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Full Albums:

  • Left Lane Cruiser, All You Can Eat!! and Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table
  • M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming1
  • Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do
  • The Replacements, HootenannyLet it BePleased to Meet Me, Stink and Tim2
  • Tom Vek, Leisure Seizure

Random Excellence:

  • Child Rebel Soldier, “Don’t Stop!”
  • Collective Soul, “Shine”
  • Craig Mack, “Flava in Ya Ear Remix”
  • The Hold Steady, “Hot Soft Light”
  • Kidz in the Hall, “Jukebox”

Songs of the Week:

  • The Replacements, “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “God Damn Job” and “Bastards of Young”
  • The Knife, “Heartbeats”
  • Mayer Hawthorne, “No Strings”

Reviews:

1. There’s so much here that I wonder if it honestly needs to be a double album. I’m sure quite a bit could’ve been cut, but I will say it’s pretty unbeatable in terms of a big, long album to throw on and plug-and-chug to at work. As far as I can tell, the highlights are “Midnight City,” “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire,” “Claudia Lewis,” “OK Pal,” “Steve McQueen” and “Klaus I Love You.”

2. Oh man. So these guys seem like they were the punk kids who grew up to play your everyman, blue-collar rock–but they never gave up that “Fuck everyone!” vibe. On their first album it’s straight punk with hints of classic fifties doo-wop. Yes, they’ll stop mid-outrage and break into a distorted piece of R&B. I can’t quite figure them out, but I feel like they were just rebelling against everything. Like they didn’t even want to get their shit together.

One of their early songs was called “I Hate Music” and yet they went on to be signed by a major label. They might have been drunk or high or just apathetic, but when it all fell into place, you were in for a reckoning–and holy fuck could those guys nail it. “Bastards of Young,” “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Androgynous” are pristine. It doesn’t make any sense, but they sound like the descendants of Bruce Springsteen, Norman Greenbaum, The Clash and more all just bundled up into one. Throw that mess up on stage and they’ll play some songs while flicking everyone off at the same time.

It’s as confusing and mind-boggling as it is awe-inspiring. Particularly when you listen to the Extended versions that came out in the last five years. They covered T-Rex and country singers and Elvis and a ton of music you’ve never heard of or realized you liked. They knew their shit and yet they still played like they didn’t give a shit.

But they were good.

Comment:

One of my friends pointed out there’s no Led Zeppelin on Spotify. I know they can’t support all albums across their mobile networks and whatnot, but the idea of converting my iPod to a Spotify library like it suggests every time my iPod’s connected to my computer and Spotify is open scares the shit out of me.

Sure, the local files will be okay, but the fact that it wants me to delete my non-DRM protected music from my library seems ridiculous, too. It’s not a roadblock to listening to all my other music or anything, I just don’t want to switch to a music player that won’t play my music. The songs in question were not stolen, they just don’t have some stupid lines of code that Spotify likes.

It’s also incredibly frustrating to have to have to find my recently played songs on Facebook. Maybe if I messed around a little, I could set up an updateable playlist, like I have on iTunes, that lets me review the music I’ve listened to in the last week. For example, the Chickenfoot album I listened to like three weeks ago has completely slipped my mind. Maybe I was distracted or maybe it was just okay, but the point is, since Spotify is still spotty, I didn’t do t.w.i.m. right for a while.

Which is why I cringe every time a Spotify commercial declares, “There’s no better place for your MP3s than Spotify.” I genuinely think there’s no better place to listen to (new and new to you) music without having to pirate or purchase music you don’t like than Spotify. I won’t be converting my entire library to Spotify, but I went through the majority of a band’s oeuvre in a week thanks to Spotify. I learned how truly talented they are, but never once did I think, “My God. I want to listen to these albums with unending commercials and the off-chance that I’ll only be able to listen to some of my songs.” All I really thought was, “I should probably buy Pleased to Meet Me, Tim and Let it Be when I have spare funds.”

Which is great. Maybe this is the model that will curb the music industry’s downward spiral. I genuinely hope it is, because if it really is, I’m totally willing to put up with their shitty, lying commercials.

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