The Friday 5 of Affliction

St. Vincent – “Actor Out Of Work” from Actor
The lovely (and slightly narcissistic, judging by her album covers) Annie Clark sometimes plays with The Polyphonic Spree, but is most potent on her own as St. Vincent.  The sorta-title track from her forthcoming second album is at first a rocker, but then the unusual chords and scales kick in.  Though she’s joined by an expanded backing band, Clark performs most of the instruments herself, as well as providing many of her own backing vocals.  She may look sweet on the outside (in fact, I’m pretty sure she does), but there’s a musical explosion inside that little fireball.

The Golden Palominos – “Buenos Aires” from Vision Of Excess
When The Golden Palominos regrouped in 1985, only bassist Bill Laswell and drummer/leader Anton Fieri remained, though the revolving door to the lead vocal position remained spinning.  Often cited as launching the career of Syd Straw (who sings lead on this tune), the Palominos also featured guests like Michael Stipe, John Lydon, Richard Thompson and many others.  Call it the first indie supergroup if you like, just don’t call it a comeback.

Dirty Projectors – “Stillness Is The Move” from Bitte Orca
Primarily the vehicle of Brooklyn-ite Dave Longstreth, the Dirty Projectors have recently blossomed into more of a full-band outfit.  Vocalist Amber Coffman shines in this, the single from their forthcoming album.  Get it while it’s hot from Domino’s website, of before it’s replaced by a new single from Archie Bronson Outfit.  Blech.

Grandaddy – “The Crystal Lake” from The Sophtware Slump
From their unusual songs structures and questionable grasp on the English language, you might think that Grandaddy were a bunch of upstarts from the Britpop breed.  You’d be wrong, since they’re American, but their music ranks up there with Spiritualized when it comes to oddball, technology-influenced pop.  Apparently a concept album about a world where computers have taken over, The Sophtware Slump is probably the most upbeat record about alienation there is.

The Passions – “The Swimmer” from Thirty Thousand Feet Over China
Best known for their single “I’m In Love With A German Film Star,” (which is also on this album) The Passions’ dreamy power pop was grossly underappreciated, and they disbanded after only three albums.  Their legacy lives on, if only with “German Film Star,” which has been covered and featured in TV shows and movies many times.

~ by E. on April 10, 2009.

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