Thanks to the Jagjaguwar mailing list and Bows + Arrows, I'm on tenterhooks to hear the rest of the Ladyhawk record. I suppose it was only a matter of time before there was a band undeniably influenced by Sugar. Not Husker Du, but Sugar -- pop Bob Mould, not screamy Bob. (Then again, I could be wrong...do you hear it? Other bloggers have mentioned Dinosaur Jr. or Superchunk -- for the record, bands I do not like -- so I don't hear that at all! I suppose they were all contemporaneous-ish, so maybe it doesn't matter.)
Also, there's various members of the Black Mountain/Pink Mountaintops cadre involved, so it's kind of guaranteed I'd like 'em. Unfortunately, they're touring later this spring with the loathsome Magnolia Electric Co., ain't that always the way...? (As in, if it's not Magnolia Electric, it's Centromatic or The Mendoza Line, you know? Sheesh.)
Bows + Arrows and *sixeyes have tracks available; I hope to get my hands on more soon.
When I was a junior in high school (about 16, I guess), I had a massive pash on my English teacher, Ms. Wilde (no really, that was her name). In hindsight, she probably wasn't much older than I am now -- and was quite possibly younger! She'd moved to El Paso from Austin and was newly-divorced with a young son. I babysat for her a few times, and one of the best parts of that experience was perusing her CD collection. After I'd put the baby down, I would make mix tapes from her CD collection, picking and chosing songs pretty much at random based on album covers or if I'd vaguely heard of the band in question. At the time, I was less than pleased with the fact that she had the Singles soundtrack (I only taped the Paul Westerberg songs from it...remember "Dyslexic Heart?"). I was very anti-Seattle at the time, mostly because everyone else loved grunge; I was into EMF and Jesus Jones and Electronic (without actually being into The Smiths and New Order, if you can believe that!). No, really.
Anyway, one CD she did have that caught my attention was Sugar's Copper Blue. I became utterly enamored with the band, and naturally came to Husker Du that way. (THough, as I've mentioned, I totally baby goose imprinted on Sugar, not Husker Du -- so the former will always be #1 in my heart even if Husker Du, in the end, has more long-term staying power than Sugar.) It's been a long time since I listened to Sugar, but I revisited the band again recently when I unearthed Copper Blue from a box of CDs I thought were long-lost. I never liked the follow-up album File Under Easy Listening as much as Copper Blue, but listening to it now, I can see why. There's a whole lot of grown-up angst therein that was pretty much lost on 18-year-old me.
Sugar -- Changes
Sugar -- Gee Angel
Sugar -- Can't Help You Anymore
I'm also intrigued lately by talkdemonic, who recently opened for The National on a west coast tour; of course, I missed them at SXSW -- story of my life these days (Sidebar: Remember, Pinkie, we were so gonna go to that Arena Rock showcase? What happened?). Anyway, this Portland-based duo offers up twangy yet swirly instrumental chamber rock with a hint of synths -- it's definitely not like anything I've heard, outside of local faves Cue -- but even then, they're very much minus the bombast and power that is one of Cue's best features. Then again, they are operating with fewer people!
talkdemonic -- Mountaintops in Caves
talkdemonic -- Mutiny Sunshine
There's more tracks at Gorilla vs. Bear, So Much Silence, Rock Insider, and Aquarium Drunkard. Their latest album, beat romantic, is out today.
Oh, and: Somone's posted a great new Britt Daniel solo set from San Francisco on March 29 on archive.org. Brilliant!