As a queer English major, I'm pretty much required to love the Decemberists. That they're now selling out 2500-person venues is either a historical accident or a testament to how good they've become. Possibly both.Which reminds me -- I've been meaning to write about The Crane Wife for a few months now, especially because, well. I really like it. But that's another story for later.
I admit that the entirety of the list puzzled me, especially the screwy rankings toward the bottom, but I guess that says more about the tabulation methods that people's actual voting habits. And, as ever, the fact that it's only for American bands inevitably makes me splutter "BUT WHAT ABOUT ____________!?!?" until I remember that ___________ is Canadian, English, Swedish, Mexican, Australian, or whathaveyou. However, I will echo one commenter's sentiments: Austin represents with 10% of the list. Not bad! Go town!
One more reason The Wrens kick ass: Playing "Everyone Chooses Sides" in a fan's living room, Jerry uses a box of Cap'n Crunch as a percussion instrument. Not to be outdone Charles, Greg, and Kevin get TOTES NERDY ON BORROWED ACOUSTIC GUITARS in the best display of bizzaro chords I've ever seen. Ever. The video below was recorded this summer at a fan's apartment in Chicago. From Camp Jinx, via Wolf Notes. A must-watch. (Oddly enough, I also have that poster on the wall over Charles' left shoulder -- it was from The Wrens/Okkervil Show at Emo's in 2004).
Via Gorilla vs. Bear comes this link to Quarterbar Gets Sad with Motown Classics. Quarterbar is also known as Noah Blumberg of The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up, another sleeper fave of ours. (You can't see, but I'm totally making eyes (long-distance stylee) at Frankie, JYPU's incredibly adorable bassist.) Anyway, Quarterbar/Noah totally redid/remixed four deeply depressing Motown hits, and made them deeply depressing in his own special way, with some really great results. I liked this remix best:
The Supremes -- Where Did Our Love Go (Quarterbar Redo)
And ... is it just me, or is the post behind this link really, really offensive? Maybe it's just me, but it seems that Of Montreal's always been a bit queer, really -- no matter what they were wearing. Blatant homophobia is never cool -- especially blatant homophobia carried out whilst invoking the Scissor Sisters. Grow up!
Your tracks for today. For some reason, I'm all about The New Pornographers...
The New Pornographers -- The Body Says No (Live on CBC Radio 3 Sessions). From Mint Records Presents The CBC Radio 3 Sessions. (info)
The New Pornographers -- Fake Headlines (Live). From a hand-made limited CDR that the band was selling @ shows on their last tour, entitled, aptly enough, Live!. This is my absolute favorite NuPs (that's pronounced Nooops, btw) song. Of all time.
Spektrum -- Cedar (The Heat Lodge). Spektrum wanders into Goldfrapp lyric territory with this one. Deliciously dirty and well ... HOT. I have mixed feelings about this band -- I think they're pretty hit and miss, but new album Fun At The Gymkhana is a good listen all the way through, which I kind of wasn't expecting. (MySpace)
I Love Poland -- Stereo Legs. Um, I shrieked when I heard this band for the first time. Loudly. With glee. There was also a lot of jumping up and down and clapping. I loved the name, and well -- the music was perfect too. Just enough glitch to keep the glitch-heads happy, just enough pop to keep the pop kids happy. A fleet of soaring kazoos that are coming from synths or guitars or both and drone-y Eno vocals. OH HELLS YES. (MySpace)