Keith's Latest Songs
Minus The Bear is good. Really, really good. They might be my all time favorite band. No joke. They’re like the perfect blend of dad rock and prog rock and they light up every part of my brain when I listen to them. They’re like the ultimate elevator music meets rock soundtrack to Tron if they never went into the computer. They’re like some of my favorite old school bands—Visage, Heaven 17, Spandau Ballet—if they were still around today. But better. They’re like a terrific Roger Zelazny or Ursula K. Le Guin book cover, or like old school D&D modules. They ultra modern and old school at the same time and their music reminds me of all the places I’ve ever lived or travelled. Mostly because they’ve been in my ears so much.
As with most good things that don’t last, MTB have recently announced they’re wrapping things up. Luckily for fans like me, they’ve released some terrific new music—like today’s Most Important and the rest of the Fair Enough EP—and are performing a farewell tour. I can’t wait to see them here in Austin next month and give them a proper send off.
(And, yeah, I’ve got fingers solidly crossed for a reunion tour. You know it.)
Pinegrove’s new album, Skylight, quietly surfaced in my Spotify playlists last week and it’s fantastic, if a bit more alt-country than their previous work. I was curious as to why it was released to such little fanfare, and came across quite a few articles about how their front man, Evan Stephen’s Hall, had come out to admit that he’d been accused of “sexual coercion”. Now, it’s all fairly vague, and I did think twice (more than twice) about posting sharing their new music. To be honest, I’m still not quite sure what I think about it, but, in the end I decided that the music was worth mentioning. If you’re at all interested in what’s been going on with the band, I highly suggest reading Reckoning With Pinegrove by Jenn Pelly.
I discovered BROCKAHMPTON just a few months ago and I’ve been jamming their extensive catalog often ever since. They hail from just down the road from Austin—San Marcos—and will be playing here at ACL this Friday. They’re one of the acts I’m most looking forward to this year. They’ve got a new album out, iridescence, and while I’m not digging it as much as some of their older stuff, or the few “throwback” singles they put out over the summer, it’s still very solid.
The first two cuts from Restorations upcoming album LP5000 are pure post-rock Americana gold. Today’s Most Important, “The Red Door”, is a well painted and compelling look into the inexorable gentrification of American cities and “Nonbeliever” another side to that coin; a tale of work, family and growing up in America. I’ve spent a bit of time lately looking into their back catalog and it’s also terrific. Their new album is out soon, on Tiny Engines, of course.
Family Fold is Australian artist Paul Andrews, formerly of Lazy Susan. I’d never heard of Lazy Susan, but I guess they were making the rounds on the Australian indy circuit for awhile. No, I discovered Family Fold randomly whilst out bar hopping my last trip to Sydney. And I’m glad I did. I greatly enjoyed Lustre Glo, and the single “Get a Grip Upon Yourself”, which is a raucous anthem, that reminded me right away of Ted Leo, one of my favorites. That feeling continues with his latest, “Molly Meldrum’s Eyes”. That His new album, Ashfield Skyline, is coming out in a couple weeks and if prior art is any indication, it’s going to be warm, pleasant and a joy to listen to.
Rejoice! The Most Important Song is back! Ok, that’s minor news compared to this: The Hold Stead has some new music out, it’s great, and there is quite a lot of it. Over the last month or so they’ve had a steady (heh) stream of singles coming out and they’re all really great. My favorite, so far, is “The Stove & The Toaster” a song that I think is best described as “classic The Hold Steady”.
Parquet Courts' new album, Wide Awaaaaaake!, is fantastic, from cover to content, with many tracks worthy of a Most Important choice. I decided to go with "Total Football" because I feel like it captures what makes them great and because it feels a bit timely with World Cup coming up next week. If you've not had a listen to the album, do yourself a favor and cue it up, it's a gem.
Swedish pop-wavers Shout Out Louds are one of the few current bands that really pluck my strings of nostalgia. They're most often compared to The Cure, and I get that, but a strong as the comparison is, that's not the string I'm talking about. (And that incarnation of The Cure, the dreamy poppy version, is not nearly my favorite. Give me the dark, gothic rock of the really early days.) No, to me they remind me of the more sophisticated wave-rock of bands like Visage and Ultravox. This latest single, "In New Europe" feels a bit lighter than all that, it's a bit of a chair dancer, but the hints are there.
We Are Scientists are one of my favorites, and while I've not really been hooked by their last couple releases, I've always enjoyed them. Their latest album, Megaplex, is a little bit of a throwback to either earlier sound and, as such, I'm hooked.
We're still getting into the swing of regular life after SXSW. It was terrific, as per the usual, and we'll have some tuff to share soon. In the meantime, enjoy this peppy, poppy, summery cut from Unlikely Friends, a PacNW band who reminds me of Library Voices and Seattle summers.