In HIGH DEMAND today:
PAS/CAL -- Dear Sir. OH GOD THIS WAS SO HARD. Look, PAS/CAL is my favorite ultra-underrated band that doesn't put out nearly enough material. The thing is, I don't begrudge them the time and care they put into recording each EP (it's been about ... 2 years since the last one?), because every song on their latest, due out November 6, is a perfect crystalline dollop of multi-genre pop. Quite frankly, it will blow every creakily precarious baby band's overhyped noodlings out of the water, leaving you to wonder why it is that most mp3 bloggers are constantly on the search for the "next big thing" when sometimes it's been sitting in front of you all along. Remember the other day when I compared Ivy League's cover of "Crown of Love" to a Wes Anderson film? Every PAS/CAL EP is like a Sofia Coppola film. Deceptively light, brightly candy-colorful, and over far too soon. I can say, unequivocally, that PAS/CAL is the best band in the US that you probably haven't heard. So: You must, must, MUST buy Dear Sir, from Darla. And while you're at it, would someone buy me a new girls' tee, size XL, from the band? I've kind of worn mine out. (site)
Cold War Kids -- Hang Me Up To Dry. I never, never understood why this band was big with the blogger kids. I would have thought their weird point of intersection between Cale's Paris 1919 [n.b. I'm not saying the CWK are anywhere near Cale's masterpiece -- it's just reminiscent of, that's all...] and Berlin cabaret tunes and upscale Klezmer action and white-boy blues and deliciously convoluted lyrics would have scared off the kids whose idea of sophisticated musicality and lyrics is ... Pavement. And I totally understand why Pitchfork, or specifically why that particular Pitchfork critic hated it. (Kids, don't make this personal.) Look, Robbers and Cowards won't change your life. Sure, it was probably rushed. Yes, they probably need more time to germinate and settle into their sound. But it's better than that crap SoundTeam put out. Then again, you can't tell me that a bottom-steady percussion and keyboards combo that can distill the quintessence of the past oh, 100 years of music or so into one tight package isn't just a teeny bit arresting.(site, with more mp3s)
Ben Folds -- There's Always Someone Cooler Than You. Um, self-explanatory. From the self-released Supersunnyspeedgraphic, The LP, a collection of Folds' EPs from the past few years. All of the tracks have been either re-recorded or tweaked in some way, and all were remastered for this release. (website)
The Postmarks -- Goodbye (Cassettes Won't Listen Remix). Yet again, one that's probably on everyone else's blog. But seriously, CWL continues to blow me away in a way I didn't think possible. This, in my humble opinion, is how to do a remix, ca. Fall 2006. (info) (remixer)
The Dears -- Raising the Dead. B-side from Gang of Losers. Brilliant. Dark. Sinister. Everything I love about this band. (site)
The past few days have been ass-kickers, sorry for any inconsistencies.
[NB - In other news, Pinkie has a job interview in New York.]