Art Brut – It’s A Bit Complicated

20 08 2010

Listened: Thursday August 5

It’s a Bit Complicated made me realize that Art Brut are the pop-punk musical version of Seinfeld; it’s all about the details, and when it comes down to it, a lot of nothing.

Pump Up The Volume is all about whether it’s appropriate to break from making out to turn up a song on the radio.

Blame it On The Trains is about blaming being 30 minutes late on public transit when really it was because of lying around having sex and concocting a scheme to explain the absence.

Sound of Summer fetishizes making mix tapes, down to the outmoded acts of pressing both play and record and breaking off the security tabs on the tape so no one can record over it.

Jealous Guy is about a guy obsessing that he isn’t getting as much sex from his girlfriend as her prior boyfriends, but finding his only expression of this frustration is to pull the covers to his side and silently fume.

Any of these could be central to a Seinfeld episode, right?

The Strokes – Is This It?

20 08 2010

Listened: Wednesday August 4

It’s fitting that Is This It immediately follows The Invisible Band, since both were immediately post-college albums for me. When it came out, this album felt like the perfect soundtrack to being young and uncertain and free, all of which I more or less was. I remember driving around San Francisco at the time and seeing Strokes logos in people’s windows. Those same hipsters probably think they’ve sold out now.

I remember making a big point of getting the import version of the album with the original nude chick cover and tracklisting because I was annoyed at the censorship of both. The cover was rejected in the US for being too sexually explicit and New York City Cops was taken off the original album because the album was released immediately following 9/11 and “New York City cops, they ain’t too smart” was considered inappropriate for the times.

I went to their show when they came to San Francisco and I remember it being a horrible mess. Julian was sloppy drunk and didn’t sing well at all. I still always enjoy this album, but that was a little too much “I am going to pretend I don’t give a shit” posing for me and I didn’t buy their next album when it eventually came out. Hopefully they have gotten more professional since.

Travis – The Invisible Band

20 08 2010

Listened: Wednesday August 4

The Invisible Band was the first Travis album I experienced anticipating, since I had gotten introduced to the band when their prior album The Man Who was already released. I love the album cover (the picture was taken near Santa Cruz).

I have great memories of hearing these songs for the first time when the band played Yerba Buena gardens in San Francisco. Afterwards we stood in line for a very long time to meet them and get autographs (and at that point it was old hat, since we had met them twice before, once at their Sacramento show, and once at Now and Zen Festival).

This was soon after I had graduated from college, so it was a very memorable and important time in my life. I also had the free time to wait in line in front of Mod Lang the day before for the bracelets that guaranteed us autographs. Wish I had time to do such things anymore!

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Introducing

20 08 2010

Listened: Wednesday August 4

Introducing collects a bunch of good songs from Gorky’s early works, and as the title suggests, it’s a good introduction to the band. I also love the artwork.

I’ve given a good description of the band in my earlier entry about Barafundle. I blew most of my material about them there!