Julian Plenti: “Only If You Run“
It’s not much of a surprise that Julian Plenti, the solo project of Interpol’s Paul Banks, sounds a lot like Interpol. “Only if You Run” has the same clean and spacey guitars, the same reverb drenched outro-vocals, and the same sounds-cool-enough gobbledygook lyrics that Banks’ other band has been working for ten years now. Banks makes a few welcome tweaks, though, adding drum machines and some abstract noises. And hey, Interpol’s mildly-irritating bass player—who wears a gun holster and looks kind of like Shamu—isn’t on here, so that’s something, too.
Mission of Burma: “1,2,3, Partyy“
At this point the Mission of Burma reunion has gone on longer (by about three years) and been more productive than the band’s original run during the early ’80s. And it’s just going to keep going, apparently. “1,2,3, Partyy,” from the group’s upcoming third post-reunion record The Sound, The Speed, The Light, is just as sloppy, thrashy, and powerful as ever.
Thirty years ago, if you wanted to have somebody massage your third eye with new-age synthesizer music, you had to either buy a record or go sit down in somebody’s spaceship-esque basement studio. The necessary gear—hulking keyboards, oscillators, and filters—wasn’t exactly travel-size. But New Jersey’s Ducktails—with his more manageable network of footpedals and tiny synthesizers— can, if so inclined, bring the meditative all-night-flight to your town.
Robin Pecknold: “Two Headed Boy” (Neutral Milk Hotel Cover)
Fleet Foxes singer/heartthrob Robin Pecknold recently performed this song—originally by Neutral Milk Hotel—at a benefit for Seattle’s Vera Project, and it’s likely that the bootleg recording has already caused a few fatal music-blogger brain-aneurysms. But at least they aren’t excited over nothing. Pecknold comfortably slots his silky voice into the song’s surreal sensibilities and really kills it. Well, he kills it for a while, at least. Then he starts to forget the words.