Listening Assignments 11.17.08

1. The Acorn - Glory (original version) - The Acorn has been one of my favorite bands since the moment I first heard the Tin Fist EP and the first impression has just strengthened over time. They have an uncanny sense of melody and balance emotion and dynamics so well it's scary. This song, about singer Rolf Klausener's grandmother, is the ultimate moving tribute. [from Heron Act|buy]

2. The Sea and Cake - New Schools - One of those bands I never dove into, but everything I heard was always enjoyable. This one is breathy and cool, shuffling like a straw broom over '80s linoleum. [from Car Alarm|buy]

3. Portastatic - I Wanna Know Girls - I like power-pop as much as the next fellow, but true power-pop fans are shameless and completely obsessed with bands like Superchunk, the breakthrough band helmed by Portastatic's Mac McCaughan. Under this other moniker, Mac is more free to follow the muse. This particular song is straight up late-'90s pop (one of my favorite eras) despite being released in 2005. And I have to nod in agreement when he's crooning statements like "I wanna know girls, they give me hope, they float by through the air." [from Bright Ideas|buy]

4. Joose Keskitalo - Saimaan Ranalla - Good luck finding any information on Joose in English. That's because he's like a Finnish Nick Drake. It's tough to use one guitar and one voice and remain beautiful and interesting, but this gentleman manages to do so with arresting aplomb. [from MAAILMANPALO|myspace/buy]


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