason Glasser's multi-instrumental prowess, Clem Snide cranked out five outstanding albums in the late 90s and early 2000s, starting with this record (You Were A Diamond) up through 2005's End of Love. They started to lose some steam after that, but at their peak, they were incredible. I mean, just listen to this!
Gridlink, "Retract Perdition"
Well, everybody awake now? I do enjoy it when metal bands name songs some totally opaque phrase.
Sly & the Family Stone, "Poet"
It's impossible for me to hear the intro to this song and not think of De La Soul flipping this loop. Anyway, funk pioneers Sly & the Family Stone were tremendously inventive and set a bar that very few other bands would even get near to. This song comes from There's A Riot Goin' On, a dense record that is sometimes a challenge to really figure out everything going on. I guess there's a riot going on? Anyway, it's great.
Dirty Projectors, "Temecula Sunrise"
Songs from the Dirty Projectors always sound like they were stitched together out of five other songs. All bolts in the neck and shit.
Mono, "The Hand That Holds The Truth"
Wow, four new artists today. Been a while since we've seen that! Post-rock act Mono specializes in the usual slow builds of that genre, and they do it especially well on this album, Rays of Darkness (released at the same time as The Last Dawn).