Leor Galil, Reader staff writer,
is obsessed with …
Voyage of the Rock Aliens I discovered this peculiar B movie via a screening of Trailer War at the Logan Theatre—it’s one of the many forgotten pictures whose previews appear in that collection. I was immediately intrigued by Voyage‘s promise of a cast that included a ragtag band of singing aliens and Jermaine Jackson, but it took me several months to find a VHS copy on Amazon (and organize a viewing party). The movie is batshit nonsense, but in the best possible way, and the songs are as catchy as they are illogically shoved into the story.
Macaw, Celadon Recently this has been my go-to soundtrack for late-night writing sessions. Macaw’s sole member, Wilson Kemp, also played in D.C. experimental-psych outfit Hume (who just broke up), but here he’s put together a soothing, hypnotic ambient album that’s help me power through crunch times without getting too stressed out.
Songs from Bob’s Burgers One of the many delightful things about Bob’s Burgers—an animated series about a family that runs a struggling burger joint—is the way the characters break into song apparently at random. They sometimes sing out of tune, the lyrics don’t always rhyme, and the songs themselves are only mostly coherent, but even when these moments aren’t funny they’re sincerely charming.
Galil is curious what’s in the rotation of …
Jeremy D. Larson, managing editor of Consequence of Sound
Rhye, Woman I’ve been dramatically lighting candles and drawing my curtains every night while listening to the quiet storm of Mike Milosh’s project Rhye. If you aren’t swayed by the Sade funk on the record, you gotta go see him and his band live. The horn stabs on “Last Dance” sure aren’t MIDI onstage—and by the first Rhodes solo, you’ll trade whatever you’re drinking for a glass of burgundy.
Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, “Any Day Now” Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are on R.I.P. Society Records (the label that originally picked up Royal Headache, who released a great debut last year), and in case their name doesn’t give it away, they’re a snotty garage band out of Australia with sticky-as-hell hooks. You pretty much have to wipe the plainspoken, heartbroken lyrics off your face, and the gigantic kick-ass guitars could fill an airplane hangar. This song—from their first full-length, Ready for Boredom—rules in a way that’s sort of SST redux, even as it seems too stupid to play that whole retro game. It’s perfect trash.
Every Reba McEntire video OK, start with “Fancy” and just fan out from there. It’s like watching Lifetime movies that star Reba McEntire set to Reba McEntire songs, and they’re all fantastic. There’s the bizarre twist to “The Nights the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” the film noir metanarrative of “Does He Love You,” and the starring role the hunk himself, Huey Lewis, plays in “Is There Life Out There.” Each one is perfectly absurd and campy in its own way.
Larson is curious what’s in the rotation of …
Sean Rose, cocurator of Collector’s Edition and blogger at Digital Get Down
Dan Wilson, Live at the Pantages I didn’t understand the depth of my love for former Semisonic singer-songwriter Dan Wilson till I heard this 2009 double live album. What a friendly fellow! What a lovely voice! The first half is Dan alone on guitar and piano, and for the second he’s joined by a full band that includes some old Semisonic buds. The guy sings his heart out, tells cute stories, and orchestrates a crowd sing-along to “All Kinds” that grows from awkwardly polite to heart-thrilling in four minutes. If you thought Semisonic began and ended with “Closing Time,” you’re gonna be pleasantly surprised. I listen to this every morning when I need to feel good.
Syd Straw, “Pink Velour” First lines: “I went home again / Just to prove that you could.” What follows are seven and a half minutes of Syd’s bittersweet childhood memories of moving back and forth across the country with her family and not seeing her father for years. She dreams of them all sitting in a car happy together, “if only for once.” The first time I heard this song I wanted to curl into a ball and cry myself to sleep—it’s too much. Syd is the best. Is there a better way to express the pain of missing somebody than “I always check the weather where you are”? She’s got three albums and I hope you buy them all.
Wilco’s “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” video I want every day of my life to be as sweet and free as this Wilco video. It’s the simplest idea: “Let’s have the boys go skydiving! With their instruments! And have them smile a lot! Gosh, life is great!”