Here we go again
Another day, another good band from Portland. Another itchy, anxious, mad-strumming, hyperactive pack of winningly whiny boys jumping the springs out of the mattress. Not that I'm complaining. Shaky Hands' (Myspace) self-titled debut album is as stylistically inconsistent as you'd probably expect from guys plowing adjacent fields to zeitgeisty digital download faves (note I didn't say "blog bands") Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Tap Tap. It's a tangled magpie nest of spiky guitar lines, bubbling bass, jittery drums, screechy violins and oh, pretty much everything else. But focus is overrated; all you need to know is that the record is packed tight with terrific songs. I've long held, and will continue to argue, that the provenance of this 00s sound -- whether the artists know or acknowledge it -- is the bouncy, endearingly amateurish Dunedin, NZ scene of the 80s. Singer Nick Delffs even cracks his voice on the high notes like David Kilgour. You'll hear your own influences. Whatever. This is great, great, great.
The increasingly blog-like Pitchfork posted a different Shaky Hands song earlier today. Holocene Music releases The Shaky Hands in April. As we used to say in my pep club days, get psyched, guys!
Sean of Said the Gramophone wrote a very moving piece about a recent car accident and posted two beautiful songs from Iceland with it.
If you have a Sirius radio subscription, tune in to Dodge's (of My Old Kentucky Blog) Left of Center show on Thursday nights (tonight). Some friends and I were lounging about last Friday night and caught it accidentally (think it was a rebroadcast) and we were utterly charmed by his funny between-song ramblings.
The Morning News listed The Top Albums of 1980. If you've been following this series, you already know that Andrew Womack is (perhaps excessively?) fond of Joy Division and Brian Eno.