Weekly: Makes Me Tick

the capstan shafts
In this age of mp3s, podcasts, overhype, oversaturation of markets, and just a general overload of music for all, I feel like I (and probably all of us) have not only altered our way of listening to music (ipods, mp3 players, computers, mix CDs ... ), but also our tastes.
There is a certain type of music that I like a lot, but I almost never like the groups' albums, and I almost never listen to their songs more than twice.
It's strange. I mentally separate bands that do not rely on this "new age" of music to survive and those who heavily rely on it. And I probably think of the latter as the "real" bands ... the guys that, while the 'net helps, would be fine without it. But that doesn't mean I don't like the little guys' music ... there's plenty of stuff out there that makes me go. Albeit, it makes me go for a total of three minutes or so, as opposed to like, Interpol, whose entire library I've heard too many times.
Something about Union Whale makes me stare at my feet. The band gives me the feeling that I should be sad, but doesn't give me the symptoms of being sad. Sloppy harmonies, bad acoustics, toy drum kits ... they've got their nonchalant and lo-fi sound down pat. Listen to PostPunk Geometry, ExTrickster Hologram, Swimming, and Sentinel Light.
The Capstan Shafts is a bit more ambitious -- and certainly peppier -- than Union Whale, but they're still pretty lo-fi. The weird thing about them is that they always seem rushed ... drums off a bit, singers not quite together ... and all their songs start at where most songs would be ending. Definitely a strange and quirky group. Get the whole Halaluah Moancoaxers! EP here.
Now Javelins is an interesting group. Sort of like the guitar pop of Aztec Camera and Orange Juice, but not as tight. And the vocalist sounds like he's gasping for air. But they've got a bit of a punk edge to their songs, too. Ah -- those Swedes ... listen to When I Was 7, I Was Raised As a Polar Bear, Dexter's Got a Sinister Heart, Nastacular, Nosebleeders On the Track, Javelins: You're Beautiful, Nothing Will Ever Happen, and My Best Friend.
Yim Tin Tam is sort of geeky. But I like 'em. Like a garage version of the Monochrome Set or something. A sort of jazzier approach to pop and lighter rock, which is a sound I like. There ought to be more of it! Listen to Killing Time and By Hook or Crook.
And now for the band that doesn't quite "fit" into this post: the Haunches. This is a cool band! Sort of electro-rock stuff ... pretty bass heavy, precise drumming, dinky synth lines, and a cool male and female singer. I especially like how the two singers work as a sort of tag team, the jumpy guy singing for a bit, then the more refined female voice coming in. Listen to their whole album, My Tender Loins (haha ... very funny), on their website.
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