This week’s song “America Says Hello” is a caustic broadside fired at the hegemony and militarism of my native country by New Zealand’s The Chills. I’d never heard of the band before this week, but they had much success in New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s with their jangly-guitar rock style reminiscent of R.E.M. Their new album Silver Bullets sounds musically like it could’ve been released 25 years ago, and sadly the political and environmental messages in the lyrics sound like not much has changed since 1990. An excellent album, worth a listen.
After a long absence, song of the week returns with “Put a Flower in Your Pocket” by The Arcs, a side project of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. The always excellent podcast Song Exploder breaks down the song.
The depressingly violent animated video is below:
A little gospel to knock your socks off to start the week. The sock-removers are the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers of Los Angeles, performing “Little Light.”
“Lost” by Minneapolis producer & DJ Mike Gervais gets a remix by Seattle’s Brian Sonnleitner a.k.a. Sone. It features repetitious rhythms, the monotony broken by a growing tension that never resolves. It just about sums up my life right now.
Read more at KEXP Song of the Day.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ tribute to riding mopeds “Downtown” is fun. And funny. And infectious.
The video is very literal in a whack-a-doodle way.
The fifth annual JP Music Festival took place at Pinebank Field on September 13. Too my shame, I missed the first four festivals, but I took the kids to a few hours on Saturday afternoon. Sadly, the kids weren’t too interested. My son was completely bored, my daughter was having fun but mostly because she enjoyed tackling me. We did get ice cream from the JP Licks tent and the kids enjoyed a bunch o’bacon from The Bacon Truck.
The performances are impressively organized with acts coming on to stage with very little break in-between. If you didn’t like what you heard, just wait a few minutes and someone else would be on stage. In the short three hours we were there I must’ve seen 8 different acts ranging from jazz to punk to Afro-Latin percussion to dance. Highlights for me include Junko Ogawa‘s song about a caterpillar, the punk saxophone of Fur Purse, and the young dancers of the Tony Williams Ballet Youth Ensemble pretty much stole the show.
The food trucks are a yummy part of the festival.
Junko Ogawa takes the mic.
This photo would be much better if you could see the shiny silver pants of the lead vocalist of Fur Purse.
Festival art honors the albino squirrel of Jamaica Pond.
Tony Williams dancers.
More dancing in the grass
Vök, a indie electro-band from Iceland, provides us with the first Song of the Week of September with “If I Was.” Ethereal vocals, pulsating rhythms, dreamy lyrics, and a general sense of Icelandicness. What’s not to love. Learn more from KEXP.