Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stuffing Your Stocking

>> Featured Artist: Let's French

From: The Toaster
To: You, Beloved Listeners

You might know this, but Washington, D.C., is the capital city of the United States of America! Congratulations, Washington!

Not only do Washington residents get to pay taxes without having voting representation in Congress (giggle), but they also get to get propositioned by its indie rock scene. Let's French, fronted by Randy Chugh, is a rock and roll band that wants to sexify the room everywhere they go. Their stage presence, if not their tongue-kissing prowess, is undeniable.

The comparisons to Interpol - made by pretty much everyone who's ever heard both bands - are well deserved because Chugh's vocal delivery is disturbingly similar, but in a way that just makes you wish Interpol was a more lively band. We recommend "Boys and Girls" from their self-released three-song EP.

Mister Toaster has frequented two recent Let's French shows in the D.C. and reports back that they might just well be the next band that make it outside the district. Happily, though, he also reports that none of them appears to be able to cast a vote in Congress. Thank god.

>> Album Lookout: Peace: Songs for Christmas, Vol. 5

Sufjan Stevens - Released: Nov. 21, 2006 Asthmatic Kitty

To: Man Who Died for Our Sins
From: Sufjan

Sufjan Stevens' declaration to the world earlier this year - "Bite me. I bet you Pitchfork will even eat up my outtakes with a spoon." - was bold. Perhaps even bolder was his next foray into published music, which was Volume 5 in his set of Christmas EPs. (It's like Jesus gets born every year.)

Sure enough, Pitchfork gave this one a rich 7.5, leading everyone on Earth to the conclusion that Sufjan can do no wrong. His next album will likely be the first in a collection of 7" records about all the vitamins in Flinstones vitamins.

But, in the sake of holiday spirit (read: we're always drunk), we're actually going to say positive things - again - about Sufjan. In reality, it's hard to be mad at Sufjan, especially when he's singing "Take it easy...You make it sound like Christmas is a four-letter word" on "Get Behind Me, Santa." And bonus points for the play on the White Stripes' title, not to mention the fact that it's a dialogue with Santa himself.

So, Sufjan, our neverending quest to discredit you has been foiled again. And we could actually get excited about that vitamin project...

>> Reverting to: 1979

To: Paul McCartney, 2006
From: Paul McCartney, 1979

Poor Paul. Wasn't 2006 the year that all of us were waiting for, with the promise of the "When I'm Sixty-Four" box sets and world tour?

Instead Paul is going through what appears from the outside one of the most vicious - and public - breakups in Beatle history.

So we're taking this opportunity to try to cheer Paul up.

An aside: You know, this song would be quite unbearable if it wasn't for that crazy synth and the occasional muppet-like sound effect, which have us whimsically bobbing our heads and, you know, feeling it.

[Thanks to our brethren over at Noise for Toaster for posting this, as well as a depressing take on it by Tom McRae, which is perhaps more appropriate for Sir Paul...]

Next week in the Toaster: A look back at the year in album releases; in three weeks: Top 100 songs of the year

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