The Well-Played List, 06-06-2014: The Fresh and Onlys, 1,2,3, Say Anything, Mary Gauthier & more

Find out what the CL Team and local tastemakers are jamming this week; audio, video & Spotify playlist included...

It’s the end of the week, which means it's time to get your groove on. The ongoing listening series otherwise known as The Well-Played List features the most listened-to, jammed-out songs, albums and artists of the week as submitted by the CL Music Team along with a rotating crew of tastemakers — local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two; CLICK HERE to check out past editions. Audio and video included, along with any applicable show information. And on that note, what are you jamming this week? Tell us in the comments…

Jack White, Lazaretto (out June 10 via Third Man) Is it even possible for Jack White to write a bad song? I say no. This album provides proof. More listens necessary, but the title track alone is just sick. Sick sick sick.

Hamilton Leithauser, "I Retired" (2014) The next member of the currently on-hiatus Walkmen to issue a solo album is Leithauser. Now, I haven't listened to all three Walkmens' solo efforts in their entirety, but so far what I've heard from each (Peter Matthew Bauer and Walter Martin) has been unique and distinctively good. This song is twangy in a most appealing way, with vintage Americana and rockabilly flavor. Seriously impressive that I haven't heard something I haven't liked from any of these guys yet... And I'm not even a fan of The Walkmen.

1,2,3, Big Weather (2014) There's something vaguely big beat retro about this double-album sophomore effort from Philly act 1,2,3 — but it remains resolutely in the present with its loose quirky experimental charm, sometimes fuzzy, loud and unhinged, other times bouncy, melodic and pop-carefree or quieter and still rather lovely, with instantly-likable vocals that hit falsetto notes and carry a mild drawl. It's kitchen sink music, taking the bare bones of classic rock and throwing in elements of lo-fi soul, garage and folk rock while also managing to be rather catchy and listenable. You'd think there'd be more bad lemons amid the 20, but aside from a few jarring too-long narrative interludes, there's something that surprises with the start of each new track.  "Big Weather Part 1" after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries ....
| Emcee; promoter/owner/main dude, B.A.S.E. Inc. Music
Alec Burnright, "5 Babies" (2013) There is almost too much real talk in this track for it to be so easy to dance to. Almost. I suggest putting this on when you get to that one real long red light and just dumbing out!

BIGREC, "Unstoppable" (2014) A2BAY fans may see a few familiar faces in this video from RHHIB's own BIGREC. This ATL favorite flexes over Diamond D production in the first video released since their Doomsday album hit stores.

imagiin360, "Sketch Out Dreams" (2013) My favorite song from this Tampa emcee/businessman now has visuals. It has been in rotation and I'm glad to add another sense to situation. Check it below...

KEITH ULREY | owner, Microgroove, New Granada Records
I'm not one for awards shows, and in particular, awards show performances. A lot of self-congratulatory bullsnizz (my own word) and horn-tooting. BUT. BUT. BUT...  Peter Gabriel's performance at the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Induction was an absolute joy. Wonderful, heart-warming deliveries of "Washing of the Water" (with Coldplay's Chris Martin serving a nice companion vocal) and "In Your Eyes." Goosebump-worthy. Yes. This old-man was moved.

I can't seem to find any decent videos of the performance, so in lieu of, here's the original studio version of "Washing of The Water" from 1992's Us.

KRISTIN STIGAARD | Daddy Kool, No Clubs Entertainment
Say Anything, Hebrews (out June 10). Every song has a guest artist on it, including Tom Delonge, Aaron Weiss, Keith Bucklee, Chris Conley, Matt Pryor, and of course Sherri Dupree-Bemis, to name a few. It's pretty different and I've been listening to Say Anything a lot in general in preparation for their show on June 18. Also have been listening to a lot of Kevin Devine; his album Bubblegum in particular is one of my favorites; suggested listening from that album includes "Nobel Prize," "Redbird" and "I Don't Care About Your Band."

Mary Gauthier, Trouble & Love (out June 10, 2014) I don't mean for it to be an insult when I say that Mary Gauthier's music is like an old pair of jeans or cowboy boots. What I mean is, you know what to expect: it's comforting and comfortable; you can throw it on and not be disappointed, no matter what the day or the event. NPR has been streaming her upcoming album Trouble & Love, and I've had it on repeat this past week. Gauthier is known for her world-weary, straight-shooting songs — the adage “three chords and the truth” could easily sum up her oeuvre — and Trouble & Love is no departure from that. Her unaffected vocals have a subtle twang, the instrumentation around her acoustic guitar's soft strumming is colored by a touch of lap-steel here and piano there. The songs are sad, but comforting and comfortable— perfect. Listen to "Last Train" below...

R.E.M., Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions (2014) After the disappointment of not landing a copy of the limited edition Record Store Day 4-LP box release of this set, I've made up for it by snagging the 2-CD set that contains both of the complete, newly-released sessions R.E.M. recorded for the long gone MTV acoustic sessions program. And boy, was it worth the wait.

Solidifying their place as one of the most important bands in recent American history, the favorite sons of Athens, Ga. show off exactly what brought them the accolades they've always been so deserving of. R.E.M. was always as effective and poignant whether performing more frantic, upbeat rockers as they were when cruising through slower, more relaxed odes. Here, they give a wide array of their best material the full-on acoustic treatment and the results are magnificent. Michael Stipe's vocals are clear and resonant, Peter Buck's tasty guitar work shines throughout and Mike Mills' endless contributions to the band's sound, whether it be his pleasing backing vocals or his additional complementary guitar work, really add to the raw beauty of these recordings.

I've always loved R.E.M. and this new set, chock full of great music and heartfelt performances, is a nice reminder of their greatness. A standout for me is the cool, reimagined acoustic reading of "Radio Song", a tune originally from their breakthough album, 1991's "Out of Time". However, the entire set is great and is a must for any fan who misses this legendary band.

NIKKI SMITH | Writer, music connoisseur In preparation for the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show, I have been jamming out hard to their new album Only Run, out this Tuesday. I heard it a few weeks ago on NPR and wasn't convinced I liked it, considering it was so different from their self titled debut. However, upon giving it a second (and third) chance, I am definitely digging it more. It is by no means as catchy and upbeat as their first, which confused me because it wasn't the original band that I fell in love with back in high school, but as a stand-alone album it's pretty damn good. Plus, it's been nearly 10 years since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was released, and they've managed to hold onto my heart all this time.

My list of listens could go on for days, however, I'll conclude with Mixmag - The Further Adventures of Soul Clap. This funky, vocal house mix will have you grooving for more than just the 40-ish minutes it runs, incorporating vocals with each track and inspiring you to DANCE! And just when you think it isn't possible for the music to get any deeper and dirtier, it does. Although I'm writing this at 4 p.m. on a Thursday, all I can think of is the upcoming weekend and how much my feet want/need to move. Mix below... 

ADAM KUHN | Music fan and scenester with discerning taste | Front End Designer, Big Sea Design & Development
Trash Talk, No Peace (2014) Fast and furious hardcore that takes me back to the late '90s-early '00s, a time when I subsisted on a diet of crusty political d-beat. While I was wary of an LP released on the Odd Future imprint (say what you will but Tyler is pretty much ICP for "cool" kids), this is their best work since their absolutely crushing Awake EP. Must see FREE show Monday 6/9 at an Ybor venue that, at the time of this writing, is still TBA. 

Trap Them, Blissfucker (2014) More hardcore this time with a distinctly metal bent. Brutal and unforgiving with a healthy helping of blast beats, this one is produced by Converge's Kurt Ballou and the similarities between bands are unmistakable. No matter- with Blissfucker, Trap Them establish themselves as equals.  

The Fresh and Onlys, House of Spirits (2014) Once a more raucous psych-garage act, these guys have grown up and tamed their wild lo-fi ways but moved on to more fully-realized songwriting. At times they're able to recall the dour 4/4 drive of the Zombies, shifting into krauty rhythms and at times veering back into the danger and rough edges of their earlier sound. This is the closest thing to "dream pop" that I can typically tolerate, a great collection of hazy pop songs for a lazy summer afternoon.