This American Friday 5

Stereolab – “Three Women” from Chemical Chords

The group’s upcoming will be their ninth proper album and their first in four years…is the tune a big stretch for them?…not exactly, but when you make E-Z Listening space pop better than anyone else, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with each new song…and if you thought that they were getting soft on weird song and album titles (Chemical Chords is certainly no Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements), just look through the rest of the track listing…

Mission Of Burma – “Academy Fight Song” from Signals, Calls And Marches

One of the few bands I know of that counted a “tape manipulator” in their lineup (Animal Collective comes close with “sound processor” Geologist), Mission Of Burma only released one EP and one LP in their early-‘80s heyday before breaking up due to leader Roger Miller’s tinnitus…this song set the standard for their classic post-punk sensibilities, with an impeccably catchy chorus and a total rock & roll attitude…Bob Mould once remarked that he saw Miller plugging an electric razor into his amp and shaving before a show, and that that was the true meaning of rock…

The Shins – “Caring Is Creepy” from Oh, Inverted World

Back in 2001, little did we know that the skinny little band that changed Natalie Portman’s life had it in them to come up with Wincing The Night Away a scant six years later…then again, the strength of their debut might just be as life-changing as Miss Portman claimed…though not as stripped-down as Chutes Too Narrow or as shoegazey as Wincing The Night Away, the Portland group’s baroque-folk debut was quite an impressive one…

The Go-Betweens – “Surfing Magazines” from The Friends Of Rachel Worth

You might not expect the Australian cult favorites to have a thing for surfing, but I guess anything that takes place in the sunshine is right up their alley…The Friends Of Rachel Worth, which came out in 2000, was the band’s first real success after recording for nearly 20 years…the 2006 death of co-leader Garrett McLennan put an indefinite end to the band’s career, though their indie-pop legacy lives on in countless bands today…

The B-52’s – “Juliet Of The Spirits” from Funplex

When the 52’s did this in concert last week, Fred left the stage all to Kate and Cindy…the dreaminess of this song is closer to songs from Whammy! than most other songs on the new record…evidently inspired by a Fellini flick, the tune carries the legendary message of the Athens group: Don’t ever stop dancing…

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~ by E. on May 2, 2008.

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