>> Featured Artist: Son Volt
As Jay Ferrar preps his post-Uncle Tupelo outfit's fifth full length, the Toaster has to admit it was introduced to the bandwagon not more than a year ago by friend and coworker Michael S. Since then, it's been hard not fall for the songwriter who pretty much created alt-country as we know it.
The Search is due out next week on what is shaping up to be the biggest release day yet of 2007. Still, Mister Toaster insisted on featuring a Son Volt throwback. "Too Early," a mournful tale of "too much habit" from 1995's Son Volt debut Trace.
We can't completely put our finger on it, but there's something religious about the way the simple acoustic guitar changes interact with the accordian solos. It has kept the song on our playlist for months.
>> Album Lookout: Neon Bible
Arcade Fire has a knack for writing epic pop songs. It seems that, even when they're not trying, the sheer musical mass and the intricacies of each song's texture force each song into our "Holy Shit-Music to Change the Goddamn World" folder. They don't help things with all the use they get out of the choir.
For those familiar with the band's 2003 self-titled release, "No Cars Go" isn't much of a teaser of next week's Neon Bible release. While we're not always an advocate of rehashing old material to slip one by all those new fans, "No Cars Go" is an obvious choice for a revisit.
It's not just a perfect showcase for the bigness of the Arcade Fire sound, it's practically a childhood dream anthem. It's also a puzzle - a place where no cars, planes, ships, spaceships or subs go? Hmm. Then the devolution of the song into an into-the-lifeboats motif...Yeah, us kids know it's probably about sex and/or drugs. At least, we can only hope it is.
Now this isn't meant to coincide with the coda of Black History Month, but if you, the eager reader, want to read this post about an all-white synth-pop Brit trio with leftist sympathies that way, we can't do anything about that, can we?
A coworker made Mister Toaster a mix for his birthday with a song from each year he's been alive. The mix began subtly with Heaven 17's "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang." And his life hasn't been the same.