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Bad (ass) attitude (10/6/2010)
Hippie chic (9/29/2010)
Sonically Speaking (9/29/2010)
|More from Chris Handyside|
Two-drink minimum (8/25/2010)
It's a family affair (4/21/2010)
DIY mythmaker (3/3/2010)
Summer seems never-ending right now. Its omnipresence, intense heatery and related stinkery still offer a vast horizon of both opportunity and ennui. So sometimes one goes crawling to the nearest air-conditioned space with a wireless connection and a yen for some sonic salve. In my surfing this week, I've stumbled upon two such tonics that I hope you'll all dig most seasonally.
Available via the Romatic Air Recording Company (the same fine PAS/CAL-related folks who brought you the 12-inch release of said band's "Summer is Almost Here"), Sa Sevol's "The Sea of Showers" evokes the kindly-barbed, slightly-jangled come-down pop reminiscent of such '80s Glass Records artists as Nikki Sudden and David J. Among his tools, Sevol employs such Glassian nods as fey vocals (breathy and echo-drenched), chords progressing and strumming at their own damn pace (thankyouverymuch) and synthesizers popping in and out to remind you that the whole landscape isn't pastoral (that you can bring a transistor radio to a picnic and still breathe in the fresh air). Yep. That kinda thing. In fact, I picked this set of jams for this week's highlight because I'm typing this on one of the ass-sweatingly hottest days of the year (nice image, I know) — and the tunes evoke that turn of season melancholy when summer becomes autumn. That is, when the breeze starts to blow in hints of cool that will soon turn from suggestions to powerful reminders that leaves die, students hit the books, pools close, park visits necessitate coats, and girls and boys all start wearing cozy sweaters again. There are 11 jams here — all inspired by different trees, according to the description — and they range (as one might expect from a comp inspired by trees, I guess) from blissfully poppy to a sort of minimalist-baroque elegy. Why I'm just now getting on this train is anyone's guess, but "Sea of Showers" does sound mighty good when driving around Detroit late at night in the summertime. I imagine it will hold up well come autumn as well. But as we all know: In the summertime, autumn's never gonna happen. Ahem. Said jams are available for free — that's right, freeeeee — at the band's MySpace page.
Really only "local" due to his label (and that's something in this cwazy interconnected world in which we toil), Michna spends most of his time in NYC and Miami but releases some of his jams on Ann Arbor's Ghostly International. His debut Ghostly full-length, Magic Monday, will be dropping soon. But for now, I highly recommend heading over to ghostly.com and grabbing the mp3 of his "Triple Chrome Dipped" jam. It's one of four songs from the upcoming release you can preview there, but it's the only one you can take home to ma and ask to be included in the family summer barbecue mix. It's a bouncy, sexy (in a non-booty call type of way) number that suggests what it might sound like should Mouse on Mars ever decide to really, you know, let their hair down. Burbly and propulsive and for all the world sounding like a trip down an autobahn populated by bodegas, this jam and its siblings on the record can't find their way into my iTunes box fast enough. Here's hoping Ghostly can get this out before my thoughts start turning to raking, back-to-school sales and Halloween costumes. Dig it!