Five Songs, 6/1/2021
Five Songs

Five Songs, 6/1/2021

They Might Be Giants, "They'll Need A Crane"

This song is a great example of how John Linnell is capable of writing a bouncy, charming song that nevertheless has a melancholy core to it. He usually bangs out at least one of those on each record, and there's always some turn of phrase in them that really sticks with me. "There's a restaurant we should check out / where the other nightmare people like to go / I mean nice people / Baby wait / I didn't mean to say nightmare" just runs through my head all the time. Lincoln is real good, y'all.

The Vows, "Tell Me"

Oh yeah, that's the Motown sound.

Red Sparowes, "Millions Starved And We Became Skinnier and Skinnier, While Our Leaders Became Fatter And Fatter"

Post-rock? Uh, what do you think, with a title like that. It's post-rock. Red Sparowes, to the extent they distinguish themselves, do so with use of pedal steel, which is a nice addition. But other than that, it's all the usual moves. Big crescendos, instrumental, playing with a lot of dynamics, all that stuff. It's pretty good, but I only picked up this album, so I don't love it.

Metallica, "Blackened"

I've been doing this long enough that I can't remember if I've floated this question out before, so I'm doing it again. What is the greatest American rock band? American cuts out a lot of candidates for greatest rock band that lots of people might settle on, and rock band (as opposed to solo act) cuts out people like Prince or Springsteen. I've spent a lot of time with this question, and I pretty much keep ending up at Metallica. There's the influence, spawning the entire genre of thrash, there's longevity, there's an incredible peak, it's all there. Most of the other bands you might think of that might compete on a couple of these lose out on another measure. For example, Nirvana's influence was massive, and their was peak incredible, but tragically they don't have the longevity. Anyway, this is the opening to ...And Justice For All, the final album of their peak, and this album fuckin' rules.

Vagabon, "Cold Apartment"

Vagabon is a one-woman band, Laetitia Tamko, who is self-taught and plays everything on this record. Given that, it's incredible how self-assured and fantastic it all sounds. This track will give you a great idea of what Infinite Worlds sounds like.

Joshua Buergel
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