New stuff, new stuff… Haven’t posted anything about music in a while and I’m feeling teh music juice today.
First up – Girlyman. Very surprising band from San Francisco. Couldn’t find any clips on YouTube or any of those other viral video websites, but Girlyman does, luckily, have a Myspace page (like every other person on the planet these days): http://www.myspace.com/girlymanband. They’re a difficult group to categorize, but I think their site gives a pretty apt description with “acoustic harmony-driven genderbent pop.” No kidding. So, yeah – I realize that doesn’t sound incredibly appealing to most people, so I’ll do the old free-association bit: quasi-bluegrass, soulful, simple, story-telling. Unfortunately, their two best songs (in my most awesome opinion) aren’t on their website: “Viola” and “Kittery Tide,” although “This Is Me” is pretty damn good AND resides on their site for now. Do yourself a favor and at least check out their website. Or do the independent record label industry a favor and buy their albums Little Star or Remember Who I Am. It’s truly great music.
Second – Peloton. Still no damn videos on YouTube! Anyway, they also have a Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/pelotonmusic. I’m feeling a bit lazy today and my descriptive skills are equally indolent, so I’m going to let this review from the San Fransisco Bay Guardian describe Peloton:
Peloton’s self-titled EP is a classy, sassy, and altogether addictive affair of hook-laden atmospheric pop rock. Miyako Ueki’s catchy keyboard melodies and Brian Jackson’s soft, sensitive vocal style are like spoonfuls of sugar that allow the subtly sarcastic lyrics to go down with ease. Standout tracks include “Out of Mind” and “Static Line.”
Wow. Classy AND sassy. So you know it’s good. And it’s got your daily dose of subtle sarcasm.
But, hey – I’ve gotta support Texans who are going out there and creating music that’s different and new. And, uh, Japanese people who are doing the same thing with said Texans. But mostly Texans. Not that I hate the Japanese. Anyway…
Third – and these might be my favorite of the day…I don’t know. It’s a tough decision. Las Rubias del Norte. And they have a video up at YouTube! The reason that Las Rubias might be my favorite? They’re classically-trained vocalists who met while performing in the New York Choral Society together and who tossed all that boring choir shit aside to make some gorgeous Cuban/Mexican music together. There will always be dullard sopranos to fill the seats of any choral society, but who else is going to take Mozart’s “Confutatis” (from his famous Requiem Mass) and set it to a rumba beat? Funeral requiems are now danceable, thanks to Las Rubias.
Another reason I like them? If you simply heard them on the radio (which…you probably won’t, because commercial radio is the apotheosis of all that is wrong with our society…ahem), you’d probably think that you’d stumbled upon the female version of the Buena Vista Social Club or maybe an old Lydia Mendoza song. But these girls are modern-day, white-bread New Yorkers, as their name implies (Las Rubias del Norte/The Blondes from the North). Again, I just adore people who get out there and do something – anything – different and make it work. Go check out their new album, Panamericana, if you get a chance. This is great party music, laying around the house on a lazy weekend music, poolside music…whatever you dig doing, this music will probably go well with it.
Last – but not least – I want to leave you with a great clip of The Band playing two of the best songs ever recorded: “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” I love the new stuff, but you can’t forget about the old classics.