Rush recently announced a 40th anniversary tour. That’s a lot of music to cull a setlist from. I hope they choose this one.
1978′s Hemispheres is often overshadowed by the earlier hit record 2112 and the later early 80s masterpieces, but I think it may hold the title for the proggiest of the entire catalog. Everything you could ask for is here – multi-movement song structures, science fiction themes, continuations of songs from previous albums, and batshit album art. Then there is Rush’s first of many instrumental pieces, the 9 and a half minute La Villa Strangiato. It’s the ultimate Alex Lifeson air guitar cream dream, with plenty of bass solos and drum fills to work your other air instrument muscles. In fact I had to stop three different times during this paragraph to bass face. And just when you thought Rush took themselves too seriously, they add a winking parentheses after the song title: An Exercise in Self-Indulgence.
Kelley Stoltz “Kim Chee Taco Man”
Do you wish you were somewhere warm and lazy and high quality and HILARIOUS right now instead of where you are as you read this (if you ARE somewhere warm and lazy and high quality and HILARIOUS as you read this – SHUT UP)? This song is a good replacement.
This Songs That Made ME! ME! ME! Happy in 2014 alumna (and decidedly less frustrating Lana Del Ray contender for 2015) is playing a free show at W next Wednesday. Something to look forward to even after the weekend is over.
The-Dream ft. T.I. “That’s My Shit”
I think T.I. is hearing the lyrics for the first time.
Marcus Marr “Brown Sauce”
Catch me in the bike lane, running to this shit like I’m in the new “Tron”.
Twerps “Back to You”
My brain is very susceptible to songs and emotion and while I know MOST people are like that sometimes I will literally throw my iPod across the room, or Metro, or out the window if a sad song shuffles through when I am depressed. That being said I will listen to THIS song on repeat and get so fired up that I imagine I’m moments from performing at the Verizon Center. I rarely am.
Trash Kit “Beach Babe”
Between this band and Shopping, I’ve realized that Rachel Aggs is my favorite new guitarist. Her style is minimal, tight, the sort of post-punk you play at 1:30am when you want to dance (badly). Now I’m just waiting for her to bring one of her acts stateside.
Broken Water “Feminism”
I wish I knew how to spell patriarky.
Amanda Palmer and the young punx- map of Tasmania
Play this at a party and you’ll change the map of your weekend.
Jim Croce “Operator” (live)
This is really just a plug for Transparent, which deserves a higher honor than any television award represents. The song is prominent in an early episode.
Dr. Dog “How Long Must I Wait”
Dr. Dog is cool. Live albums are neat. Multiply cool by neat, and you get a Dr. Dog live album. Science.
Yasmine Hamdan “Hal”
I wouldn’t go as far as to say Only Lovers Left Alive climaxes at any point. The film is such a slow, beautiful burn, it makes it seem like resorting to old vampire stereotypes is fait accompli and wholly uninteresting. But when the titular lovers, starving and desperate, stand in the doorway listening to Hamdan sing, the song becomes a microcosm for the film- the crescendo an otherwise overlooked tipping point in the main character’s behavior.
Heaven 17 “Penthouse and Pavement”
While there still exists pop music neither riddled with mediocre folk detritus, it’s almost all scavenged from electronic music from the ’80s and ’90s (I keep expecting to hear someone sample “Sandstorm” soon enough.) Might as well just listen to the classics before someone cannibalizes the beat.
D’Angelo and the Vanguard “Betray My Heart”
I’m now on my 100th listening to this album. It’s just so deep, you have to play it over and over again at different volumes just to pick up on everything happening. The little stutter step 30 seconds in? The stacked voices in every chorus? The sly little guitar arpeggios scattered throughout? The whole album is a massive undertaking, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus of neo-soul, and yet I just want to dance with my future wife to this song at our wedding.
Cursive “Bad Sects”
Is it the best gay rock ‘n roll song ever?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: “Last week, a boy I taught theology / Came back in town with a new ideology”
It sounds like it could be a sweet, forgotten, uncharacteristically daring Killers track, but Tim Kasher was always a better storyteller than Brandon Flowers. If you wrote Cursive off as emo trash (before or after briefly embracing them in college as a relapse of your goth phase), “Happy Hollow” is one of the albums that should change your mind, and “Bad Sects” (teehee) is the calm in its paint-this-American-town storm.
Over a guitar line you wanna dance with at prom, Kasher darts among verbs past, present and future as the boys kick up a beautiful yen of dust. “We were hiding in the dark / I fell asleep by his side.” Sometimes those emo kids are onto something.
Vallis Alps “Young”
The producer/songstress arrangement is quite en vogue right now, and Vallis Alps is a solid addition to the genre. “Young” has a catchy melody, a dreamy quality to it, and is finished off with gorgeous production values.
Marilyn Manson “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge”
Unlike his last two records, he still talks about being on drugs but doesn’t sound like an 18-year-old high school dropout while doing so.
Divine Fits “Shivers”
It’s cool to be back into Spoon now, but it’s even cooler to be into Britt Daniel’s side project and their semi-esoteric covers.
Hey, remember this song?