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Mp3 Digest: June 28, 2006

Austinist has an excellent interview with Red Hunter of Peter and the Wolf, which may or may not comprise 18 members. For those OK with the informal thing, it’s a musical collective, and that means they all shower together. Hey, that’s where you write your best songs, isn’t it?

» Hear Peter and the Wolf at Austinist

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Had Ian Svenonius, in a feat of anachronism, joined up with Wings, distributed zines implicating Paul McCartney with the Bourgeoisie, then overthrown the band, we’d have wound up with Gosling. I'd like to see the RIAA try and put a stop to time travel.

» Hear Gosling at MySpace

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Sometimes you only have to hear a band’s description to know how you’re going to feel about it. Brooklyn Vegan recommends the Ballet “for fans of Voxtrot, the Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, the Magnetic Fields…” I’m only halfway sold on it, until this: “…and other ‘sissy pop’.” Were there were more record stores with “Sissy Pop” sections, the industry could be saved.

» Hear the Ballet at Brooklyn Vegan

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My college friend Rocky and I used to jam together on guitar, usually instead of studying. You would have loved us. We played variations on the same theme every time: a Pixies riff (me) with an extended Accused guitar solo (him). Rocky always preferred any kind of music that was “heavy.” I like to think someday we could have been as good as the A Frames, whose heavy drumbeats are tempered by a crisp pop sound. It was hard to find a drummer in the dorms, though.

» Hear the A Frames at Popsheep

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Bands that don’t rely on guitars are either doing it for a gimmick or for real. “Wilderness” by Shapes and Sizes is a sure example of the latter. With its simple, Malkmus-esque vocals (half of them, anyway) and un-Malkmus whistles, it’s all horns and reeds and drums, and just a very little bit of guitar. You would hardly notice it, you’re so weak-kneed.

» Hear Shapes and Sizes at 3hive

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You would think almost every kind of musical crossover had been done to death, which means you would have forgotten about mariachi, which Theater Fire does to great success on “Fiddleback Weaver,” which sounds like a brand of fishing lure.

» Hear Theater Fire at Sixeyes

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Remember the thrill of when Napster first entered our lives? I sure don’t, but what I recall is how some of the songs I first downloaded were from artists I’d long wanted to hear, but never could, for reasons of deleted catalogs or import-only prices. One such artist was Jacques Brel, whose “My Death” I had long admired through David Bowie’s version of the song in the Ziggy Stardust movie. Knowing both Bowie and Scott Walker counted Brel among their influences, I was positive he must be magnificent—”Voir un ami pleurer” is the proof.

» Hear Jacques Brel at 20 Jazz Funk Greats

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Is it just me, or does sing-spelling a line like “I D-I-G this P-O-P” take some serious cojones? Is it just me, or don’t you think when a song like that is playing, children may be within earshot? And is it just me, or is the best way to explain “cojones” to a child to go for the literal translation, or just outright lie? (“It’s a kind of fishing lure.”)

» Hear the Port City Allstars at Said the Gramophone


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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