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REPOST: Listening Assignments 10.16.09*

In Listening Assignments on October 25, 2009 at 10:42 am

1. Devendra Banhart – Goin’ Back – A cursory search reveals “Baby” to be currently everywhere on the blogosphere, for good reason: it’s one of the year’s best. It shocked me when Banhart signed with Warner Bros. and I wondered how he would make a commercially successful record…consider me silenced. He’s damn near Jackson Browne-meets-John Denver on “Goin’ Back” and these two tracks find him staying true to his loose-freak-folk sound, but with an melodies irresistible to any human ear. [from What Will We Be (out 10.27)|pre-order]

frightened2. Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Love this band. Like the song. It’s the first studio track we’ve heard since their amazing LP The Midnight Organ Fight (2008), so I’m willing to give some room. There’s more patience here than I’m used to with them, the edges slightly less dog-eared, but the lyrics as cutting as ever. “Let’s call me a baptist/call this the drowning of the past/she’s there on the shoreline/throwing stones at my back.” [buy the Midnight Organ Fight]

vega3. Vega – Well Known Pleasures – With a name like Vega, you’d better be a synth-pop outfit or a street-fighter-theme-song cover band. Thankfully, this band is the former. With Alan Palomo (of Ghosthustler and Neon Indian) at the controls, Vega has evolved into the musical manifestation of a Grand Prix arcade game, the center lines of the road whistling by in a white blur. [from Well Known Pleasures EP|myspace]
4. Local Natives – World News – This song fills me with feelgood. If I saw them live, during this song I wouldn’t even watch the band. I’d watch the faces in the crowd, smiling. I’d watch the toes of the people around me, tapping. I’d listen for the collective sigh of two hundred hearts, finally content. [from Gorilla Manor (out 11.3)|pre-order]

*hosting issues seemingly resolved.

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