Old school reverbey pop sounds from Philly’s The Interest Group.
Some interesting indie-experimental stuff from these Toronto peeps, CRHYMES.
Our favourite operatic, Asian-culture-influenced band from Montreal, the most excellent Yamantaka//Sonic Titan (who we interviewed a while back!) put out this killer cover of David Bowie‘s “John, I’m Only Dancing” recently on the Toronto label Paper Bag‘s also-recent tribute album to David Bowie‘s classic Ziggie Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. If you know that album to some extent, you know that this song wasn’t on there – and so it is relegated to bonus track status, though it remains an album track in my heart…cuz it’s really, really cool. Like I don’t usually care about covers, but this one really is note-worthy.
So here’s another bit of classic Israeli rock – Rami Fortis. This guy – at least on his first album, Plonter – was kind of the Israeli equivalent to Iggy Pop. His stuff on that album is loud, noisy, and aggressive. It was also totally unsuccessful, and after it came out, Fortis decided to put his solo stuff on hold and join the relatively-successful Minimal Compact, a (mostly) Israeli post-punk band that was based in Germany in the 80’s. After a while he got back to his solo stuff with 1988’s סיפורים מהקופסא (Stories From The Box), and though he got considerably tamer and more pop-oriented, his newer work enjoyed more commercial success, and he’s been pumping stuff out pretty consistently ever since. What I’ve heard of it is deece, but it doesn’t seem as though he’s ever delivered anything as hard-hitting and flat out classic as Plonter.
So more about that album.
Admittedly, there ain’t no Iggy Pop but Iggy Pop, but Fortis does a pretty commendable job trying to match his chutzpa with a solid set of punk songs (and one reggae track). What are the songs about? Political stuff, I think, mostly or partly at least – my Hebrew’s still not so good that I can understand everything going on. Working on it though.
Anyways, that’s all I got to say about the album – the whole thing’s streaming on bandcamp (along with like, almost all his work) so you can check it out.
Some ambient-not-quite-rock from New Jersnicks Deep Sleeper before I head off into my own deep sleep…
I started my service this month and I really don’t have a lot of spare time (like, for relz) so that’s why this mix has taken a while to materialize. That being said – August was another solid month for indie rock. Unfortunately it seems as though most Israelis haven’t even heard of the genre of indie rock (despite the fact that apparently they’re from one of the 25 top countries from which readers responded to Pitchfork’s recent People’s List (and that a solid Israeli indie rock band made this month’s mix)), so they may not care much about this mix, but hopefully some of you out theres in the world wide web will enjoy it.
1. We Are Pirates – Running
2. ועדת חריגים – העולם אבר מזמן
3. Ariel Pink – Symphony Of The Nymph
4. GRMLN – Coral
5. Peace Arrow – Gremlins
6. A.C. Newman – Not Talking
7. Shy Kids – Teachers
8. Mount Eerie – Ocean Roar
9. DUDES – Teenage Rebels
This is my new favourite album. I was into Jens Lekman‘s older stuff too, but felt his albums were always a bit long and inconsistent, though when good – very good. But now he’s really put together a solid, concise, and purposeful album of solid, sugary, romantic Swedish pop.
In terms of how the actual songs relate to his previous work, they’re not much different – wonderful arrangements, clever, detailed lyrics, hooks galore, etc. Lekman’s always been a truly delightful songwriter, and, without a doubt, this new batch of songs continues to display his knack for storytelling and (often very funny) observation. The last couple songs on the album are the best and “I Know What Love Isn’t” in particular has some phenomenal lines like, “Hey do you wanna go see a band?/No, I hate bands/It’s always packed with men spooning their girlfriends and clutching their hands/As if they’d let go, their feet would lift from the ground and ascend.” So true.
But as I said before, this album stands apart because of its consistency and construction – its even got a little instrumental prelude foreshadowing the melody of the closer, the blatantly Simon & Garfunkle-esque “Every Hair Knows Your Name”. The theme is love or lost love or something but that’s kind of the deal with all of Lekman’s stuff, so I don’t really know if he gets any points for that. But considering the ten great tracks we get, I don’t think Lekman needs to earn any more points.