Now playing (and playing, and playing…)

It’s Morrissey. It’s fabulous. Do I have to say anything more?

 

I suppose an official SXSW wrapup is in order…but, man, does that seem like years ago.

Jim and I have been on overdrive since getting home from Austin. Now that the weather’s nice (yay, spring!), all I want to do is jump in my car, crank the stereo, and GO. We’ll be out distributing the April issue across St. Louis this weekend, so I suppose that’s precisely what I’ll be doing.

There is so much new music that I am excited about these days; here’s a smattering of what I can’t stop listening to (just ask Jim; I am driving him crazy. The same 10 CDs have been in my car stereo for weeks now):

Bluebottle Kiss | advance tracks from Doubt Seeds—The double album’s not out until June, but the 11 tracks I’ve heard thus far from these Aussies are absolutely amazing. There’s so much vision and depth and layers and simplicity and stark beauty…all in one package. This is one band to watch, as 2006 is going to be their year.

Blue October | Foiled—The official release is this Tuesday, but I’ve pretty much worn out my advance in the eight or so weeks I’ve had it. It’s not the same old Blue October—not that I think the band is at all derivative, but I think until now they’ve found themselves pretty well-defined as aggro-indie-rock. This album’s pure pop, and it grows in richness and beauty each time I play it. Their show last week at Mississippi Nights was absolutely amazing, too; put aside your major-label misconceptions and check them out.

Morrissey | Ringleader of the Tormentors—It’s Morrissey. It’s fabulous. Do I have to say anything more?

Placebo | Meds—Aside from being a catchy pun of a title, this one’s another step forward for my favorite whiny Euro-hybrid trio. Hopefully they’ll tour the United States this year; I’ve yet to catch them live, but their live DVD is one of my all-time favorites.

Extra Blue Kind | The Tide and the Undertow—This is another one that just speaks to me. It’s not easily categorizable (aside from "indie rock," a term that’s way overused), and there’s enough variety here to keep it interesting but still focused. But this Indianapolis foursome have really crafted something special and long-lasting here, and I’m gonna sing their praises until the whole world takes notice. Their live show’s pretty fabulous, too…

Hard-Fi | Cash Machine—Last night I dreamt I was interviewing Hard-Fi lead singer Richard Archer (something I’m currently trying to make a reality). I’ve had this advance since last summer and it’s another one I can listen to on "repeat" without tiring of it. Who cares if the British invasion is getting stale, or if they all start to sound the same? Hard-Fi has its own sound (while being firmly British) and they’re oh, so catchy. Archer’s voice, too, deserves accolades: it’s pop with equal parts smug and soul. And "Hard to Beat" will be the song of summer; you just wait.

Tommy Keene | Crashing the Ether—While I don’t have the full-length just yet (hell, I just found out about it), I’ve got a couple tracks and am simply beside myself at the prospect of a new Tommy Keene album. He’s got another one slated for late 2006 release—a joint project with Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard, with whom Keene is currently on tour—so this appears to be the year of this power-pop genius’ comeback. It’s about time!

The roads beckon; look for PLAYBACK:stl in your usual haunts and tell us what you think!

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