Fingertips Music Guide to betterPropaganda: July 07

Our collaboration with one of our favorite bloggers, Jeremy Schlosberg from Fingertips, continues. Start reading July's Top 5 recommendations and don't forget to check out Fingertips while you're at it for more in depth reviews.

1) "The Plot" - White Rabbits
Apparently a love of '70s ska was among the things that drew this band together, and you can certainly detect a bit of that genre's twitchiness here, but only to the extent that White Rabbits are using a knowledge of ska to forge their own sound. Don't let the relentless drumbeat distract your ear from the song's subtler elements, including the well-developed melody and dreamy keyboard touches.

2) "Cage in a Cave" - Rasputina
Quirky, semi-psychedelic, homespun cello rock from Melora Creager and company. But this is no frilly bit of oddball fluff--Creager captures a unique, full-bodied instrumental energy that is unusual for a string-based ensemble in a rock setting. A big part of the overall appeal is Creager's strong, irresistible voice and her capacity to write real melodies, as too often, to my ears, those inclined to noodle with odd instruments forget that we still need a true and sturdy melody to hang onto.

check out a more detailed review on Fingertips:

3) "Stolen Moments" - Six Parts Seven
This easy-going instrumental manages to be both soothing and stirring at the same time. I think it's the trumpets that rouse us, even as the laid-back groove keeps us relaxed. Six Parts Seven is the rare instrumental band that understands that rock instrumentals as a rule should be shorter rather than longer: state your case, play your parts, and we'll get it without dragging the process out for five or six or seven minutes. This is beautifully conceived from beginning to end--an instrumental without deadwood.

4) "Dear Confessor" - Immaculate Machine
Friendly and welcoming, "Dear Confessor" launches off a vintage Elvis Costello beat and doesn't look back. It's that note that singer/guitarist Brooke Gallupe hits on the second syllable of the word "relax" that does it for me--that's where I sink in and let them take me where they're going to take me. Gallupe and singer/keyboardist Kathryn Calder have been neighbors in the Vancouver area since elementary school; their long-standing familiarity with each other gives the music an exceedingly comfy vibe.

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5) "Transistor Kids" - The Foundry Field Recordings
A very gentle (and long-ish) intro opens, at first, into a lovely ballad with a bit of Kinks about it. Stay with it, however, and the hint of feedbacky guitar gives way to a full-out, if tightly controlled guitar assault; the piece fades away in a wash of guitar noise--which is lovely in its own as well.

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