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holiday 2-for-1

OK, OK… it’s been forever. Far too long. But get ready for not one, but TWO big playlists. A lot of this has been piling up, so apologies if some if this isn’t exactly new. We’ll move on with a collection of much newer music next week.

But here’s installment #1 for today, which is a rocking set full of good times.

NP: “Junkeee… Julie…”Blood On The Wall. The best album outta NYC in the last year? I think so.
NP: “Amongst Friends”Oxford Collapse. The next “best album outta NYC this year” is going to be the BITS album by Oxford Collapse coming out next month on Sub Pop. This is a song from their 12″ that just came out on Jon Solomon’s new Comedy Minus One label.
NP: “This Love Is Fucking Right!”The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. And, of course… this may be the best EP outta NYC in quite a while. C-86 fans take note: when The Big Takeover namedrops Close Lobsters in the review of TPOBPAH, you gotta take it seriously.
NP: “The Sandwich Song”Benny Stoofy. I can’t even begin to explain the strange method by which we became aware of the utterly retarded Benny Stoofy from Detroit, but i have to admit: coming back to it a year later, there’s something worth a listen here. Especially if you’ve ever been a fan of Ween or early Beck.
NP: “Robbin’ The Clown Bank”Benny Stoofy. Since the songs are so short, here’s a second one.
NP: “Read About It”Midnight Oil. Went through a kick where I listened to a bunch of the early (pre Diesel And Dust) Midnight Oil records. A couple of them definitely stand the test of time.
NP: “Royal Gregory”Holy Fuck. So so good. You absolutely must own this record and go see them live. Anything less is not permissible.
NP: “Out At The Pictures”Hot Chip. Ended up hanging out with them and seeing them play like 5 times in a short period of time. And they were great every time, even though they were plagued with sound problems every time (problems that weren’t the fault of Steve or Ilias, their awesome sound engineers).
NP: “Bendable Poseable”Hot Chip. Couldn’t pick what song to put, so…
NP: “Wrestlers”Hot Chip. So I put my 3 favorites from the recent album.
NP: “Come And Dance”Awesome Color. Glad that something like this is getting some attention. Great organ sounds, truly awesome solos… this is some great rock n roll.
NP: “Jump In The Fire”The Night Marchers. I wanted for this to be the best thing ever, but instead it was just really good. Great to see Gar from Tanner on guitar and Jason on drums, though. I would watch those two every chance I get.
NP: “Darksided Computer Moth”White Denim. Austin’s next big export, possibly. I’ve missed them play far too many times. Next time through they are a must-see.
NP: “Alpha”The Forms. Solid second record from these boys came out last fall and I totally missed it while in the UK for 3 months. Trying to make up for lost time. They’ve added a bit of Wolf Parade or Arcade Fire to the mix this time.
NP: “Cappo”No Age. Honestly, I don’t really get all the rage. I think they’re fun and have written a couple of catchy and fun songs and put on fun shows, but… I don’t think they’re as worthy as the attention as some other bands, but… It’s still damn exciting to see a band like this getting tons of play on mainstream MTV.
NP: “Foxes Mate For Life”Born Ruffians. Just a damn catchy song that I’ve been meaning to post here for quite a while. Old news, but still a great song.
NP: “Out Of Sight”The Brother Kite. Their set with Frightened Rabbit at Piano’s at the start of the tour feels like forever ago, when it was merely 40 days ago, but… they played a great set.
NP: “Campaign”Russian Circles. I thought this was going to be a little more rocking, but it’s quite lovely in an Explosions In The Sky meets something a little poppier kinda way.
NP: “Fear And Loathing In Mahwah, NJ”Titus Andronicus. I meant to write about them before they were Pitchfork darlings, but… it was only going to be by like 4 days, anyway, so it doesn’t even matter. They are good, and made an engaging record. Somehow they’ve done for Jersey emo (think: Lifetime, Bouncing Souls) what the Pogues did for Irish Traditional, without it sounding like Dropkick Murphys or Mighty Mighty Bosstones or something and instead sounding like a high school marching band covering Neutral Milk Hotel after practice.
NP: “The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend”The Wedding Present. Best Wedding Present song (and song title) in quite a while. Couldn’t sniff the bicycle seat of anything offa George Best or Tommy or Bizarro or Seamonsters, of course, but… still an awfully solid track.
NP: “Answering Machine (Solo Home Demo)”The Replacements. This is the kind of thing re-issues are meant for. I can’t even begin to explain the tingles this caused the first time I heard it. Absolutely spellbinding.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_01.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_01.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.
NR: Just purchased “Bullet Park” by John Cheever for at least the third time in my life. 100 pages in and i can’t believe i’ve never opened it before. I’m an idiot.

Installment #2 for today is a much calmer set, but also features some amazing tracks.

NP: “Ay Distress”Baptist Generals. Still wondering if this is real or staged. I’m thinking real.
NP: “Brothers And Sisters”Micah P Hinson. Not sure if i’ve met a nicer musician than Micah. It helps that he’s both great and worships Eric Bachmann.
NP: “If It Rains”Robert Forster. Really should be dedicating like 1000 words to this record. It’s really lovely in every way, and sad as hell. It still hasn’t really sunk in that we’re living in a world where Grant McClennan is dead.
NP: “Peace Has Come”Hackamore Brick. These guys can still sing and play. Really hope I can help them get another show booked one of these days.
NP: “Dark Horse”Bowerbirds. Gets mentioned in the same breath as Bon Iver a lot, but I really don’t hear the similarity. This is perhaps a little too in the middle for me… I can’t tell if I wish it were happier or darker.
NP: “A Pencil Without Lead”Lost On Purpose. Los Angeles bedroom taper guy that perhaps has a bit too unhealthy obsession with Elliott Smith, but… when he nails it, he nails it.
NP: “See The Sky About To Rain (Live)”Neil Young With Crazy Horse. If you don’t have “Live At Massey Hall” yet, you need to go purchase it right now. Maybe the best live album I’ve ever heard.
NP: “I’ll Be Here In The Morning”Propinquity. Hands down the re-issue I’ve listened to the most this year. From 1972, this very little-known group made a sweet little LP. This is a Townes Van Zandt cover.
NP: “Standin’”Vetiver. Another Townes Van Zandt cover.
NP: “When We Go, How We Got (Part II)”Rock Plaza Central. I always forget about how much I like this song, then I listen to the album and I remember.
NP: “I Had A List And I Lost It”The Drift. Kinda reminds me of Hood… I don’t know anything about these guys, nor where I got it.
NP: “Killing Off Our Friends”The Coast. Young Canadian band. Reminds me a bit of that band Spouse that I loved so much, or perhaps All Shook Down-era Replacements.
NP: “Hallelujah”The Helio Sequence. I thought this record was going to make them huge. It didn’t, but it’s still a solid effort.
NP: “Lovecraft In Brooklyn”The Mountain Goats. “Some kid in a Marcus Allen jersey asks me for a cigarette.” Somehow, after 400+ songs, this is one of my favorite John Darnielle lyrics ever.
NP: “Glamour”For Against. I’ve been a fan of For Against ever since seeing their exquisitely packaged records on Independent Project Press in the 80’s. But who knew they’d get better (and meaner!) with time. Wow.
NP: “About To Walk”Throw Me The Statue. I was obsessed with this song for about 48 hours. It’s lost a bit since then (it had to), but… still a great song.
NP: “Hercules’ Theme”Hercules & Love Affair. You’ve already heard all the hyperbole you need about this record, but… it is a delightful little romp, for sure.
NP: “N Wddng Ck”Fol Chen. For fans of Of Montreal, this one’s for you. Super catchy and awesome.
NP: “Kaounding Cissko”Toumani Diabaté. I’m not going to claim this is the best record of the year so far (as I’ve heard some other folks say), but… If you are looking for a record that works the same way as a nice cold glass of sparkling water between two glasses of sangiovese, you should definitely consider this. A pallet cleanser of the highest order.
NP: “Lucklucky”Veda Hill. A catchy song with a hint of Tanita Tikaram in there, perhaps? I like. A lot.
NP: “Family Glue”Wye Oak. If I wanted to listen to Myra Lee-era Cat Power, I would put on Myra Lee-era Cat Power. This song still manages to be OK, but over the course of an album Wye Oak fall flat.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_02.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_02.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.

In other news, it’s really all about the show at Southpaw tonight:

Wednesday, July 2
Frightened Rabbit
Oxford Collapse
The Lame Drivers

There are still some tickets left, but it will sell out, and early. (if there will even be tickets left at the door at all).

We hope you can make it out.

We’ll submit a more even-handed rundown of recommended shows sometime very soon.