Gabe - Elvis Costello, Trust (1981) I've been on a non-stop Elvis Costello kick since his incredible show at Ruth Eckerd Hall a few weeks back. Trust is arguably his best and most cohesive piece of work with his stellar former backing band, The Attractions. Clever wordplay and acerbic sentiments dominate this fantastic album, which sports an iconic and very familiar cover shot of Costello. Standouts include "Clubland," "New Lace Sleeves" and "Watch Your Step," arguably some of Elvis' very best compositions. The album still sounds as good as it did when it came out. Extra points for the outstanding duet with Squeeze lead vocalist Glenn Tilbrook, "From A Whisper To A Scream." Thanks Elvis for making my Monday morning a little more bearable. I have a feeling I'll still be spinning this one into the afternoon and evening hours today...
Leilani - Monophonics, In Your Brain (out May 15, 2012 via Ubiquity Records) http://monophonics.com/ This record has been rocking my face since I was turned onto this band a few weeks ago. The San Francisco six-piece takes their sonic cue from Sly Stone with hard retro-imbued funk and psychedelic soul, the horn arrangements warm bursts of brass accompanied by thick and fuzzy bass grooves, chugging rhythms, plenty of wet wah wah guitar along with some shrieking and wailing solos, and the impassioned husky-soulful vocals of singer/keyboardist Kelly Finnigan. The band stops at New World Brewery this Wed., May 9, and drops into the WMNF studios to play It's the Music with Scott Elliott earlier that day. Tune in for a preview of what they'll dish out, and take a listen to "Bang Bang" below...
Taylor - Miike Snow, Happy to You (2012) This Sweden-based trio has done some interesting work with synthesizers and beats, and I'm really getting into a nice groove with their more playful, Monday-worthy second album.
Shae - Signals From Satellites, Dotted Lines EP (2010) The weekend before last, my band played a show with local Tampa band, Signals from Satellites. We've played with them frequently, so I'm pretty familiar with their music. During their Saturday set, however, they performed two older tracks. These had been out of live rotation for a while, so while the songs were familiar, they also felt fresh. One of them, "Permanent Autopilot," was off their Dotted Lines EP; this is what I've been playing to recapture that familiar but fresh feeling.
Dotted Lines finds Signals in the early stages of their time together, but those elements that make the trio one of the Bay area's best – the intricate intermingling of Rodney's sometimes dissonant guitar and Ric's melodic bass, Phil's tasteful drumming, their intuitive use of dynamics, and Rodney's undistorted, distinct vocals – are already firmly in place. Signals take 1990s-'00s indie rock and subtract the preening, the pretension, the preciousness. What's left is a collection of expansive, richly textured songs with the perfect blend of original, emotional lyrics and no-holds-barred instrumental interludes. Live, Signals bring the intensity up a notch, so be sure to check them out at Tropical Heatwave in Ybor this Sat., May 12.
Ray - Reptar, Body Faucet (2012) It may be because the band shares a name with one of the greatest cartoon characters ever, or it may be because their debut EP – last summer's Obangle Fizz Y'all – was one of the most-danceable releases of 2K11, but Reptar's debut long-player has been one that I've been eagerly awaiting. Lead single "Orifice Origami" and its talk-box intro seemed to promise more of the same loose, deep, convulsion-worthy grooves found on Obangle, and Body Faucet (out now on Vagrant) delivers on all of the guarantees and then some. Album opener "Sebastian" gets introduced with a Star Trek-meets-Miami Sound Machine instrumental passage before unfolding into a legitimate dance anthem, and equally body-shaking selections like "Houseboat Babies" and "Thank You Gliese 370 B" utilize cosmic synthesizers to paint the LP with more of Reptar's seemingly boundless energy.
The 13-track effort clocks in at a vigorous 56 minutes, but frontman Graham Ulincy does stretch the vocal limits of his unmistakable warble/growl on down-tempo songs like the painfully introspective and sweet "Ghost Bike" as well as album bookend "Water Runs," where the bright piano stabs evolve into synth blasts and a booming chorus that declares, "There's a feeling inside my insides, but it just won't let me in."
Ulincy's emotions might be getting held back, but every ounce of his colorful soul gets poured out on this release, and my inner go-go boy is better for it. The album is streaming in full here, and available for purchase on iTunes.
Evan - Blackbird Blackbird, Summer Heart (2010) San Francisco chillwave artist Mike Maramag's debut is as refreshing as the album title would suggest. In the same electronic vein as the lush bedroom grooves of Washed Out and M83, Maramag crafts tunes that are at once low-key and arresting. With its minimalist house styling and a shoegazer's well-produced vocals and synths, Summer Heart is dreamy. Check out "Hawaii," which evokes the idyllic feeling of the Aloha State. Video for "Pure" below.
Nicole (elawgrrl) - You Blew It!, Grow Up, Dude (2012) You Blew It!'s new record is out just in time to be a sunny soundtrack to summer. While You Blew It!'s music is obviously evocative of the bands I loved in college - namely Cap'n Jazz and Promise Ring – it is firmly rooted in 2012, if only for the recording quality. It was amazing to experience Cap'n Jazz and Promise Ring live again at their reunions, those bands are my past to be dusted off from time to time in sonic nostalgia. I'm delighted that there's a band from Orlando making this genre of music live and breathe again. I went to their record release party at Will's Pub in Orlando (photo at right, more here), and a full house proved that emo isn't all about black eyeliner, it's about being packed into a club and singing your hearts out with your best friends. Stream the record on bandcamp here.
Valerie - Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do (2011) A couple weeks ago, I was in Napa Valley with some friends of mine and saw Mayer Hawthorne perform at an event called Live In The Vineyard. I was pleasantly surprised by his vintage style and sultry tunes, and he had the whole place on their feet the entire set. As soon as we returned from our trip, we bought tickets to see his show at the State Theater tonight. Check out "The Walk" below.
What the CL Music Team is listening to on this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.
Joel - Silversun Pickups, Neck of the Woods (Out tomorrow, May 8, 2012, via Dangerbird) Singer/guitarist Brian Aubert told Spin months ago, "We really wanted to play with drums as textures. We played around with drums coming in here and there and building atmosphere, which guitars usually do." While Neck of the Woods lacks barnburners like "Panic Switch" or "Well Thought Out Twinkles" (from the band's first two full-lengths), they still occasionally integrate some heavier rock moments as they explore and evolve musical ideas within each song. But for the most part, I hear their Smashing Pumpkins heavy fuzz giving way to early Death Cab at times. I liked Carnavas (2006) almost instantly. I think Neck of the Woods will settle with me like 2009's Swoon, one that grows on me slowly but surely with time... Check out first single "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" after the jump, along with the rest of this week's entries.
I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...