Lighten Up, Friday 5!

Syd Barrett – “Octopus” from The Madcap Laughs

Barrett was forced out of Pink Floyd around 1968, shortly after the release of A Saucerful Of SecretsBarrett’s surreal songwriting very heavily guided the two Pink Floyd album he worked on, and his two solo albums further his legacy…recorded before Barrett became a recluse, The Madcap Laughs was finally released in 1970 to mild success…while Pink Floyd went on to grand popularity, Barrett and his work remain just as compelling as what Roger Waters turned their band into…

The Raconteurs – “The Switch And The Spur” from Consolers Of The Lonely

Since Jack White produces all his own records, he has the freedom to make each and every song as show-stopping as he sees fit…for Icky Thump, the prime example was “Conquest”…for The Raconteurs newest, it’s the mariachi/pirate ballad “The Switch And The Spur”…this tune is led by Tex-Mex horns, clanging pianos and Brendan Benson’s melodic voice…all that with some shifting tempos and “Dead Men Tell No Tales” lyrics make for one swashbuckling, rootin’ tootin’ adventure…

The Polyphonic Spree – “Section 11 (We Sound Amazed)” from Together We’re Heavy

I remember getting my first taste of the Texas-based symphonic family back at summer camp, when my friend Aaron bought Together We’re Heavy at the Emory campus bookstore…when we listened to this record, we were blown away…not since the last time any of us had listened to Sgt. Pepper had we heard anything this majestic…Tim DeLaughter and his giant posse also make great visual art, as seen in the album’s artwork, which Aaron and I replicated on the walls of our bunk in a mural that (to my knowledge) remains there to this day…

Sparks – “Let The Monkey Drive” from Exotic Creatures Of The Deep

I can hardly express how happy I am to be in possession of the new album from Sparks…taking a much bigger cue from 2006’s Hello Young Lovers than 2002’s Lil’ Beethoven in its rock-oriented sound, the album features just as many kooky lyrics and falsetto vocals as you would expect from the brothers Mael, yet their sound remains ever-changing and contemporary…it’s still a mystery to me as to why they’re not big stars around the world (they have found much success in England), but songs like this one are just weird enough to make the unfamiliar shy away…

The Charlatans – “Blackened Blue Eyes” from Simpatico

The legendary Brit-rockers have been making records on a pretty regular basis since their 1990 debut…though they may have arrived a little late to the Madchester scene, they were not less important contributors to its sound…this album, which came out in 2006, sees the group mixing in some dub and reggae influences (something that their buddies, Primal Scream, had been doing as well)…the opening track, though, is classic psychedelic Charlatans, who are now part of the movement for giving away music on the internet…

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~ by E. on May 30, 2008.

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