The Thermals – Pillar of Salt 7″

a1: A Pillar of Salt (Mp3)
a2: Product Placement
b1: A Pillar of Salt (demo)
b2: Saint Rosa and the Swallows

Available on the cheap from Sub Pop directly.

Taken from 2006’s The Body, The Blood, The Machine, “A Pillar of Salt” is a song that I have heard a hundred times yet still manages to excite me. I suppose the “pop punk” classification works here, but more Ted Leo and less Fat Mike. This single has two versions of “Pillar of Salt,” as well as some worthy b-side material.

As much as I love this music, I have to say it: this cover is TERRIBLE! The headless suits – fine. Why are they putting the bar code front and centre? Oh, I get that it is some kind of “statement” on how this band hates the “commodification” of punk music; you would have to be pretty fucking dense to miss that. Yet, this kind of commentary is ham-fisted to an embarrassing level.

Those Dancing Days – s/t 7″

a: Those Dancing Days
b: 1000 Words
(Both songs available to download on their MYSPACE page)


This band is going to break on the strength of the lead vocalist Linnea Jönsson – you just can’t argue with the singing; however, I beg you to pay attention to the drumming, especially on a side “Those Dancing Days” (can we make a general rule: debut single should have a song titled after the band). The song starts off with drummer Cissi Efraimsson going insane on the kit, and the rest of the song is just pure virtuosity. The flip side, “1000 Words” is the better of the two songs, with its “Piccadilly Palare”-esq verses, its jarring proto-chorus/hook, and again, the craziness happening behind the kit.

A couple of months ago, I fell in love with a These Dancing Days song called “Hitten” (see video below), and when I throw this slab on the turntable, and I can’t help but think that as good as this single is, I want one for “Hitten”! Sweden just keeps delivering the goods. How is it even possible that so many amazing musicians are coming from one tiny country?

Buy from The Record Store. (this one is also sold out almost everywhere else).
“Those Dancing Days”


Shocking Pinks – Singles Series

Listen to the Shocking Pinks Singles Series Player


Blue: (Rough Trade Shops)
a:This Aching Deal (think The Bats meets My Bloody Valentine)
b: August 3rd (Arkitype remix)

Green: (Rough Trade Shop)
a: Victims (“it’s like a garage band raised on a diet of just Sebadoh or a classic Flying Nun band that you heard on John Peel once”)
b: April May

Red: (Rough Trade Shop)
a: The Narrator
b: Dressed to Please

Pink (7″) (Norman records)
a: End of the World
b: Go to Sleep

Pink (12″) (Norman records)
a1: End of the World
a2: Go to Sleep (Deerhunter Remix)
b1: Go to Sleep
b2: Go to Sleep (Eluvium Remix)

(set on my own shocking pink kitchen table)

I will let the music here speak for itself: kind of like like My Bloody Valentine, New Order, Hood, The Clean, Liquid Liquid, Pavement (also: every free thinking band known to man). Layered, atmospheric, otherworldly, manic pop hooks, wistful psychedelics, frantic basement percussion & breathless energy. Any of these singles in isolation would make my year end list, but the combination is just value added, double plus good. Kind of like Voltron or something.

This series was supposed to ramp up to the LP (out on DFA in September), but I only got the End of the World singles on Friday. Each of these puppies is limited to 500 copies, and from what I can tell, they are only available overseas (I put links to the webstores that these are still available at, as they are already sold out in other places).

This is the song/video (End of the World) that started my obsession with this band:

The New Pornographers – Myriad Harbour 7″

a: Myriad Harbour (Dan Bejar) (Mp3)
b: Fuge State (AC Newman)

My Bejar fetish is well documented, and when I saw this, I jumped at it. If we squint past the terrible New Pornographers logo (with a font worse than comic sans), we can pretend that we have a Destroyer/AC Newman split 7″!

I am pretty sure that this is only their second 7″ (the other one being a promo!) How does that work? The New Pornographers have always been a singles band for me: where are the singles?

This is a good start, as “Myriad Harbour” might be the song of the year. I have listened to it countless times, and it is as catchy a song as you can make. As an added bonus, some of Dan’s delivery here is hilarious, especially this verse

I walked into the local record store /And asked for an American Music Anthology /It sounds fun!

For whatever reason, this line always cracks me up. An online acquantance “in the know” recently told me that this was the worst thing that Bejar has ever recorded, done on purpose as a way to get out of the NP’s without hurting AC’s feelings. I call bullshit on that.

The b side is from AC Newman, and is another sleepy affair that would fit nicely on Challengers, or more precisely, on his solo record.

This 7″ is limited to 500 copies, available now at Insound.

Pet Politics – The Spring 7″

a: The Spring
b: Taken Away by Aliens / Glass of Champagne

This just arrived in the post, and I have been listening to it on repeat all afternoon. Simply put, this 7″ will make you feel happy, which should be the ultimate goal of all pop music of this sort. Out on vinyl-collector boutique The Great Pop Supplement, this is limited to 300 numbered 7”s in circular, shell like sleeves. I found this via Seven Inches Every Day blog, and am very happy that I took his advice on this one.

From what I know, Pet Politics is one man, Magnus Larsson, from Gothenburg, Sweden. Referencing the American lo-fi movement (think Crooked Rain era Pavement meets the songs that Tobin Sprout sings on the early Guided By Voices albums), this band is everything that Loney, Dear promised, but ultimately wasn’t for me this year.

Good shit: highly recommended.

Listen to the songs here, and then order by emailing for availability/pricing. I would act fast, as this gem won’t be around for much longer.

Pink Mountaintops – Single Life 7″

a: Single Life (song streaming on their Myspace)
b: My Best Friend

A song like “Single Life” is genius in the intercontextuality of it – I imagine this song works nicely on a road trip through the Rockies, or cranked on some shitty garage sale speakers in a dingy basement that has Jimmy Hendrix tapestries hanging from the ceiling. B-Side “My Best Friend” is a spiritual affair – this one would play well on an Oasis album circa the mid 90’s, back when “Oasis, best band in the world?” was still an open question.

Out of print at Jagjaguwar, but Scratch still has some.

More music for your (my?) Bejar fetish

Details have been announced on the upcoming Hello, Blue Roses album, that being the duo of Dan Destroyer Bejar and Sydney Hermant/Vermont. There is also going to be another split 7″ for early next year.  Listen to this lovely offering: Shadows Fall.mp3

Then I just read about another Bejar side project called Bonaparte (three songs are streaming here). In addition to Bejar and Vermont, Bonaparte features Josh Lindstrom, Krista Marshall, and Steve Wood (of Giantess /The Battles).

Finally, a rash of Destroyer circa Your Blues covers:

Final Fantasy – An Actor’s Revenge

Spoon – It’s Gonna Take An Airplane.