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Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013
New Tunes from Caveman, Rogue Wave and Portugal. The Man. and more, plus notes.

Let the summer anthems rule! New tunes by Holy Ghost! and Empire of the Sun pave the way for this latest playlist. Debut albums from the Olms, Palma Violets and Secret Colors are juxtaposed next to the latest from Divine Fits, Portugal. The Man. and Cold War Kids. During the next heat wave, why not cool down by listening to the breezy acoustic strumming of the Olms, ambient music from Eluvium, Bibio’s electronica and more?


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Monday, Jul 1, 2013
"It takes more than luck to last the ride / It takes strength and it takes courage to survive." -- Nerina Pallot

This is a literate, emotional song, the kind to get you through bad times. The lyrics, with thoughtful, sisterly Zen advice could possibly make you cry if you’re feeling a little sensitive, but the melody is catchy enough to pull you out of whatever downer I hope you’re not in.


There’s a strong sense of movement, but it’s compactly written, covering a relatively wide narrative and impressive musical ground in only three minutes.


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Friday, Jun 28, 2013
In the fall of 2004, I was working at WRAS-Atlanta, Album 88, and was on the graveyard shift. I was new to the world of college radio and my mind was being blown every day by bands I had never heard of.

One morning, I finished my announcements and started the track I had loaded up. Suddenly this beautiful, lush, and violent sound filled the studio - pianos and violins played by madmen, yet accompanied by an almost jazzy bass and drum section. And then this voice, haunting, yet mollitious, crooning, “I lay down by the river / Shadows moved across me inch by inch / All that I knew / Was the war between the water and the bridge.”


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Friday, Jun 21, 2013
The Fiery Furnaces vocalist saves the best for second-to-last on her latest solo LP.

The best love songs belie their sentimental affection with thinly veiled layers of desperation or obsession. Take Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man”, where the songwriter betrays his creepy devotion with promises like “I’ll examine every inch of you,” or Prince’s “If I Was Ur Girlfriend”, in which the Purple One channels his lovesick obsession into envy of the intimacy his girlfriend shares with her female friends.


The latest entry in this tradition is “Other Boys”, the fantastic climax of Eleanor Friedberger’s aptly titled Personal Record. (The Fiery Furnaces vocalist these days has a knack for moving penultimate tracks—2011’s Last Summer had “Owl’s Head Park”, the singer’s richly woven tribute to the spacious Brooklyn park.) “Other Boys” may well be the world’s (or at least this decade’s) most quietly heartbreaking ode to polyamory, as Friedberger tackles a laundry list of “other girls” her partner is seeing—“the blond who’s in a band with her twin,” “the spider you kissed in her stairwell”—over a sly waltz, her voice growing increasingly desperate during the song’s chorus refrain: “There are other boys, too / But don’t let it worry you.”


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Friday, May 24, 2013
New tunes from Vampire Weekend, the National, Telekinisis and more, plus notes.

With Memorial Day the official start of summer, it’s time for another playlist to indulge in over the long weekend (along with the long awaited, new episodes of Arrested Development). Highly anticipated albums by Vampire Weekend and The National were released this month, along with new music by Deerhunter and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Newcomers such as CHVRCHES and Hands fill out the list with new tunes from Yo La Tengo, Foals and Telekinisis and more. Time to fire up the grill and crank the tunes.


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