Season full of bee stings
Everybody's Down - No Age
Given the collective critical swoon and bloggy hot n' botheredness over No Age, the LA skaterat-rock duo normally wouldn't merit mention from me. Cept damn, this stuff is fucking great! The band's superb Weirdo Rippers (out in Europe, soon to be released in North America) is a singles collection but so sure-footed an art-punk statement of cohesively sequenced lean, brisk, stunning songs, that we might as well call it an album proper. And I can barely listen to other proper albums right now because they sound so boggy, artificial and calculated in comparison. (Not that these No Age kids are wide-eyed naifs and aren't themselves doing plenty of savvy image puppeteering and product positioning; their assent in online awareness, at least, has been remarkably swift.) The singles have been trickling my way for a while, and for most of last month I was almost exclusively under the hammer-thrash thrall of "Boy Void," but this is the song that's got me in its sharp and slippery teeth these days. Even when you know it's coming, even though the song's been building to it the whole time, the last 42 seconds are like the climactic scene of the best kind of Hollywood action pic, where the explosions and car chase and shoot em' up are diegetically predictable and necessary, but also totally unexpected because they so wonderfully exceed your expectations. You know, because the scene's so bloody great, it effects a kind of narrative rupture.
No Age's Myspace
Town and Country - The Shot Heard 'Round the World
This is the other song that I love right now. With its tripartite structure and multiple POVed morning-day-night panorama, it could be the awkwardly named Brooklyn band's "Day in the Life." Or a rough-spliced Dusk at Cubist Castle outtake. More country-wistful than town, it creeps in AM Gold on orange rooster feet, scatters its seeds in honeyed harmonies and sunsplashy chamber pop, then finally featherbeds down to sleepy guitar and toms. The more you play it, the more its nooks and crevasses divulge: midnight swimmers, bee stings, a tingly glockenspiel, bopping bassline, rhythms that shake and sway and caress. Its bulging middle is particularly lovely -- a hot and rippling summer day of forever-reaching blue-blue sky and white-white clouds .
From Ten Songs for Town & Country (Artist direct, iTunes)
The band's Myspace