First, let me personally apologize for the technical difficulty experienced last week. This has been taken care of and I have taken the additional step of severing each and every unnecessary Toaster staffer. And, hence, The Toaster Talks has finally found the first person. - Love, Mister T.
>> Featured Artist: I'm From Barcelona
I've always known the Swedish love their repetitive lyrics. On "This Boy," which features Lonely, Dear, these strong contenders for 2006's best band name basically just add a vocal track to signify a reason to sing the verse again. And while this sounds pretty irritating, it isn't. Call it the foreigner soft-spot.
Today sees the U.S. release of I'm From Barcelona's Let Me Introduce My Friends and I'd be remiss if I didn't finally give them a Toaster shout-out. They've been in and out of rotation over the past five or six months, and I'm happy to say they've finally made it. And it's not just because I find the band name supercute.
>> Album Lookout: Costello Music
Why am I always drawn into those goddamn iPod commercials? Even when the song is not particularly appealing to the Toaster taste (about 31% of the time), I perk up and pay attention. And no matter how much I hate those iPod headphones, they are forgiven because they look scrumptious. And because Apple will tell me what I like.
The Fratellis are among the bands who have actually stuck around in my head following all the flashing pinks and oranges and greens.
Other bloggers and music experts have placed this band (that has no evident relation to the NBA coach Mike Fratello) in the Arctic Monkeys of 2007 folder. The Arctic Monkeys, as much as I enjoyed a track here and there, never really outpaced the hype that accompanied them. And, even in perhaps the shiniest hype medium possible, the Fratellis have quickly transcended the talk.
On "Henrietta," the first track from Costello Music, they go for our pop throats - from cheeky lyrics ("Buy us some shoes and maybe take us for cola") to the mock vocal doubling of the guitar solo to the song's catchy changes themselves. And, maybe it's how much fun it sounds like they're having or maybe it's the effortless front they've created, but I'm becoming a believer. (And they're making me reconsider what I said about those headphones...)
John Lennon once referred to "Soldier of Love," the Arthur Alexander classic, as one of his favorite songs. The Beatles would record it; Pearl Jam would throw it into many a live performance. But Arthur Alexander's record company stuck it on Side B and it never really broke through the pop charts.
It could be the fact I've just fired my staff. It could be that war I've been hearing so much about these days. All I know is that it's resonating today.
Baby, I don't want to fight no more.