I’ll be in Victoria, TX this weekend visiting my wife’s family. And I won’t really have enough time to compose a proper post. Instead, I’m sharing a playlist with you. Here’s the records I put on an MP3 CD for the trip, which is two hours each way from Houston.
Surfer Blood – Astrocoast
Vampire Weekend if they were a southern garage-rock band. Easily the best single I’ve heard all year in “Swim.” It sounds like an 80s hair metal anthem. In a good way. This held up all weekend long. It’s a great record, with plenty of nods to The Pixies and Weezer.
Atlas Sound – Logos
Second record from the Bradford Cox side project. I like Cox. A lot. This is super chill, I think it would be great for night driving, but it nearly put me to sleep during the day.
David Bazan – Curse Your Branches
Really nice record from the Pedro the Lion guy. Recommendation from Ben Murphy. I never thought I’d like adult contemporary mixed with conflicted Christian metaphors. But this record is so good, I don’t mind.
Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms
See, electronic music can be good!
Spiral Stairs – The Real Feel
New one from that other Pavement guy. Getting great reviews.
Girls – Album
Gotten a ton of blog love. And it’s deserved. Great melodies that you can’t get out of your head. But there’s not enough going on to hold up for repeated listening. Popular single “Hellhole Ratrace” is the worst example. Great verse & chorus, but they don’t need to be repeated for 7 minutes. That little bit at the beginning of the song is literally all there is. Could have been—should have been—a 2-minute classic.
Clientele – Bonfires on the Heath
This band has not once made a bad record. And no one else sounds like them. This is maybe their best record.
Them Crooked Vultures (S/T)
Getting a ton of attention because it includes Dave Grohl, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, and QOTSA’s Josh Homme. But it’s got my attention because it’s the best hard rock record since Priestess released their self-titled debut. A lot of this record is self-indulgent, but there’s enough great hooks and genuine hard-rock awesomeness, that I’m still grateful for it overall.
UPDATE: After listening to my mix over the weekend, I’ve updated the above list with some more observations in italics.