In which, check even when she is being the world’s most rubbish and lazy music blogger, Lis puts together a selection of songs that have caught her attention through the joys of iTunes shuffle this month.
One of those nights I walk two miles through my home town because the sky smells that fresh, sharp way it often does after the rain and I can’t help myself. Along the way I train my iPhone to recognise the only two voice activation commands you’ll ever need: “call Teuchter Barbie” and “play songs by the Gaslight Anthem”. As my bus passes through Paisley I see this guy about my age sitting on the sill with the window open. Our eyes meet, and I wonder if he is thinking the same things that I am.
I feel the disconnect. On one hand the timing couldn’t be worse, but on the other… this is my weather, and my heart feels fuller than normal and I want to find the time to squirrel myself away to write. “Then what’s stopping you?” says the boy my heart is full for, not least because he understands better than anything… even if he knows exactly what is stopping me.
Which isn’t to say I’m not looking forward to it.
BRB. We’re away to get married. But here’s something for you to listen to in the meantime.
These Things Get Louder: last month’s mix, July 2010
1. The New Pornographers: “Moves”
While their solo and spin-off projects tend to grab me more, what I love most about the New Pornographers as a collective is the way the way the melodies seep out of what seems like a collage of duelling harmonies and snippets with repeated listening. This, the opening track from new album Together is an excellent example.
2. Shabby Rogue: “The Mountain”
This was a submission that I’ve sat on for absolutely ages – bad Lis! – perhaps because I never really warmed to the accompanying album. This track, however, is a magnificent slice of country rock from the London four-piece.
3. The Killing Floor: “Shout”
You’ve got to imagine this one half-shouted, and smelling slightly of sweat and vodka and hips and leather, and perhaps then you’ll get a better impression of The Killing Floor’s support slot with Jesse Malin a few weeks ago.
4. We’re Only Afraid of NYC: “Warm Heart Cold Hands”
Fresh after playing the second Ayetunes vs. Peenko night, another of my favourite Glasgow bands gets a long overdue inclusion on one of these mixes – I’ve been working on a profile of them for the Radar lot, so I guess I’ve had them on my mind of late, but regardless: their new EP (free download, kids!) is just that good.
5. Bottle of Evil: “Stay”
I remember being a little bemused when I got this submission. I might have read it out to whoever I was with. I think I was drunk at the time. This one is definitely a case of don’t-judge-the-band-by-the-name – describing themselves as “electro/shoegaze/folk, inspired by miserable Scottish weather”, Bottle of Evil’s music is dreamy and delicious.
6. Beach House: “Walk in the Park”
Beach House have long been one of those hipsterish bands I have just never gotten. I’m still not sure that I do, but there’s something pretty lovely about this one from their latest release – particularly in conjunction with the Bottle of Evil track preceding it.
7. Jesse Malin & the St Marks Social: “Angel In Blue”
Unreleased J Geils Band cover performed as part of the St Mark’s Social’s recent Daytrotter session.
8. Wintersleep: “Weighty Ghost”
It looks as though I bought this track in August 2008, but have only gotten around to listening to it now. The curious thing is this band were actually recommended to me a couple of weeks ago on the strength of an upcoming opening slot for none other than The Hold Steady. Intriguing…
9. Phosphorescent: “The Mermaid Parade”
This is breezy, bittersweet summer listening with the windows down.
10. Wilco: “Pot Kettle Black”
I’ve been creating a lot of “genius” playlists recently. It’s proving a great way to rediscover old favourites.
11. Wheat: “El Sincero”
A band who sneaked into my life on the back of the Elizabethtown soundtrack, although I’m not sure how this track in all its complex, layered beauty sneaked its way into my music library. I’m not complaining though.
12. Evening Hymns: “Dead Deer”
This month’s track I know next to nothing about, other than the fact that it is soft and subtle and earthy and just a little bit folky.
13. Griffin House: “Liberty Line”
A recommendation from my longtime gig buddy Mad Rachel, downloaded immediately on the strength of a “he’s a singer-songwriter from Nashville with an acoustic guitar, trust me, you’ll like it!”
14. The Indelicates: “Anthem For Doomed Youth”
Very nearly this month’s title, if I hadn’t had too many anthems of late. Taken from the follow-up to beloved-around-these-parts American Demo, which is just as clever if maybe not as catchy. And available on a pay-what-you-like basis so, you know, do it. It’s really not that hard to stay alive when you’re twenty-five…
15. The Gaslight Anthem: “She Loves You”
Oh, band. There are so many reasons that I love you, but the fact that even your bonus tracks make my heart beat that little bit faster is definitely up there.
Monthly Most Played is, as ever, after the jump.
Monthly Most Played as of July 2010:
1. Marah, “Walt Whitman Bridge” [=] 2. The Gaslight Anthem, “High Lonesome” [=] 3. The Gaslight Anthem, “We Came To Dance”  4. The Hold Steady, “Banging Camp”  5= The Gaslight Anthem, “The ’59 Sound” [=] 5= The Gaslight Anthem, “Old White Lincoln”  7. The Hold Steady, “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” [=] 8. The Hold Steady, “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” [=] 9. The Hold Steady, “Constructive Summer”  10. The Hold Steady, “Sequestered In Memphis” [RE]