Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This Illness Is Taking Hold

>> Featured Artist: Tegan and Sara

It's rainy outside. And Mister Toaster is coming down with something. So, we revert to some canned love. And nothing says canned love more than Canada. Enter stage left: Tegan and Sara, the twins who have been "bound to explode" on the pop scene for way too long now. Hell, we first got a taste of them in France in 2003, where FNAC had a pretty respectable display up and we were sold.

The White Stripes even covered the duo's 2004 hit "Walking With a Ghost." Now "Grey's Anatomy" is getting in on the action. Here's hoping there's some new T&S coming down the pike.

But, first, a Prince cover ("When You Were Mine") straight from their cute Canadienne amps.

>> Album Lookout: Post-War
M. Ward - Released: August 22, 2006 Merge

Pitchfork loves it. Allmusic loves it. Oh, the pressure.

As you all know, the Toaster doesn't react well to this sort of stress. Or all those Bright Eyes comparisons, for that matter. Yeah, he usually spews out a "ehh...take their word for it," lame-ass post and leaves it for you to decide.

This time, Mister Toaster is faced with the decision on whether to stay overnight in Nashville later this month to catch the M. Ward show. So, upon his request, the editorial staff here did some digging. And, you know what? We like what we found.

If you can get past M. Ward's sound -- the verbed-out and soft vox, the mostly slow tempo, the dramatic strings -- you'll uncover quite the material, even if you can't quite make out the lyrics.

"Poison Cup" starts Post-War out elegantly. The chord changes and melody intersect really prettily and the song picks up into an up-tempo Phil Spector pop song. It's hard to sound stripped down and wall-of-sound at the same time, but M. Ward pulls it off with grace, and even the cha-cha-cha beat that caps the song doesn't come off as too contrived.

We guess we're staying in Nashville for the night. Know any good hotels?

>> Reverting to: 1998

The Samples are, allegedly, one of the most popular touring bands of the early nineties. Excuse Mr. Toaster; he was only ten-ish.

The band, according to its online home, has been around for 20 years. And they pride themselves on their evolving music style, adapting to the pop of the day. Well, we discovered them on their pop-bliss record, Here and Somewhere Else, which was themed loosely by a theme of aging and a longing for youth, all approached with a Brian Wilson-esque outlook on the world -- not to mention with that indie rock Brian Wilson voice of Sean Kelly.

"Sea of Broken Hearts" sounds like a Brian Wilson song -- the harmonies, the crushing lyrics and backing arrangement and, of course, all that freaking water talk. That, or it could be a Waterboys song. Yeah, we could see this on the "Waking Ned Devine" soundtrack.

"Throw me nets...throw me anything to hold."


1 comment:

Bubbles said...

Did you ever notice that the beginning of When You Were Mine sounds very similar to that of You Wouldn't Like Me?