Let’s get to it. Click to Stream:
1. Thee Oh Sees – “Crack In Your Eye” from Carrion Crawler / The Dream
There are many standout tracks on this newest release from one of my favorite live bands. Although their last release (Castlemania) was fun, Carrion Crawler/The Dream is the fucking jam, and this particular track makes me rock out more than the rest. I got the DJ to play it when I went ice skating, and I felt way cool for not requesting Justin Bieber or Skrillex like everyone else.
2. Real Estate – “It’s Real” from Days
This band digs the chorus pedal too much, which I’m typically morally against, but this album just puts me in a good mood (for the first few songs, then they all start to run together). I decided on this particular track over their pretty cool jam “Green Aisles”, mainly because it’s little sing-song melody is so damn catchy.
3. Dive – “Sometime” from Sometime
It’s not necessarily this track that stands out to me from Beach Fossils spin-off band Dive. I saw this band play in some weird DIY basement show in Brooklyn a few months ago. I was on some hallucinogens, and these guys were blowing my mind. Honestly, it was such a cool show that I’m just stoked any of the tracks from this relatively unknown band are on Spotify at all. Maybe it’s just the drugs talking, but this band was cool–and I know because I saw them in New York, which is like totally cool bro. Can’t believe you weren’t there. What a poser.
4. Light Asylum – “Dark Allies” – from In Tension
Pretty much copy paste the last song description with this one and change the names and venues, but this crazy chick (who apparently used to sing with TV on the Radio and one of my all time favs chk chk chk or !!!) played a kick ass set at some cool bar I hit up on said trip to the Big Apple, where I got drunk watching some band with 4 drummers (including some dude from Deerhunter or Deerhoof- one of those deer bands) and ate some tacos from a sweet taco truck that was parked on the back deck that had a hot sauce that made me cry it was so good / straight god-damn hot. This chick killed it, and she did it wearing one of those leather hats you expect someone to have a lot of stains on.
5. Ty Segall – “The Slider” from Ty Rex
So this dude has been killing it for a few years, and I’d love to include some tracks off of “Goodbye Bread” or the new Singles comp, but because I’m limited to Spotify, I’ll point out this particular gem- Ty’s cover EP of some T-Rex jams. Let me preface this with the fact that I despise T-Rex, and think Marc Bolan was a twat. What was that Mojo interview from the 70s where he was like “I’m the greatest poet ever in British history” or whatever? I’m paraphrasing, but seriously, this guy was a twat. That being said, all the swagger that Bolan exuded and then ruined with his crushed velvet top hats is resurrected with this badass tribute from Ty Segall, who could pretty much record himself taking a really intense dump and throw a lot of reverb on it and I’d probably tell everyone how brilliant I thought it was while getting drunk in Midtown.
6. Kanye West and Jay-Z – “Why I Love You” – from Watch The Throne
I love this album, with the exception of the track “Made In America” which feels like some jingle for the Lorraine motel. “Why I Love You” is my favorite track from the record, perhaps because I like mixing being all emo with acting like I’m a baller, and these dudes do both- but they’re not acting because they are rich and famous. Good hook, good beats, good song. I really like anything where Jay Z says “fly pelican fly”, and I’m not even really sure why. Maybe because planes are cool. Maybe because rap is cool. Maybe both.
7. Jeff The Brotherhood – “Hey Friend” from We Are The Champions
Another rocking album from this crazy two-piece, We Are The Champions is probably my favorite Jeff the Brotherhood record so far. This track, “Hey Friend,” is cool because it reminds me of being a kid. It’s a little weird, almost uncomfortable at first. I mean, the guy is singing about wanting to hang out with his friends mom and dad and sister, and when you first hear a guy sing “I’ve been thinking about your mom” it doesn’t bring up completely innocent thoughts. But as the song goes on, you change from the opinion that this guy is MILF hunting to feeling like a child, and missing the strange bond you develop with friends and neighbors as you explore society outside of your own family. And it just kinda rocks.
8. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – “Senator” from Mirror Traffic
Another great album from Mr. Pavement and his sorta solo thing, Mirror Traffic came out earlier this year. I like a lot of the songs on this album, but this one stands out to me for some reason. Maybe it’s because it’s the first track I heard from the album, maybe it’s the really catchy melody, or maybe it’s just because he talks about senators liking blowjobs. I think he had a contest to decide what word to substitute for “blowjob” when he played this song on Jimmy Kimmel. I also think they decided on corn dog. I could be wrong, but that is hilarious.
9. Mikal Cronin – “Apathy” from Mikal Cronin
Another San Fran garage-ish goodie, Mikal Cronin came out from under Ty Segall’s shadow this year with his self-titled debut. Wow that sounded really official and review-y or something. I’m not really a good writer, but I am good at jamming the fuck out to awesome tunes. “Apathy” is like the musical equivalent of a Pringles can, because once you pop the top on this ultra-catchy tune, not only can you not stop playing it, but you will hear it in your brain while you’re working, sleeping, fucking, or eating. It’s crazy how addicting this track is. Oh and the rest of the album is pretty good too.
10. Mind Spiders – “Mind Spiders Theme” from The Mind Spiders
It’s difficult in a lot of these cases for me to pick one single track that I prefer out of an entire album that I love. The same rings true with The Mind Spiders, a band that rose from the ashes of The Marked Men, which is one of my favorite bands ever. Mind Spiders gets a little more out-there than The Marked Men did, with some songs on this album going into droney spacey freakouts (hurray!), but the raw punk jangle and straightforward 4/4 driving machine is still at the heart of a lot of these tracks. I highlight “Mind Spiders Theme” because it has a little of both, but don’t stop at the one track- there’s a lot of good stuff in there.
Alex Pilkington is a musician and multi-media enthusiast hailing from Midtown, Memphis. He currently plays in Tanks, Chinamen, Courtesy, and upcoming band Fresh Flesh. Alex is also one third of the production company American Grapefruit Media , and fills his free time with manipulating video and experimental projections. Catch him hanging around his favorite local haunt the P&H Cafe.