Musical Chairs – Susan Moll

Posted on July 4, 2011 – 6:03 AM | by Admin
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Sue Moll is a force of nature in feminine form (36-27-39, she informs us) who has been writing about music for somewhere over 13 years, starting with the late Citi:zen Online. She’s got a BA in Journalism from CSUS and her reviews have been published everywhere from Pitchfork to the Houston Press to SNR.   We’re still reeling from the brutal diss she handed out to MidMo faves Hunx and his Punx but we’ll just have to deal with it…

Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo

Call him indie rock’s latest Philadelphia story: At first you might mistake Kurt Vile for a client at your local head shop, but you won’t hear any noodley jams from him. Rather, he specializes in Big Star balladry and late‘60s jangle-pop with hints of Life’s Rich Pageant-era REM. Released March 8, Vile’s fourth album, Smoke Ring for my Halo, highlights his affable ways and melodic tunesmithery. From the sounds of things Vile has a long and storied career ahead of him, and we couldn’t hope for anything less or anything else. So hop aboard the freak train and don’t look back.

Hunx and His Punx – Too Young to be in Love

If Hunx and His Punx aren’t yet part of your universe, you might consider keeping it that way. The first thing you might notice about this Gravy Train!!!! spinoff is that there is nothing remarkable or remotely interesting about them. Seth Bogart (that’s “Hunx,” to you) couldn’t sing his way out of a wet paper bag, and the masturbatory indie drivel of the Punx isn’t much to write home about, either. Too Young to be in Love is infecting the college charts like a virulent case of the clap, so beware. Your ears deserve better.

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

We’ve waited three years for Helplessness Blues and now it’s here, a veritable orgasm for the ears. It’s an exercise in newfound boldness for Fleet Foxes’ rough-hewn balladry, frayed at the edges and ripe with possibility. Robin Pecknold’s lyrics are those of a committed Northwestie: the rich narrative “Battery Kinzie” transpires in a WW I-era coastal artillery station in Washington. Helplessness Blues is quite likely the most important album you’ll hear this year: In his dream, Pecknold could hardly contain it. It’s safe to say the rest of us couldn’t, either.

Raphael Saadiq-Stone Rollin’

When Raphael Saadiq handed Mick Jagger’s ass to him at this year’s Grammy Awards, Solomon Burke beamed approvingly from the heavens. It’s little wonder why: Saadiq’s presence, style and skill make him an unforgettable showman right down to his Buddy Holly frames. He’s the funk soul brother for the new millennium, fusing Memphis soul and Motown R&B into a timeless and vital blend. Judging from the masterful set he turned in at SXSW and with his latest platter, Stone Rollin’, he’s poised to become an icon.

Tame Impala Innerspeaker

Head trips in every key are wafting northward from the opposite hemisphere thanks to Australia’s Tame Impala. Innerspeaker, their debut full-length marks one of the most jaw-dropping offerings in the recent past. Their sound reflects plenty of vitamin-packed sixties bands (the Electric Prunes, the Strawberry Alarm Clock), but most startlingly invokes Revolver-era Beatles and the Seeds. They’re high and they’re happy and they’re free (to quote Devendra Banhart), but Tame Impala are hardly the Next Big Thing. They’re the next thing, period.                                      

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