Friday 5 kicks off the summer!

Clinic – “The Equaliser” from Walking With Thee
The masked men of Clinic were way ahead of everyone (read: swine flu) when it comes to surgical garb as fashion statements.  Their mysterious appearance matches particularly well with their unusual music, an amalgam of vintage organ sorcery and squeaky, jittery percussion.  Their debut, Internal Wrangler, gave them a minor hit with “Distortions” (which was later covered by the Arcade Fire), but Walking With Thee gave them a much wider audience.

Lullaby Baxter Trio – “Ding-A-Ling” from Capable Egg
A lot of Lullaby Baxter’s debut is steeped in early jazz and urban blues, but there’s a fair amount of cabaret and pop to be found, too.  This song appears twice, the hidden track version featured Baxter alone with an acoustic guitar, lamenting over everyone who calls her “ding-a-ling.”  Of course, her melding of childish lyrics and melodies with her smooth, mature vocals creates an uncommonly delightful listening experience.

Leonard Cohen – “So Long, Marianne” from Songs Of Leonard Cohen
It’s hard to believe that the master songwriter’s debut album came out over 40 years ago, but it’s true.  Musically, Cohen’s early material was pretty pleasant folky stuff, but, of course, his lyrics stood out above all else.  This song’s tremendous chorus makes for a great sing-along, and it’s one of many songs that was most likely written about Marianne Faithfull.

Sunset Rubdown – “You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II) from Dragonslayer
The side project of Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug returns with a new album this summer.  Slightly more prog-y than his main band (if that’s even possible), Sunset Rubdown shows off Krug’s more wild musical tendencies.  A sequel of sorts to a track on 2007’s Random Spirit Lover, “You Go On Ahead” is a standout from an album that is sure to unite Wolf Parade fans and lovers of unusual indie rock everywhere.

Elvis Costello – “Complicated Shadows” from Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
Originally written for Johnny Cash, this song appeared on 1996’s All This Useless Beauty.  Now that Elvis has taken a turn for the twangy, this tune was bound to resurface.  With a dynamite band (The Sugarcanes, natch), the new record is like a less-slick Almost Blue, which is pretty welcome if you ask me.

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~ by E. on May 22, 2009.

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