The Satanic Satanist by Portugal. The Man is one of the better albums I’ve picked up in a while. I hadn’t heard of these Alaskans until they were featured on The Needle Drop (a consistently good indie rock blog by the way). Once hearing them I ran to pick up the album and I’m glad I did. They have a lush, indie-folk approach that other bands often disappoint me with by getting too over-orchestrated. But these guys toe the line well enough that the great songs underneath can clearly shine.
You can hear most of the album on their MySpace page. Starting off, “People Say” is the rootsiest song of the bunch, while “The Home” touches on Super Furry Animals indie-prog-funk, with soulful vocals. And to keep it tied to an obvious influence, “Let You Down” is reminiscent of John Lennon’s “Mind Games”. Bottom line, there isn’t a bad track on the album.
If you prefer a stripped down approach, there’s also a companion digital download called The Majestic Majesty (okay, there are Rolling Stones influences present too!). It’s a track for track version of The Satanic Satanist, but all acoustic. Here’s an idea of what that may sound like.
Next up, The Action Painters.
“Sooner or Later” appears to be the ‘hit’ from their debut CD Chubby Dancer (stream it here), which shows this band to be a little more pop oriented than some of their Brooklyn counterparts that have gained a lot of recent attention. Although they do remind me of another Brooklyn band I raved about in one of my first djeddieo blogs, Love as Laughter. They aren’t reinventing the wheel, just having fun spinning it. They are currently in the studio recording a full length follow up which I’ll be on the lookout for.
I get so much of my favorite music from Passport Approved, sometimes I can’t tell if I’m listening to a podcast of the show or my iPod on shuffle! Click the PLAY button here now before reading on…..
Assuming you followed directions, you’re listening to Wild Beasts “Hooting & Howling”, featuring the “enormous falsetto voice” of 23 year old Hayden Thorpe. Somehow I don’t find it creepy or fey, as falsettos sometimes can be.
This Leeds quartet formed in 2002, but caught the attention of BB6’s Steve Lamacq in January 2007 when he added their first single “Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants” to his playlist. Everything on their MySpace page sounds great, and you know this new track is fresh if it isn’t even yet mentioned on their Wikipedia page. More good stuff on their website. The cool video for “Hooting & Howling” is below; don’t try to hold your breath for the whole thing!
This next one is even more important for you to hear before you view. Humor me and click play again:
The Big Man
Obviously an artist who doesn’t take himself TOO seriously, but not nearly the novelty act that bands like The Offspring seem to be (tell the truth: they veer way too close to Wierd Al Yankovic territory). The Big Man is so new, there’s nothing to find about him online. He does provide his own bio on his MySpace page:
Raised by wolves in the Alaskan Tundra, The big little boy relocated to New Zealand at the tender age of 147 with his parents both of whom were genetic engineers with a taste for polka music. Once in the the green and tender land, the big little boy became a man: kicked some rhymes, made some beats, became intensely bored….He had started out with then intention of saying something to someone and had ended up with nothing left to say. One day, while wandering the alps of Austria, he met a tender lass called Schnoopie, who kindled his hire of all the things pure, kicked him in the pants and got him back on track. The radio. The singing along. You get the picture. This is the first song by THE BIG MAN.
Me, I like the song (and the others on that MySpace page) for its musicality…I’m not laughing as I tap my toe and bob my head; I’m groovin’! The video, on the other hand, is a total goof: