Saturday, June 30, 2007

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

Meowskers, " I'll Be By Your Side" (mp3 from their Myspace)

Somewhere Freddie Mercury is pleased because his life was not for nothing. Complex musical structures, multiple melodies within one song, a falsetto free of self-consciousness overlaying the music summon the boldness and genius of Queen.

It's quintessential rock music, the kind that unabashedly leads with its masculinity, and I usually don't go for that. For me to embrace non-arty, non-folksy "rock music", there has to be something really special there--something that abandons its own conventions and courageously guides itself. This decade I've only found those qualities in a few bands, including: The Stills, Secret Machines, The Killers and probably a few other bands I can't think of right now. Most "rock and roll" leads with its ego, existing solely to fuel cocaine fantasies (but I still believe in a thing called love). I get a different sense from this. This band really funnels everything they have into this song.



Southerly, "Soldiers" (mp3 provided to me by Fanatic Promotion)

Krist Krueger, the original member and driving force behind Southerly, seems to like to call upon references some might consider to be cheesy. Soap operas are listed as influences and a gossip columnist is referenced in the album's title. Is he trying to tell us something about his music? I don't think so, because this song (or any of the songs I've heard) could hardly be considered as trite or canned (sorry soap opera and/or gossip columnist fans, but it is what it is). Instead we have a beautifully understated, well-articulated, and musically rich composite slightly reminiscent of Elliott Smith, without the undercurrent of intense discontent.

Their booking agency site

Southerly used to be just one guy, but from his Myspace it looks like he has a band.

Matthew Dear, "Pom Pom"

I have to listen to a song called "Pom Pom". Curiousity is just too great for me not to. Turns out it's a really cute song: boppy in good way, with dead-pan vocals that are more talking than singing. It reminds me of one of those great songs known only to 80s children like myself (and those privileged enough to receive mixed CDs from us.)


Matthew Dear

Podcast tomorrow night!

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