Welcome to the very first edition of Radio Free MP3. In this periodically random, or randomly periodic series I will be highlighting batches of music that I find interesting. They will likely be new, but they might be old. They could be superstars, but mostly they will unheard of, independently labeled and somewhat obscure. They will be free, but you are encouraged to buy. They will all be good, at least to me, at the time I post them. Your mileage may very. Heck, my mileage may very a day after I post them.
Gliss – “Morning Light”
Gliss is a three piece act from Los Angeles. Though Victoria, the girl singer, is Danish. They make fuzzed out noise rock with subdued pop sensibilities. They sound like the Raveonettes, the Jesus and Mary Chain and the morning after a long, glorious party. “Morning Light” starts with a freak out like an alarm clock buzzing you from hangover dreams and quickly swirls between “Just Like Honey” and some leftover Smashing Pumpkins b-side. It comes off of their just released second album, Devotion Implosion from Cordless Recordings.
Pilot Speed – “Put the Phone Down”
Formed by Todd Clark by putting out an Internet ad for a bassist, Pilot Speed is now a Canadian rock foursome with four albums under their belt. Formerly known as Pilate, the band changed their name in 2006 to avoid legal confrontations outside of Canada. Formed in 1999 in Toronto, Pilot Speed has just released their newest album, entitled Wooden Bones. Singer/songwriter Todd Clark says that on this album they attempted the more out-there art sounds for “pop hooks that the listener can grab onto.”
With “Put the Phone Down” at least they have succeeded. It is a lovely bob-your-head, clap-your-hands ditty filled with spacey synth noises and a sing-along chorus. The vocals are an earnest mix of scraggly sincerity and dough eyed pleading. Like a cleaned up J Mascis morphed into Stephen Malkmus pleading with his prom date for forgiveness. It is a perfect date-night soundtrack for emo kids lying alone in their bedrooms.
Drug Rug – “Pick Your Pen Up Lucy
Listening to “Pick Your Pen Up Lucy” is like digging through the leftovers of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music filtering it through the Beach Boys catalog and covering it in Moldy Peaches. It sounds ancient and new. It is dirty and un-listenable and so incredibly beautiful. It makes me smile like seeing my wife sleep late on a lazy summer morning.
Drug Rug consists of friends Thomas Allen and Sarah Cronin plus a revolving host of others. Their debut, self-titled album came out in 2007 to a fair amount of critical acclaim and enough fame to keep them going. Their sophomore LP, Paint the Fence Invisible comes out July 28 on Black and Greene Records. Check out their MySpace page for more information, and songs.
Pains of Being Pure At Heart – “Young Adult Friction”
Being an indie rock band has never been more easy, or more difficult. The Internet has made it simple for new music-makers to produce and release their songs for the whole world to see. Yet with so much music being put out there, it has become increasingly difficult for listeners to sort through the chaff.
That is very much what I want to do with this series. I listen to a lot of music, much of it crap, but with plenty of gems. If I can highlight just a few of those songs sparkling in the dust, then I have done my job.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart certainly rise to the top of that pile. While their sound may remind you of countless late 80s dreary alternative pop songs, they’ve managed to conglomerate all those sounds into, if not something entirely new, then contagiously good. At the end of the day good beats pretty much everything else, hands down.