Weekly Obsessions: 3/15/2016

nadasurf-youknowwhoyouareHappy Mid-March, friendos! This past weekend saw the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. This meant a lot of drunk green people singing “Don’t Stop Believing” and a fair amount of vomit on the city streets. If you think that doesn’t sound like my scene at all, then you’re smarter than you look.

This week also included some tasty jams. Really, all weeks do. I kind of dig music. It’s probably a good thing I get to write about it.

Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are (2016)

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Hey, remember that band that sang “Popular”? They’re secretly great. Since that hit dropped in the mid-90’s, the dudes in Nada Surf have been crafting beautiful indie-pop just under the radar. Sure, they never had a hit as big as “Popular,” but when you’ve got tracks like album-opener “Cold to See Clear,” that hardly matters. Bonus points for obtaining former Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard and permanently making him part of the lineup. Though the hooks are plentiful, there is an undercurrent of deep melancholy that informs the entire record. It’s not sad-bastard music, but more the expression of a group of musicians that have been working their asses off for more than 20 years. You wear it well, boys.

You wear it well.

Mission of Burma – Vs (1982)

This Boston band is loud and dense. They were one of the first rock groups to incorporate prepared tape-loops (aka samples) into their traditional guitar-bass-drums lineup. Though the group’s career was cut short due to guitarist Roger Miller’s chronic tinnitus (ringing of the ears), they managed to wring a great album and EP out of it. Burma has since reformed without Martin Swope (the tape loop guy, who was only a semi-official member anyway), and Miller’s tinnitus, while not gone completely, can be managed. The rhythm section of Peter Prescott and Clint Conley (both of whom sound like superhero alter-egos) are reliably heavy. This group is a must for fans of hardcore or noise rock, and I’ve been rediscovering them this week.

See you next time!


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