Weekly Roundup: Nov 25 – Dec 1, 2012

Yeah, it's a few days late, but here's a new Weekly Roundup for you all to enjoy.

As I mentioned last week, I'm planning to emphasize NYC-centric music in this column and elsewhere on the blog. We start with the band The Sharp Things, who will release a four album series Dogs of Bushwick with album one Green Is Good in February. The track I'm sharing here, "It's Alright," is not part of that, yet it is quite awesome. The song is originally by Black Sabbath, and not only that, but by their drummer Bill Ward. It is a pretty straightforward classic rock cover, which to me sounds great. Every so often this kind of epic track hits the spot.

-Next up is the excellently named Steve Vibes. He put out an album called Highland Park earlier this year and has just released the second single, "The Falls." It's an instrumental track that has some strong retro vibes but doesn't feel lifeless or insincere. We have some guitar, percussion, and saxophone that come together well. It's easy to imagine a variety of different scenes playing out in your head while listening. I always dig the ability of music to create cool mental visuals.

AEtherea (the AE should be combined into one character) is the album by Sondra Sun-Odeon that came out just a few weeks ago. She has a lovely voice and the record is one full of plenty of wonderful moments big and small. The lead single "Golden Bird" feels delicate at first, but as it unfolds and the guitars and cello intermingle, it becomes apparent that it's no weak thing. Quite a beautiful track if I may say so.

-Our NYC catch-up track of the week comes from the duo Sunglasses. It's the latest single from Wildlife and it's called "Cold Shoulder." Contrary to the title, it doesn't seem uninviting at all. The slinky guitar line is coiled with energy, and even if the vocals might be a little fuzzy and low, they still draw you in. Especially as it comes to the chorus. I think the track has that special "instant-summer" quality to it, which is welcome this time of year.

-Here's some new stuff from elsewhere I'm digging this week, starting with this garage meets indie pop jam from The Deadline Shakes, "Don't You Be Too Cool" from Sweeten the Deal. Kind of interesting perspective on having a child.

-I think the video for "Knot In My Heart" by The Zolas is quite incredible. It takes a sort of contact sheet approach to the screen, breaking the scene into three's or nine's. Then, within that, there is a good deal of what looks like stop-motion. I have no idea how they pulled it off, but it just looks really cool for this track about a former love.

Knot In My Heart_The Zolas from Light Organ Records on Vimeo.

-It may be the complete opposite of the above, but I also love this video for "Dreamboat Jack" by Australian band Hey Geronimo. Called "The Greatest Puppet Chase Ever Filmed," it is quite a spectacle. Zebras driving speedboats! Lions flying planes! Penguins and polar bears getting along and carrying glass! The song is very catchy, and I like that the video goes in a completely different direction than what the song's subject matter might suggest.

-I think anything that uses a sweet fountain is pretty cool. That's just how it is. "Fires" by Stereo Telescope does that, in a way that syncs very well to their exciting song, and it also mixes in performance, travel about town, and billiards. So yeah, I dig the video. The band will play a record release show for On and Running at Piano's on February 2nd.

-And let's conclude by catching up with some previously featured bands with cool new stuff, starting with yet another cool video from Australia, this one for "Told You So" by Cub Scouts. I like how this highlights the band's camaraderie, plus it has some cool animation. And let's not forget the Mighty Ducks jersey!

-I know, I know, lots of awesome videos. Here's the last one, for this Roundup at least. It's from a band who is no stranger to making great music videos, Saint Motel. It's for their track "Benny Goodman" and features an exceedingly talented young dancer. The narrative nods to the legacies of both Benny Goodman and the Jackson Five. And seriously, this kid is talented. It gets a little psychedelic too. But don't get so caught up you ignore the song, which is great.

-We featured the Chicago band Shiloh earlier this year and they've sent us some new music to share. I really dig this track "Busted Rusty." Driven by piano and rhythmic acoustic guitar, it has that slow burning  classic rock ballad groove that pulls you in right in. I love the bursts of electric guitar right around the 1:00 mark. With a strong melody and interesting lyrics, it makes clear that whatever the band puts out next should not be missed.

Shiloh – Busted Rusty

-Finally, here's a track from our old friend Alejandra O'Leary. It's catchy and clever like everything else she does, and I especially like the dynamic of Midwest versus the Northeast. Or, more generally, how we grapple with where we come from (both in a physical hometown sense and a more metaphorical sense of our past). It seems to have at least a subtle college football reference as well, which is kind of cool.