Song Crush: Darwin Deez – “Radar Detector”

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Although I was a pretty big fan of the Creaky Boards back in the day (up until they accused Coldplay of plagiarizing their jams, which got weird), I’m rather new to guitarist Darwin Deez‘s latest body of work.

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The Napoleon Dynamite-esque band leader’s indie pop songs swirl just enough awkwardness over the top of cutie-pie hooks to  make them tolerably infectious. Case in point, “Radar Detector.”

Live Shots: Andrew Bird

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Shortly after graduation from Northwestern University with a BA in violin performance, Andrew Bird began his career like so many other twenty-something hopefuls…with a self-released album (Music of Hair, 1996). Over the past 18 years, Bird has soared through dive bars and music festivals, making performance pitstops at landmarks like Carnegie Hall and New Orleans’ Preservation Hall. As the Midwestern multi-instrumentalist and world-class whistler prepares to hit the road again this summer in support of his latest release, I Want to See Pulaski at Night, we take a look back at some of our favorite live shots.

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Song Crush: Kings of Leon – “Comeback Story”

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I remember listening to Kings of Leon for the first time in 2003, when a promo copy of Youth & Young Manhood peaked out from a stack of records that were discarded on my tiny desk in the intern wing of Geffen Records. I carried the disc over to the mailroom, popped it into the stereo, and immediately fell captive to the incoherent howl that flooded the speakers. Over the years, KoL has had their fair share of ups and Only by the Nights, but  the Followill brothers’ latest release certainly tells a “Comeback Story.”

Woody Guthrie’s Resolutions

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Oh, how I love basking in the optimistic idealism that follows the dawn of a new year!  In 2014, I’m resolving to take flight in an air balloon, cover at least three summer music festivals for Tour Death, assist with an archeological dig in hopes of uncovering some dino bones, give acupuncture a whirl (freaky deaky needles!!), read more books, and see a World Cup game live (Viva Brazil!).

If you’re still struggling to come up with your own set of resolutions, you might glean some inspiration from Woody Guthrie’s  “New Years Rulin’s,” written by the Dust Bowl Troubadour himself in 1942.

Photo Credit: WoodyGuthrie.org

Video Crush: 12 Days in Twin Peaks

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Christmas isn’t over until the tree comes down and the last cup of coffee has been finished. Here’s to one last holiday hurrah; this rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas” featuring Twin Peaks‘ Secret Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), Pete Martell (Jack Nance), and Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson) really takes the cake cherry pie.

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Video Crush: Taxidermy Love

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We recently discovered beatboxing electro-comic magician Reggie Watts, thanks to the IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang!. The show highlights absurd impromptu duets featuring Watts and a number of celebrities, including Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Aziz Ansari, and Rashida Jones. More recently, Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme stopped by the show to sing a little ditty called, “Taxidermy Love.”

Get higher (or is that lower?) than love below:

 

Song Crush: Billie Joe & Norah – “Oh So Many Years”

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BillieNorah_WE1Before the birth of their Everly Brothers‘ homage, Foreverly, the only time I imagined the possibility of a Norah Jones/Billie Joe Armstrong collaboration was that one time I was hired to DJ a bachelorette party at my neighborhood Applebee’s. I managed to tread through the dark waters of Top 40 singles, pink feather boas fashioned around the hips of light wash jeans, and cookieritas for just over two hours before I decided to close out the set (and subsequently my DJ career) with a few pop experiments.

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There are several lessons I learned during that ill-fated evening, including:

1) No matter how much newfound knowledge the cookierita tries to instill in a human being, Katy Perry, Steven Tyler, and Tyler Perry are not “sort of linguistically-related, in a cosmic way” and therefore, should never coexist in the same sonic space.

2) Pop mashups are pretty much the worst.

3) Unexpected musical collaborations can be surprisingly awesome. Case in point, Billie Jones Armstrong.

Although there are several little gems on Foreverly, “Oh So Many Years” is one of my favorites.

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