Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Top Ten Songs of the Week 3/16/09

We do this every Tuesday. It’s a mix of new favorites and random discoveries made while researching our constantly updated NYC Live Music Calendar. Very possible that you will see some of these songs here on our Top 100 Songs of 2009 list at the end of the year, if the world hasn’t ended by then…every link here will take you to each individual track except for #s 1 and 10.

 

1. System Noise – Hair & Nails

Deliriously catchy, typically eerie fare from these ferocious rockers, like the Talking Heads gone completely phantasmagorical. Is this about a woman beautifying herself…or is is about the two parts of the body that continue to grow after death? Sarah Mucho’s gleefully eerie voice provides a hint. Unreleased, but they’ll probably play it live tomorrow at the Delancey at 9.  

 

2. Beluga – Cowboy Boots

This is a song that needed to be written.  “Everybody hates you, everybody hates you, everybody hates you because you’re such a bitch.” The ferocious all-female rockers play the cd release show for their new one at the Loving Cup Cafe on N 6th in Williamsburg (in the back gallery) on 3/20.

 

3. The Moonlighters – Night Smoke

New York’s reigning oldtimey band have some delicious new stuff up on their myspace and this is one of them, a bossa beat, characteristically beautiful harmonies from Bliss Blood and Cindy Ball and Mark Deffenbaugh’s stinging steel guitar.

 

4. Abby Barrett – Stillborn

Big, dark, uneasy, oldtimey-flavored 6/8 ballad flavored with reverb guitar, banjo and piano from the Boston chanteuse. And then it morphs into a big art-rock song like the Church or Pink Floyd. Wow.  

 

5. The Passengers – I Bend but Do Not Break

Characteristically wrenching, haunting vocals from Angie Pepper and a resolute, defiant song. This is a new one from the regrouped acoustic version of the legendary Australian band.

 

6. Royal Chant – Petrograd

Another Aussie band. How do we find these people? So random, it’s hard to explain. This is nice post-REM jangle and clang. Also check out Bellevue, their tribute to life in the loony bins.

 

7. Lullapop – Unstable

Gorgeous acoustic triphop from the Polish-American siren, sort of a more guitarish take on what Madder Rose was doing back in the 90s.

 

8. Sam Ben-Meir – Impressions

Solo piano from this Israeli composer. Its theme is the ravages of war, a haunting, compassionate Chopinesque evocation.

 

9. Mike Viola – Good Ideas Grow on Trees

This is the Candy Butchers’ frontman doing his singer-songwriter thing. Hang in there for this one: it takes awhile to get going, but it’s worth it. “Good ideas will blow you away.” No doubt. Cool video by Michael Arthur.

 

10. Jenifer Jackson – Words

Not to be confused with the gorgeous Whispering Words (up on her myspace), this unreleased gem has the same existential intensity as Pink Floyd but with vastly more warmth and subtlety. And a playful synth solo. She’s at Rockwood Music Hall on 3/24 at 8.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Song of the Day 3/12/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Thursday’s song is #503:

The PassengersFace with No Name

One of the greatest Australian bands of the late 70s, the Passengers tragically never achieved the fame they so deserved. With their haunting guitar-and-keyboard garage-pop sound and the chillingly direct, wrenchingly heartfelt vocals of frontwoman Angie Pepper, they were on the brink of releasing their first album when their label discovered that Pepper had secretly married Radio Birdman mastermind Deniz Tek. Fearing that she’d relocate to the States (they were right), the album was never released and the master tapes mysteriously went AWOL for years (but happily resurfaced, ending up on the 2001 Citadel cd reissue It’s Just That I Miss You). In the interim, all that had remained of the band’s recorded output was a single rehearsal tape, released on cd in 1985 on the French Revenge label. Despite the dodgy sound quality, the otherwordly quality of Pepper’s voice against the cascades of electric piano on this song will give you chills. On an even more auspicious note, Pepper resurrected the band in 2006 as an acoustic act; other than the new-ish recordings on their myspace, it remains to be seen how far they’ll go with it. The link in the title at the top is an imeem stream for the song.

March 12, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment