New songs to listen to this week

Blitzen Trapper- photo by Leslie Simon

Blitzen Trapper- photo by Leslie Simon

New music to listen to this week- the sun is shining, spring has arrived, and I’m really feeling sunny, dreamy songs with the occasional dance beat to get down to. Here are some of my favorite songs that have been released recently that you should check out:

King of Prussia “Your Work is Magic”- uptempo indie tambourine pop out of Athens, Georgia with unexpected and fantastic horns that remind me of a less political King Khan. Available for stream or download here at Stereogum:
http://www.stereogum.com/1673969/king-of-prussia-your-work-is-magic-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/

Yann Tiersen “A Midsummer Evening”- Toy instruments mix with acoustic to create a warped, gorgeous song complete with angelic backing vocals. Psychedelic church.

Medeski, Martin and Wood + Nels Cline “Bonjour Bese”- mixing wild spacey reverb noise with the heavy hitting sounds of MMW is a dream come true. If you don’t like dissonant noise fast forward three minutes (but really you should embrace the noise, it’s beautiful). Exclusively at Esquire here:
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/mmw_nels_cline

Alpha Consumer “Ms Positron”- taking cues from 80’s art rock and adding mega fuzzy guitar riffs and catchy hooks, this Minneapolis group has collaborated with everyone from Andrew Bird to Brother Ali and are releasing their new album April 15th.

Thee Oh Sees “The Lens”- yet another awesome track from the upcoming release. Monty Python-esque psychedelic videos that are done well are always a treat.

Allah-Las “Had It All”- california psych pop with a delicate touch and throwback as hell

Chain and the Gang “Devitalize”- some of my favorite garage rock that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Plus, I’m a sucker for really bratty vocals.

Horse Thief “Little Dust”- psych tinged roots rock from Oklahoma City with theatrical fascinating Cameron Neal’s quirky pretty vocals taking the lead.

Driving Mrs. Satan “Hells Bells”- when I got an email about this band and saw “acoustic heavy metal” I put it on thinking I would get a laugh. Instead, I found they have beautiful arrangements, gorgeous vocals, and I like it better than the original.

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Westword article I wrote about the stigma of jam bands

jamband

After writing a band an apology for calling them a jam band in a recent article, (they said they didn’t care what I called them as long as people were listening phew!), I started to get annoyed that the term “jam band” had become such an offensive insult. I wrote an opinion piece for the Westword which quickly accumulated comments from jam band haters saying we stink, and because jam bands suck. There were also some fantastic, valid arguments, some prefer the song craftsmanship of singer/songwriters over extended jams, others don’t like the fusion of genres. But the majority had the knee jerk reaction I spoke of in the intro. Here’s a link to the Westword article, the comments are pretty funny:

http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/01/jam-band_stigma.php

If you go to the Westword’s main page, they put it front and center next to an article about where to buy weed in Denver: http://www.westword.com/

The Minneapolis City Pages music blog Gimme Noise liked it so much they published it as well. There too, jam bands are hated on:

http://blogs.citypages.com/gimmenoise/2014/01/why_do_jam_bands_have_such_a_stigma.php

The vitriol, it’s so amusing.