Fingertips Music Guide to betterPropaganda: November 06
1) "Sedition's Wish" - 31 Knots
Dense, precise, and unusually satisfying. Alternating prickly guitar lines with blasts of noise, this Portland, Ore.-based trio offers nothing that sounds quite normal in terms of melody, accompaniment, or lyrics, yet keeps me engaged through continual invention and a rigorous devotion to the art of playing their instruments.
2) "New Years" - Asobi Seksu
Classic pop dreaminess, of the Blondie variety, fed through a 21st-century filter of speed, volume, and inscrutability. There is something about this combination of airy beauty and ferocious noise that is inexplicably appealing to me. Lead singer Yuki sings sometimes in Japanese, sometimes in English, and half the time I can't tell when she's singing which. Also inexplicably appealing.
read more about Asobi Seksu on Fingertips: www.fingertipsmusic.com/artistindex.htm#Asobi
3) "Jacket" - David Vandervelde
Newcomer David Vandervelde is going to have to put up with everyone mentioning T. Rex and Ziggy-era Bowie when writing about him, because the man's channeling some serious early glam here. From his clear thin voice to the rousing melody to the crazy stoner guitar breaks, "Jacket" bursts with retro energy, yet manages to sound crisply present at the same time. Cool.
4) "Coniferous" - Giant Sons
After a vaguely martial opening salvo, "Coniferous" opens into an absorbing instrumental, full of chunky, dynamic twists and turns. Don't miss the sensational rhythm guitar in the climax, as it turns itself essentially into a lead guitar, before dissipating into a feedbacky yowl. Unrelentingly interesting stuff.
5) "Fantastic" - Boyskout
"Fantastic" doesn't cover a lot of ground musically--I'm trying hard to hear more than one chord in the whole thing and I'm not sure I've found it--and yet there's something fetching about the song's Elastica-like slink and crunch and, especially, singer Leslie Satterfield's achy yet arch voice. This four-woman band creates a definite late-'70s, late-night, black-leather vibe here, but do it with an unexpected a touch of grace.