Weekly Obsessions 5/14/16

kevinmorby-singingsawHowdy, Rocknutters. It has been a bit of an unpredictable week here in Chicago, with temperatures rising as high as 75 and as low as 32. It’s kind of hard to plan your wardrobe with that kind of fluctuation. Accordingly, I’m not quite ready to call “summer” and breakout the sunshine jams. In a way, I’m a bit grateful for the chilly weather. If I had listened to Kevin Morby’s new record Singing Saw during a heat wave, it might not have fit the moment so perfectly. The singer/songwriter’s latest is haunting and hazy, the perfect soundtrack for late-night pondering. Think of artists like Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake and various facets of Bob Dylan and you’ll get kind of an idea what to expect. However, Morby’s not as bleak or sparse as some of these other artists tend to be (Cohen especially). Witness the flamenco trumpet flourishes on “I Have Been to the Mountain” or the fuzzy low end of “Dorothy.” Singing Saw is a low-key, relatively short listen that maintains a melancholy vibe throughout without lapsing into wrist-slitting sameness (a major problem that I had with Kurt Vile’s record last year). Check it out, right?

As for something old, I listened to Flood by They Might Be Giants the other day for the first time in a while. 26 years have passed but the hooks are just as biting and the lyrics just as hilarious. Check out the absurd surrealism of “We Want a Rock,” and compare it to the relatively down-to-Earth tale of “Your Racist Friend.” The two Johns can do it all, and Flood also happens to be the album with perhaps their most famous song, “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” TMBG are one of those bands that you grow up with; they never really go away, you just find something new to appreciate about them as an adult. Give it a listen if you’re unfamiliar.

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See you next time!

One comment to “Weekly Obsessions 5/14/16”
  1. I hope that you’re obsessing over the new Car Seat Headrest. I really wish Ric Ocasek would have let the song stay the same.

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