Pop Music Vol. 1

Rather than go for my Music for the Elderly playlist which John referenced to last week, I’ve decided to derive my first entry from my recent desire to listen to pop gems that I’ve discovered over the years. I figured it best to go where my current musical mood took me. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a catchy song that sticks with you. I mean who doesn’t like handclaps, cowbells and glockenspiels? Since some of these have been in my heavy rotation pile for quite some time, I might have played them for you at some point or another, but I still thought them worth sharing again. Without further ado:

Miracle Drug – A.C. Newman

A.C. Newman (AKA Carl Newman of New Pornographers fame) of crafting a perfect pop gem with the first track of his album The Slow Wonder. Other tracks to listen to include Secretarial and Come Crash

Promises – The Morning Benders

This SF band recently changed their name to Pop, Etc. Their debut album Big Echo was one of my favorites of 2010

Lolita – Throw Me the Statue

The moniker of multi-instrumentalist Scott Reitherman who has moved all over the country but settled in Seattle just before Moonbeams was released. His music can be at times hit or miss, but this song is fantastic.

No One Does it Like You – Department of Eagles

Department of Eagles is project of two college roommates, one of whom ended up playing with Grizzly Bear. Originally inspired by Van Dyke Parks and Paul McCartney, this work isn’t too far off from the bands that the two eventually joined. I really dig the production on this one.

Golden Retriever – Super Furry Animals

Welsh band Super Furry Animals are known for super catchy and very clever jams as well as playing in full spacesuits. One of my favorite tracks is Herman Love Pauline is written about Albert Eistein’s parents. Listen closely to the lyrics as they could equally describe the dog of the same name or a bank robber.

Who Are You? – Kathryn Calder

Kathryn Calder is the niece of Carl Newman (A.C. Newman mentioned above). I had the pleasure of playing a string of West Coast dates with her and her band for the release of her album Bright and Vivid. She’s got an amazing voice and I highly recommend checking out the whole record.
Emma Blowgun’s Last Stand – Beulah

Beulah was an indie-pop seven piece band that broke up in the early 2000’s because of the strain of trying to stay afloat with a group of that size. I’ve been a big fan of them ever since I stumbled into a few of their records in the KWCW library.

Some Constellation – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Speaking of KWCW, SSYLBY came out with their debut album when I was a music director there. They might be the coolest act to come out of Springfield, Missouri.

Songy Darko – Headlights

Sharing the same label as SSLYBY, Headlights first record Kill Them With Kindness was quite entertaining. I haven’t paid much attention to them since then, but they put on a great show when I saw them in NYC back in 2006.

Left Side Clouded – The Sea and Cake

HIP ELEVATOR MUSIC

Blue Bird – The Rosebuds

The Rosebuds are a husband and wife duo from NC. I was introduced to them when I was working at Suicide Squeeze records.
Oh Fine – The French Kicks

This song never gets old. Again this band is one that I stopped following awhile back because they’re quite hit or miss, but this song is great!
You’re So Pretty – Field Music

I highly recommend you guys listen to more of this band. They’re most recent album Plumb has a Steely Dan vibe to it and they are exceptional songwriters.

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2 comments on “Pop Music Vol. 1

  1. Pleasant playlist, Keith. I used to blast that AC Newman track in my VW with the windows down as I cruised campus back in the day…great track. The intro to Lolita reminds me of the first few bars of Noah and the Whale’s ‘Give it All Back’. It’s eerie: http://open.spotify.com/track/4RY2Cfzr0RDgGEUmmpgAvF
    The standout from this playlist for me is the Sea and Cake song. So you’re saying I like elevator music? What is the effect on the syncopated guitar strums during the chorus? I like it.
    I also like The Rosebuds. They remind me a bit of the Weepies (husband/wife duo, fixation on birds, general sound), though perhaps a little less sappy and corporate commercial friendly.

  2. Very easy to listen to…. ‘pleasant’ is a great word.

    I’m definitely on board with Kathryn Calder’s voice – it’s not overpowering or showy but it’s a got a great clear quality to it (as opposed to the super-breathy female vocals that seem to be everywhere these days)

    I really liked the ambiance of Emma Blowgun’s Last Stand. I was enjoying it already and then was pleasantly surprised when the vocals came in. The brass is a nice touch, too.

    Some Constellation really hit my buttons, too… clean acoustic guitar + picking with interesting vocals layered with two(?) higher harmony parts. I’m a sucker for that combo.

    Songy Darko kind of bothered me… something about the vocals combined with the cathedral organ thing / accordion? Maybe both? I couldn’t tell.

    I liked You’re So Pretty, the chorus especially.

    Of this playlist I’m going to get the Beulah and SSLYBY albums.

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