Galaxie 500, “Blue Thunder”

Again, Spotify drops a band and album on me I never heard of. This one came up on my “Discover Weekly” playlist, and I looked the guys up on Wiki and it seems there is some relationship between the band and The Reverend Horton Heat, but I could not track it down.

Galaxie 500, named wonderfully for the car, released this song and album (On Fire) in 1989 and it is sort of sweet melancholy and haunts in the same way Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark–which I call music to slit my wrists too and is go-to when I am sad–does.

I guess Blue Thunder is in a minor key because that does seem to help but man, I cannot pinpoint, and the song and album just get to me. I am not even sure of the words in this one as the mix is thick and the words sort of mumbled/slurred, but shit, I do like it a lot.

The High Numbers, “You Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying”

This is the High Numbers, an early detour into mod by the Who, covered with professional film. Careers are made of this, though the band didn’t fit the fashion and soon reverted to their original name.

But this is also a great cover of a Miracles tune, a Holland-Dozier-Holland composition, something that can make a career, too.

In this case, however, it wasn’t this great cut but what came later that made the career. And the film of their live performance ended up in a documentary that earned a Grammy nomination in 2009.

 

 

 

Jens Lekman, What’s That Perfume You Wear?

Jens has a new elpee out. My first time through I was disappointed. Seemed a little pro forma Euro disco.

But in fact, after a few listens, there are some other great songs here beside Evening Prayer.

I think this is the single. There is a real video. Secretly Canadian is promoting this. Good for them.

Mainland, Leave the Lights On

Very Strokes-ish, which means it sounds pretty good. It’s two years old, and would be a welcome sound on the radio. On the other hand, could there be a worse band name than Mainland?

Listening to other tunes, they are pretty good at mining the same commercial rock vein as the Strokes, but the rhythm section doesn’t hit quite as hard, and the songs aren’t quite as good. And the arrangements can veer toward, ugh, the commercial crap we try to avoid (and ambitious rockers sell their souls to achieve).

But this one just dropped, and apart from the fake English accent it’s pretty jangly and rocking.

 

The Cyrkle, Red Rubber Ball

What I didn’t know before today was that Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, discovered these guys. He changed their name, and John Lennon suggested alternative spelling.

Plus their biggest hit was co-written by Paul Simon. He still gets royalties.

They played as an opener on many of the Beatles last stadium shows.

After the well ran dry they wrote jingles, and produced Foghat albums. Kind of crazy, like a red rubber ball with spin.