It's April, and that means it's time to take a look at some of the best songs I heard during the past month. Some of these acts have appeared on the two "Nothing Not New" podcasts we put together on March 18
and March 29
. Take a listen before you spend your hard-earned coin on 99-cent downloads.
Check out the list after the jump:
1. "Ain't No Grave" -- Johnny Cash
2. "Bad Blood" -- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
3. "A More Perfect Union" -- Titus Andronicus
4. "21st Century" -- Locksley
5. "In the Sun" -- She & Him
6. "Second Guessing" -- Eddy Current Suppression Ring
7. "Dixie Boy" -- April Smith and the Great Picture Show
8. "Melancholy Hill" -- Gorillaz
9. "Woke Up Near Chelsea" -- Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
10. "The Fourth Night of My Drinking" -- Drive By Truckers
Come May 1, I anticipate a song from Dum Dum Girls' I Will Be should on my list from April. The new record by the much-buzzed-about all female band from L.A. is a more-than-solid entry into the ever-growing catalog of heavily reverbed noise pop. It's been 54 weeks since Wavves garnered the same kind of attention for a not-dissimilar take on the whole pop-diamonds-buried-in-trash thing. I like Dum Dum Girls a lot better than Wavves, though.
The melodies and singing are simply a lot more appealing. To me, DDG is a fusion of 1960s girl groups and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and for the most part, it works really well. It's not without a couple of drawbacks, though. For one, nearly every song employs the drum beat from "Walk Don't Run" (The Ventures' iconic surf-rock tune). The repetitiveness of that beat became a distraction for me. At least that knucklehead from Wavves had the good sense to play in front of an amazing drummer when the band was at Rhythm Room last summer.
But in the end, I Will Be is an easily digestible (the record clocks in at 29 minutes, just like in the good old days) and solid collection of three-chord fuzz-pop songs. I look forward to what the Dum Dum Girls do next because there's a lot of room to grow, but they're off to a great start.
Best song: "Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout," the best distillation of that girl group/JTMC mix I was talking about.
Deja Vu: The Ettes
I'd rather listen to: One of my favorite bands of all time, The Shangri-Las.
"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.
The "Nothing Not New" Archives