Monday, December 18, 2006

Are you new here?

Some recent finds that have put me in a good mood.

This is "All Over This Town" by The Upper Room. They're a bit of a throwback to the days of jangly guitars, sway-inducing bass lines and asexual lead singers. Yeah -- they conjure up memories of The Smiths and Morrissey. If you happen to remember The Railway Children, then you can use them as a referent as well. I'm getting all nostalgic now. So nostalgic that I'm listening to The Sundays. And I'm swaying. With a smile.

This is "Back to the 101" by Albert Hammond, Jr. He's one of the guitarists for The Strokes. A while back, I read an article in New York that described him as not knowing where he fit in with the band. At the time, I assumed that the writer was commenting on Albert's insecurity with respect to his musical talents. But that can't be right, because he sings and plays quite well. His album won't be released stateside until March.

This is "Burning Benches" by Morning Runner. I discovered them on London Live, which is a wonderful live music show from the U.K. that's broadcast on INHD. It showcases some big-name acts ("big-name" in a European sense). More interestingly, it also features many up-and-coming acts (also in a European sense, which means acts that are several months removed from U.S. shores). I don't think that Morning Runner's album has been released stateside yet. Quite a shame, because it's very good. They sound a bit like Coldplay, but often louder and angrier. (Coldplay gets loud every now and then, but they never get angry. Forlorn maybe, but never angry. Gwyneth must have quite the effect on Chris.)

This is "Out of the Question" by Mumm-Ra. I also discovered them on London Live. They look to be barely out of high school, but they sound plenty mature. At times, their songs get to be a bit spastic, perhaps because their lead singer is a bit spastic. But "Out of the Question" is damn catchy.


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