Have you seen Esquire's list of "50 Songs Every Man Should Be Listening To"? It's not bad. I totally agree with them about Eels' "End Times," Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave," She & Him's "In the Sun," Soft Pack's "Answer to Yourself," and a few others by acts I've enjoyed this year.
But I totally disagree on shit like Midlake and Vampire Weekend. And they're a little too excited about the Drive-By Truckers' "This Fucking Job." I think that band has peaked. Sure, their new record's okay, but "TFJ" isn't one of the better tunes on it.
And there are a handful of songs on the list that I still haven't heard but really want to, including Roky Erikson's new one.
So, here's my question to you, readers? What 50 songs do you think everyone should be listening to? I know, 50 is an awful lot. The dude from Esquire got paid a lot of money to listen to a ton of music and come up with that list. How about if you give me 20 or even 10? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
, and I publish your list in an upcoming Nothing Not New post.
One band that will not be appearing on any list anytime soon is Cornershop. Actually, I guess they could appear on the list for Longest Hiatus Resulting in an Underwhelming Record. Hard to believe Cornershop's been around for nearly 20 years. They were "globalizing" their groovy pop sound before globalization was cool. Their last record came out in 2002, and now we've got Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast -- which by no means is a bad record but is just a touch on the boring side.
You'd think Cornershop would "come back" with a bigger statement, one befitting their former status as a top-tier indie-rock band. Instead we're delivered a small handful of cool and spacey world music-ish jams, a whole bunch of half-baked and sleepy Rolling Stones knock-off "rockers," and one imminently pointless cover of Manfred Mann's "The Mighty Quinn."
Judy is definitely listenable and it's perfectly suited to be playing overhead as you stand in line at a coffee shop. But the whole thing lacks energy, and the band doesn't sound they're having much fun playing these songs. It sounds like another day at the office for Cornershop.
Best song: The Kinks-ish (and impossibly titled) "The Roll of Characteristics (of History in the Making)." Also, the 16-minute finale, "The Turned On Truth (The Truth Is Turned On)," is warm and hypnotic.
Deja vu: Drum circle
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.
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