26.2.06

Weekly: They Mean War

the seconds
I like bands that are interesting because of an assumed cool that they posses. It's no fun to see a publicity shot of a group of like, four or five guys, all staring at the camera with this sort of "I don't give a shit" glare, donning the slickest t-shirts they could find at the local Salvation Army, oh and wearing their grandfather's Depression-era boots since that's retro cool.
That's why I like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Who else do you know in the music world that can slosh makeup on in the most unattractive ways, cover herself in dirt, and lather bright red lipstick on and still look attractive (and sexy in a sort of primitive, dirty way)? No one. It's all about Karen O.
And who would have thought that the band was just a three piece? ... Nick Zinner is a man in command of his guitar. And apparently his camera, too... I would never have thought that he was such an excellent photographer! And then there's the drummer, uh ... Brian. But he's really cool, too, because he's apparently a learned jazz drummer and is in another band, the Seconds. See? Who would have thought that the YYYs had such a story? And they didn't even have to buy vintage t-shirts.

But the Seconds ... cool band, this group ... more punk-edged than the YYYs and more crazed, rushed. Think of playing an X record at 45 rmps instead of the usual 33 1/3 rpms. It's like that. Listen to Moving, Dedicated (both from their forthcoming album, Kratitude, Mommymommymommy (live), Say Hey, and Right Way.

Ain't nothin' wrong with a bit of folkie-sounding indie-pop. So ain't nothin' wrong with the Light Footwork. Cute little duo that released a record a few months back called One State Two State. The cover[, unfortunately,] features what looks like Dr. Seuss artwork. Now, as a quick aside, I would like to express my discontent with album cover art. I don't know why it has always seemed to me that cover art always looks better on an LP. CD artwork tends to be rushed and sort of lame. It's too easy to just throw an image into photoshop, mess with it a bit, and then put it on your CD cover. And CDs just have a cheaper feel to them, and they're smaller, less imposing, so maybe people don't worry as much about the artwork. Destroyer's Rubies comes to mind (as an example of a new release with crappy artwork). It's just like, a picture. What happened to all the cool covers from the 70s and 80s ... Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Joy Division, New Order, Madness ... huh? Anyway -- listen to Coastlines Are Landmines and Rapture Good, Rapture Bad.

The Loungs is, man ... what do they remind me of? It's like Babyshambles/the Libertines mixed with the Kinks or something. They have this old-fashioned British pop sound, but they're sharp and have this modern edge (production-wise and instrumentation-wise). They use horns and stuff like that sometimes and are occasionally just flat-out goofy ("Seen My Baby Dancing"). Perhaps a little too hard to predict, but I see these guys going places soon ... listen to Cats and In Winter Coats.
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