Hello. I fell off the face of the Earth but decided that was overrated, so here are some overdue recommendations...
Worthy Pursuits & Playlists
New Music You Should Look (and Listen!) For...
Pete Yorn -- New Jersey -- Columbia Records -- New Release: Nightcrawler
Pete Yorn, my love... it's been too long.... what took you so long? Yorn's debut release, musicforthemorningafter, was fantastic and the first part of what he intended to be a musical trilogy. The second album, Day I Forgot, was solid but (appropriately enough) forgetable... his third album, Nightcrawler, makes up for it. Good mix between rock ("Policies") and ballads ("Ice Age" is a nice one), with songs that are distinctive and require repeat listens. To preview it, I'd probably head over to Amazon if I were you ... MySpace loads slow, and his website only has one song on it... Definitely in my top 5 albums of the year and worth purchasing.
Good Chance You'll Like This Artist If You Like: Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Son Volt/Jay Farrar, Rufus Wainwright
Guillemots -- London, UK -- Fantastic Plastic -- New Release: Through the Windowpane
In my opinion, buzzworthy British bands are set to suffer the same fate as Beanie Babies... cute, collectable, but essentially overvalued. Still, critics waste no time proclaiming them to be "worth the hype" and "the next big thing." But how many have come close to surpassing Oasis? Didn't they say that about Arctic Monkeys? One day, we'll all put those records in the attic with the Beanie Babies and Pogs...
Here's a buzzworth British band that we can all love, though -- the Guillemots. [Despite my rant above, I think it's okay to call them buzzworthy because the four members are from England, Brazil, Canada, and Scotland... more worldly than British...]. The music is an ecclectic mess of instruments, heart-on-sleeve lyrics, and "little bursts of sonic madness that flit around like overproduced Eighties butterflies." It's not overwhelming, though -- it's inviting. Hear songs, including the new single "Trains To Brazil," at www.myspace.com/guillemotsmusic
Good Chance You'll Like This Artist If You Like: Beck, The Beatles, Flaming Lips, Coldplay if they were rumaging through a vintage store for new sounds and took themselves less seriously
Sigur Ros -- Iceland -- Geffen Records -- New Release: Saeglopur EP
My boss once told me, "Sigur Ros' music sounds best when you're sitting in the dark with only your stereo." It also sounds nice in Wes Anderson films, symphony halls, and as a backdrop to your less-than-glamorous-but-certainly-important life experiences. Last year, Sigur Ros released "Takk..." and on that album was a song called "Saeglopur." They just released an EP with that wonderful song and three others, plus their amazing music videos. If you like to keep things interesting and appreciate beautiful music, listen to some Sigur Ros. Don't expect to understand the words, unless you know Icelandic... even then you may be out of luck -- the band sang all the lyrics to their untitled album -- "( )" -- in a language they made up ("Hopelandic").
Good Chance You'll Like This Artist If You Like: Thom Yorke and Radiohead; intense, cathartic music
How about everybody sends a favorite song of the summer? Email or post them here.