Telekinesis, A.C. Newman, Coconot and more…….

telekinesisWhen I defend my distaste for Top 40 popular music, I might often site a negativity towards the predictability of formulaic songs and production.  But I have to admit sometimes formulas work.  For example, Seattle’s Telekinesis (primarily a one-man show from Michael Benjamin Lerner)  has a perfectly formulated pop-rock gem with Coast of Carolina.  Nice melody with simple acoustic guitar intro, then punch in with some catchy electric guitar and drums at the 30 second mark and never look back.  The other demos found on their MySpace page also offer high hopes for this album, due out in April on Merge Records.

Stretching for a segue… Merge was founded and run by Mac McCaughan who fronted the legendary Superchunk.  Their drummer, Jon Wurster, plays on a majority of songs on…

tnp-acbeltsA.C. Newman’s new release Get Guilty is another solid outing from the primary New PornographerThere are Maybe Ten or Twelve is the song featured on his site, and it is a good one.  But digging deeper into the album, Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer is my immediate favorite.  It follows a percussive march like many of his songs, but with a little more exaggerated phrasing, and a fun drum fill from Wurster.

If you like his sound, and haven’t heard his 2004 release, don’t miss Miracle Drug (weirdly listed as Hello There) on his MySpace player.


Changing gears, I’m still trying to figure out exactly why I’m going to talk about Coconot.  Spanish alt-tropicalia-pop (is there such a thing, or does it need to be Brazilian to be considered tropicalia at all?) isn’t generally in my wheel-house, but something about this band has caught my interest.  My self-analysis provides the following possible reasons for mentioning them:

  1. As a service to the readers of this blog, who might be more ‘worldly’ than I am.
  2. I’m currently reading Roberto Bolano’s Savage Detectives, which is about a group of Mexican poets in the 70’s.  This kind of fits the mood… not to mention some of the book takes place in Barcelona, where Coconot is from.
  3. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities.
  4. I’m playing catch-up.  Last year I kept running across El Guincho reviews, but never followed up.  El Guincho is the solo project from Coconot leader Pablo Díaz-Reixa.
  5. It sets a tone for my upcoming trip to the Caribbean.  Okay, it isn’t Caribbean music, and I’m going to Jamaica so I should really be focusing on reggae or ska.  Guilty as charged… so here’s a quick ska link, The Night Doctors.
  6. They just sound pretty cool.  I suggest starting with the song Tao.

Finally, nothing new, but in the interest of ironic covers the Constantines, who showed up on my Cream of Eight comp paired up last year with Feist (who I’m sure could be found an old eddieo volume) to do Islands in the Stream.


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