Ryan Adams – Gimme Something Good
Ryan Adams is a man of many styles. He’s done everything from alt-country to metal, surprisingly. His latest single, “Gimme Something Good” reminds me a lot of a Tom Petty song from one of his early albums. It’s got that southern charm that both Adams and Petty use so effectively. Hopefully this is a good representation of what his upcoming self-titled album will sound like.
Milk Carton Kids – Charlie
Consisting of singers/guitarists Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, Milk Carton Kids are sort of a modern day Simon and Garfunkel. These guys do the best harmonies of any current duo I can think of. They are a lot of fun to watch as well, making fun of each other in between songs – a good strategy for winning an audience over. “Charlie” was written for Pattengale’s daughter, who, as Ryan says, lacks both a due date and a mother at this point.
Dr. Dog – Distant Light
Most of the music I like is stuff that I didn’t really like immediately – it’s stuff that grew on me. U2’s Achtung Baby took me months to get into, but now it’s one of my favorite all-time records. I can’t say I love this song by Dr. Dog (who I have actually never heard of), but since my friend showed this to me last week it’s been in my head. I don’t know what it is about this song; could be that instrumental track has sort of a McCartney (Paul, not Jesse) feel to it. I guess it’s growing on me.
The Beatles – Lovely Rita
I was lucky enough to see Paul McCartney perform at the United Center in Chicago a few weeks ago. He played for three hours and I was pleasantly surprised at the set list, playing songs I never would have predicted he would do in 2014. One of those classics, “Lovely Rita,” was certainly a highlight. Hard to beat that bass line, isn’t it?
U2 – The Electric Co.
I just heard that U2 is planning for a 2014 album release. I’m not holding my breath for that, but here’s one from their 1980 debut, Boy. This is the sound of four young men not yet 20 years old, still struggling with their instruments, trying to make it. They have never quite captured this energy on any record since.
Muse – Supermassive Black Hole
When I hear this song I imagine a slow-motion shot of two people in a light-hearted action movie, wearing sunglasses on their way to take care of business. It might be strange, but I always have an image with to go along with the music I hear, and that’s just how I picture this one. It’s got nothing to do with the lyrics, it’s just got the right feel. Sometimes that’s all you ever need.
The Kinks – Lola
I’ve only ever heard this song on the radio or on TV, but it’s become one of those songs I can never turn the channel on. It’s instantly recognizable from the first chord. And now, listening to it now through headphones, I realize what a cool production it is. Who knew a song about an androgynous person could be so intriguing?